Carrots at Wing-Stop, Brandless, PINCHme, Robinhood, Veggie Grill, & Carma Project Referrals

Wing-Stop in San Clemente, CA. I brought my own BBQ sauce & homemade vegan ranch dip.

Years ago I won gift cards to Wing-Stop on the radio, which was super smart because a carnist would have gladly taken them to get some free fried death.  (Wings are for flight, not mastication.  People who chew the flesh off dead bones look disgusting.) Too bad more vegans didn’t come up with the idea; they could have started a carrot revolution.  Carrots are Wing-Stop’s best item.  They also have celery, but I’m not into that.  They have seasoned fries too, which are vegan, but I didn’t ask about whether or not they are fried in the same fryers as the death because I didn’t want to know.  But at least I would bring my own condiments because I oppose high fructose corn syrup.  Here is information on the Seasoned French Fries as given to me by Lauren Estlinbaum in 2015:

Seasoned French Fries are fried in soybean oil in most areas and contain the following in our seasoning: sugar, Salt, dehydrated garlic, red pepper, white pepper, black pepper and onion powder.

Cruelty Free Reviews says the Cajun Fried Corn is also vegan, but I never saw that.

Fries & Dos Equis at Wing-Stop in San Diego (City Heights neighborhood)

It took me awhile to use my $50 up, but I finally did (well, I do have 57 cents left.)  I visited Wing Stops in San Diego, CA, San Clemente, CA, and Clovis, NM.  The ones in Southern California had beer too, so I would get Dos Equis.  But in Clovis, they don’t sell alcohol.  In Clovis there are restrictions on the sale of alcohol on Sundays (Clovis, NM Code of Ordinances 5.12.170, 5.12.180) and New Mexico law requires minor employees to be at least 19 years of age to sell alcoholic beverages in a restaurant where the primary source of revenue is food. (NMAC 15.10.33.9 (B).)  Maybe they figured it wasn’t worth the trouble of selling it at all.  (But the path is clear for selling dead animals!) They do sell root beer in glass bottles though, but there is no place in Curry County, NM that collects glass for recycling (even though the bottle says, “Please recycle.”)  I asked an employee there where they recycle the bottles and she said they just trash them.  Now you know why locals call the place Dirty Curry.  There is a committee known by locals at the Shifty Fifty because their sole concern is to keep the Cannon Air Force Base from getting BRAC’ed (because of their financial interests), but do they care about the lack of recycling services?

Wing-Stop in Clovis, NM. They don’t recycle the glass bottles.

Wing-Stop seems kinda ghetto, like it’s for poor people, but then I saw a video on the WatchBack App (they give you gift cards for watching videos) of a Jenner chick telling her Momager that she bought a large quantity of dead animal parts at Wing-Stop and ate them all up. Yuck! Like she can’t afford to go to a vegan restaurant.

Brandless Corn & Quinoa Puffs. Yum. I ate every crumb.

Brandless is an online store that has a vegan section, so you might want to check it out! (There’s organic, non-GMO, fair trade, sustainably resourced stuff too.) They have different deals (like how much you have to spend to get free shipping or what item you can get for free if you spend a certain amount) at different times so you might want to check now and then to see what deals are going on.  Or check on a promo code site if it’s easier to see a list of deals.  (If you’re going to use a free item promo code, you don’t have to find the item; it will automatically be added to your cart when you meet the requirements.)  The best deal I got is when they stacked my referral credits. Nice!  Caveat: if you try to get cash back through TopCashBack, you probably won’t get any cash back if you use a promo code (however, if you do the same thing with eBay you will get cash back, make sense?)

I like a lot of the items, to name a few: Dark Chocolate Covered Quinoa Bites (it’s candy!), Organic Blue Corn Tortilla Chips, Sweet Jalapeño Lentil Crisps, Raspberry Twists, Organic Whole Wheat Animal Cookies, Jalapeño Flavored Corn and Quinoa Puffs, Dry Roasted Salted Pistachios, Organic Agave Nectar, Organic Sunflower Oil, Organic Pearled Farro, Organic Hot Pineapple Jalapeño Salsa, Organic Butternut Squash Soup, and Organic Lentil Soup.

One caveat is that they have at least one packer who packs certain items upside down. No bueno.

They don’t put their maple syrup under the vegan section, so I wondered why not.  I’ve read two articles that say some maple syrup manufacturers use animal fat or lard to defoam it after boiling.  But the Well and Good article by Tehrene Firman (October 2, 2018), says that organic maple syrup uses certified organic vegetable oils, not animal fat. The Brandless maple syrup is organic, so why is it not vegan?

The Whoop Wellness article says it’s because PETA called a boycott on Canadian maple syrup because of the massive seal slaughter.  The Brandless maple syrup is a product of both the USA and Canada. So there you go.  The article also says it’s not vegan if it has added animal ingredients, but the Brandless maple syrup is purportedly pure maple syrup.  The article also says it’s not vegan if the manufacturing facility also produces items with animal ingredients. Oh-kay.

PINCHme is a sample site that sometimes offers vegan samples, like for example, Seeds of Change Organic Quinoa & Brown Rice with Garlic, coffee, tea, candy, tomato paste, or a vegan formula hair care product.  But they offer a lot of non-vegan stuff too, which you can reject (like, today I rejected non-vegan mayo!)  Basically, they have these Sample Tuesdays, where you can go on their web page at 12 pm Eastern time and accept whatever samples they might offer.  But not every Tuesday will be applicable to you.  Yours will be about once a month.  However, they might offer you something on a non-Tuesday, but ask you to take a survey to get it. They recently offered me non-vegan cookies if I took a survey and uh, no thanks to that.  One caveat is that I’ve had at least two orders never show up.  Whether they were misdelivered or just never sent, who knows; they don’t send you a shipping notice or tracking number.

