It is always great having vegetarian and vegan friends to help you try out all the new and exciting restaurants in the area. Sadly, most of my friends are not vegan. They sometimes will come out with me to a specific very vegan restaurant, like the Chicago Diner. But most of the time I venture off on my own. Luckily, the past year I made friends with one of my friend's cousin. We became vegetarian buddies as she was dealing with the swift from omni to veg and how her very irish, meat loving family was handling it. We first had an awesome little tea party with home-made dishes. She made a delicious apple crisp and I made chocolate chip cookies and Smlove Pie from Veganomicon. Sadly I had horrrible luck with that pie and I absolutely hated it. I just scraped the toppings off and ate it, so not worth any pictures and I was so frantic in the kitchen getting ready I forgot to take pictures of the occassion.
We also had a day where we went to a mexican restaurant called Riviera Maya. We got the suggestion from the Milwaukee Vegan Meetup. We would have gone with the group, but both of us couldn't make that date. So instead we took the bus down one rainy day and had some amazing mexican food. We both started with delicious margaritas, I mango and she peach. And then HAD to try their mole appetizer tray. We were given 6 different moles to try (peanut, almond, pumpkin seed, sesame seed, tomatillo sauce, and a chocolate mole. All served nice and warm and they were absolutely amazing. We had a fun time trying to figure out the tastes and textures that were in our mouths. What is great about this restaurant is that two of their 'meat' choices are vegan. So almost every single dish can be made vegan. Although I opted for my favorite, el burrito. But my meat mixture was: zucchini, corn, carrots, and red pepper. It was absolutely delicious in every way, I couldn't have asked for a better dish. My friend ordered a Mexican hot sub with potatoes, peppers, and corn as her meat. The sub looked delicious and was overflowing with toppings. Again, no photos. Failed everyone in that department. But if you are in Milwaukee, definitely check the place out. A bit expensive, but it was worth it.
Our third veggie night was at the Comet Cafe, which my friend had been raving about for ages. I had never been, but heard they served up a mean sandwich. The restaurant is half vegan, half omnivore's dilemma. Almost all of the sandwiches can be veganized and some are fully vegan from the start. The restaurant itself is full of ambience, with a 50's diner feel and huge booths and retro dining sets. We ordered for an appetizer the vegan deep fried ribs, which are described as beer batter riblets with a side of hot sauce and bbq with a spciy mayo dipping sauce and a side of fries. I am so positive I had a photo of these, but I guess not. They were sooo damn good. We ate every bit of them, even all the fries. It was a meal unto itself. But we still ordered more. My friend ordered the Marinated Tofu Sandwich. It was stuffed with red peppers, lettuce, and onions. And with a side of those heaping fries. I had a piece and it was amazing. The tofu was smoky and sweet, with a little kick all at the same time. I had to order their Reuben and compare it to the ever so great Chicago Diner's. It came out looking delcious. The bread was nice and crisp, the saurkraut looked fresh, and the seitan piece was crisp and tasted just like what I was looking for. The two restaurants have different textured seitans, but both were high in my book. I enjoyed every bit of the sandwich, enough to take home the little bit I couldn't force down my throat. It made a great midnight snack when I had to get down and studying.
Our adventures don't end there. We have gone to Riverwest Co-op together, which is a little health grocery store with a little vegan cafe attached. Great sandwiches and deserts, and all the vegan food products you can't find anywhere else...like Teese!
Hopefully our adventures do not end here. Although my friend has graduated from school, she is planning on staying in our school's city, so we can continue to eat our way through great conversations. And what is also super great is my friend just recently took the plunge and is fully vegan. Yay vegans, friends, and food. It's what life is all about.