. pavement coffeehouse @ boylston .

Right before finals week, I’ve been madly trying to finish one of my papers and I learned that I write best in new environments. For a change of pace, I walked to the nearest coffee house to my dorm which happened to be Pavement Coffeehouse. They have other locations, but the one on Boylston was the closest spot.

P1000619Symmetrical buildings along the way.

P1000622It was such a nice day and I loved that Boylston St. was so empty early morning.

P1000623

P1000629.JPGHurray! I was so excited to see this sticker outside of Pavement.

P1000627The typical ‘hipster’ vibe coffee houses emit these days.

P1000628Pavement specializes in bagels too, with flavors like plain, multi-grain, everything, poppy seed, etc. They even had vegan tofu cream cheeses in two flavors: veggie and habanero. There’s also hummus and PB if you want something more natural.

P1000624The seating area. Be prepared, because this place gets PACKED in a few hours after opening.

P1000626I ordered the multi-grain with habanero tofu (nice spicy kick!) along with an iced black coffee. The day started getting really hot during noon, so I appreciated having a nice cool drink to sip on.

P1000625Time to start work!

I would say Pavement is over priced for a bagel, but I should also note that the bagel was high quality. The exterior was wonderfully chewy and the inside was firm yet soft(?). This place won’t be an everyday thing, but it is a nice treat from time to time when I’m being productive hehe.

Pavement Coffeehouse

1096 Boylston St., Boston, MA 02215

http://www.pavementcoffeehouse.com

7 am – 8 pm (Mon.-Sat.)

. i’m not dead (yet) + random eats #7 .

Phew, how long has it been?! I actually lost track of the last time I wrote on here with the loads of deadlines looming over my head in addition to finals week.

With that being said, I was able to take a breather during a mini road trip to Cape Cod! My friend randomly decided it was time to check this off her bucket list, so off we went to see the sunset at the beach…

P1000640.JPGP1000643P1000656P1000663P1000666P1000667The wind was wild, y’all.

As for my eats, I’ve been eating the usual plant-based goodness :).

P1000604P1000606Lazy burrito bowl made with black beans sauteed with tomatoes and taco seasoning, tempeh and green peppers (same spices), lettuce, guac, salsa and cilantro rice.

P1000608For some reason, it didn’t occur to me then that the rice was supposed to go on the bottom.

P1000611More excited about the avocados in the back.

P1000615P1000612This is just the prep ingredients for my sammie, but it looked so pretty that I had to snap a shot! Courtesy of Iggy’s bread.

P1000630The classic.

20170418_141746 (2).jpgAs humble and strange as this sounds, one of my all time wishes was to know and socialize with the kitchen/cleaning staff. Sadly, I was too awkward to do that prior to college (I still am tbh), but finally…I was able to hold a long conversation with the woman at the vegan/vegetarian section of the dining hall. I really enjoyed the conversation, which started from how great farmer’s market tomatoes were to how kids nowadays don’t conserve energy (I’m a grandpa on the inside).

P1000674Anyways, she packed me this giant stack of vegan cookies that were there. I’ve been going through them one by one— all day, er’rday. Don’t worry, I balance it out with other nourishing foods, and a cookie will not kill me.  Plus, it’s nourishing my mind ;).

Seriously though, I still have 5 left.

P1000683Leftover arugula got blended into pesto. It was a simple recipe on the back of the package of arugula (thanks TJ’s!) that I adapted by adding sun-dried tomatoes and nutritional yeast.

I also have to clean out my fridge before I move out (in just a few days!), so someone please help me finish my jar of mayonnaise and tub of butter.

20170420_193652 (2).jpgI was lucky to walk into an event happening in one of my dining halls, where the theme was “Educate Your Plate” and the whole place was filled with plant-based menus. The lighting was dim (“to set the ambiance”) so the picture is really crummy, but my plate included: quinoa stuffed poblano peppers with avocado, mushroom tacos wrapped with steamed greens, avocado hummus with pita, green beans, small sample of kombucha and various grilled fruits. The small plate in the corner was also full of roasted root vegetables with some chimichurri sauce. Needless to say, I was happily stuffed by the end of the night.

