Humphreys Sunday Brunch Should Take My Advice (Shelter Island, San Diego, CA)

Taste the rainbow.

Taste the rainbow.

Fortunately, Humphreys Sunday Brunch has enough plant based food to permit you to arrange your plates with a rainbow of colors.  However, the restaurant can improve by labeling items “vegan” so you don’t have to keep asking questions.  I already suggested to them that they do so, but they didn’t, so more people should vegan-town this popular after-church brunch until it gets the message.  (I don’t go to church, but I observed church ladies both times I visited, including one with a fan.)

These chips were tough to chew, but the chips were subsequently improved.

These chips were tough to chew, but they were subsequently improved.

Chips improved.

Chips improved.

Here’s what they’ve got that’s purportedly vegan: Steamed veggies, rice, guacamole, chips, breakfast potatoes, salad and vinaigrette, raw veggies, fruit, berries, sorbet.

I gave Humphrey's Sunday Brunch some great advice, then checked back months later to find that they didn't take it.

I gave Humphrey’s Sunday Brunch some great advice, then checked back months later to find that they didn’t take it.

Their pasta isn’t vegan, which is sad.  I never really found out if their bread or bagels were vegan, but a lot of it looks like it should be.  I didn’t ask if the champagne in the bottomless mimosas was vegan.  My research only allowed me to ask the waitresses as many questions as I could while they briefly paused.

One day it's pink, another brown, but the vinaigrette is purportedly vegan.

One day it’s pink, another brown, but the vinaigrette is purportedly vegan.

Paddle-boarder outside the window.

Paddle-boarder outside the window.

Well, I must say I’m really proud of myself for winning these gift certificates.  It was the first time I won on the KSON Christmas Match Game and really fun.  I hope I win more Shelter Island restaurant gift certificates so I can force myself to plan some beach time.  It’s cool.

The dude on the left ate an oyster. Ewwww! He left fruit and mimosa on the table!

The dude on the left ate an oyster. Ewwww! He left fruit and mimosa on the table!

Somebody who put something gross on her plate and realized her mistake, saved it and fed it to the seagulls. I gave them a piece of bread myself.

Somebody who put something gross on her plate and realized her mistake, saved it and fed it to the seagulls. I gave them a piece of bread myself.

You pay the bill like this when you vegan-town.

You pay the bill like this when you vegan-town.

You Should Vegan-Town Dinner Theater and Always Expose a Cyber Bully

Stuffed Pepper Vegan Option Mystery Café

Stuffed Pepper Vegan Option Mystery Café

Imperial House Restaurant, San Diego, CA

Imperial House Restaurant, San Diego, CA

You should vegan-town dinner theater, not because it’s so amusing, but because you’ll be making a vegan statement at a table and room full of meat eaters.  A “vegan” sign will be displayed at your place setting.  The more vegans who do this, the more meat eaters will feel foolish to show everyone what meat eaters they are.

Vegan Hot Fudge Cake with So Delicious CocoWhip!

Vegan Hot Fudge Cake with So Delicious CocoWhip!

After winning a gift certificate, I checked out the Mystery Café Dinner Theater for “Nobody’s Got a Clue” at the Imperial House restaurant, downtown San Diego, by Balboa Park.  I liked how the actors were already in character goofing around when the guests were checking in.

Miss Starlet played by Lydia Real, Mr. Nobody represented by a skeleton.

Miss Starlet played by Lydia Real, Mr. Nobody represented by a skeleton.

Because I knew the meat eaters were going to be eating chocolate cake for dessert, I decided to have my cake and eat it too.  The evening before the show I made a Vegan Hot Fudge Cake, ate a piece, and then ate another the next day before going to the show.  Then at the café, I ate a fruit plate for dessert.  (The recipe for “Hot Fudge Cake” was almost already vegan as published and only needed a few minor tweaks to become vegan non-GMO.  It was published in Taste of Home, June/July 2013, page 64, and submitted by Vera Reid of Laramie, WY.  Caveat: The “hot fudge” can boil over in the oven.)

Hypocrite: Tourkin expressed contempt for this blog, but went and searched for more published writings from its author.

Hypocrite: Tourkin expressed contempt for this blog, but went and searched for more published writings from its author.

Side Scandal:

Tourkin's response to my post about a vegan Friday Freebie from Ralph's.

Tourkin’s response to my post about a vegan Friday Freebie from Ralph’s.