Robinhood: As you know, I have my own diversified stock portfolio on Robinhood that I got for free.  But I am willing to pay money for one share of Beyond Meat, but I’ll wait until it’s lower than $60 or at least not much higher.  I’ve seen it as high as $79.80 (right now.)  However, if the ruling elite says a working class person can own part of a corporation for free, why wouldn’t he or she accept?  But, one caveat is that you can’t name a beneficiary on your Robinhood account.

Hey, look at the Veggie Grill in La Jolla!

Veggie Grill Expansion: Veggie Grill is planning on expanding to New York and Boston.  So write down my invite code and use it to join the rewards app shortly before going (you may get a sign up freebie that will expire shortly later): JillB7768

Carma Project: Use my unique link to check for a deadly Takata airbag. For a limited time, you’ll even be able to get a $5 reward for doing it.  Limit one reward per owner, while supplies last. Restrictions apply. U.S. residents only. Offer limited to new Bitmo users only. Mobile number on a valid U.S. carrier required. Messaging rates may apply.

Wild Edibles: Did you harvest and eat any dandelion greens from your yard this spring?  I did.  There were also lots of wild chives in the winter which will have seeds soon and I’ll share with buddies.  Just make sure to verify from a reliable source you have edibles rather than poisonous plants.  Remember the animal killer in Into The Wild?

Apps, Restaurant Rewards, & Referrals Updates (Plus Some Restaurant Reviews)

If you read here about a sign up freebie or birthday freebie or special bonus, make sure to check the web page to see that it is still being offered.

Native Foods 

Inside a Native Foods Café restaurant in San Diego.

Back in February, Native Foods launched a new app and offered a $5 freebie for downloading (good for 2 weeks from the date you sign up.) With the $5 freebie I got the oatmeal crème pie and potato salad side to go for $1.39 out of pocket. I decided to eat half of the oatmeal crème pie one evening and the other half the next, but it ended up being 2/3 then 1/3 because it’s too delicious to stop eating!

When you claim your Native Foods reward you get a redemption code and QR code.  The cashier said I could not use the redemption code, just scan the QR code. (But you should be able to do either way.)

Use my code JillBalla3501 or click the referral link from your mobile device to earn extra points. Native Foods is in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Palm Springs, Colorado, Oregon, & Chicago. Gosh, I wish it was in the High Plains too!

The Veggie Grill app needs to be updated.  I have a new Invite Code now: JillB7768.  There is still a $5 off freebie for those who haven’t joined yet.  Locations: California, Illinois, Oregon, Washington. Gosh, I wish there was one on the High Plains!

Hey, look at the Veggie Grill in La Jolla!

Dunkin’ Donuts uses Almond Breeze in the iced mocha latte upon request

Dunkin’ Donuts

When you join Dunkin’ Donuts DD Perks, you get a Free Beverage Reward.  After you sign up, you have about three (3) months to claim your free vegan beverage.

However, the catch is that you have to purchase a $2 gift card and add it to your account (although, sometimes there is a promo to get a free $5 if you add $10).  For some reason I couldn’t use my reward and my gift card at the register in the same transaction. I don’t know if that was because the cashier was confused or you can only use the gift card online for pickup (which I did later.)  Anyway, I got a large Vegan Iced Mocha Latte with almond milk.  $4.19 of the price was free, but there was a .25 surcharge for the almond milk that wasn’t free.  This PETA article tells you which food items are vegan.

Here’s what DD Perks tells you about the freebie beverage: “A Free Beverage in any size of your choice includes any iced or hot coffee, tea or latte, hot chocolate or Coolatta®. All cooler beverages are excluded.”

Dosh is a cool cashback app. When you sign up and link a credit card you get a $5 cashback freebie. When you book your first hotel through the app you get a $25 bonus plus regular cashback.  Use my referral code.

“$15+ million cash back since April ’17” – Dosh

Johnny Rockets

If you join the Johnny Rockets EClub, you will get a coupon for a free vegan black bean burger with the purchase of “an entrée and a drink” (means you order two Gardein vegan burgers, fries, and a beverage, then one of the vegan burgers will be free; a $6.69 value.) The coupon is good starting the day after you sign up and then for two (2) weeks.  Lewis and I went to the one at the Opry Mills Mall because I won a trip to Nashville. After we ate the vegan burgers, J.D. Haas swung by wearing his Adelaide, Australia shirt and I told him about the vegan burger deal. He said, “I haven’t eaten meat since 1977.”

Bitmo

The sign-up freebie is a $5 gift card through the app.  I’m actually not sure if you have to be referred to get it or you just get it when you sign up.  The app says to “invite friends” who will get a “free gift card upon sign up.”  If you want me to send you an invite, I’ll need your mobile number.  You can swap the card you get for a different one.  For example, I got a Panera card and swapped it for Chipotle. I then combined the $5 Chipotle card with Chipotle’s offer for freebie chips and guac (with a purchase) for signing up for the app. (The Chipotle deal was a limited time offer. They don’t seem to have a sign-up offer now, but will supposedly “launch a long-awaited loyalty program in 2019,” according to Reuters.)

Door Dash is a web page for ordering food. I decided to try it from the Hotel Preston in Nashville because I had a $15 promotional credit in my account that I had never used.  I ordered from The Wild Cow.  The menu didn’t say if all the items were vegan (just specific ingredients), so I just presumed they were. I chose Chipotle Seitan Tacos ($11.25) with the following specifications:

Tortilla Choice: Flour

The avocado was missing from these Chipotle Seitan Tacos from The Wild Cow.

Side Choice: Pineapple Cole Slaw (Gluten-Free)

Sour Cream Addition: Vegan Sour Cream

Avocado Addition: Avocado

The tacos were great, but the avocado addition that I paid for was not on the tacos.  Also, no utensils were included in the bag.

Lewis chose Peanut Tempeh Tacos ($11.00) with the following specifications:

Tortilla Choice: Corn Tortilla

Side Choice: Pineapple Cole Slaw (Gluten-Free)

Avocado Addition: Avocado

He said they were good.

We also got Spinach & Artichoke Dip ($7.25), which was pretty good, but we had to get utensils from the hotel’s restaurant in order to eat it.  Here’s the breakdown of the cost:

Subtotal: $29.50

Tax: $2.73

Delivery: $3.99

Service fee: $2.95 (This fee was hidden, so I’m not sure if there was an option to delete it because I didn’t even see it before placing the order.)

Dasher Tip: $2.00

Discount: -$15.00

Total: $26.17

So, as you can see, the $15 discount mostly just covered the extra charges rather than the food. Now the referral discount is $7, so if you want to try it here’s my referral code.  If you are not planning on ordering right away you may want to wait and see if there’s another promo making it $15 instead of $7. Who knows.

An example of getting cash back on vegan items from Checkout 51.

Checkout 51 is a cashback program that is both an app and web page. You can potentially save money on vegan items.  I tested it and it worked, but I’d have to experiment with it more to see if it really saves the consumer money.  It probably depends on whether the vegan items you want to get are easy to find and a good price to begin with.  The stores I shopped at did not have the vegan varieties that they would have had in different locations.  Make sure to read the terms of each item you are interested in.  Once you have $20 cashback in your account you can request the money.  I have $4 now for purchasing apples, canned beans, crackers, and Sapporo beer.

Denny’s Build Your Own Vegan Burger: I finally tried the vegan burger at Denny’s because a sweepstakes gave out a BOGO coupon (a $9.39 value.) (It wasn’t a prize, just a freebie. My prize was free coffee, but I didn’t use the coupon because the terms only allowed one coupon per visit.) The first time I was going to use the coupon I called the Denny’s in Clovis, NM to ask if they had the vegan burger and they were all sold out.  That should be a hint to restaurants that no sane person wants a burger made of murdered creatures.  Ironically, the menu highlighted “100% Beef Burgers” in big bold letters and the “veggie patty” option was disclosed in fine print. So, it’s interesting that they sell out of the veggie patty anyway. Think how many clueless people might opt to order the veggie patty if it jumped out at them on the menu.

Build Your Own Vegan Burger at Denny’s (one free with BOGO coupon)

Anyway, the burger is pretty good. When I asked the waitress which bun was vegan and if the bourbon sauce was vegan, she sent over another employee who explained that they were vegan, but manufactured in facilities that manufacture animal products. Lewis and I were like, “We want to order now!”

O-Live: Referral Program: Maybe Get Some Free Olive Oil

If you use my referral link, maybe we can earn rewards:

Rewards. Upon referring 1 friend, OLISUR INC. disperses one PDF file of the O-Live &Co. Cookbook. Upon referring 5 friends, OLISUR INC. disperses one discount code valid for 20% off any purchase made on the website, https://us.o-liveandco.com/. This code will be sent via email after the campaign concludes. Upon referring 15 friends, OLISUR INC. disperses one code valid for a free bottle of olive oil purchased from the website, https://us.o-liveandco.com/. Shipping fees may still apply. This code will be sent via email after the campaign concludes. Upon referring 20 friends, you receive one raffle entry into a drawing for the prize of a trip to Chile. After referring 20 friends total, every 10 additional friends will earn you one additional raffle entry.

The Viral Referral Contest will end in the first week of October 2018. OLISUR INC. will announce the winner on October 6th, 2018.

PowToken: Recently I was listening to a podcast called Sordid Details to monitor for shit talking against my hero (the hosts were totally shit talking, damn them), but they were also talking about Bitcoin and trying to make sense of it.  I can tell you I don’t know squat about it. I only own some POW ‘lite’ because it was a freebie:

IT’S LIKE FREE BITCOIN….

To claim your free POW ‘lite’ simply sign-in using your Facebook or Twitter account (you can make a separate claim from each!) Next claim: 13,549 POW ‘lite’, worth $0.20

Here’s my referral code, but you’ll have to try it later because:

POW dev team has made the decision today to temporarily pause the development of our “bridge” functionality in order to address core architectural weaknesses to the POWtoken.com site and service. All access and functionality has been suspended for a period of no less than six weeks, in order to allow this to take place. (Facebook, April 18, 2018)

Microventures: Last year Microventures offered an opportunity to invest in a vegan enterprise, a Plant Power Fast Food franchise. Gosh, I wish someone would open one on the High Plains!  So, anyway, keep checking to see if they have any future opportunities to own a piece of the vegan rock.  (Like, maybe I’ll start a truck stop franchise on the High Plains!) If you find an investment opportunity you like, you can use my referral link to get a free investment credit!  Whoa, more vegan rock for free!