P1000675They also had a plant-your-own herb station! I was torn between basil and mint…heck I wanted them all! But we were limited to one, so I stuck with mint.

P1000676P1000678Cute froggy for finishing touch.

I feel like I should have written something longer and more entertaining to make up for my long absence. I’ll be sure to come back with more exciting posts once I’m home and able to test recipes!

And I completely forgot to mention this earlier in the year: I’m going to Switzerland and Germany this summer! WOOHOOO! Although it’s only for 2 weeks, I’ll be sure to snap some lovely pics!

Off to finish studying for my other exams~

. random eats #4 .

A good mish-mash of what I ate for the past couple of weeks…

P1000479Garbanzo loaf with a side of mixed greens. This is one of the surprisingly good (and one of my favorite) dishes from my campus dining hall. I believe it’s ground garbanzo beans, with flour and spices, baked in marinara sauce.

P1000487.JPGI bought a tub of Nancy’s cultured soy yogurt from Whole Foods. For those who are used to dairy yogurt, it’s not an exact replica. With that being said, it’s tartness/tanginess makes it one of the closest substitute for the traditional stuff.

20170304_140230 (2)A veggie patty from b.good when my parents came to pick me up.

For spring break, I went back to Venetia, PA to relax and take a break from the usual school schedule. With a kitchen available and a cooking mom, I ended up stuffing myself with way too much good food. No regrets though.

20170306_132549 (2)I posted the recipe for this five-spice pulled jackfruit a few days ago. It was my first time trying jackfruit, and I like it! In fact, I had both servings…

20170307_173006 (2)If you noticed the poor quality of the photos, it’s because I left my good camera back in Boston during spring break. So instead these shots are from my phone…which has shattered camera lens. Ughhh.

Anyways, this banana bread was something my mom and I enjoyed in the course of three days. I intially tried to look for recipes online but then got overwhelmed by the sheer amount of them. So I just winged my own version and hoped for the worst. It wasn’t so bad! Maybe a little too much banana/too little flour made it a bit more dense than I would have liked, but I think I can post the recipe after a little tweaking it here and there.

20170308_144922 (2)My mom and I also went out for a late lunch at a newly opened First Watch Cafe after a short shopping spree. The place sells only breakfast and lunch and therefore closes earlier than other restaurants. We got there just before closing time, but the kind lady seated us. The interior is really cute and rustic with chalkboards and whatnot.

20170308_144918 (2)I opted for something savory and got myself the veggie burger with a side of dressed greens. That’s two veggie burger in one week folks. The patty is made with brown rice, Peppadew peppers, onions, carrots and mushrooms. I actually preferred this patty over the b.good patty. It was served with fresh avocado, organic mixed greens, tomato and red onion on a brioche bun (probably not vegan).

I’m going to have to come back and try their breakfast menu, which kept calling to me. The price is mid-range, and it’s a great place for meet-ups and mom-daughter dates 🙂

First Watch – Bridgeville

160 Millers Run Rd. #400, Bridgeville, PA 15017

www.firstwatch.com

7 am – 2:30 pm (Mon.-Sun.)

20170309_184206 (2)I’m disappointed at myself for not taking more pics of more deliciousness my mom cooked for me. The only one I got is this kimbap that we made towards the end of my stay. I veganized it, using Whole Food’s veggie dogs and the Vegan Egg by Follow Your Heart. I also added strips of marinated tofu and other goodies that commonly go in kimbaps (blanched spinach, sauteed carrots, pickled daikon).

20170316_184746 (2)Dining hall food back at the campus in Boston. The tofu stir-fry was actually pretty good (a bit too salty) but I had to eat plain tofu and sweet potatoes on the side to cut the super spiciness of the fresh jalapenos I added. They look so innocent in this picture, but they practically burned my tongue while I was eating. I kept eating them though…that’s the addictive property of capsaicin hehe.

