Bohemian Coffee House

13 Mar

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines a bohemian as a person living an unconventional life usually in a colony with others. I don’t know if Bohemian Coffee Shop intended for it to represent its name, but it totally does. No matter what time of day it is, there are always artists, musicians, writers or any other kind of person there that gives off positive and creative vibes. Everyone that goes there is always very friendly and so is the staff. For that reason, this is my FAVORITE place to do homework and drink iced coffee. Their iced coffee is the best because they chill it instead of putting ice cubes in it, so if you drink your coffee slowly it won’t be watered down at the end.

The walls are covered with art and on the one that doesn’t have art has the menu written on it. There are multiple items on the menu that are vegetarian/vegan friendly including a vegan chicken sandwich, a tomato and mozzarella sandwich, a hummus platter, vegan muffins and vegan cookies. Not to mention, they serve breakfast all day. That wins me over at any restaurant I go to because breakfast is the best meal of the day; I could eat it for every meal!

I’ve had every vegetarian/vegan option on the menu here and my favorites are the vegan chicken sandwich and the hummus platter. The vegan chicken sandwich is great because its full of chickpeas, which are good sources of protein and yummy. I love the hummus platter because it’s not like hummus platters that are served at other restaurants. Bohemian’s is hummus on top of a salad that has apples and other fruits in it, and then they give you a croissant to dip in the hummus! It’s really big and filling and healthy. That’s everything you could ask for in a meal.

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Bohemian has won awards from the City Paper of Baltimore for being the best coffee house and for being the best place to take an awkward date. Considering that I love good coffee and am extremely awkward, can explain why I love this place so much. Give it a try, I’ll probably be in there!

Sticky Rice

13 Mar

So apparently, sushi isn’t very healthy. But what isn’t healthy about vegetarian or vegan sushi? At Sticky Rice in Fells Point, Baltimore they cater to sushi lovers who also love veggies. Their extensive menu is filled with items that are followed by (ve), (v) or (v/o). Those little symbols tell you if the dish is vegetarian (ve), vegan (v) or is vegetarian and can be made vegan (v/o).  If there isn’t a symbol next to the dish saying that it’s vegetarian or vegan but you really want it, Sticky Rice will make it vegetarian for you. Isn’t that cool?

 

Sticky Rice would be a cool place to eat even without that option. The white and black checkered floors are accented by the dark maroon and black chalkboard walls that encase the whole restaurant. Loud rock music and employees covered in tattoos fill the dining and bar area. My waitress, Scarlett, was one of those employees. She is covered in tattoos and she also sports a nose ring through the middle of her nose.  She happily explained all of the vegetarian options on the menu and let me know that Sticky Rice gets all of their produce from the local supplier, Bel-Air.

 

After contemplating how hungry I was and reviewing the menu numerous times, I decided to order a bucket of tots, which has won multiple awards from the City Paper of Baltimore, and three sushi rolls. The sushi that I ordered is creatively named The Hot Hippy, Dirty South and the boring yet delicious, Avocado Tempura. The Hot Hippy roll is filled with spicy tofu, scallions, peanuts, cucumbers and carrots. The Dirty South roll is tempura fried sweet potato with sam bahl and sesame seeds. The Avocado Tempura roll is cream cheese, cucumbers, avocado, spicy sauce and is drizzled with ponzu (a yummy sauce).

 

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As a disclaimer, I don’t like spicy food. All my friends make fun of me because my spicy-food tolerance is so low. I never order spicy food. The rolls that I ordered at Sticky Rice were all pretty spicy for me, except for the Avocado Tempura. That’s not saying they weren’t good. I actually liked all of them and would have eaten them all, but the bucket of tots was so big I was full halfway through the meal. The bill was $28.36 which is one of the more expensive checks I’ve had, but for sushi it’s extremely reasonable. 

Holy Frijoles

1 Mar

There’s one big problem I encounter while having a vegetarian diet. I love Mexican food but in most Mexican places the only vegetarian options are beans or cheese. Don’t get me wrong, I love both of those things but usually beans are cooked in lard, which is pig fat and that’s just disgusting and not very good for you. I recently discovered a place called Holy Frijoles which is a Mexican food place but they cater to vegetarians (halleluiah).

