My top Vegan Eateries…. thus far=]

Vegan Revolution

Look for the gold stargold star as it represents places that go above and beyond the call of duty, not only in what they offer, but how they go about offering it!

I have been biking for some time now and am happy to say that I finally came up with my top Veqan/Vegetarian/Plant Based eateries list, don’t know what took me so long actually.  At any rate, know that I am the type who would rather cook for myself as I am EXTREMELY picky about not only what I eat, but how it is prepared, the portions I get ( I tend to be an “eater”), the service, I am, while on the outside a decent enough guy, internally I will speak to every last little nuance about my meal, which is why this list is so golden for any of you in the areas where the restaurants reside!

The Number One spot is currently and I am thinking will be forever inhabited by a wonderful place called:

Mary’s Secret Garden

website here!

Ventura, California

The food they serve is so meticulously prepared and so well done, the ingredients, I am at a loss for what to speak to first, so I’ll tell you a story…

I went there a total of a few times in the short while that I stayed in Ventura.  On the final time that I went, I was a bit tipsy and ordered the “chicken” sandwich.  Now, I had at some point forgotten I was in a vegan eatery, i.e., you can not order anything that isn’t vegan, it simply isn’t there.  My sandwich came and I began to eat with gusto as the taste was so wonderful, what could I do?!?

At some point I stopped and looked at what I was eaten and a cold dread crept through my veins, my god I thought, did they make a mistake and accidentally give me a real chicken fillet!?!

I immediately called over my wonderful waitress, who I think was the owner and quickly asked her if there was any chance they’d given me a real chicken and not my vegan sandwich.

She laughed and assured me that it was quite impossible and she was glad I was enjoying my meal.

Raw foods, wonderful salads, foods that mimic meat fares, great fries and a wonderful assortment of smoothies, drinks and teas are just what the doctor ordered.  Prices for what you get are rad – 8-10 dollars and you leave feeling glorious!

No. 2Evolution Fast Food 

website here!

San Diego, California

What a place!  Vegan fast food with options for raw main meals and deserts, even the soft serve ice cream is raw or regular!

So, to give you the best idea of what we have to offer, here is what I usually order each time I go, and yes, I share this with whomever is with me, please don’t think me a glutton, big eater, yes, glutton, not so much, unless I get into the pakalolo, then it can be dangerous=]

So, I get the swiss mushroom burger with guacamole and a side of bacon, large order of spicy chicken tenders, sweet potato and regular fries mixed with soft serve ice cream for desert.  This in one of the few places that I even bother with a desert.  I have become quite picky about my sugar intake and quality of what you get, not to mention, some of these vegan eateries give you a 7 dollar sliver of something or other and look at you like they did something great.

Not here –  They use great ingredients and give you enough that you don’t feel confused about what just happened.

In addition to what I ordered, there are a variety of burgers to choose from, different patties available, different fries, drinks, salads, super food creations, smoothies, free wi-fi and some pretty cool art=]

No. 3Loving Hut

website here!

San Diego California

What a concept and idea!  Started by Supreme Master Ching Hai, this has grown to a chain of restaurants [most major US and international cities] that not only promote a plant based lifestyle, but also the effects of mental focus on one’s life.  The food is incredible and varied, with a definite Asian influence.  Very inexpensive and wonderfully food with great service!

No. 4105 Degrees by Matthew Kenney

website here!

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

This is the spot, one of the reasons that it is not at number one is due to the cost and the location.  While I do love my Oklahomies, I’m just not a fan of the cold and large flat desolate spots…

The food was impeccable, this is a raw eatery, hence the 105 degrees, food taken above this temperature, say to 110, you are now slowly killing off the important digestive enzymes and other nutrients in the food.  This is a “bad” thing as then your body has to create the enzymes for digestion and that is a whole ‘nother story.

So, what did I have….  I wish I would have started this sooner… I had lasagna, a salad, forgot which appetizer[s], tea and I think a beer, I was drinking at the time, it has been an on and off thing throughout this journey depending on the whims of my health and thoughts at the time, for now it is once again off and will remain so for the foreseeable future as I decided to go lush free for a year just because of the vast amounts of alcohol I drank while making wine and beer in Ensenada with my former partner on this ride!

Of this place I cold say the usual, you know, how the staff was superb, how very posh the place looked, how meticulous the kitchen was – an open view kitchen at that, but what really matters is this.  After taking all this time write this for you, after all the places I have eaten at, this stands out some 2 years later.  That’s my review=]

gold stargold starNo. 5 Karma Kitchen

website here!

San Francisco, Califronia

What an amazing story this is.  I had the wonderful pleasure of being able to go to a Wednesday meditation put on by the founder and originator of the group Charity Focus which is now operating and expanding at a fantastic rate under the new name of Service Space – website here!

Karma Kitchen is now spreading across the globe and has many restaurants adopting this style of eating, you see, when you dine there, there are no prices on the menu, the food is ridiculously fantastic and at the end, you pay what you can.  This money then goes towards the next person who comes to dine.

They have never operated in the red, always in the black, meaning, always at a surplus of money, which means we are good people when it comes to it aren’t we!

I am honored to have met Nipun and all his friends and family.  I hope with my new outlook on things, I will be able to not only help out, but help to grow this network and organization as it is truly one of the most profound and honest organizations I have found to date!

Oh, and did I mention that the food is excellent?

=]

Enjoy with Aloha!

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Things i learned and am stoked about and a Mountain Bike ride in Florida Canyon, SD, and Jessica hits a cactus!

San Diego has been beyond rad, I would really like to thank Jessica and Jacob, I learned some stuff, how not be a victim, key in this day and age, well, heck, I guess it would be key in any day and age…

My ride the other day and today in Florida Canyon and Balboa Park was, were too sweet.  I’m really getting the hang of this mountain bike thing=]

Someday I hope to not spend time on the internet at all, I would like to simply live my life, for now that is not to be the case…  soon=]  Let me do my do-gooderness in peace and not stare at this little screen with its aquarium glow, slowly melting my optic nerves from the inside out and reprogramming my brain at the same time=]

Jessica ran into a giant cactus which I found most troubling as it was huge.  She had many many needles in her arm from her encounter.  I chastised her for being silly.  It was akin to running into a giant green “stop” sign, only it had huge needles.

The San Diego Zoo was cool, and it wasnt cool at the same time, no need to talk about it too much, you can probably figure it out, unhappy animals, humans learning things to maybe stop the slaughter of animals, martyrdom etc.  we look at them in cages and yet I could never really shake the feeling that perhaps they were looking at us in cages….  Whos looking at who through what bars…
I learn not to be addicted to how things go and further how the way things go make me feel, it goes well, it doesnt go well, I feel good, I feel bad, it is of no difference.  It only makes a difference if I ride the roller coaster and the difference it will make ultimately will not be good for my health, which as I come to learn more and more, is E V E R Y T H I N G.
What else have a I learned…

Those with the least will most likely give you the most.
People are not stupid, or dumb, BUT, they are quick to choose ignorance…  Most often due to fear.  I know this best of all.
The change is coming, a change is coming…  Farmers markets are literally exploding all over the US, people are having conversations that I could only dream of a year ago.  Vegan fast food exists now in franchise form and hippie looking bearded guys are considered cool and sexy by mainstream girls.  Crazy world=]
At times I think we are on the verge of the big event, that will change history one way or the other, the great awakening or the great end.  My gut tells me we shall be free sooner than later,  all of the people who are getting on in their years agree that this is truly a very special/interesting/magical/most controversial/epic/etc. etc. etc.
Whatever is happening, I am glad I am alive, as for whether or not it is the best time to be alive, I would say that whenever your alive that would be the best time to live regardless of what is going on around you=]