20170315_194218 (2)A custom pizza made at Blaze Pizza with a side of leftover kale salad from Cafe Crossing. The store is veg*an friendly, with lots of cool veggie topping options. Plus, they serve Daiya cheese! I’m not a huge fan of their shredded cheeses though, so I asked them to sprinkle only half of the pie with it. The rest of the pizza was topped with kalamata olives, fresh basil, roasted red peppers, roasted garlic, sauteed onions, and roasted zucchini. Yumm.

P1000507I have more time to cook breakfast in the weekends, so I like to make myself a hearty bowl of oatmeal. I opted for a savory version this time, rather than my usual sweet varieties. This one was about 1/2 cup of dry oats cooked in Not Chik’n broth and nutritional yeast. Then I topped it off with crispy tofu, some more nutritional yeast, hemp hearts and sriracha. Oh, and I added some gim (roasted laver) and umeboshi as garnish. Satisfying my inner Asian.

P1000508Pretty bomb if I may say so myself.

P1000509As a snack, I had a soft serve of frozen ‘naners, mangoes and pineapples. I could’ve put this in a bowl and made it more presentable. But I could just save myself of one more dish to clean.

P1000511And finally, I cooked a one-pot pasta meal for dinner. A recipe I found online used lentil pasta, claiming that it makes the dish creamy. Luckily, I had a box of Ancient Grains Green Lentil Pasta laying around (go figures), so I tested if the trick actually works. I’m happy to say that it totally works! I’m guessing the high starch content of these pasta noodles thickens up the cooking liquid.

I actually didn’t have a lot of the ingredients listed on the recipe, so I went ahead and added what I had on hand. I even added some cauliflower puree to make the sauce extra creamier…mmmm. In the end, the ingredients were completely different, but delicious nonetheless.

Can you tell I’m adding hemp seeds to everything? I find it’s an easy way to add high-quality protein to just about any meal.

Well that wraps up this random eats! Now off to do some work…

. blaze pizza @ fenway .

Just a forewarning: sorry for the crummy photos. This was shot at night with my phone camera. (yikes)

My friend from Texas(!) came over last Wednesday, and I ended up giving him a brief tour of the neighborhoods around my campus. After a walk around Newbury St. in the freezing weather, I brought him with me to Target to show him the Fenway area (tbh I just needed to buy contact lens solution and a loaf of bread). Since it was dinner time by the time we finished the “tour,” we stopped by Blaze Pizza on the way back to my dorm room.

20170315_191817 (2)The place is basically Chipotle style, where there’s a relay line of toppings which you can choose from.

There’s three options for the crust: traditional, high-rise, and gluten-free. I opted for the traditional  and decided to make a custom pie.

There were so many toppings to choose from, that it was kind of overwhelming. At least for me, who is terribly indecisive. I believe there were 4 sauces to choose from, two of which are vegan (traditional red sauce and spicy red sauce). There’s also vegan cheese available (hooray!), but it looked like Daiya and I’m not a huge fan of Daiya shredded cheese. It tastes kind of sweet, no? But I couldn’t pass up the opportunity and asked for half of my pizza to be sprinkled with some of it. As for the vegetable toppings, I went for fresh basil, kalamata olives, roasted peppers, sauteed onions, roasted garlic, and roasted zucchini.

20170315_191811 (2)They fast-fire the whole thing, cut it into six slices, and put it in this cute box for you (if you order to-go).

20170315_191541 (2)Though we didn’t eat in, the seating space is clean and pretty wide with the typical trending industrial interior design.

20170315_194218 (2)After trekking through the cold Boston wind, we finally got back to my room and opened up our pizzaaaaaa. I tried to be kind of healthy by having leftover kale salad on the side. Are you drooling yet?

The taste was surprisingly good for a fast-food joint, and the crust was just the way I liked it: thin and slightly crispy. Of course, don’t expect a 100% authentic Italian pie, but for $8.83, this was a pretty damn good meal.

Blaze Pizza 

1282 Boylston St., Boston, MA 02215

http://www.blazepizza.com

11 am – 10 pm (Sun.-Thurs.) & 11 am – 12 am (Fri.-Sat.)

. b.good @ huntington ave .

With my parents visiting for the weekend before spring break, I used the opportunity to drop by an organic “fast-food” joint called b.good. Of course, the quality of ingredients and the health-craze of the millennials make the price relatively high compared to other chains like McDonald’s, but who wants that anyways?

