So today was a bit of a challenge after last night. The Emperor ended up having a HUGE melt down that meant he didn't go to sleep until almost an hour after his normal bedtime, and then he woke up several times in the night upset. No rest for him = no rest for me so I was pretty close to hysterical when I got up for work this morning. Getting through work without falling asleep at my desk was a bit of a challenge but-- I had something really fun waiting for me at the other end! Lunch with friend Alana! Which leads right into:
Thing I'm thankful for #10: having access to a variety of restaurants with vegan options.
Didn't manage to snap a picture of it because I was too busy visiting... but we went to Cafe Gratitude's Santa Cruz branch, which opened a couple of months ago where Asana Tea House used to be. I am not thrilled with the whole reciting positive affirmations about oneself in order to order food thing, but I figure that these guys must be doing something right foodwise to still be in business despite that. Josh has refused to go there with me so I was glad to find a friend who was willing to chance it! Other than the shouty birthday song (which happened twice while we were there), I thought the atmosphere was nice and non-creepy. The food was great. The chai was good too.
While Cafe Gratitude is the only all vegan restaurant in SC that I can think of right now, we're lucky to have a lot of places that have at least some token offering for vegans. The Saturn is probably the most well known, but there's also: Dharma's (vegetarian, almost everything has a vegan option), Cafe Delmarette (usually at least one sandwich and one salad are vegan), Planet Fresh Burritos (vegan options), Malabar (vegan options), Little Shanghai (vegan options, which are VERY clearly marked on the menu, which I appreciate), Pearl of the Ocean (vegan options, Sri Lankan food!), Sitar (some buffet options always vegan & marked; some things on their fixed menu vegan but you have to ask for confirmation), Real Thai Kitchen (vegan options), Mobo Sushi (creative, well marked vegan rolls... not just cucumber rolls), Engfer's Pizzaworks (they make my favorite vegan pizza), Hula's (some of the tofu things are vegan; nothing's marked though so you need to ask for confirmation) and on and on. Even Chocolat has a vegan chocolate cake (not marked on the menu; ask about it) and one of their hot chocolates is vegan (the coconut milk one, I think).
I could keep going but I'm getting a bit sleepy and those are probably my favorite places with veg options in Santa Cruz right now. There are some other places I could name that aren't really restaurants (New Leaf, vegan sandwich options & deli salads and such) and some places I'm not going to name that I can care for. While I don't think Santa Cruz is the best place I've ever lived restaurant-wise (Worcester, MA has a ton of freakin' variety... surprisingly good food town), there ARE a ton of places to get some good vegan grub. More than just the Saturn.
Phew. Want to see my dinner? Here is my dinner. Very basic burritos with kale and Trader Joe's chik'n strips. I was going to write up a recipe for it but really I just threw in some spices I liked and cooked some things and mixed it together. Mmmm, stuff in a tortilla.
The Emperor ate an entire tortilla and precisely one chik'n strip, then declared that he was full. I had torn his tortilla in half. He took this as a sign to put an entire half of a full-sized tortilla in his mouth at once. Josh then tore the other half of the tortilla into four or five more strips to keep him from doing the same thing over again... and he picked up the strips and jammed them all into his mouth at once. One of these days, he's going to dislocate his jaw or something.
Here he is looking cute though, hearing a book before bedtime: