Sunday, April 3, 2011

Vegan in Santa Cruz, California

Boyfriend and I are in Santa Cruz for a wedding. It starts in a couple hours, and we've already been out to breakfast, so we have a little bit of time to relax.

Yesterday's breakfast in Santa Barbara was a lovely Peanut Butter and Strawberry Jam Steel-Cut Oatmeal bowl. Boyfriend's so fancy with his Peanut Butter & Co. PB and Dickinson's jam - this was perfect:

Post-breakfast we headed up to Santa Cruz. We went to beach for a little walk and saw this sign. In case it's hard to read, it says, "Stay behind fences." As you can see, surfers are fairly unconcerned about these apparent drownings.

Any quick Yelp search or Happy Cow reference will show you that Santa Cruz is a pretty veg-friendly place.

Before even driving up here, I'd already decided that for dinner I wanted to try Saturn Cafe - a casual space-themed all-vegetarian, VERY vegan-friendly diner. Yes, that is as awesome as it sounds. Although you can't tell from the on-line menu, the in-restaurant menu designates which dishes are already vegan, as well as which can be made vegan on request. Most of the burgers can be vegan, and they have vegan versions of almost all the appetizers (not onion rings though). It's been ages since I had some real quality diner food, it's very hard to find it vegan-friendly, and I really committed to trying lots and not worrying too much about being "healthy" with this meal. I'm so glad I did - it was awesome.

So excited!

I drag him to the weirdest places. I appreciate his culinary adventurousness.

Appetizers. Vegan Nachos and Vegan Sampler. 

Oh my.

Entree: California burger and Carrot Cilantro Soup. 

Oh my. Really.

We got:
  The Vegan Sampler: Garlic Fries, Sweet Potato Fries, Taquitos, Chips and Salsa
  Vegan Nachos (half-order, no sour cream or jalapenos): Chips, Vegan cheese, Black beans, guac, salsa
  California Burger: House patty, avocado, lettuce, tomato, vegenaise, vegan jack cheese
  Side of Soup of the Day: Saturday's is Spiced Carrot Cilantro
  (For boyfriend): Side order baked Mac and Cheese (not vegan)- he had to save room for helping me with the enormous appetizers.

As a general rule, I don't like vegan cheeses. I prefer to just get my creaminess/cheesiness from things that are naturally that way, as opposed to trying to be cheese, but the jack cheese on my burger was really good.

After this meal I was super full, no surprise, and didn't have room for the vegan milkshake I'd been eyeing, but apparently it's the 119th anniversary of the first ice cream sundae today (thanks Google), so maybe we'll stop by again on our way out of town. If you need some food in Santa Cruz, definitely, definitely go.

This morning we tried out Linda's Seabreeze Cafe. Yelp reviews were stellar, but I can't give it a very fair review because I was still pretty full from last night and ended up just getting fruit and coffee.

Note: Although they have lots of tofu scramble vegan options, I'm a pretty die-hard sweet-for-breakfast person, and the pancakes, waffles and french toast are not vegan-friendly.

Boyfriend got the french toast and said it was pretty good. We got there at 7:30 am (and it's Sunday - they open at 7) and didn't have to wait at all, but there were people waiting by 8.

And now, well-fueled and the wedding!


GraceyJ said...

yum all looks so nice.. apart from the pb stuff but thats because i cant stand pb lol hope you had an awesome time!

Abby said...

Oh my! All that food looks amazing! I want all of that!!!

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