Posts tagged with Madeleine Bistro:
I’ve always been a sucker for Valentine’s Day, even though I’ve been single for most of them. There’s something about dedicating an entire day to celebrating love that makes me proud of humanity. Yes, the holiday benefits cooperations like Hallmark and Nestle, but there are plenty of ways to celebrate romance, love, and friendship in your own eco-friendly, animal-loving way.
This first suggestion will likely alienate the majority of my followers who either don’t live in LA or can’t afford to spend much on Valentine’s day- but bear with me, because for the select few to whom this does relate, this is going to be epic:
On February 14, Madeleine Bistro celebrates their most spectacular night of the year with a 7 course tasting menu that I am sure will be a delight for all the senses (okay maybe not for your ears, but all the other ones). Here is the MENU (sorry, you’ll need facebook). For a teaser, here are some photos from QuarryGirl’s review of a previous Madeleine Bistro tasting menu. This gourmet vegan event costs $125 per person- but I promise after you finish your final bite of White Chocolate Mousse with an Almond Tuile, you’ll agree it was worth it.
Image by QuarryGirl, gorgeous dessert from a previous tasting menu.
For those of you non-Californians (or the California’s who can’t make it to the Madeleine feast), here are a few other things to think about:
1) Candy. Hard to find vegan chocolates at your local Walgreens, but have no fear, you can easily order online from Allison’s Gourmet. I’m personally a sucker for their caramels, but they have every indulgent sweet you could imagine.
2) Wine. Most of you know that many wines are not vegan-friendly (due to fish bladder, gelatin, and egg whites used in refining). I’ll admit this is one area that I’m not always perfect about (if I’m in a store I know which labels to trust, but in a restaurant sometimes I just cross my fingers and hope). The website Barnivore has a great guide that will give you the vegan low down on many popular vineyards. For the budget conscious, you should know that Charles Shaw (the infamous $2 wine you’ll find at Trader Joes) reds are vegan, as are Yellowtail reds.
3) Candles. When orchestrating your perfect romantic setting, remember that many candles contain beeswax, stearic acid (a product of animal part rendering) and/or animal fats. Soy candles are awesome because they’re vegan, they last longer, and their burn produces no CO2 (as opposed to traditional petroleum candles). I highly recommend the company A Scent of Scandal, because the products are fantastic and the owners are vegan.
4) Bed Time. Planning the end of your evening can be as (or more) important than planning the beginning. Looking for some rad undergarments from a cruelty-free provider? I recently discovered Purrfect Pineapples- an all-vegan, incredibly unique lingerie line. For bedroom accessories choose from either The Sensual Vegan or The Vegan Sex Shop.
5) Finding your Vegan Valentine. Bummed about spending this holiday alone? Here’s a hint from our friends over at VegNews- pop into a veg-friendly bar or restaurant and try out a few of these pick-up lines (#1 is my favorite). If those don’t work out for you, grab some friends, pick up some Barnivore-approved champagne, and toast to the fact that love doesn’t have to be romantic to be celebrated.
Madeleine Bistro. Native Foods. Veggie Grill. Real Food Daily. Vardo Cafe. Seed. Follow Your Heart. Shojin. Sunpower Cafe. Elf. Cru. Mooi. Euphoria Rawvolution. (These are the names of the Los Angeles based vegan restaurants I could think of in 30 seconds.)
(vegan Oklahoma Bacon Cheeseburger at Native Foods)
Squatters Roadhouse Grill. Cafe Trang. (the only two “vegetarian-friendly” restaurants Happy Cow could find in Park City, UT, where I spent Mon/Tues of this week. Something tells me that the vegetarian option at Squatters Roadhouse Grill is either packed with cheese or a plate of steamed carrots.)