With that being said, the price range is quite inexpensive and similar to that of Panera or other health food chains. The only reason I didn’t come here earlier was because I couldn’t get myself to spend money while I’m on my school meal plan. Many of my friends complain about the dining hall (to be fair, I can understand that on some days), but I’m 1) just happy that food is being made for me and 2) bitter if I don’t take full advantage while paying a crap ton of money for this meal plan. Mostly the second reason.

Anyhoo~ back to the restaurant. Since it was a new addition to our campus rec center, the interior was really clean and well-lit. (On second thought, sorry. I forgot to snap a shot of the store.)

I wasn’t feeling a salad, but nor was I up for a burger. Instead, I ordered the veggie patty  West-side style, substituting the buns for a side of crisp veggies.

20170304_140230 (2)Ta-dah! With a side of baked sweet potato fries.

A good mix of kale, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans and carrots.

20170304_140251 (2)There were a lot more veggies than I expected! The patty itself was rather mushy and nothing to write home about. My heart still goes to Burgatory’s Vegan patty when it comes to veggie burgers. It’s seriously the best I’ve had in my life, and I seriously need to revisit when I’m back in Pittsburgh (for blog purposes of course).

I also don’t recommend the fries…maybe it was just that particular day or this particular location, but the fries simply tasted like…well baked sweet potato cut into cubes. And yes, I know that’s what’s being advertised, but I expected something more crispy and crunchy similar to homemade ones or from those Alexia’s frozen packets. Unfortunately, these had little to no seasoning and probably no oil to crisp the outer surface, hence the striking resemblance to normal baked sweet potatoes.

20170304_140219 (2)Meat-options for omnis. My mom said that her burger was good and especially like the pickle inside.

I would say this place was a miss for me. Maybe I will have better luck with their salads next time.

b.good

359 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02115

www.bgood.com

11 am – 10 pm (Mon.-Fri.) & 11 am – 9 pm (Sat.)

 

. cuong’s vegan .

It’s already been almost 3 weeks since my last post! Time sure flies by when you’re madly finishing up midterms and papers. I feel terrible for not being able to post at least once a week, so I’m working on making a schedule so that none of this shenanigans happens again.

Anyhow, I kept this in my drafts since my last post, and I figured it’s a good break from the usual boring week’s eats. Another veggie eatery, hooray!

Spring was on its way last last last Sunday (Feb. 19th!), and the weather was beautiful.  I took this opportunity to take a jog to Chinatown and try out a sandwich shop I’ve been meaning to go for a while.

20170219_143526 (2)With President’s Day extending the weekend to 3 days, the streets were bustling with shoppers and tourists, so it was a bit difficult to maneuver around and keep my jogging pace. I still enjoyed the change of scenery, since I usually just run on the treadmill at the gym.

Cuong’s Vegan is a small all-vegan shop right under My Thai Vegan Café, which is owned by the same people. The menu is quite simple with 4 bahn mi style sandwich options, few entrees and salads, and some desserts. The bubble tea variety was fairly big though, and they use fresh ingredients rather than preserved ones in syrups.

I settled for the BBQ gluten sandwich along with honeydew bubble tea. With the sandwich at only $4.50 this place is definitely a cheap eats!

There were a few seating spots in the shop, but the weather was too nice to eat inside. Instead, I walked over to the Chinatown park while sipping my drink.

20170219_143447 (2)20170219_143339 (2)The lady behind the counter was so friendly and sweet! Plus, when I asked for reduced sugar in my bubble tea after she added in the sugar (oops on my part), she added  extra honeydew and coconut milk to dilute it. More bubble tea for me!

20170219_141037 (2)I especially liked the usage of coconut milk. It went so well with the subtle sweetness of the honeydew. I definitely need to re-create this at home! One thing on the downside was the iciness, but I didn’t mind as much.