Now, unfortunately, I have to report something ugly, something more serious than characters being murdered in a play.  I was recently cyber-bullied by a purportedly “vegan” San Diego attorney, Paul Jon Tourkin, age 53, on a Facebook page called “San Diego Vegan Community,” which is listed in the VeganDiego! newsletter as owned by “Adam Crisis.”

Tourkin first started trolling me with immature content, such as responding to my post about vegan food with a graphic depicting anilingus or posting a photo of a diseased toe with a hashtag for this blog.  When he apparently didn’t get the attention he needed, he started tagging me with insults and encouraging his friends (such as Michael Vern Gutierrez and bike buddy “Hnns Lbbr”) to attack me, which of course, required me to block them.  They’re probably jealous of and threatened by intelligent female vegan anti-natalist feminist social revolutionary bloggers with original ideas! What losers.Paul Tourkin Creepy Lawyer Troll

Vegan-Towning Three (3) Del Mar, CA Restaurants

I will write about three (3) Del Mar restaurants in order of most recently visited.

Cucina Enoteca 

burnt brussels sprout + ivan's hot sauce, beet + avocado (radicchio + pine nut + crisp quinoa + sesame), aquazul

Burnt Brussels sprouts + Ivan’s hot sauce, Beet + Avocado salad (radicchio + pine nut + crisp quinoa + sesame), and Aquazul beverage

I’d never heard of Cucina Enoteca before winning a gift certificate, but upon visiting for lunch I saw that it is big and popular (which is weird because the menu isn’t vegan-friendly.)  Luckily I went by myself because a $30 gift certificate only covers one person.  I sat next to the Real Housewives of Del Mar, which was cool because one of them (Robin) asked me about my veggies (beet + avocado salad and Brussels sprouts.)  She ordered the same salad as me, but I couldn’t tell if she also rejected the “feta crema” as I did.  Let’s hope so because only dumb people accept dairy!  The nonalcoholic beverage I chose was the Aquazul (strawberry + mint + lime + ginger + soda), which I didn’t mind at all.  But the bad news: according to the waiter, their bread isn’t vegan.  What total bull!

Wishes in the bathroom of Cucina Enoteca

Wishes in the bathroom of Cucina Enoteca

They also have a retail wine shop. 

 

Del Mar Rendezvous 

Willamina at Del Mar Rendezvous

Willamina at Del Mar Rendezvous

“Modern Chinese Cuisine.” Luckily they have a vegan menu!  Make sure to ask for it special.  I’ve been there twice and prefer the Tofu with Broccoli to Ma Po Tofu (because the former has more veggies in it.)  For a beverage, both times I chose the Choya “Umeshu” (the restaurant calls it “plum wine,” but the manufacturer says the ume fruit is “not plum.”) (Doesn’t say anything about vegan or not.  The Is It Vegan blog already contacted the company to ask and received no response.) (I tried contacting them, but their online contact form does not believe my question is “valid.”)

The fortune cookie (from the Peking Noodle Company) is technically vegan, but not necessarily non-GMO.

Tofu and Broccoli from Del Mar Rendezvous

Tofu and Broccoli from Del Mar Rendezvous

Good news. They let your canine pal dine with you on the patio.  And they validate your parking!  They also have a loyalty program (although, the terms aren’t necessarily clear.)

The “gift card” I won was more like a “trade card” and had more limitations on it than a regular gift card (more confusing to use.)

The Poseidon

Been awhile since I visited, but when I went they had only one totally vegan dinner entree (farro and vegetables) and it had tiny mushrooms in it, so I felt their menu could have been improved! Hopefully it has by now!  The waitress was not my fave either. (“No one can save us from Kim the waitress.”)  If I ever win another gift certificate to the Poseidon, I’ll check it out for lunch instead of dinner.

Another weird thing, Del Mar expects you to feed meters on Sunday evenings! WTF!  I found free street parking, but the lighting was bad.  Tip: keep a good mini-flashlight in your bag!

Interesting Note:

Incompetent Motorist in Del Mar driving this red Mercedes CLS 550, license plate 7GHR391. She tried to crash into my car by attempting a merge without looking. I honked at her and she honked back for daring to honk at her! She turned south on Condesa Dr.

Incompetent Motorist in Del Mar driving this red Mercedes CLS 550, license plate 7GHR391. She tried to crash into my car by attempting a merge without looking. I honked at her and she honked back for daring to honk at her! She turned south on Condesa Dr.

 

 

Subway vs. Jersey Mike’s for a Vegan Version Sub

Which sub restaurant has the better vegan-version sub, Subway or Jersey Mike’s?  Since I’ve never been to a Subway that had an actual vegan sub on the menu (and I’ve even been to the Subway in Wailea!), I’m just comparing the Subways that have a Veggie Delite® sub with the Jersey Mike’s that have a “Veggie” sub.

