Root: Allston Vegan Café

Last spring a much-loved vegan pizzeria, Peace O’Pie, closed in Allston. Its loyal fan based found itself deprived of yet another place to find local vegan food. The open space did not go to waste, however, when Root opened in July 2013 as a café and juicery with an entirely vegan-friendly menu. It’s under the same ownership as vegan ice cream café, FoMu, and is just two shops down.

I finally visited yesterday during its brunch hours (Sat. & Sun. 9:30am-2:30pm) and though I fully intended getting breakfasty things, I just could not resist trying the Root burger. It’s listed on the menu as a “house made black bean and quinoa burger with Boston lettuce, tomato, crispy onions, and garlic aioli.” I chose a side of herbed fries, which were good, but not anything to rave about. The burger was both delicious and unique. I’m full and I still want another.

Vegan Black Bean Burger Root Café Allston

My friend Jaimee decided to get the Po’ Boy, a sandwich with crispy cauliflower, spicy house rémoulade (French tartar-like sauce), sweet pickles, lettuce, and tomato on an Iggy’s bun. Jaimee said, “If all vegan food was like this, I’d give it a try.” She even likes Root’s version of the Louisiana classic better than the original.

Root Po'Boy Sandwich Vegan Allston

I’d say the food, being local and vegan, was reasonably priced with full meals ranging from $7-9. The café was crowded when Jaimee and I got there so we were lucky to get to barstool seats facing the street. It took about 20 minutes for our food to come out after we ordered, but the wait was definitely worth it. Considering neither of us are vegan and were still drooling at nearly everything on the menu, Root is a great café for anyone to go to. Jaimee and I already started a list of things we have to come back to try, like the donuts and hushpuppies.

Does anyone have an alternative experience at Root? What other items from the menu would you recommend?

Vegan Nutella

I did it. I made vegan nutella. It tastes a bit more nutty than the real thing, but hey at least it’s healthier!  “Healthy” as in the way that oatmeal raisin cookies are healthier than chocolate chip. No one wins over chocolate chip. Unfortunately I don’t have a hipster picture of my nutella in a jar, so instead I made the recipe fancy (design inspired by this one):

vegan nutella

Directions:

1) Roast the hazelnuts at 350 degrees for 10 minutes

2) Peel the skin off the hazelnuts once they’re cool. It falls off pretty easy. My friend and I talked about our super interesting lives as we peeled them. It’ll make you feel like a 1950’s house wife.

3) Put the nuts in a food processor and process until it forms a thick paste

4)  Place all other ingredients in the food processor and blend until it’s creamy goodness.

5) TASTE TEST. Add ingredients as needed (because we don’t all Nutella the same, friends).

Spread it on a everything you can think of. Personally I got it all over my watch… but my favorite thing to put it on is a blueberry bagel or one of those Cat Cookies from Trader Joes 🙂 So good.

Vegan-friendly Halloween Candy

Whether you’re trick-or-treating, handing out candy, or stuffing your face as a distraction from homework, it’s important to have an idea of what candy is vegan-friendly even if you’re not yourself vegan. Here’s a guide to vegan candy that’s offered nationwide and also an online natural candy store.

Let me know if anything needs to be added or removed:

AirHeads Taffy
Blue Raspberry
Cherry
Green Apple 
Sours
Blue Raspberry 
Sours
Cherry
Sours
Green Apple
Strawberry
Watermelon
White Mystery

Annie’s Organic Fruit Snacks
Organic Tropical Treat Bunny Fruit Snacks
Organic Berry Patch Bunny Fruit Snacks
Organic Sunny Citrus Bunny Fruit Snacks
Organic Summer Strawberry Bunny Fruit Snacks
Organic Grapes Galore Bunny Fruit Snacks
Organic Pink Lemonade Bunny Fruit Snacks

Biona Organic Tutti Frutti Wine Gums

BoomChocoBoom
Ricemilk Chocolate
Ricemilk Crunch
Dark Chocolate

Brachs Fruit Slices

Charms Blow Pops
Black Cherry
Blue Razz
Cherry
Cherry Ice
Grape
Kiwi Berry
Lemonade
Orange
Sour Apple
Strawberry
Tangerine Mango
Watermelon

Atkinson’s Chick-o-Stick

Chuao Chocolatier
Caracas Dark Chocolate Bar Set
ChocoPod Spicy Maya Caddy
ChocoPod Coco Caddy
ChocoPod Coffee and Anise Caddy
Coco Bar Set
Coffee and Anise Bar Set
Dark Chocolate Seashells
Gingerettes
Orangettes
Origins Chocolate Bar
Classic Panko Bar Set
Spicy Maya Chocolate Bar Set

