The Unvegan

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Brew and a Burger at Two Brothers Brewery
A Big Ass Burger at Roaring Fork
Tacos for the Sol
Feeling at Home at Detroit Coney Grill

‘Vancouver’

The Best of 2013

Trying to make the cut.
Trying to make the cut.

2014 is here, but my 2013 may have been the best year of eating in the history of the world, so it’s time for another Unvegan Best of. The past year included a honeymoon, an epic month-long road trip and a move from Los Angeles to Pittsburgh, so my list has broadened beyond LA and narrowing down the awesome was quite the process. Nonetheless, I encourage you all to go back through my Reviews section to see what didn’t quite make the cut. Remember that the list only includes places new to The Unvegan and bear in mind that Honorable Nods this year would probably be winners any other year. Without further ado:

Real Chinatown at Rainflower

Mmm breakfast.
Mmm breakfast.

Chinatowns are an interesting phenomenon. And not so much in the fact that a group of people from a country showed up to a new country and settled in one area, but in the way that they no longer really seem to be representative of China. Case in point: while in Vancouver, I knew there was good Chinese to be found, and rather than point me to Chinatown, my hotel pointed me to Richmond, which he called real Chinatown. By real, he meant that the Chinatown on the map was simply no longer authentic, if it ever was. By recommendation, we went to a place called Rainflower to devour dim sum before undertaking the long drive to Jasper.

Just Right at Joey Broadway

Making grilled cheese classy.
Making grilled cheese classy.

Contrary to my belief based on visits to Canada from Detroit when I was a wee boy, the Great White North is not a cheap place. Gone are the days that an American dollar could be exchanged for a toonie. Instead, the US is now the place Canada looks to for cheap stuff, making it difficult for an incoming grad student on a road trip budget to eat. Yet, somehow we found our way to Joey Broadway in South Granview, a modern Canadian restaurant with a great-looking menu and Goldilocks-esque just-right pricing. Not to mention a killer patio.

Puttin’ on the Fritz

Poutine porn.
Poutine porn.

Although traditionally a French-Canadian specialty, no trip to Canada can be complete without a trip to some sort of local poutinerie. Yes, a poutinerie is a place the dishes out poutine, that ingenious gravy, fry cheese curd concoction that was most likely devised as a way to survive the winter in the Great White North. And despite the beautiful weather, I made my way to Fritz European Fry House in downtown Vancouver to get poutine in me.

All Sliced Up at Japadog

Everybody's doing it.
Everybody’s doing it.

After Portland we made our way into the Great White North, although surprisingly Canada wasn’t quite covered in white in the middle of the summer. We began in Vancouver, and I found myself a Japadog stand to satisfy my hunger. In case you are unable to read between the lines, Japadog is simply a Japanese hot dog stand, serving up typical Japanese-style hot dogs and other interesting hot dogs with Japanese toppings on them. It’s been around since 2005 and is pretty well-regarded in the street food scene. At least it was regarded enough that I can say that I had heard of them at some point in my life.

Shaun White: Unvegan Hero

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USA!

Okay, so the Winter Olympics aren’t the most interesting sporting event in the world. I understand that, but let’s be honest: has anyone not watched any of the Olympics this year? If you haven’t, you are truly missing out. When else can you watch snowboarding, curling, and bobsledding? All these sports typically bore me, but once every four years, I enjoy their existence. Which brings me to Shaun White.

When Vegetables Attack: Organic Salad

Look out, loyal Canadian readers. It looks like deadly organic salad is now out to get you. According to the Times Colonist, organic salad from Vancouver Island is having some salmonella-related problem. The salad comes under the label of Kildara Farms Organic Gourmet Salad Greens, so if you have any of that laying around in your fridge in a 113 gram container with a best before date of June 25th, it’s time to send it back to Vancouver. In unrelated news, you probably shouldn’t eat salad that expired five days ago.

(via Times Colonist)

Really, PETA?

I try not to make my blog into an anti-PETA blog, but sometimes it’s hard to avoid the things that PETA does just to get attention.

unvegan peta 1Just recently, they tried to exploit the death of abortion doctor George Tiller as an excuse to promote going vegetarian. They planned on putting up billboards unvegan peta 2catering to both pro-choice and pro-life people asking them to become vegetarians. The murder was a tragedy and showed that PETA obviously has no regard for the loss of human life.

On top of that, they have now turned the Olympics into a protest event.