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 Post subject: The Square is outta control
PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2013 11:57 pm 
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Venomous Head of Veganism
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Was it better when everything was one big room? I feel like there really needs to just be a vegan travel site. I know there are ones that sort of are. But let's think of an ideal vegan travel site and see if it can happen.

(PS I know these are separate subjects. 1) The Square and 2) New vegan travel site, but whatevs.)

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 Post subject: Re: The Square is outta control
PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 12:16 am 
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 Post subject: Re: The Square is outta control
PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 12:26 am 
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I like having separate forums. I don't have to look through a bunch of unrelated posts to find out what is going on in my city, or for places I'm traveling.

I think a travel site would be awesome too!

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 Post subject: Re: The Square is outta control
PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 1:04 am 
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A travel site for sure, and for added awesomeness; it should release an phone app where you can pull up your GPS and have it recommend places near you. Every time I travel I have Yelp do this and I type in 'Vegan', but it's always such a random not-very-yummy-or-even-vegan-at-all list of things.

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 Post subject: Re: The Square is outta control
PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 1:17 am 
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^there are happycow apps, but they're pretty much entirely terrible. they don't have a public API or I'd be all about changing that situation

what would a vegan travel site include? location specific resources beyond food? i.e. local meetup groups, nearby sanctuaries, hosts/guides, etc? orrr, would it be basically happycow but easier to digest?

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 Post subject: Re: The Square is outta control
PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 1:22 am 
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Both. Plus a blog.

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 Post subject: Re: The Square is outta control
PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 1:28 am 
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so like, happycow (for locations and reviews)+wikitravel (for open ended advice)+blog?

(ps as a vegan that wanders around this rock a lot, I am all for this. there's a big void of info!)

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 Post subject: Re: The Square is outta control
PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 11:41 am 
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I don't know if I'd want reviews in that sense. But I guess that's what this thread is for, to discuss the ideal.

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 Post subject: Re: The Square is outta control
PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 1:42 pm 
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Ooo, I wasn't around for it as one big room but I like it broken down into geographic regions - I can see what's going on in my area or I can poke about for restaurant recommendations, bake sales, &c, in an area I'm visiting/thinking about visiting and so on.

A vegan travel site would also be awesome; I've bookmarked a bunch of "vegan guide to city x" individual blog entries but it would be cool if there was a single site devoted to vegan travel, including city guides/packing tips, &c. As for yelp, half the time when I type "vegan" into yelp the results include "there was nothing vegan on the menu." !!!


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 Post subject: Re: The Square is outta control
PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 2:54 pm 
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I really like that The Square is divided into regions!

Personally, my experiences with Happycow have always been good and I feel that they're working on improving the range of places listed, such as hotels and B&Bs etc. I also make a point of adding new listings if I feel somewhere is missing from the website though! Especially for where I live, I've made a point of making sure anywhere I know that is vegan, vegetarian or veg-friendly is definitely on there.

ETA: My overall point is that I really like Happycow even though it's not perfect, and would rather see efforts made at improving that site rather than starting a whole new one, which would also be a lot of work for whoever took it on.

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 Post subject: Re: The Square is outta control
PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 3:45 pm 
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IsaChandra wrote:
I don't know if I'd want reviews in that sense.


Reviews are critical.

What I do now is keep an Evernote list of vegan-recommended places (mostly from this here forum) and categorize them in a note by geographical area for future use.

It would be great to have this happen for me in an app!

Like some others, I find Happy Cow mostly useless.


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 Post subject: Re: The Square is outta control
PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 3:49 pm 
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Another note on Happy Cow; I guess it doesn't resonate with me because of the vegan-friendly and vegetarian options. Every place has vegetarian options if one is persistent enough or has low standards (plain lettuce! Tomato!) What I am looking for are the hidden gem all-vegan places or, like, 95% vegan, that don't even show up on Urban Spoon or Yelp or the Cow. Or, truly vegan friendly with vegan listed items on the menu.


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 Post subject: Re: The Square is outta control
PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 4:08 pm 
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~Sz wrote:
Another note on Happy Cow; I guess it doesn't resonate with me because of the vegan-friendly and vegetarian options. Every place has vegetarian options if one is persistent enough or has low standards (plain lettuce! Tomato!) What I am looking for are the hidden gem all-vegan places or, like, 95% vegan, that don't even show up on Urban Spoon or Yelp or the Cow. Or, truly vegan friendly with vegan listed items on the menu.


Yeah, but if you live in a small town, Happy Cow's standards are TOO high. Before we moved here we had to do some google-fu while passing through to find anything I could eat, and we actually did end up finding a pizza place with real vegan options (but not via Happy Cow). If there is a place here where I can get vegan rice and beans, I want to know about it (seriously, i've looked, where are they?).

