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Lemongrass Cafe

Happy belated 4th of July everyone! Hope you enjoyed yourselves 🙂

Suzie wants one of these

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My day was spent with my mom shopping around for things to put in our new home while my husband was out with my dad and uncles shopping for all the manly stuff. It was so amazing to FINALLY close on Friday after the ordeal we went through to get this place. But now that it is ours, it all seems worth it 🙂 Honestly, everyone warned us it would be brutal, but closing was the easiest thing we had to do!

Anyway, yesterday my mom and I were out and about all morning and finally decided to break for some sustenance before our last stop at the Peddler’s Mall. We decided to stop in at Lemongrass Cafe on Shelbyville Road in Middletown. So many places were closed yesterday that we were kind of relieved not to have to come up with a back up plan for lunch once we saw the open sign 🙂

Since it was a holiday, the place was not crowded at all and we got seated immediately. They also brought us some water, which was nice since it was pretty hot here yesterday. After looking over the menu for a few moments (they have a great vegetarian section and tofu or mock chicken can be substituted in almost any dish) I finally decided on the Spicy eggplant and Tofu, which looked so gorgeous when it came out, I had to take a picture!

The tofu was the perfect texture and the eggplant too! It wasn’t very spicy (unlike the spicy stir fried eggplant from PF Chang’s, which I love) but it was still very tasty. My dish came with white rice which I ate too but on my way out, I noticed a sign that said “we have brown rice now” so I will have to remember that for next time.

My mom isn’t a big fan of spicy foods so I recommended she order a pad thai dish, which she really enjoyed. Her only complaint was that the portion was huge!

Overall, I was pretty pleased with this place and I would definitely go back. Maybe I will try something new next time but I would be okay having the same thing again.

Lemongrass Cafe on Urbanspoon

Lunch at Cumberland Brews

This past Saturday, we had our monthly community meeting for the Louisville Vegetarian Club at a local joint, Cumberland Brews.

Photo courtesy of Cumberland Brewery Website

We had a really great discussion about how to eat “vegan on the cheap” and also how to apply that to other things we consume besides what we eat (clothing, beauty products, cars, etc). I learned a lot and it was great to hear where other people are coming from. Refreshing.

We also got to eat some really tasty food!

On the recommendation of my friend Karen, I ordered the veggie burger (which is a falafel patty!) with no cheese and some fries. The lighting was not the best but here’s a small glimpse.

CbIt came on a bun with lettuce, tomato, red onion and a mushroom, plus some guacamole I happily smothered on top. Would you believe I ate everything on that plate. It got messy, but it was so good.

Once again, I am very thankful for the LVC. If it weren’t for our meeting here, I would maybe never have known how delicious the food is (I’m not much of a beer drinker). I will definitely be going back again someday!

Cumberland Brews on Urbanspoon

Queen of Sheba

Confession: Up until about a month ago, I had never tried Ethiopian food.  So, I was not sure what to expect when us girls got together and went out to Queen of Sheba here in Louisville.

After the waiter tried to talk us into ordering things other than what we wanted (how many times did we have to tell him two of us don’t eat meat?) we settled on the Vegetarian Combo for the four of us to share. We also got talked into an appetizer but oh well, it was our first time there.

273 The Vegetarian Combo included salad, and a serving each of Misir wot (“Lentil stew simmered in onions, garlic seasoned with turmeric and herbs”), Atakilt (“Sliced cabbage, onions, and carrots cooked to perfection in a mild tomato sauce”) and Gomen wot (“Collard greens, onions and potatoes cooked to perfection with garlic in a mild sauce”).

The food was absolutely delicious. My favorite was definitely lentils but I actually really enjoyed the cabbage dish too. The best part is you don’t use forks, you dip into each thing with injera (Ethiopian flatbread, not pictured unfortunately).

I would definitely like to eat this food again.

But, I think we were all a little put off by the waiter. First, he kept trying to get us to order certain things he was promoting instead of listening to what we wanted and accommodating us. He also had a little trouble splitting up the bill, which is also when we found out he actually got us to order TWO appetizers when we thought it was only one. I think in the end, we all just gave up and paid whatever it said so we could get out of there.

Granted, it was rainy, we were starving, everybody has an “off” night, and he kept our drinks pretty full. So maybe we should try to go back sometime and hope we get a different experience.