Inside the joint the vibrant royal blue, hunter green and bright orange walls are covered in local artists’ work that’s accented by about 30 lanterns that hang from the ceiling. The inside of this place is totally awesome but the outside is way better. This is because Holy Frijoles is in Hampden and that’s my favorite part of Baltimore. I think it’s amazing simply because I love the people who are there. While I was eating a man with royal blue denim shorts, no shirt, a tan suede jacket, long hair pulled back into pony tail wearing circular rose glasses rode by on a bike… twice. That’s one example of the people who mingle around those parts just to give you a little taste. But anyways, back to the food.

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I mentioned that Holy Frijoles caters to a vegetarian crowd. No matter if you get a taco salad, tacos, a burrito, chimichangas, enchiladas or fajitas there is a choice to get fresh grilled vegetables in them instead of meat. Also, none of the beans are cooked in lard! Let’s get a round of applause for no more icky pig fat. WEEEE WOOOO clap clap clap.

Besides being totally awesome for having veggie options, Holy Frijoles also gives you complementary chips and salsa. Free food? Yes please, don’t mind if I do. But here’s a tip, don’t get full off of the chips because the portions you get at Holy Frijoles are gigantic. When I ate there I got the veggie fajitas and my boyfriend got the refried bean enchilada (yes, he stunk the rest of the night) but the portions were so big we ate the leftovers for the next two days.

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If you’re taking notes, I’ll recap all the positive things and then blow your mind with two more: decorations are kick-ass, Hampden is super entertaining to be a part of, free chips and salsa, and big portions. The last two things that rock about this place are that there is Dos Equis on draft (which is unheard of) and everything on the menu is inexpensive. When I ate there the other night I got my fajitas, Conor got enchiladas, a margarita and a beer and the total was $30.93. Pretty great, right? Right.

Soups On!

18 Feb

The past week I’ve been feeling a little under the weather, just like everyone else in the United States. I don’t know about you, but I like to eat a home-cooked meal when I’m sick simply because it just makes me feel good inside. That’s why schools in Japan are serving home-cooked lunches to their students, because it’s good for you! Sooooooo since I was feeling icky I decided that I wanted to get some home-made soup for lunch and that’s what I did.

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I went to Soups On! which is an awesome little family-owned restaurant that makes all their soups from scratch. One thing that I love about Soups On! is that their menu changes every day so it’s never exactly the same every time you go. I learned about this place from my friend Alex who has been going there with his mom for eight years. He raves about their French onion soup and eggplant sandwiches. When I told him I was thinking about going there because I felt sick he put that huge smile a 6-year-old on Christmas morning would have, ran into the kitchen and pulled out an eggplant sandwich out of the refrigerator and said, “I WAS JUST THERE!”
He was so excited that I was going he shouted, “Let me know when you go, dude! I love that place, it’s so cheap!”

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I decided to drag my boyfriend, Conor, with me again because I get great satisfaction out of him actually liking vegetarian food. When I told him that he had to get something vegetarian he sighed and said, “Do I have to?” I assured him that he could have meat for dinner so then he gladly went along.

Conor decided to get the vegetarian Tomato Mushroom Bisque and I got the vegan Wild Rice Sweet Potato Corn Chowder. Both of them were super yummy (mine was better) and they were only $5 each.

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The atmosphere of the restaurant is great. It feels like you’re walking into your best friend’s apartment. There are hardwood floors and lots of stair cases and all the condiments are on the fireplace mantel which gives it a homey feel. Everyone who’s in there is always super nice. Conor and I walked up to the 3rd floor and there was a couple eating lunch and right as we sat down they shouted, “Welcome guys have a seat, join us for lunch!”
The owners at Soups On! are all really friendly too. I spoke to one of the owners, Kevin, who was repping his hometown by wearing a Ravens scarf and welcomed us in with a smile. He let me know that all of the soups are light on sea salt so they only have a little sodium in each meal which is healthier. Kevin also told me that all their produce is found locally and if he can’t find what he wants locally then he gets it shipped in from California.