Customers at Subway wearing black & white stripes.

Customers at Subway wearing black & white stripes.

Subway

Sometimes you can win Subway gift cards (I won all mine on the radio except one in a sweepstakes.)  The only purportedly vegan bread I knew of to choose was Italian (white), but Subway’s “US Product Ingredients” (April 2016) document suggests that a few others are also free of dairy and/or honey (none have egg, but “Wrap” has glycerides, which may or may not be vegan.) Here are some ingredient listings:

ITALIAN (WHITE) BREAD Enriched flour (wheat flour, niacin, iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), water, yeast, sugar, contains 2% or less of: soybean oil, calcium carbonate, wheat gluten, salt, sunflower lecithin, ascorbic acid, yeast extract, Vitamin D2, enzymes. Contains wheat.

HEARTY ITALIAN BREAD Subway® Italian bread and yellow cornmeal. Contains wheat.

SOURDOUGH Enriched flour (wheat flour, niacin, iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), water, yeast, wheat gluten, sugar, contains 2% or less of: fermented wheat flour, salt, soybean oil, dextrose, fumaric acid, sunflower lecithin, lactic acid, enzymes, ascorbic acid. Contains wheat.

You can order the Veggie Delite®, reject the cheese, and choose what veggies and vegan condiments you want.   Once an air-headed employee presumed that the only reason I would reject cheese was because I thought it cost extra.  (How can someone work in the food business and have no idea why someone would avoid dairy products?) Once I asked for mustard (meaning yellow mustard) and the employee squirted honey mustard on the sub without even asking. So I said start over. (According to Subway’s “U.S. Allergy and Sensitivity Information” (Revised April 2016), the “Honey Mustard Sauce” also has egg in it, which goes to show how really ignorant that employee was.)

But if you want avocado then that will be a major surcharge, unless you have a coupon for a dollar off, then you’ll pay about 50 cents extra (or should I say, get out your next $5 Subway gift card.)  If avocado is “nature’s butter” and cheese is a dairy product that “doesn’t cost extra,” then why should avocado “cost extra”?  Makes me think that the bovine raping industry is subsidized by the government, but avocado farming totally isn’t.  Is that logical?  The government would confer a benefit on a cruel industry over a yummy one?  Makes no sense.  Violates public policy for damn sure.  “Work hard and sweetly pay your taxes never asking ‘what for?’” – Moz.  (Ironically, I recently did some research for a client whose client worked overtime at Subway, but didn’t receive overtime pay.) (And I can’t believe that Subway would hire someone like Jared Fogle!)

Jersey Mike’s

Children in training to be cannibals.

Children in training to be cannibals.

The first time I received a coupon for a free sub from Jersey Mike’s I didn’t even use it because the description for their “Veggie” sub was so bad sounding.  Two kinds of cheese (cheese aint a veggie) and green bell peppers (one of the worst veggies out there.)  But then I won gift certificates, so I went in and checked it out.  I noticed that, oddly enough, the employees at the counter are fit looking.  Like, if they weren’t slicing logs of dead animals, you might think they could be vegan.  Compare to the Subway workers and you’ll realize it can’t be a coincidence and there must be some different hiring standards at Jersey Mike’s.

Jersey Mikes's is next to Veggie Grill in La Jolla. At least I got one vegan freebie from Veggie Grill through their app!

Jersey Mikes’s is next to Veggie Grill in La Jolla. At least I got one vegan freebie from Veggie Grill through their app!

Subs.  The good news is, you can reject everything that goes with their “Veggie” sub and request avocado and they won’t add a surcharge.  (Although, one employee once said that the avocado really “costs extra,” but they were giving it to me as a courtesy since I rejected the cheese and green bell pepper.)  You can also ask them to grill the onions.  Ironically, “Mike’s Way” is actually vegan: onions, lettuce, tomatoes, spices, and “The Juice” (red wine vinegar and olive oil blend.)  But if you already had them grill your onions, they’ll get confused as to whether or not you want more onions if you say to “make it ‘Mike’s Way’.”

"Mike's Way" is vegan?

“Mike’s Way” is vegan?