But I definitely took a copy of the takeout menu for future reference 😉

Queen of Sheba on Urbanspoon

Bring Back Summer!

The weather has taken a turn for the cold here and the only thing keeping me warm right now (besides the dog on my lap) is fond memories of the stuff I did (and ate) this summer.

One of those things was a really great meal at local restaurant Cafe 360.

You may remember I ate at this place for my birthday dinner last year, pre-vegan, but definitely vegetarian-curious. It was under construction, dark, and they had a limited menu at the time.

But this time, I met a friend for lunch and we sat outside in the warm sunshine on a beautiful Saturday afternoon and plenty of good food to choose from.

I started off with the Spinach and Strawberry Salad which is listed as “vegan” on the menu (so helpful).

142 This salad was huge but so fresh and tasty, I devoured every last bit of it, except for the dressing, which I just drizzled on top a little bit.

I also had a cup of what was, to this day, the best vegetarian chili I have EVER had.

143 They even claim on the menu: “Our vegetarian chili will tempt non-vegetarians, trust and give it a try!” Trust me, they are absolutely right.

It was so flavorful and loaded with veggies, not just the same ol’ boring beans and tomatoes. I can’t remember everything that was in it, but the summer squash was a nice touch!

I can’t believe it took me this long to post about it, but I definitely need to go back to this place soon, for the vegetarian chili alone 🙂

In the mean time, let’s hope it warms up again around here soon. I’d really like to have some fall before we go straight into winter!

Vegan night out at Meridian Cafe

I am so glad to have the Louisville Vegetarian Club!

It’s so nice to be around like-minded folks, who understand what it means to be vegan and give support for the challenges that come along with it.

But we also have some fun get-togethers!

Photo taken from Louisville Vegetarian Club Facebook page

Last Friday, we went out to Louisville’s own Meridian Cafe, a breakfast and lunch only joint that had us in for a special six-course dinner, where we got to sample some of their vegan dishes, including a few new items that aren’t on the menu yet.

First up was some hummus with roasted red pepper and olives, served with pita wedges.

I’m a big fan of hummus in general and this dish did not disappoint. The extra olives on top were delicious! This appetizer is currently on their menu.

Next up was some chilled creamy lemon artichoke soup. This dish is also currently on Meridian’s menu.

I have a confession: I am not a cold soup fan. The flavor was good, but I would’ve enjoyed it more warm. I ate the artichoke heart and a few bites but left the rest.

Our third course was a fresh salad, made with local greens, and topped with blackberries, pine nuts, edible flowers and a vanilla vinaigrette, which was a new one for me!

The sweetness of the blackberries went perfectly with the vanilla vinaigrette dressing. I devoured my portion! The local greens are on the menu, used in all the salads and sandwiches, but this particular dish was new.

My favorite course of the evening was our fourth, which was smoked and deep fried tofu over a scoop of creamy spicy polenta.

The tofu was crispy and crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside, which to me is perfect. I am never able to get it that way at home, perhaps I should try deep frying? 😉

It was so good, I could’ve eaten an entire plate of just this! They definitely need to add this to their menu.

For our fifth course, we had dessert #1, or a palate cleanser, which was a ginger avocado sorbet served in a frozen lemon cup. 🙂

I’ve had a lot of sorbets in my time and I have to say, this is the best one I’ve had. I’m a big fan of avocado and it’s health benefits, plus I enjoy all things ginger so this was perfect for me.

This was also a new dish made especially for us. 🙂

And last, but certainly not least, was our real dessert: Peanut Butter Pudding Surprise!

This was a creamy peanut butter custard served with a banana and some peanut topping. Banana and peanut butter? Did they know I was coming? Ha ha.

Obviously, I loved this! This is on the menu and you should definitely try it if you stop in. They make their own peanut butter too!

It was an awesome night. Great food, just the right amount of every tasty dish, and great company.

Chef Mike, who also owns the place, was a great host and showed a real passion for cooking for special diets and using local ingredients whenever possible.

He was an inspiration and a very sweet, humble guy. It was nice to be catered to without having to think of ingredients or asking for something without cheese.

Thanks Meridian Cafe, Chef Mike and my fellow members of LVC. I thoroughly enjoyed myself!

meatmeridian Photo by Carrie Klaus

And a big shout out to my BFF Courtney for going with me to this event. I appreciate your willingness to try new things and for supporting my interests. Love you!

Meridian Cafe on Urbanspoon