Clif Kid Organic Twisted Fruit

Crispy Cat Candy Bars
Mint Coconut
Toasted Almond

Cracker Jack Original Caramel Coated Popcorn and Peanuts

Dots

Dum-Dums

Endangered Species
Organic Dark Chocolate Bug Bites
Organic Dark Chocolate Chimp Mints

Feel Good Inc.
Macarons

Ginger People
Gin Gins Double Strength Hard Ginger Candy
Gin Gins Hot Coffee Chewy Ginger Candy
Gin Gins Original Chewy Ginger Candy
Gin Gins Peanut Chewy Ginger Candy
Gin Gins Spicy Apple Chewy Ginger Candy
Gin Gins Super Strength Ginger Caramel Candy
Ginger Spice Drops

Go Max Go Foods
Buccaneer
Cleo’s Peanut Butter Cups
Jokerz
Mahalo
Snap!
Twilight

Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews, Original Dark

Goody Good Stuff
Cola Breeze
Sour Fruit Salad
Sour Mix ‘n’ Match
Summer Peaches

Hubba Bubba Bubble Gum

Jolly Rancher Hard Candy

Let’s Do…Organic
Classic Fruiti Bears Gummies
Jelly Fruiti Bears Gummies
Sour Fruiti Bears Gummies

Mamba Fruit Chews

Mary Janes

Newman’s Own Licorice Twists

Now and Later

Panda
Blueberry
Licorice
Candy-Coated Licorice
Cherry Licorice
Raspberry Licorice
Soft Licorice

Pez Candy

Premium Chocolatiers

Pure Organic
Fruit Snacks

Saf-T-Pops

Seitenbacher Gummi Fruit

Sjaak’s Organic Chocolates

Skittles
Blenders
Crazy Cores
Original Fruit
Riddles
Tropical
Wild Berry
Sour

Smarties

Sour Patch
Original Sour Patch Kids
Sour Patch Blue Raspberry
Sour Patch Cherry
Sour Patch Extreme
Sour Patch Fruits
Sour Patch Peach
Sour Patch Watermelon

Stockley’s Cinder Toffee

Surf Sweets
Fruity Bears
Gummy Swirls
Sour Worms
Sour Berry Bears
Fruity Hearts

Swedish Fish

Sweet & Sara
Cinnamon Pecan Marshmallows
Mini Marshmallows
Mini S’mores
Original S’mores
Peanut Butter S’mores
Rice Crispy Treats
Rocky Road Bark
Strawberry Marshmallows
Toasted Coconut Marshmallows
Vanilla Marshmallows
Organic Macaroons

Twizzlers (no more gelatin!)
Strawberry
Chocolate
Cherry
Strawberry Rainbow
Black Licorice
Sweet and Sour Filled

VerMints

Whizzers Chocolate Beans

YummyEarth
Lollipops
Sour Beans

References (I did not include all the candy in the lists provided below, as some are “mistakes” and not actually vegan):
websites of distributors

http://vegnews.com/articles/page.do?pageId=4487&catId=2

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/852621

Munch Mondays: FoMu

The word “FoMu” sparks a warm fuzzy feeling in the pit of my stomach. Why? Because it’s the goddess of dairy-free, all natural ice cream. Gone are the days of awkwardly asking “is this flavor vegan?”; You can literally stuff your face with Salted Caramel,  Cherry Amaretto,  Pumpkin Spice, and other flavors til your heart’s content! I recently had a mix of Pistachio & Cookies n’ Cream… delicious. FoMu also offers various smoothies, frappes, and baked goods — all vegan. Check out its menu if you don’t believe me.

FoMu’s base location is in Allston, but it just opened another in Jamaica Plain, home of all that is magical. The atmosphere is open and welcoming, showcasing work from local artists on the walls. (Did I mention the products are local too?) The staff is very friendly and polite. On my last visit I realized that one of the baristas is also in my Sociology of the Mind class so perhaps I’ll kindle a budding friendship over our love of local, cruelty-free sweets. So far the only fault I’ve discovered is the lack of a larger seating area. There are a good many high stools, but only 2-3 tables. How am I supposed to soak in the glory of my ice cream if I’m forced to walk the streets of deep Allston?

For those who don’t have much time to spare for adventures into Allston or JP, pints of FoMu ice cream are available in a variety of flavors. Stock up — you’ll never know when you need an emergency ice cream binge.