The Jersey Mike’s web page now has “Ingredients” (Last Updated: 3/26/2016), but originally I had to go by their  “Nutritional Information” pamphlet, which listed all the breads as having 0 mg. of cholesterol, so I hoped that meant they were all vegan.  But actually “Wheat Submarine Roll” (which was referred to as wheat bread, not roll, in the pamphlet) has honey.  Here’s the ingredients for white, make of it what you will:

White Submarine Roll *

enriched flour (wheat flour, unbleached, unbromated, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), water, yeast, Contains 2% or less of: salt, soybean/canola oil, cane sugar, DATEM, calcium sulfate, monoglycerides, ammonium sulfate, ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), enzymes, wheat gluten.

*sprinkled with cornmeal prior to baking.

Contains Wheat and Soy

Take a look at the difference between the employees and the customers.

Take a look at the difference between the employees and the customers.

Believe it or not, once a woman in line behind me was so impressed with my sub that she vowed to get the same thing next time.  I encouraged her to really do so and I hope she did!

So, which one wins? On the one hand, Jersey Mike’s lets you get avocado without an extra charge and their workers are a bit better than Subway’s.  But Subway may be adding actual vegan subs to their menus.  They both are in dire need of improvement.  I’ll wait for future developments before declaring a winner.

Cheese sure aint no veggie.

Cheese sure aint no veggie.

 

Red Velvet Vegan Cupcake from Sprinkles. Yum.

V is for Vegan Red Velvet Cupcake. Yum.

V is for Vegan Red Velvet Cupcake. Yum.

How great to get a free vegan cupcake from Sprinkles.  A free decadent dessert.  Yum. You don’t even have to join ISIS.  (What ISIS really wants: Potato chips and candy, Erika Solomon (2014).)  You just have to register for a Sprinkles account. (But be sure to review the terms and conditions yourself because I’m sure they can change at any time, so don’t blame me if you miss your opportunity for a free vegan red velvet cupcake.)  They are regularly $3.75 each. Purportedly I get to enjoy another free vegan cupcake the week of my birthday.  Too good to be true!  Here is my link for registering.

 

incompetent motorist in Ford Escape

The woman driving this Ford Escape XLT, license plate 6UPT983, is an incompetent motorist.

But if you go to the Sprinkles in La Jolla, watch out for incompetent motorists in the parking lot of The Shops at La Jolla Village!  I had to experience a motorist in a Ford Escape XLT tailgating me in the parking lot while simultaneously fastening her seat belt and looking in the vanity mirror.  Then she went around me almost colliding with a woman backing up her white vehicle. Then she committed the crime of turning left without signaling.  I felt sorry for her passenger, a canine!

Vegan-Towning a Marie Callender’s Restaurant & Bakery Pie

More than a year passed before I claimed my free pie from Marie Callender’s because when I first won the gift card, the Nutritional Calculator on the web page wasn’t working, a customer service representative couldn’t say if any of the pies were vegan, and a Marie Callender’s restaurant employee said they had nothing vegan because everything contained egg.  On top of that, the information on the internet was mixed and confusing.  (The Animal Liberation Front said that a bunch of the fruit pies were “Vegan by Accident,” but then I realized they were referring to the frozen product sold in the store.  The Go Eggless blog said that only the French Apple Pie was “truly without eggs and dairy.”)  Eventually, I noticed the Nutritional Calculator on Marie Callender’s web page was finally working!

French Apple Pie Capture

The French Apple Pie is technically vegan presuming the sugar is vegan.

So, I got the French Apple Pie, which was delish, but I wish they would use only Non-GMO Project Verified ingredients and sustainable palm oil, don’t you?

French Apple Pie

French Apple Pie after I removed a piece.

The Strawberry Rhubarb Pie also does not contain dairy or eggs, but my local Marie Callender's didn't have it.

The Strawberry Rhubarb Pie also does not contain dairy or eggs, but my local Marie Callender’s didn’t have it.

 

The "No Sugar Added" Apple Pie contains dairy.

The “No Sugar Added” Apple Pie contains dairy.

Now here’s the crazy thing.  After my purchase, the balance on my gift card was $0.21 and the cashier was actually going to give it back to me as if I would be carrying around a gift card with a 21 cent balance!  I said, “Just give it to me in cash.”  She said she couldn’t do that so I asked, “Even though California law requires it?” (Cal. Civ. Code §1749.5(b)(2).)

Then a male supervisor stepped in and said that their policy is not to give the gift card balance in cash so I asked, “Even though California law requires it?” Then he said he would go ask his manager.  When he came back he gave me the 21 cents.  CAN YOU BELIEVE THEY MADE ME QUIBBLE OVER 21 CENTS?!

No, I do not want to argue over small bits of money, I just want businesses to comply with the law.  “Is that too much to ask?!” – Morrissey.