I also know that I am just a Chris and no nothing of what goes on outside of my little world, so my words, in the bigger picture, arent worth the 1’s and 0’s it took to make them fly across to your screen=]San Diego has been beyond rad, I would really like to thank Jessica and Jacob, I learned some stuff, how not be a victim, key in this day and age, well, heck, I guess it would be key in any day and age…

My ride the other day and today in Florida Canyon and Balboa Park was, were too sweet.  I’m really getting the hang of this mountain bike thing=]

Someday I hope to not spend time on the internet at all, I would like to simply live my life, for now that is not to be the case…  soon=]  Let me do my do-gooderness in peace and not stare at this little screen with its aquarium glow, slowly melting my optic nerves from the inside out and reprogramming my brain at the same time=]

Jessica ran into a giant cactus which I found most troubling as it was huge.  She had many many needles in her arm from her encounter.  I chastised her for being silly.  It was akin to running into a giant green “stop” sign, only it had huge needles.

The San Diego Zoo was cool, and it wasnt cool at the same time, no need to talk about it too much, you can probably figure it out, unhappy animals, humans learning things to maybe stop the slaughter of animals, martyrdom etc.  we look at them in cages and yet I could never really shake the feeling that perhaps they were looking at us in cages….  Whos looking at who through what bars…
I learn not to be addicted to how things go and further how the way things go make me feel, it goes well, it doesnt go well, I feel good, I feel bad, it is of no difference.  It only makes a difference if I ride the roller coaster and the difference it will make ultimately will not be good for my health, which as I come to learn mor and more, is E V E R Y T H I N G.
What else have a I learned…

Those with the least will most likely give you the most.
People are not stupid, or dumb, BUT, they are quick to choose ignorance…  Most often due to fear.  I know this best of all.
The change is coming, a change is coming…  Farmers markets are literally exploding all over the US, people are having conversations that I could only dream of a year ago.  Vegan fast food exists now in franchise form and hippie looking bearded guys are considered cool and sexy by mainstream girls.  Crazy world=]
At times I think we are on the verge of the big event, that will change history one way or the other, the great awakening or the great end.  My gut tells me we shall be free sooner than later,  all of the people who are getting on in thier years agree that this is truly a very special/interesting/magical/most controversial/epic/etc. etc. etc.
Whatever is happening, I am glad I am alive, as for whether or not it is the best time to be alive, I would say that whenever your alive that would be the best time to live regardless of what is going on around you=]

I also know that I am just a Chris and no nothing of what goes on outside of my little world, so my words, in the bigger picture, arent worth the 1’s and 0’s it took to make them fly across to your screen=]

A few days, bike ride in San Diego proper, Comic Con, Pirates, good food, good friends=]

This spans a couple of days…  So, on or about the 16th?
I have anxiety with ninja [bike] not around.  I do not know if this name will stick for bike, it may choose to simply be bike, it may choose to be nameless as names and nicknames are how we gain control over our world, I am beginning to see the bike as more of an equal for without it where would I be, and without me where would it be.
The White Tiger by Araviund Adiga is a book i just finished, as this spans a couple of days, I finished it a few days ago.  Below are quotes from the book that hit me like a bucket of cold water to the face in a deep sleep….
“THEY REMAIN SLAVES BECAUSE THEY CANT SEE WHAT IS BEAUTIFUL IN THE WORLD.”  This wasnt capitalized in the book…..
“Free people dont know the value of freedom, thats the problem.”
“I was looking for the key for years, but the door was alweays open”