My point being- I often lose sight of how fortunate I am to be a vegan in Los Angeles. It’s important to keep in mind how difficult it would be for most Americans to cut meat/dairy out of their diets. As long as they’re close to a Whole Foods or a grocery store that stocks a decent amount of vegan foods, at least they can cook at home- but what about people who hate to cook? What about people who need to plan a hot date or a birthday celebration? What about people who rely on fast food to not only fit their budget but also to save time? I know that if a person is passionate about a vegan lifestyle, they can come up with solutions to these problems, but I have to remember how different “You should cut meat, eggs, and dairy out of your diet” sounds to a person in rural Iowa as opposed to a person who drives by five vegan restaurants on their way to work.
Case in point:
This is a Tyson vending machine I came across in the Salt Lake City, UT airport. I was so shocked and disgusted that I was probably a little overly vocal considering the strict airport security restrictions. I was in disbelief that not only is there a vending machine distributing hot chicken and cheese filled meals, but also that they are coming from one of the most corrupt, abusive, offensive “food” companies in our country. I often feel pretty optimistic about the world when I stick in my Los Angeles bubble full of like-minded people, but things like this remind me how far we have to go.
The point of this post is two-fold. Primarily, I want to commend those of you (and I know there are many) living in cities void of cruelty-free, sustainable food options who are able to stick to your beliefs in hopes of improving the world. You are my hope and inspiration. Secondly, I want to encourage you to be vocal in your communities. Don’t accept french fries for dinner or a dry onion/tomato sandwich for lunch (my two meals in Park City). Contact your favorite local restaurants and ask them to add vegan options. Make suggestions if they need them. Call your local grocery stores and request that they stock Vegenaise, Earth Balance, Gardein, etc. Ask your friends, family and community to help you out. These small towns and cities aren’t going to change if they don’t see a need to, but once they see the potential of added business if they do, we’ll start to see some real progress. And keep me posted with your successes!
If anyone has experience doing this, do you have any stories/advice to share?
(Photo stolen from the Animal Acres facebook page)
Thanksgiving has always been a little tricky for me, ever since I gave up meat at age 8. I still remember sitting between my two older cousins at the table while they took turns making fun of my plate (which was a beautiful rainbow of veggies, potatoes, pies, etc), and struggling to defend my choices in the midst of their heaping plates of meat and gravy. Times have changed, my extended family (and certainly my immediate family) has evolved quite a bit. No one (with the exception of my Mom and Brother) has gone vegan yet, but many of them have opened their minds and hearts and are more willing to have intelligent, mature discussions about our life choices.
I know that for many of you, Thanksgiving is not a holiday to look forward to so much as it is a day you approach with some trepidation. You know you’ll have to answer a bunch of questions, including classic favorites such as “Where do you get your protein?” and, “So do you hate lions and tigers that hunt for their food?” After eloquently answering such questions as calmly as possible, you are then rewarded with a giant plate of steamed spinach, plain mashed potatoes, and a bread roll- if you’re lucky and your family hasn’t infused those dishes with mounds of butter. Unfortunately, I can’t get you out of the press conference portion of the evening, but I can help you bring your own masterfully crafted, absolutely jaw droppingly delicious Thanksgiving feast to the dinner with you.
Madeleine Bistro, Los Angeles’ most renowned organic vegan restaurant, is offering a Thanksgiving to-go feast for $50 per person. In this box, you’ll receive:
* Salad: Baby spinach, quinoa, candied walnuts, dried cranberries, pomegranate vinaigrette
* Soup: Butternut squash bisque (you won’t even believe how delicious this soup is)
* Entree: Choice of Seitan (either grilled lemon-rosemary which is OUT OF THIS WORLD or herb crusted which is also quite fab) or Tempeh (braised or herb crusted) along with your choice of sourdough-sage stuffing (this is honestly worth the $50 alone) or, for the gluten averse, wheat-free quinoa stuffing.
* Also included w/ entree: rustic mashed potatoes, pan gravy, coconut yams, pan roasted Brussels sprouts, and cranberry relish
* Dessert: choice of pumpkin pie or French apple tart (I really can’t advise you here, they’re both way too good. The pumpkin pie is better than any pumpkin pie I ever had in the pre-vegan days). For an extra $5 you can get BOTH.
