I recently realized that I know next to nothing about Cincinnati. I guess I never claim to; when people ask where I’m from I make a point of saying that I “went to high school in Mason, Ohio, kind of near Cincinnati.” No claims of origin.
Anyway, Cincinnati has some distinct neighborhoods in spite of its relatively small size. My parents and I went to Melt, on the Northside. It’s so much more vegan friendly than I could have ever imagined anywhere in Ohio to be. You can get vegan versions of almost everything on the menu; I got a veggie cheesesteak which was made out of Daiya cheese and seitan and peppers and onions. If it were not located in Ohio, I would go there more frequently because that was as melty and satisfying as food made out of less vegan items probably is.
Then I went to Chicago! The first night we went to Handlebar in Wicker Park and sat outside in their lovely outdoor seating area. Let me pause and talk about how awesome it is that other people are regularly OK with eating outside with me nowadays – it’s not ridiculously hot! I had delicious avocado tacos. Avocados are amazing things with the power to turn anything more delicious.
For brunch Sunday we went to The Chicago Diner, a seemingly normal diner where everything is available vegan. You can get Daiya cheese or normal cheese, and either scrambled eggs or scrambled tofu, for example. Plus I had a VEGAN CHOCOLATE SHAKE. With SOY WHIP. Enough said.
I really like this idea of veganizing cheesy, eggy, or meaty foods, and I am feeling inspired. I have posted hardly any recipes lately, which is a shame because it’s kind of the point of a food blog. I’m counting down the days until I start working again, which will entail something of a routine and therefore more regular meals about which to blog. I’m optimistic.