Sunday, January 25, 2015

Perfection - Satisfaction - Promise- Ottawa, Cananda

Satisfaction from smell is rare. When I was a child, I associated certain food scents with feelings creating nostalgia. For instance, the strong aroma of my family's holiday cooking correlated with warmth, gifts and homeliness. Nowadays, there are not many restaurants that draw me in solely on smell. But Perfection- Satisfaction- Promise in Ottawa, Canada's cuisine is spiced and prepped so well, the smell alone is captivating.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Red Bamboo, Manhattan NY

Getting on our family's top vegan food list is not easy. Why? Because we are particular about food. When when we walk into a restaurant, we want to be sure of 5 things: the place is comfortable and welcoming, the food differs from our usual at home, something on the menu is pleasantly surprising, when we leave there is not a huge dent in our wallet, and the food tastes incredibly good.

So when I write that Red Bamboo in New York City is number #1 on our best vegan restaurants list you have to believe me. The place surpasses the 5 key aspects stated above and supplies extra. The servings are large and generous, the atmosphere is lush and calming, and the waiters and waitresses are cordial and cool. Not to mention their entrees always taste like they're cooked to perfection. Red Bamboo, though we do not live in NY and have visited only twice, continues to be the reminiscent vegan restaurant comparison in our family. Often you'll catch us saying, "Man, that place was good, but it's no Red Bamboo."

Monday, May 12, 2014

Choices Organic Cafe, Brickell Miami FL

Last October was my first visit to Miami, FL and the city was beautiful. The weather was perfect, 70 degrees, and I spent a whole day in South Beach soaking up sun rays and splashing in the warm Atlantic. I was in tropical heaven enjoying a break from winter, but when it came time to eat, my friend and I were forced to walk many blocks before finding a nourishing vegetarian spot.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Philz Coffee, Berkeley CA

Coffee shops do not merely serve coffee. They create hubs for energy, meet ups, local pride, art and relaxation. They warm you up, invite you in, and represent sleek and cool.

When I returned to Berkeley, I spent months visiting coffee shops that smelled weird, charged high prices, seemed desolate and served bitter product. Six months ago, Ithiel introduced me to Philz Coffee, in North Berkeley on Shattuck Ave.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Souley Vegan, Oakland CA

It's Friday night, soul, jazz & funk vibrate from the backroom, muffled conversations fill the hall, and fresh hot soul food smells delectably good. My mouth waters over the menu. Greens, yams, black eyed peas, grits, cornbread, biscuits and gravy, sandwiches, cup cakes, cinnamon rolls, pies the list goes on. My first encounter with Souley Vegan was a year ago, not too long after the restaurants opening. Impressed with the concept, more than your average vegan, if there is such a thing, dines here. At the joint there are all kinds of people from families feeding children to the younger hipsters enjoying the organic ales, Souley is popping with doors open & filled until 12:30am. Phone orders can take a 1/2 hour to prepare, but the waits for a table are surprisingly fast & worth it.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Cinnaholic, Berkeley CA

The southside of U.C. Berkeley is evolving into a vegan haven. It hosts a vegan mom & pop cafe on Center, Saturn Cafe on the corner of Oxford and Allston, and Cinnaholic, the only vegan cinnamon roll establishment ever.

As you step towards the door to this 100% vegan cinnamon roll shop made with high quality ingredients and a variety of flavors, the smell of fresh bread, cinnamon, and icing permeate your senses. Once inside, customers are greeted with a case of Cinnaholic's classic cinnamon rolls that can be made to order or they can create their own, mixing toppings and spreads.

Cinnaholic is superior to the commercial "Cinnabon" offering over 50 different icings and toppings. Some of their classic rolls we love include Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Strawberry Vanilla Coconut, and Smores. We also prefer to make our own bun combination using caramel or mint frosting, brownie bites, chocolate chips, graham crackers, marshmallows and more.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Stand, Laguna Beach CA

I don't know how else to say it. We love the stand, we love the stand, we love the stand. We love the stand! 

The Stand is a homely and cozy vegan food eatery two blocks from the Laguna Coast and a staple restaurant to visit when we head to Laguna Beach. The food is fresh and organic, and the employees are pleasant and sweet, offering great customer service. We discovered the eatery in 2001 when Jamari, now 13, was just a waddler and we are so thankful they still exist. Unlike our last review on the corporateness of fast growing vegan chain restaurant, LovingHut, the Stand radiates pure local goodness, never disappointing our taste pallet.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Loving Hut Vegan Cuisine

Loving Hut is a vegan chain of restaurants with over 200 locations that boasts to be the largest family of vegan restaurants in the world. My children and I always wonder how long it will take for someone to develop the first successful vegan fast food chain. Loving Hut is the closest restaurant to it with a strength in numbers, but this strength is also its weakness.