Siddhartha by Herman Hesse.  This is another RAD, super rad book which, thanks be was gifted to me by a wonderful man from Germany, Lorenz W.  Thanks Lorenze!  It is about a boy who journeys to become a sage, that isnt even right, he journeys far beyond what we understand, he journeys to the sublime and it is written in such a way that no matter where your reading skill level or level of spirituality, you will notice immediately 2 things.  The book is finished almost as soon as you began, and upon realizing it’s done, you understand so much of what you never even thought before.
I Am by Howard Falco.  I had the distinct pleasure of speaking with this man on the phone and to this day I am unsure how we came into each others orbit, and yet, I guess I do know.  I have only just begun this book, soIi will not say much beyond the fact that it is extremely well written and is so eye opening, more to come=]
A few days later – 18th perhaps – I had my coffee grinds read armenian style, The coffee was what I have had descibed to me as Turkish in the past, very small cup, very strong coffee, VERY STRONG, if it was a ninja, all I would do is Bow to the Master.  My grinds were read, there are many grinds in Armenian coffee a thick mud in fact.  The small cup is turned over in the saucer and let to sit for a time, but enough about the process, what of the reading you ask!  Great future, ranger helps me – a man with a hat, I am in competition with cat a dark cat – could be my alter conciousness, There is an eagle soaring high [very auspicious], and, I am to find a great love on this journey…..
Later that night, due to the coffee?….. Crazy dream, bus again! I see a yellow school bus and yet at the same time it is also a public transportation bus… it starts moving, I jump in to try and stop it, hit a Ford Explorer which I think is red, older model, now, dasy later it could also have been green? It was in front of me, end up going down hill, Explorer goes off to some other place, brakes just dont work, they depress but never grab hold, bumping, crazy, end up in hotel, hit door, guy comes out, like super “Euro” guy with belly, gold chain, longer hair oiled, speedo trunks, accent, not sure what kind, so stressed I hit door, I tell him no worries, my insurance will cover it, no worries, over and over, back in bus, unable to control brakes, there are none, finally get it parked and stopped.  What is it with the busses these days?
Later that day – Got volunteer orientation for Community Coaching Center to work with autistic children and began working with youth org to run 5 day summer camp on nutrition, environment, bahai faith….  Not sure what I can do to help.  Initially I was very stoked, now it seems more like it is based on the faith, which I know very little and studying religion is no longer what I do.
Later still, weekend… Helped with a fundraiser this morning at farmers market(first one to accept food stamps!) for youth group, very cool,they are rasiing cash to buy soil and seed for community garden!  Wonderful children, had a great time, still waiting on photos…..
Picked up bike from Solana B+L Bikes, THANK YOU!  They hooked me up something special, brand spanking new cassette and chain!  MAHALO!
Met with hailey from Surfrider.  YAY!!!!  Surfrider.org
Saw guy today after picking up my bike, he was skating and looked kind of uncertain, this is what caught my attention, and then I realized, he was on  an artificial leg skatin…  And then he ollied.  And then I was inspired.
Earlier to get to Solana I took public transpot to Solana Beach.   There was a gentleman with Tourettes (I’m guessing) on bus/train, it was intense, I dont know if you have ever witnessed anyone with it, I can only imagine that it must be akin to a prison without walls…
Now we are current – YESTERDAY – I took a bicycle tour of San Diego, For me this is as fun as my other favorite to bike around cities (SF, Columbus…) Bless the folks at the Mission Hills bike shop, I now have ninja straps for my pedals, and a bucket for my brains, so if you read this, tell my folks, i finally have the random event head trauma equalization device.
Comic Con is rad.  This is the big Comic book Convention in San Diego.  I decided to try and tap into the comic book fan base with twitter and ended up having a very brief and yet deeply touching – for me – conversation with Neil Gaiman who penned the Sandman series which is one of the impetus(impetuses?) for this bike ride.
I’m meeting rad people, this evening, well, last night, i was able to cook for a Naval Doctor who will give me sewing lessons for human tissue and has already donated to me the necessary acoutrements to do so and his wonderful friend who works for HP=]  I made lasagna.
Today, I am at the coffee shop, New Breaks in Ocean Beach, an over cast day, gearing up for big ride today in San Diego.
Aloha and thanks once again for bearing with me as I attempt my version of loving the world=]