Rewards I Haven’t Tested

Now that I live in an isolated area I won’t be able to test a lot of apps and restaurant rewards unless I travel or something.  So if you want to test any restaurant rewards and apps to see if you can score vegan freebies, go ahead and then report back with your referral code.  I’ll use it whenever the opportunity arises.  Make note of sign-up freebies and birthday freebies and keep checking for changes and updates on the menus and in the offers.

California Pizza Kitchen

Purportedly you get a free Small Plate when you sign up, which can be “white corn guacamole and chips” according to this Peta2 article. But according to the article nothing from the dessert menu is vegan, so your birthday freebie will be wasted.

Noon Mediterranean restaurants are in Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, and Texas.  According to Happy Cow, they have “veg-options.”  Here’s what the Noon Mediterranean web page says:

GET A FREE PITA, SALAD OR BOWL.*

DOWNLOAD OUR APP. EARN REWARDS. ORDER ONLINE.

*Free Entree Only Applies For First Time Users. Will Receive Link To Claim Entrée After Email Verification.  Please Allow Up To 90 Minutes For Processing.

This Is Your Chance To Get Free Food And Prizes Doing The Thing You Love — Eating Noon Mediterranean.

Receive a free entree just for signing up* and chips and hummus on your birthday.

 

 

Luna Grill: They Need Vegan Bread, Desserts, and Beyond Burger!

House salad with falafel was my go-to freebie lunch from Luna Grill.

Well, it was great winning lots of gift certificates to the Luna Grill on the radio in San Diego, but now I don’t live near one, so goodbye to free house salads with falafel for awhile. They even gave out lots of freebie coupons in the Get 1 Free publication when they had a grand opening in Scripps Ranch.  They also had a sign-up freebie shareable for joining LUNATIC RewardsTM, as I described in a previous post.  I presume this freebie is still offered as the Rewards page refers to the “Free Shareable,” but sometimes sign-up freebies are limited time promotions (like with Chipotle, for example.)

If you haven’t done so recently, the LUNATIC RewardsTM app probably needs an update.  I recently earned 25 BONUS points for inviting myself.  Here is my invite code: JillBa4860

I want to thank the cool people who used my invite code so I could get free veggie kabobs.  If you get one for making a referral make note that the code you get is for the a la carte veggie kabob rather than the entrée one (the cashier may get confused if you just say “veggie kabob.”)

I do, however, think they are insane to not have vegan bread.  Their pita has dairy and their multigrain flatbread (lavash) contains honey.  As I mentioned before, honey has been shown to have weed killer in it.

At least, according to their To Go Menu, Luna Grill uses “project verified, non-GMO oil that is free of trans-fat and soy” to make their “marinades, dressings and fried items.”  They also started promoting Meatless Mondays (murder free Mondays.)

Meat eater wasted salad in Lake Forest, CA.

On one visit, the employee, Samuel, asked me if I wanted dessert.  I replied, “No; it sucks that your desserts aren’t vegan.”

He said, “We can only do so much.”

I looked at the dessert case, noticing that those cupcakes could easily be made vegan and said, “Make them vegan!”  When I received a menu for Fresh Brothers (Pizza · Salad · Wings) I noticed their desserts were vegan!  So there’s no excuse for a restaurant’s desserts to not be vegan. And what sucks is that the birthday freebie from the Lunatics app isn’t vegan!

Oh, and then the dude who sat near me didn’t eat all the dead chicken from his plate, which means that he probably doesn’t really care for meat.  Otherwise, why not save it instead of wasting “food”?

I’ve seen this dog at the Luna Grill in Torrey Highlands on more than one occasion.

Recent e-mails in April 2018 announced the Beyond Burger. (Plant based burger, but not offered at the Camino del Sur location, and also, “Not able to prepare vegan style.” WTF? “The revolutionary plant-based burger prepared with grilled onions, lettuce, tomato and spicy feta.” A dairy product?)

So, one of Luna Grill’s problems is that they offer stuff that should be vegan, but for some reason they make it not vegan. What is that about?

Do you like her shorts?

2 Restaurants in La Mesa, CA (San Diego County)

Banbu Sushi Bar & Grill

Banbu Sushi is by Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza

Located in Grossmont Trolley Center where motorists are directed to park in the Pravada garage, which is spacious.

Vegan miso ramen

The good news is that they have a couple vegan entrees on the menu.  I got the vegan miso ramen.  I picked out the mushrooms and saved them for my dog.  The portion was big enough that I saved some for the next day.

The bad news is that the place is smelly when you go in because they’re making stuff out of eels. Ewwww! That’s why you’ll need a strong drink. I got the blue diamond martini.  (The online menu doesn’t list the drinks so now I have no idea if the alcohol was vegan friendly.)  To start I got a house salad with vinegar & oil (because their dressing isn’t vegan.)  The waitress tried to take the vinegar and oil before I was done using them, but luckily I stopped her because I saved the olive oil with the mushrooms for my dog.

House salad

The crazy thing is this place is popular.  I went in for an early lunch and it was already busy.  A pair of innocent sailors sat by me, Clark (chick) and Zhao (dude).  I kept looking at them to see if they had a point of view, but they just didn’t.  After they were done with their non-vegan food, four fat nurses from Kaiser Permanente took their place.

 

Hooley’s

Hooley’s in Grossmont Center

Located in Grossmont Center near Macy’s.  I know I reviewed this one before, but I figured my further research required me to update.  Sadly, they haven’t updated their menu with vegan options. So, again I got the grilled zucchini tacos specially prepared to be vegan.  I got the carrot sticks as a side because none of the other sides were vegan (not even the beans!)  So, last time I got a salad which was purportedly vegan, but now it’s not.  Anyway, the salsa was too hot which caused me to eat the carrots fast like Bugs Bunny.  I also got the whiskey sour with Jameson again. However, my gift certificate had enough for me to order something else so I got a baked potato and a side of avocado.  I seasoned them with salt, pepper, and malt vinegar, which was really good and a better option than the grilled zucchini tacos, in my opinion!  They need to update their menu, however, to reflect a more evolved age.

Now I almost forgot to mention that a Facebook troll purports to reside in La Mesa.  This person is threatened by anti-natalists. I figure I should just copy and paste the definition of antinatalism so that anyone can see it’s nothing to feel insecure about!

Antinatalism

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Antinatalism, or anti-natalism, is a philosophical position that assigns a negative value to birth. Antinatalists argue that people should refrain from procreation because it is immoral. In scholarly and in literary writings, various ethical foundations have been adduced for antinatalism.[1] Some of the earliest surviving formulations of the idea that it would be better not to have been born come from ancient Greece.[2] The term “antinatalism” is in opposition to the term “natalism” or “pro-natalism”, and was used probably for the first time as the name of the position by Théophile de Giraud (born 1968) in his book L’art de guillotiner les procréateurs: Manifeste anti-nataliste.[3]

Kung Fu Tea: Find a Freebie Vegan Beverage

 

Kung Fu Tea in San Diego

I’m doing an entire blog post based on one freebie beverage (or $0.58 in my case) from Kung Fu Tea because I found the app and menu to be a little more complicated than usual, so why not help others gain clarity? (I’m so generous.)

App: The app is run by Level Up, the same company that does the Veggie Grill rewards app (I would like to thank the sweet people who used my referral link), but I found I had to enter my credit card before the QR Code would show up (which I didn’t need to do for Veggie Grill, however, they are launching a “new VG Rewards app” soon.)  I then did a screenshot of the QR Code and printed it out because I’m not the type of person who likes to whip out my phone. And besides, sometimes you have to change the brightness on your phone to 100% before you can scan it off your phone.  So when you sign up for Kung Fu Tea Rewards you will get a $4.00 credit, which will say: “Free drink (up to $4) on first purchase.”  Their FAQ is not clear on how long you have to use it.

Another way to be referred, apparently

Menu: Currently, their Nutrition page only refers to calories, sugar-level, gluten, and caffeine. I presume they will update this information eventually based on consumer demand. Until then I would just use best judgment and avoid anything that sounds like it has dairy, honey, gelatin, etc.  I tried the mango slush, which was purportedly vegan according to the cashier. Delish. I owed $0.58 after the freebie $4 was applied.

Menu at Kung Fu Tea

Spaghetti at House of Bites – Miramar (San Diego)

House of Bites in Miramar.

Back in October, Get 1 Free Deals gave out freebie $20 vouchers. I hope vegans were smart enough to grab theirs.  I got one to use at a fast casual restaurant in Miramar, House of Bites. It’s in the Miramar Village Plaza north of the US Marine Corps Air Station (there would be no war if not for them.)

Fine print from the House of Bites voucher.

The good news is that you can order their spaghetti marinara without cheese, the salad without cheese (the Italian dressing and balsamic vinaigrette are purportedly vegan friendly too), and bread without butter.  So, it’s a good deal when you get a free $20. I suppose you could purchase a voucher too and it would still be a good deal if you used a promo code, since two (2) spaghetti entrees pre-tax totals less than $20.  However, the fine print on the voucher doesn’t say anything about alcohol not counting towards the $20, but the owner told me that’s how it is, so make note of that. The voucher does say, however, “Tax and Gratuity are not included.”

Spaghetti marinara and bread.

Funny thing, I saved the red onions from my salad in a container and the owner wondered why I was doing that. I said I was going to use them later and he offered to fill up the container with more. The next day I made a vegan-version of Herbie’s Herbed Potato casserole because the most difficult prep work was done for me already. And I must say I’m super impressed that cool Morrissey doesn’t like onions. (Chrissy Iley, Morrissey, Sunday Times Magazine, Nov. 26, 2017)

Make sure to do the #VeganChalkChallenge everywhere you go because an idiot on #NextDoor hates it.

 

 

 

Seaside Buffet – Miramar (City of San Diego)

Double East Tofu, veggies, rice, fruit

OMG. I knew if I ever vegan-towned Seaside Buffet it would be super-scary because I’ve seen their ads. Awhile back I even attempted to bust their balls because an ad said they had “shark fin soup” and I was like, “OMG, that’s totes illegal!” So, I made some calls and sent out e-mails. Received no response, but it was taken off the subsequent ad and replaced with “sea snails,” and I was like, “OMG, that’s not much of an improvement. Ewwwww!!!!!!!!”

Then one day I won a gift certificate from Money Mailer that was about to expire, so I was like, “Do or die!”

The restaurant is in a building that used to be an Acapulco restaurant (Miramar is more Asian, less Mexican.) I talked to an Asian employee who seemed knowledgeable. She said the Double East Tofu was vegan, but not the lo mein. I hope she was right about the tofu because I’m a tofu-lover. She also said the banana was fried in vegetable oil rather than butter.

I got a plum wine (hopefully vegan; I saw no brand name) that was sweeter than Kool-Aid. At the salad bar I found lettuce greens, olives, edamame, grape tomatoes, pickles, and fruit. Vinegar and oil and other condiments I found in a crate at its own island.  I kept my eyes peeled for vegan stuff and also found plain linguini, some raw veggies (bamboo shoots and julienned zucchini ), white rice, and fries.

Fruit and Salad

As for the scary stuff, they had lots, including “Imitation Shark Fin Soup” and “Shark Fin Potato Salad.” Ewwww! I saw a pregnant Asian lady walk by with a crispy dead fish on top of her food and I said, “Ewwwww!!!” I saw gross people eating shellfish too and was like, “Ewwwww!!!”

If you have the balls to win a gift certificate you should go here and try to find some vegan stuff!

Vegan Birthday Freebies

One of my fave vegan birthday freebies is the Vegan Red Velvet Cupcake from Sprinkles

Since I recently claimed a bunch of vegan food freebies (and a couple non-food) through apps and rewards accounts of various chain restaurants, I figured it’s time to update the post about vegan birthday food freebies.  This kind of information should probably be updated once a year.

Keep track of what rewards programs you have joined and be sure to check your accounts before your birthday because not all of the companies will send you a reminder e-mail (perhaps some of them want to see if you are paying attention.)  Also, they all give you different amounts of time to claim your freebie (from a few days to an entire month or more.)

A Red Robin in Escondido, CA.

Also, keep in mind that some of these rewards programs also offer sign-up freebies, but they may only be available during certain limited promotional times.  They may also change their birthday freebie offers.

Also, some of these accounts can be managed online so you don’t always have to use a smartphone.  (A couple years ago, I won an LG G4 in a sweepstakes and when it died from the boot-loop issue, I purchased an iPhone 7 for half out-of-pocket using a $350 Apple gift card I had won awhile back.  However, I’ve seen programs offering free smartphones to those on welfare and I’ve seen lots of bargain offers on Heavenly Steals.)

My 54 cent lunch from Native Foods.

If you want to join any of the rewards programs listed below, be sure to use my referral codes or links if available because vegan solidarity is cool. (Oh, and thanks to the awesome people who have used my referral codes already!)

Native Foods Rewards$10 birthday freebie!  That means you can get a vegan lunch for only $.54 out of pocket (that’s what I did anyway.)  Great one!

Veggie Grill: $5 freebie.  An awesome discount on something vegan! I thought I had taken photos of the summertime dinner with grilled corn, but they must have not saved or something.

Pizza Rev: Freebie vegan pizza for using Rev Rewards! After you redeem in the app., you have four (4) hours to use it (even though the app tells you to wait until you’re in the restaurant before clicking redeem, you have time to click early.) You can write down the code and hand it to the cashier or scan the QR Code. The “Craft Your Own Pizza Signature Thin” is an $8.99 value.  Referral code: JILLBALL226

Freebie vegan pizza from PizzaRev.

Sprinkles Perks: Claimed the awesome vegan red velvet birthday cupcake again. Love it! I think I saw Han on 2 Broke Girls eating one.  Use my referral link.

Red Robin: When you join the Red Robin Royalty program, you get a freebie vegan Royalty Birthday Burger. They give you a whole month to redeem it and you only need your phone number. A $9.79 value.  Locate the “Garden Burger” entry on the menu and look for the disclaimer saying you can get a vegan Boca patty instead.  However, they should also add a disclaimer saying you can get genuine mustard because their Dijon sauce is actually non-vegan mayo. So, why not simplify things and just make a straight up vegan burger entry?  Better yet, make the entire menu vegan!  However, the nice thing is that you can get a side of steamed broccoli instead of fries. (Stay #FlatAbs, baby.)

Firestone Subs:  Got a freebie medium (hopefully) vegan-version veggie sub through Firehouse Rewards.  You activate the freebie in the app and then simply enter your phone number on the credit card machine at the register.  To get 300 bonus points use my referral code: aqe9h.  However, I basically trusted other web sites as to how to make your sub vegan and haven’t read the documents on the web page yet.  Will do soon.

Hey, look at the Veggie Grill in La Jolla!

Which Wich: A free Vibe Wich Birthday sub through Vibe Club Rewards.  Expires about eight (8) days after your birthday.  Since I last reviewed Which Wich, they changed the menu on the paper bags a little bit. Now the vegan options are “The Avocado” and “Black Bean Patty” and they made some changes under “Style.”  They did away with “Hotwich/Coldwich,” added a “Spinach Wrap,” and changed “Bowlwich” to “Salad.” I originally signed up for Vibe Club Rewards for a sweepstakes and didn’t even realize I’d be getting the free sign-up drink and birthday Vibe Wich.

Robeks: Got a small vegan smoothie by rejecting the sherbet and they didn’t charge me anything.  The smoothie chef said it was just more difficult to blend without the dairy.  (However, their ads now state: “MAKE ANY SMOOTHIE DAIRY FREE.”  They also have “Superfood Smoothies” labelled “Dairy Free.”) She gave me a little extra smoothie too.  Yum!  You can use your phone number; you don’t have to scan a code.  They give you about fifteen (15) days to claim your free small birthday smoothie (or apply the dollar amount to another menu item.) $4.99 value.

Birthday smoothie from Robeks made dairy-free.

Starbucks: Got an iced almond milk latte for free. Barista said it came with three (3) shots and that I could get more and I was like, “No three (3) is plenty.”

He was like, “Are you sure?” LOL.  The freebie offer expires the day after your birthday.

Vegan birthday freebie from Starbucks

Bruegger’s Bagels eClub: Free bagel.  Choose a vegan one and reject the cream cheese until they have vegan.  I actually never claimed my birthday bagel, but they e-mail you a coupon and you have about eight (8) days to redeem it. (They close at 3pm.)  I’ve tried their vegan bagels when they gave out freebies for National Bagel Day.

NoodlesREWARDS, Noodles & Company World Kitchen: Update from previous post about birthday freebie. I don’t think they’re giving out free Japanese Pan Noodles for your birthday now, but then again I didn’t check the app.  They e-mailed me a coupon for a Signature Rice Crispy, which I presumed to be not vegan.  But wouldn’t it be awesome if they made it vegan?

However, I did get a $3 sign-up reward, which was good for two (2) weeks. You can use it to get a FREE side order of tofu (non-GMO!) or $3 off Japanese Pan Noodles. You can scan the QR code at the register or write down the number you get when you “redeem” and hand it to the cashier.  After you “redeem” you have four (4) hours to use it.  My Invite Code for NoodlesREWARDS: JillBallar1336

Blaze Rewards: I forgot to claim my free agua fresca even though I walked right by the place because it’s by Native Foods! LOL. (As you know, my phone had died and I was not on the ball with all the apps I previously had.)  The offer expires about twelve (12) days after your birthday.  However, I did claim the agua fresca when it was a sign up freebie and it’s great!

Beverages from Blaze Pizza

Sign up for the Blaze Pizza app and use my referral code: 7u9mt.  You’ll get a free agua fresca just for signing up and another for your birthday. Blaze Pizza says to “make sure you keep an eye on the Rewards section.” I’ve actually never ordered food at Blaze Pizza, but apparently vegans are going for it.

Auntie Anne’s: I forgot to claim my freebie pretzel even though I was in the right place at the right time (just like with Blaze Pizza.)  I planned to go to the one in Escondido (San Diego County) without realizing it had closed down, but I was actually at the Fairlane Dr. shopping plaza in Allen Park, MI where I could have picked it up. Oh well! They also give out a freebie on National Pretzel Day. You just pick one of the few vegan flavors and ask them to bake it without butter. Why use butter anyway? That’s not #FlatAbs, baby! #DairyIsScary anyway.

Jamba Insider Rewards: I checked my account the day after my birthday and didn’t see my free small vegan all-fruit™ smoothie, which made me figure that the offer expires on your birthday.  But then the FAQ says: “The Birthday Offer expires in 30 days.”  I contacted Spendgo to ask about it and Jordan added the birthday smoothie to my account, which I still have to claim!

Pomegranate Paradise™ Smoothie from Jamba Juice when they offered a $3 off coupon (still have time to claim my free birthday smoothie!)

My Cicis: I didn’t claim my birthday freebie (Adult Buffet or large 1-Topping Pizza to go) because the San Diego location closed down! LOL.  Check under “Offers” through the webpage or app if you want to find the offer yourself. It expires about seven (7) days after your birthday.  Here’s my referral code: JillBalla15

However, I did try the Adult Buffet a long time ago when it was offered as a sign-up freebie.  They actually had vegan French dressing, pizza dough, red pizza sauce, and you could ask a chef to make a cheese-free pizza.  The manager had a laminated chart that could tell you what was vegan or not.  The red pasta sauce was not vegan though, so I put french dressing on pasta. LOL!  Other webpages like Vegan Food Lover have done research on what options are vegan.

Penn Station East Coast Subs: I don’t know if they offer a birthday freebie, but I thought I’d throw this one in because I claimed my sign up freebie (6” vegan-version veggie sub) in the same time frame that I claimed birthday freebies. However, I got it when I was in Woodhaven, MI. The sub would have been good had I not got mustard and teriyaki sauce together. LOL. Use my referral code: 9ej39

La Columbe Pure Black: This wasn’t actually a birthday freebie, but rather a freebie coupon that was redeemable the same days I claimed birthday freebies, so I just wanted to throw it in to say: Isn’t it cool when you find the one vegan variety freebie (the others had dairy) just by walking straight up to it in the Whole Foods? More vegans should claim food freebies (when convenient.)  I prepared it later with Cashew Dream and home-made coconut whipped cream.

La Colombe in an El Jimador cup

Grab the Gold: $15 off coupon for an online order if you’re on their e-mail list. These are so good. They’ve been known to give out free samples (now you have to pay for shipping, though; go to their web page and wait for a pop-up) and have Instagram contests (I won a cool prize pack!)

iTan: One free sun, spray, or spa session (when you’re on their e-mail list.) Mystic Tan is cruelty free. Don’t know about vegan.

Finish Line: $10 if you’re in the Winner’s Circle Reward Program. I forgot to use my reward this time, but in the past I got shoe insoles. LOL.

Sephora Beauty Insider: Tymber picked up freebie vegan cruelty-free Tarte cosmetics for her birthday from Sephora.  Funny thing, I’ve had a Sephora Beauty Insider account for years and never even thought to check it for a birthday freebie!

Tymber’s birthday gift from Sephora. (Photo from Tymber.)

Pei Wei – My Wei Rewards: I just signed up so I could tell you about it, but I haven’t tested the Rewards program yet (just gift certificates and coupons.)  The Pei Wei menu has a leaf symbol designating entries that can be made “Vegetarian Upon Request” (so make sure you actually “request” because the sauce could be not veg.)  But if you say you want it vegan they say, “We say ‘vegetarian,’ not ‘vegan.’”  Their allergen document says the fortune cookies have an egg allergen. Bummer.

