Many communities around the world are hosting a networking/social event known as “Vegan Drinks.” The name would imply that everyone brings their own Vitamix, some kale, beets, and apples to show off how they have rigged their juicer to extract liquid from a vegetable to not taste like dirt. All of these vegetable juices (whether through a Vitamix or with a juicer) taste like dirt. Think: bite an apple; lick the ground. These Vegan Drinks events actually serve wine, beer, mixed drinks, and anything else the establishment offers (as long as they are vegan).
Fruit smoothies, by the way, are delicious. But, I digress.
Last night I attended an Ithaca-based Vegan Drinks event held at Northstar Public House. There were about 15 or so people in attendance and I knew enough of them to actually have a great time. As expected, any time you gather a group of vegans in one place, the conversation turns to food. Diet. Juicers and smoothies. I think that we all crave “real food” so much that we feel as though talking about food will somehow make eating like a rabbit more exciting.
With this said, the food (and the vegan food, especially) at Northstar is outstanding. They get it. They understand that there is a market for vegan fare and accommodate. They use creative ingredients in developing dishes that are truly delicious. Meanwhile, I ate French fries. I think I eat French fries as a way to draw attention to myself. I am a narcissist vegan.
I have attended this event at other area restaurants that don’t get it. They pass off a vegan pizza as a pizza without cheese. That’s not trying. That’s cooked round dough with sauce. Restaurants are slowly realizing that being vegan, dairy-free, and especially gluten-free, are not fads. They are legitimate diets and in some cases health-related issues that have to be dealt with on a daily basis and if you create food for us … we will come.
I am always adding restaurants to the link above so stay tuned for true reviews of places around the world that offer delicious vegan menu options.
Now, if you’re a vegetarian thinking about taking that next logical step, you should attend one of these events. If you’re an omnivore, curious about veganism, stop by. If you want to meet interesting people and talk about juicing, you’ll be more than welcome. But, keep in mind, when ordering food … please, please, order vegan.
Clever vegan sign off!
On a side note: Ithaca, NY (where I live) was just chosen as the Smartest City in America. Hopefully, this smartness will carry over to our restaurant owners and they will begin offering more vegan and gluten-free options!