We have eaten at four different Loving Huts: Upland, San Francisco Westfield & Sunset, CA and Phoenix, AZ and they have all been different. We fell in love with the one in Phoenix. Their menu was unique and included multiple dishes with unique twists such as the Chinese based Sizzling Rice Soup and Saintly Seaweed and American-based Spicy Cha Cha and Philly Dream. They had tons of vegan desserts and for a starved family on a road trip between CO and CA it was vegan heaven. We were amazed by what we had found and when we heard there were more Loving Huts we were excited to try!

Friday, April 12, 2013

KindKreme, Los Angeles CA

Gourmet. Raw. Vegan. Organic.
After a long tiring day at Universal Studios, we always look forward to vegan food in Los Angeles. KindKreme, formerly in Studio City, but now in Echo Park and Pasadena, offers multiple ice cream flavors, sundaes, and shakes that are all vegan, raw and organic.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Pooja Cuisine of India, Corona CA

 Pure Vegetarian & Pure Vegan

Pooja Cuisine of India located off the 91 freeway is a haven for the conscious and spiritually minded folk who live inland. Boasting that their food is 100% vegetarian and vegan is a plus for vegan customers, since the area is known as cattle land. My Kingman and I were fortunate enough to stop by for dinner after a wondrous day at the Glen Ivy Spa not too far away.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Taco Loco, Newport Beach CA

I have always enjoyed getting Mexican food by the beach. There is something special about the flavor of Mexican taquerias by the sea. The food seems fresher, the lines are filled with surfers, and the beans and rice are free of lard and extra grease. Baja style is a must for vegans, and luckily Taco Loco provides many vegan and vegetarian options.    

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Thai Vegan Cuisine, Rancho Cucomanga Ca

At the foothills of Baldy Mountains vegans can now find not only an all vegan grocery store, but also a completely vegan Thai restaurant.  Yay Vegans! Each time we eat at Thai Vegan Cuisine, the eatery is filled with a good amount of customers proving that our diet is building fans. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Oasis, Riverside Ca

Oasis is a long time family spot.  Seriously! Jamari has been eating here since he was a one year old baby traveling between me taking classes at Riverside Community College and his Dad working at Performance Riverside. He's now almost 13!  Oasis is the type of place that if you know it, YOU know it, and if you don't, you have probably just heard about it.  The inland desert mecca for vegan lovers!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Island Breeze Jamaican Cuisine, Colton Ca

For those of you familiar with the Inland Empire, you know finding African or Caribbean food is not easy. Amongst the vast Mexican and Chinese food stops, & sprinkles of Indian & Mediterranean restaurants, Island Breeze Jamaican Cuisine (IBJC) is the only Afro-Caribbean food place inland. IBJC offers a cultural Caribbean atmosphere & rich authentic taste. This is the place to go to get your patties, juicy plantains, rice & peas, festival, & roots drinks.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Rasta Pasta- Fort Collins CO

Rasta Pasta! We were so excited to go. We stepped inside & the decor was luscious. Red, Gold, Green, Bob Marley, & tropical arrangements, sending out a comfortable and irie vibe. The place was quiet for a mid-afternoon, similar to the old town feeling of Fort Collins. The restaurant was open & spacious with outdoor seating. Very kid-friendly. There was a television towards the front that kept Jamari busy, but not too good for families against TV & eating. They had some nice dub music playing adding to the Jamaican/Reggae artifacts. It made us feel closer to the Caribbean.  

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


My name is Cherie Hill and I have been a vegan for 15 years. My sons Jamari (13) and Urijah (7) are vegan from birth. In our spare time, we like to travel to vegan food places, eat, chill out, and write about them. We are slowly working our way to becoming family food critics! This blog documents some of our vegan travels, encouraging vegans and non-vegans alike to support vegetarian food establishments. Maybe one day there will be vegan food options everywhere! It is wonderful for our health & planet. 
Please feel free to make comments & ask questions. We are not educated experts, but we can share tips based on our experiences. We are strong & confident with our eating/lifestyle, and are knowledgeable of ways to supplement ingredients so most dishes can be made vegan.
We hope you enjoy our site & are inspired to try some new places. Great food brings joy, togetherness, and precious family moments.
Vegan Mama Coast 2 Coast 

* I use the word “vegan” due to its meanings regarding food in the U.S., but culturally my family follows an “ital” diet. This diet stems from Rastafarians in Jamaica who eat only natural foods free from animal products. Similar to the vegan mission, we practice love and non-violence for all beings, but are not as strict in regards to clothing and public activism.