20170219_141229 (2)As for the sandwich, they used the standard Vietnamese baguette as the base (really crispy/flaky exterior with fluffy inside) and stuffed it with iceberg lettuce, spring mix, tomato slices, marinated seitan, spicy sauce and a sprinkle of peanuts. I also witnessed the lady pour some soup/broth inside, to soften the seitan maybe? I don’t know, but the sandwich was hella delicious. I just wish there was a bigger ratio of fillings to bread.

20170219_143243 (2)20170219_143230 (2)It’s nice that they’ve added a bit of greenery in the middle of the city. I’m sure this bamboo garden is more lush during the warmer seasons.

20170219_154323 (2)Instead of getting dessert at Cuong’s, I simply jogged some more to the nearest Whole Foods to treat myself to a cupcake. I’m usually not a huge fan of cupcakes, but enough time spent on Pinterest makes one crave wild things…

The only vegan options were chocolate and vanilla, but my indecisive self had difficulties choosing before finally settling for the chocolate flavor. The frosting was pretty good, and the cake base was decent, but I wouldn’t say it’s great. In fact, the cake was pretty dry and lackluster.

That’s it for this veg eatery. I highly recommend this place, not only for the food, but also because of Chinatown’s energetic ambiance. It’s quite fun to look at the oriental markets and small trinkets they sell on the streets.

Cuong’s Vegan Sandwiches

5 Beach St., Boston, MA 02111

(617) 422-5898

10:30 am – 6 pm (Mon.-Fri.)

. rebecca’s cafe @ churchill hall .

Last week, I ate a late breakfast/early lunch from Rebecca’s after my morning lab session. I was about to take my usual course to Cafe Crossing, but the walk didn’t seem worth it. Plus, I like changing up my choices once in a while.

Rebecca’s Cafe is a catering service that also runs a few joints around Boston. It’s a good lunch spot for anyone looking for classic comfort food or quick deli. I say “quick”, but if you go during lunch rush, the line can get pretty crazy.

Luckily for me, there’s one located right in the Northeastern campus, and the place is pretty calm in the mornings. Tbh, I stay within the campus 90% of the time, because I don’t want to be tempted to spend money when I go out.

They have quite a few veg*an options for paninis, wraps and salads. There’s only one vegan item on the menu, but you can easily customize a vegetarian one or make your own creation.20170120_103724.jpgThis is their one vegan item that I got last time: Tabbouleh wrap. It’s essentially lettuce, tomato, cucumber, olives and quinoa in a garlic dressing. Simple but delicious.

20170120_103710.jpgThey also press it for you so that the tortilla is nice and crispy on the outside.

This time, I got one of their vegan salads and a ‘Bello-bello’ panini.

20170203_100827.jpg

20170203_100902.jpgRoasted mushroom, caramelized onions, pesto, roasted red pepper and hummus between a focaccia bun.

This one usually comes with cheese, mayonnaise and pesto, but I left those out and replaced them with the hummus and roasted red pepper. I thought that it was ‘pesto mayo’ not ‘pesto and mayo’, so when I ordered  without cheese and mayonnaise, I still ended up with the pesto in there. I didn’t send it back, since it’s my fault, but at least now I know to double check when I order.

20170203_101422.jpgI also treated myself to a chocolate soy milk. It was a Friday, and chocolate is never a bad idea.

The salads can be found pre-packaged in a small container on the refrigerated shelf along with fruit cups and yogurt parfaits.20170203_101913.jpgI got the vegan satay salad, which consists of a bed of romaine lettuce, carrots, cabbage, garbanzo beans, tofu and a satay dressing. I found this pretty disappointing, and I wouldn’t recommend getting a salad from here. It’s not particularly bad, but it’s not anything special that you should feel obliged to order. There’s a vegan quinoa salad too, but it looked even more boring than this one, so I didn’t bother trying it. However, I admit they are healthy options to-go when you want something healthier and less carb-y. Plus, you don’t have to stand in the long grill or deli lines.

Well that’s one more review down. I heard other locations have more vegan options, like Asian tofu wrap and falafel wrap. Hopefully, I can try out the other places and review those too.

Rebecca’s Cafe

Churchill Hall, 360 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02115

8 am – 3 pm (Mon.), 7 am – 4 pm (Tues. – Fri.), Closed (Sat. & Sun.)