One last thing that makes Soups On! one of my favorite places to eat is Ok Natural Food Store is located right underneath the restaurant. Ok Natural Food Store is where I get most of my groceries so both of those places are a great one-stop-shop!

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One World Cafe

8 Feb

While dragging my feet around the house this morning, pondering about what to do on my day off, I hear my boyfriend’s roommate, Billy, talking about his most recent OkCupid date. The dating site has recently been getting controversial news coverage so the conversation caught my attention. I hear Billy say, “The atmosphere is nice. I mean the coffee sucks but the booze is cheap and the food is good when you’re drunk.” When I inquire about where this positive atmosphere-crappy coffee-cheap booze-good food-first blind date-kind of place is, he tells me “One World Café, I take all my dates there.” One World Café has been on my BmoreVeggie radar lately so, taking Billy’s mentioning of the café as an omen, I decided that checking it out would have to be how I spent my day off.

After I convinced my meat-loving boyfriend, Conor, to come with me to a vegetarian/vegan restaurant my adventure to 100 W University Pkwy began.

Once I walked in I could easily understand why Billy would take his dates here. The atmosphere is very inviting. The walls are painted with calming blues and mellow yellows that accent the painted tapestries covering each wall. The main entrance opens up into a café/lounge area with comfy worn-in couches and sets of tables and chairs that you would expect to see in your grandmother’s kitchen. (That’s a good thing in my book) Past that lounge area is the bar that when I entered was full of people who turned and smiled as if welcoming us to their everyday-after-work-hang-out spot. Past the bar area is a more formal sit-down restaurant area filled with wooden benches covered in intricate pillows. Although that room seemed fun, I chose to stay in the bar because it seemed to be the cool place to be.

Our waiter Christopher had black thin hair that went down to his cheekbones and a nose piercing with a small silver hoop through it. He wore skinny blue jeans and black books with inch heels that clicked every time he stepped onto the unfinished floor. He clicked his way over to our table carrying two glasses of water, set the waters and two menus down and then said, “Is everyone having a wonderful day today?” We replied and he then cheerfully said “Well, hopefully I can make it even better.”

Jumping on the opportunity to get some information about the place, I asked him if he could give me some deets about the background on the café. Gladly, he proceeded to tell me how it’s been around for about 10 years and how he’s been here for the majority of that time. He elaborated on how great the cliental were at the café saying, “ I know a lot of musicians, professors, business men and students that all hang here.  It’s a good mix.”

I looked at the menu and was pleasantly surprised to see low prices, nothing exceeding $13.95, tons of variety and I loved how it was clearly labeled letting me know what items were vegan and which were not. There were items on the menu ranging from hummus to soy cheese quesadillas to vegetarian Philly cheese steaks (Christopher’s recommendation).  I decided to try the vegetarian meatball sub and Conor decided to try the vegan red bean and mixed vegetable jambalaya. ATTN: Conor eats meat with every meal (which isn’t very healthy) so this vegan dish was a tad out of the box for him.

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When our meals arrived I immediately noticed how fresh everything looked so I asked Christopher where the produce comes from for One World Café. He replied with, “Usually East Coast Organics but whatever’s fresh and good.”

Let me tell you- it was good. My sub was HUGE but the tofu meatballs weren’t too tofu-ey and the marinara sauce passed my stuck-up-Italian-standards. Conor loved his jambalaya. He boasted how perfectly spiced it was and how the rice to veggie ratio was spot on.  I’m not really a fan of spicy food but when I go back to One World Café I wouldn’t be surprised if I ordered the jambalaya for myself, that’s how good it was.

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The check plus a $5 tip was $31.05, which included Conor’s beer, his entrée and my entrée. Not too bad right?

When we were leaving Christopher let me know that all their vegan desserts are made fresh in house because they have their own bakery, that they have a taco Tuesday special and brunch all day on Sundays. Vegan desserts? Vegetarian tacos? All-day brunch? Yes please to all of the above. I’ll be back there for sure.