The Unvegan

Recent Posts

10 Years of Unvegan
A Quick Bite at Burrito Express
Serendipity at Northern Waters Smokehaus
Twerks and Burritos at Casa Amigos

The Unvegan

10 Years of Unvegan

10 years is a long time. In the blog world it’s an eternity. The average lifespan of blog is, in fact, only 100 days, which means that The Unvegan has lasted 36 times longer than the average blog. If this blog were a human, it would be 2,847 years old.

And yet, it’s time to say goodbye. Don’t worry, I’ll give you some time to check your calendar and confirm that it is not actually the first of April.

Cool, now that you’re back, this is real.

It’s something I’ve been toying with in my head for a long time and for a multitude of reasons. You see, I started this blog when I was 24 and in a job that bored me and gave me no creative outlet. I literally wrote my blog posts at work and they were the most productive thing I did every day. In the 10 years since then, life has brought many changes. I got a new job, and another, and another, and so on. I moved across the country – twice! I got married, I had a kid, and another. And…no more of those – two is plenty!

Somewhere along that way, however, blogging about eating began to feel like a chore more than a fun creative outlet. My list of reviews to write would grow long and I spent far too much time trying to capture the best picture of a meal I could to put it online in some shape or form regardless of how hungry I was.

Also, in those 10 years science has begun to show that meat production is a major contributor to climate change. Now, I firmly believe that sustainable meat is not only possible, but beneficial to the environment, so I’m not trying to say not to eat meat. In fact, I strongly feel that the biggest myth of climate change is the concept of personal responsibility. Climate change isn’t like a bank account to be managed by an individual, it is massive and requires more than just a movement to solve. We’re not even where we should be with civil rights yet, and that movement has been going on for generations. So say what you want about regulation, but the only way out of the climate mess we are in is government intervention, and lots of it. Therefore, I actually don’t plan on changing my diet at all. Shoot, India is the third largest polluter in the world and 71% of the population is vegetarian. But I also don’t want to glorify that sort of lifestyle either or make it seem like the meals I post on my blog or social media are all I or any other person should ever eat.

It’s been a fun ride these past ten years. There are more than 1,800 posts on The Unvegan that represent those years. On top of the places I’ve lived, they cover exotic locales like The Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Morocco and Vietnam. Big cities like Shanghai, Montreal, Chicago and Cape Town. Random ass small towns along the way like Victorville, Lake Nebagamon, Blue River and Sandakan. There are even a few fun editorials in there.

Oh, and it got me featured on TV that one time. Plus, it unquestionably helped me land the job that rescued me from that boring job where I started this whole thing in the first place.

It’s forced me to go outside of my bubble, eat outside of my comfort zone and completely rethink travel detours. Hopefully I’ve inspired some of my readers to do the same. My to-eat list isn’t going anywhere, it just might take a little longer to get through it.

A Quick Bite at Burrito Express

But those onions.

When I arrived in Phoenix I found myself going to far too many fancy pants modern Mexican restaurants. So I asked around for where I could find the good stuff and was directed to Burrito Express. It sat on my list for a while as I tried plentiful other places, but I finally made it to the Scottsdale location and found that it had burritos and they were prepared in an express manner, hence the name.

Serendipity at Northern Waters Smokehaus

Smoke on the water?

Have you ever been hanging out and watching some sort of food program on TV only to realize it is covering a city or town you’re about to visit? If so, we friggin’ good for you, because I just had that experience for the first time and it was glorious. It began with an episode of Man vs. Food covering Duluth, Minnesota of all places. The restaurant was Northern Waters Smokehaus and despite all of my great memories of the classic restaurants in Duluth’s Canal Park, I was excited to try out something new.

Twerks and Burritos at Casa Amigos

Drippy.

Old Town Scottsdale has a dark side. I thought I was going out for a night of Mexican food and bowling, only to find this dark side. When I arrived at Casa Amigos I was a little taken aback by the loud music not only playing from within, but also at every other place around Casa Amigos. You might say I was even more taken aback by the weird semi-night life that was also happening within. It was like college, but not. Vegas, but not. Twerking, but not. I suppose Old Town Scottsdale is really its own special kind of place, but I was interested in the food.

Late Night Done Right at The Vig

A different type of fried.

Being a true city, Chicago has plenty of late-night food. On one of my nights there, a buddy took me to The Vig in Old Town after a few beers because it supposedly has an amazing fried chicken sandwich. The trouble is that they don’t have the full menu at night and that limited menu does not include the aforementioned fried chicken sandwich. There was, however, live music to make up for it and a chicken parmesan sandwich that would attempt to quench my hunger for fried fowl.

The Hidden Biscuit

Twice the plates, twice the fun.

Despite spending several days in Holland, on our last day we found a part of town that we hadn’t ever seen before. It’s called Washington Square and is probably one of the coolest single block stretches of storefronts in the state of Michigan, if not the world. Within that stretch is a cozy and homey-feeling restaurant called The Biscuit, which may or may not have its own pet blue dragon in the cellar (you’ll have to ask someone who works there). They only serve breakfast and lunch, so we attended for the former.

Settling for MCCB

Me and you, in the nood.

What do you do when the best dumpling place in Chicago’s Chinatown is under construction? Generally, perhaps avoid going to Chinatown at all. But when you’re already there, the situation is a bit different. We made a decision to head to MCCB (Modern Chinese Cook Book) for some Sichuan-style Chinese food. It made the decision a lot easier when I saw the restaurant was mostly full of Asian people.