***EVEN IF YOU AREN’T IN LOS ANGELES, THE BOX CAN BE OVERNIGHTED TO YOU FOR AN EXTRA FEE***
(for this, I suggest getting a few people in on an order so you can share the shipping cost)
If you are in Los Angeles and would like to pick up your box, the deadline for placing your order is 4 pm on Monday, Nov 22. Orders can be picked up Weds or Thurs before Thanksgiving (the 24th or 25th).
If you are placing an order to be shipped, the deadline for placing your order is 10 pm on Saturday, Nov 20. The extra time is required for the restaurant to make the necessary shipping/packing arrangements.
Seriously, I would not steer you wrong. Chef Dave Anderson is quite possibly the world’s best, most creative, most upscale, most gourmet vegan chef.
(Chef Dave, hard at work)
This will be the best money you’ve ever spent. There is also an option of ordering just an entree for $35 (which includes the same choice of seitan and tempeh along with the yams, potatoes, gravy, cranberry, stuffing, etc) without the soup, salad, and dessert. While this is absolutely a better idea than going without, I highly suggest getting the entire meal. People are definitely going to be asking you for samples, and once they try your food you’re going to wish you had more! All of the items can also be ordered individually and in bulk. Feel free to email/message me (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more details. I am happy to help set up your order.
To read more reviews (with gorgeous photos) of Madeleine Bistro, go here:
Here’s a sampling of a few Madeleine Bistro creations to get your imagination and hunger juices flowing (all photos stolen from food photographer extraordinaire, QuarryGirl)
Red Beet Tartar- served atop a Warm Cake of Tofu Cheese
Chicken friend Seitan, served with mashed potatoes and gravy
Bigger Maque (you can probably figure this one out)
Bananas Foster Sundae
Again, feel free to contact me if you have any questions or would like assistance placing an order with the restaurant. For the time being, you can either email your order to me at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’ve been holding back on posting excessively about the best restaurant in the history of the planet, because I’ve been trying to get a job there and I didn’t want to look like I was sucking up. Fortunately, it looks like I’m going to be an official employee soon (had my first day of training today), so the time has come for a proper introduction. Followers, meet Madeleine’s; Madeleine’s, meet Followers.
Madeleine Bistro is run by (insert one or more of the following adjectives: brilliant, innovative, creative, genius, world-altering) Chef Dave Anderson and his amazing, welcoming family. I would put any of Dave’s dishes up against their non-vegan counterparts in a second, and would be shocked to hear anyone complain about missing meat/cheese/eggs. His most famous dish, the red beet tartar, contains pure heaven in every bite. As the other servers and I were discussing today, you don’t even have to like beets- you could probably even hate beets and go away raving about this dish.
Other stars of the menu are tofu benedict, macaroni & cheese with portobello bacon bits, “chicken” and waffles, beignets, lemon rosemary seitan, chocolate souffle…I guess I could go on and on because nothing there is sub-par. Even if Dave stuck with one amazing, fool-proof menu, this restaurant would be flawless. However, Dave’s always-working, always-creating, always-eager-to-discover mind would probably go nuts. Because of that, he is constantly adding new, exciting dishes and specials, which keeps the regulars coming in frequently to see what Dave’s creation of the week is. Today I was fortunate enough to try the cashew cream stuffed savory cannolis, and they were phenomenal. I was also given the lovely gift of sampling the new deconstructed s’more with Dave’s homemade marshmellow fluff. Wow.
What I’m trying to say is- I feel entirely confident that I could bring Sarah Palin, Chuck Norris, and Anthony Bordain in for a dinner at Madeleine’s and afterwards hear them proclaim their new dedication to a vegan lifestyle. Now that you can embrace kindness to animals, protect your body’s health, prevent global warming, AND enjoy the most indulgent, satisfying, exciting cuisine on the planet- there is absolutely NO reason not to make some substantial life changes. And, if you’re already vegan and have not yet been to Madeleine’s- you need to get on top of that ASAP.
For more gorgeous food photos and info about this glorious vegan mecca, check out:
Hope to see you there! If you come in soon, look for the overwhelmed yet over-enthusiastic new blonde server- it’s probably me!