But anyway, after I signed up for My Wei Rewards, I entered my birthday online (the app didn’t ask for it.) Your birthday offer will be a freebie drink or edamame small plate.  Your sign-up offer is a freebie drink (I haven’t claimed mine yet and it purportedly doesn’t show up in your account until you make a transaction. “New member enrollment bonus points will post to your account with your first transaction.”)

Papa Johns – Papa Rewards: Apparently I had an account, but didn’t realize it. (I wasn’t getting e-mail from it, but must have made an account when using free pizza codes in the past.) Thus, if I had checked my account online, I may have seen a Birthday Reward of 10 Bonus Points, which can hypothetically get one free vegan Original Breadsticks with Pizza Sauce for dipping. Maybe I will test it next year. Who knows.  If you have an account, look under “Profile” to see if your birthday is in there.  The good news is that when I recently redeemed free pizza codes (from a sweepstakes), I could get extra pizza sauce at no extra charge. (Don’t forget to check “No Cheese” because #DairyIsRape.)

A Papa Johns in San Diego

You can search for more vegan freebies applicable to your locale by doing research.  Check the webpage of a nearby chain restaurant and see what kind of rewards program they have.  Or search for other posts on “birthday freebies” and try to determine which ones have something vegan.  If you find a good vegan one, comment about it so other vegans can score food freebies! (If your comment doesn’t go through, it probably means that WordPress thinks your computer is a robot. That’s what it thinks of my laptop!)

 

Osteria Panevino and Greystone

Willamina visiting Panevino.

Osteria Panevino is a Tuscan restaurant in the Gaslamp of downtown San Diego (on 5th Ave. between F & G Streets.)  They participate in Restaurant Week and give out gift certificates on the radio.  I visited for lunch three times spread out over a long stretch of time and brought my dog each time (and a human once.)

At first they didn’t have anything labelled “vegan” on their menu, but they had a “vegetarian” section if I remember correctly.  I got the gluten-free veggie pasta (“no cheese, no butter”) my first two visits.  Their pasta is great and house-made. Ironically, I saw the same couple having lunch both times (they totally weren’t vegan.)

McFadden’s is across the street from Osteria Panevino

Eventually they changed their menu and took that pasta dish right off the menu. But now they have a “VF” (vegan friendly) omelette on the menu (under the “Breakfast” section), which I would have tried, but they were out of tofu that day.  However, the good news is that you can order the pasta with marinara sauce even though the menu says “Fettuccine Alfredo Spaghetti.”  They seem to only bring out bread if you ask, but I guess it all depends.

I also got bottomless mimosas each time and they’re strong.  The carafe they bring you could be large or small, so be prepared.

Greystone

Greystone steakhouse is their nearby sister restaurant and I got a similar veggie pasta dish as I did at Osteria Panevino, which was a modification of their shrimp pasta. (Ewwww!) (I’m proud to say I’ve never eaten shrimp in my life!)  They had musicians playing downstairs and dining upstairs.  I haven’t been there in ages.  They should go vegan!

Downstairs at Greystone

You know, I respect the freegans and all, but I prefer to dine for free in fancy restaurants than eating out of garbage cans like George Costanza. How about you?

Paipa’s Buffet – Sycuan Casino (El Cajon)

An employee at Paipa's Buffet said they had nothing vegan.

An employee at Paipa’s Buffet said they had nothing vegan.

Years ago (when Sycuan Casino was promoting its remodel), I called Paipa’s Buffet to ask if they had anything vegan.  The woman who answered the phone said, “No.”

I thought, “That’s funny. That means they don’t even have lettuce at the salad bar! Weird!”  Turns out she was full of it because I visited (after winning a gift certificate on the radio) and found lots of plant based food to choose from.  Salad bar, veggies, hummus, tacos, burgers.

Yes, I ate two plates of food and still have flat abs.

Yes, I ate two plates of food and still have flat abs.

They have black bean veggie burgers.  The waiter said the veggie burger was “vegan,” but the guy behind the counter just said “veggie,” so I don’t have conclusive information on its vegan-friendliness.  The bun, however, appeared to be not vegan because it had a yellow tinge, which suggested egg yolk or butter (you’d think the waiter would say specifically if the bun was vegan.)  But you can get a lettuce wrap instead.  I liked adding grilled pineapple, tomato, and pickle spears.

Even better was the vegan taco I made with black beans, guacamole, salsa, and lettuce.  Although, it would be better if the taco shell was Non-GMO Project Verified.

Next time I'll add the beans first, then the guacamole, then the salsa, then the lettuce.

Next time I’ll add the beans first, then the guacamole, then the salsa, then the lettuce.

Paipa’s Buffet could be more helpful by labeling questionable stuff vegan, such as the pita bread or the veggie spring rolls (and the burger and bun, of course.)

I couldn’t get anyone to answer any questions about the desserts, so I had to just presume that nothing was vegan except the cherries jubilee (although, I also presumed that it contained high fructose corn syrup.)

Welp, there’s my review of Paipa’s Buffet at Sycuan Casino.  Don’t forget I also reviewed Wachena and Sycuan Café Grill (now called Red Tail Grill.)

Small amount of cherries jubilee with chopped nuts.

Small amount of cherries jubilee with chopped nuts.