Awhile back, after a different company refused to comply with the law, I contacted a regional supervisor, who thanked me for busting their balls and sent me another gift certificate as a thank you.  A manager for Hollywood Tan says they can only comply with the law if I arrange the transaction in advance.  To me, that violates the spirit of the law.  If you have an experience with a business in California that avoids compliance with Cal. Civ. Code §1749.5(b)(2), definitely call them out on it.

Applebee’s Desperately Needs a Vegan Entrée

Well, I hope I’m not the only vegan who vegan-towned Applebee’s with the Mystery Value Bonus Cards they gave out. After I surmised from Facebook postings that meat-eaters were hoarding them, I attempted to encourage some vegans on Facebook to request the cards too. Only one vegan person said she would. If more vegan animal activists stepped up, perhaps Applebee’s would sooner add a vegan entrée to their menu.

I vegan-towned Applebee’s four (4) times (minimal compared to the meat eaters) and here’s what I learned:

First of all, don’t give your order to the server. Use the tablet on your table. Why? The first time I went there, confused about whether I was supposed to use the tablet or talk to the server, I opted to tell the server, Samantha D., my order. One item I requested was the side order of sweet potato fries ($2.99.) But out came the “Sweet Potato Fries and Dips,” and as the dips are certainly not vegan, I automatically rejected them. But the bill reflected the extra $2.51 surcharge for the dips that I did not order and did not accept. When I told Samantha D. of her mistake, she said the surcharge reflected a bigger order of fries and the dips were really just a freebie. (I figured out she was totally wrong after successfully ordering the side order of sweet potato fries on my three (3) subsequent visits.) She said she could only change the bill if she talked to her manager and I told her to forget it. That’s the beauty of using free gift cards. It’s one thing to get ripped off (paying for a non-vegan item you didn’t order) when you are paying out of pocket, but when paying with a free gift card you don’t sweat it. (Ironically, Samantha D. said she loves the Veggie Grill!)

Applebee's chips n salsa

Sweet potato fries after non-vegan dips sent back, chips & salsa, strawberry frozen lemonade.

The only other vegan items they had were chips & salsa, steamed broccoli, sweet & spicy pickles, and beverages. The menu on the tablet listed some sides that could have possibly been vegan (“Cranberry Pecan Rice Blend,” “Mexi Rice,” “Fried Red Potatoes”), but they weren’t mentioned on Applebee’s “Nutritional Information” (10/02/2015, 11/12/2015) and “Allergen Information” (08/17/2015, 11/12/2015) documents, so who knows?

While I don’t mind chips & salsa, they didn’t go well with the sweet & spicy pickles (cucumbers with dressing) because both items are spicy. So, I chose the pickles over the chips on my subsequent visits. Sometimes they are served in a bowl with a lot of spicy dressing, which you can also dip your broccoli and fries in.

Sweet & spicy pickles, side order of sweet potato fries, steamed broccoli, mango frozen lemonade

Sweet & spicy pickles, side order of sweet potato fries, steamed broccoli, mango frozen lemonade

Since the Mystery Value Bonus Cards did not cover alcoholic beverages, I went with the frozen lemonades (strawberry and mango are both good.)

So, I hope if Applebee’s does this promotion again, they finally have a vegan entrée on the menu and even if they don’t, more vegans should step-in and tell the meat eaters to move over.

I like that Applebee’s has free wi-fi. Last month I was in Applebee’s on a Monday in the noon hour checking my e-mail on my LG G4 that I won (yay!), when I saw an e-mail saying that I won a gold-plated Dorito (PETA would call that an “accidentally vegan” prize.) The e-mail came in on Sunday in the noon hour. I tried to claim the prize, but couldn’t, instead being informed I missed the 24 hour time limit to claim my prize. Later I checked the rules of the contest and found that there was no such rule described for claiming the prize so I later called customer service telling them I wanted to claim my prize and they should follow their own rules. A customer service representative called my back later saying that there was nothing to be done because another winner had been drawn. So, my advice is don’t play any sweepstakes by Frito-Lay unless: a) you check your e-mail so frequently like a loser that you couldn’t possibly miss the deadline to claim a prize, or b) it’s an instant win game where you can claim your prize shortly after playing the game (if you win.)

winner email

Side Note About WordPress

Unfortunately, WordPress has defects. For awhile now, I can’t submit comments on any blogs. The comments disappear once submitted before the moderators even see them. Who wants to waste time contributing intelligent comments for nothing? As inspirational and well-written as my blog is, if WordPress has defects then it brings down the quality of my blog through no fault of my own. Sad. Like living in the digital age?