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 Post subject: Re: The Square is outta control
PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 4:32 pm 
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Can we crowd-fund this already or what? ; )



...seriously, pretty agreed on both points. I found Happycow both really useful yet entertaining when I was in SE Asia. A nice handful of the locales simply didn't exist anymore. It's hard, because everything is always changing. I think they do have an option to report non-operating businesses. I do use Yelp when I travel, but really just to skim if 'vegan' or 'vegetarian' is mentioned, and with a grain of salt...but I do the same for blogs, with assuming vegan bloggers ask a few more questions about what's actually vegan vs. Yelpers in general (from experience). Actually reading Yelp hurts my head.

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 Post subject: Re: The Square is outta control
PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 4:58 pm 
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jdfunks wrote:
Actually reading Yelp hurts my head.

+1 Yelp fills me with a special kind of rage.

And yet, I find yelp better than happy cow because they are the best at telling you what's actually open. Plus happy cow prioritizes vegan places and then vegetarian places, when I'm traveling I generally prefer to go to exciting local places that have vegan options rather than some raw place or somewhere I am going to get tofu scramble with sprouts.

Additionally, I think one of the problems inherent with having vegans review things is that everyone has an agenda. People totally review based on if they are gluten free (zero stars no gf options at this vegan cupcake place) super healthy (everything had salt on it) a crasshole (the tattooed girl couldn't bother to welcome me with a formal bow) an animal activist (this places sells baby deer so fork them) and on and on. This is true with yelp too but there are so many more people reviewing that you can get an idea of what's going on at a place.

I thought it would be cool & simple if there was a site where people could just link to their blog posts about vegan travel. So then I could click on, say Chicago, and I would get a bunch of different links starting with the most recent. I love reading people's travel posts because I always get ideas of other things I want to do too. Then there could be forums for each area too. The problem is that it would have to get super popular to be useful.

So as it is, I rely mostly on the ppk & the square to give me direction. Maybe it would help if each subforum had a sticky that was just for travel so that all the other threads didn't get hosed up with questions.

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 Post subject: Re: The Square is outta control
PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 6:11 pm 
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oh! one thing that would be awesome for travel, would be quick references to translations of (non-)vegan terms ("no milk, no eggs, no cheese" typed things)

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 Post subject: Re: The Square is outta control
PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 6:20 pm 
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joshua wrote:
oh! one thing that would be awesome for travel, would be quick references to translations of (non-)vegan terms ("no milk, no eggs, no cheese" typed things)

The vegetarian society makes a vegan passport

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 Post subject: Re: The Square is outta control
PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 6:21 pm 
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joshua wrote:
oh! one thing that would be awesome for travel, would be quick references to translations of (non-)vegan terms ("no milk, no eggs, no cheese" typed things)


Ooo, yes.

If you want it in app form, Veggie Passport! I think I paid for it but when I searched for it in the store to see the price I couldn't find it. Anyways, in the languages I have any understanding of it seemed accurate but I know some people found it lacking and I can't vouch for the whole thing.

To sum up: quick and handy vegan travel phrases, yes!


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 Post subject: Re: The Square is outta control
PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 6:54 pm 
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LazySmurf wrote:
joshua wrote:
oh! one thing that would be awesome for travel, would be quick references to translations of (non-)vegan terms ("no milk, no eggs, no cheese" typed things)

The vegetarian society makes a vegan passport

"stuff" that I have to carry is my mortal enemy

edit: ah, didn't see the next post. will hunt down the app!

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 Post subject: Re: The Square is outta control
PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 7:32 pm 
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I've gone on a lot of weird trips around foreign cities to places from Happy Cow that had since closed. One evening I traveled out to like 3 different places in Koln that didn't exist. But I feel like it's gotten much, MUCH better in the last ~5 years.

These days I try to cross reference with yelp or whatever (yelp is better at marking things closed), but there are so many areas it doesn't cover.

I don't have much of an opinion about how the fora are broken up, because I mostly find myself using the search tool a lot to find them.


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 Post subject: Re: The Square is outta control
PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 9:04 pm 
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Random aside: I really like http://veganmiam.com/.

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 Post subject: Re: The Square is outta control
PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 9:37 pm 
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How about consolidating the US stuff? Because like I feel left out being in the mid-atlantic region :)

Like we could have east coast, midwest and west coast or something so that you don't have 10 separate forums for the US.

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 Post subject: Re: The Square is outta control
PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 9:51 pm 
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What I meant by reviews: I want them, but not by anybody. I want a site where I totally trust the reviews. And I want the listings to be more personal experience than anything. So I guess I'm suggesting something totally revolutionary. I don't want a place for everyone to go and bisque and moan. I want real info from real people that is constantly updated. Because haven't we all gone to that place we heard about with the Smoked Tofu Po Boy and found that they no longer served it?

I have some ideas. But I want to hear everyone else's, too!

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 Post subject: Re: The Square is outta control
PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 10:27 pm 
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I like your ideas! They're pretty.

As far as the square, I like having Portland separate, because honestly I feel like it's hard enough for me to keep up-to-date with that subforum as it is, and if it were all of west coast, I'd absolutely ignore it.

I would definitely want there to be suggestions for omni places, too (but that are awesomely-vegan-friendly). When I'm traveling I'm often searching for the perfect breakfast spots that all will be happy in.

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 Post subject: Re: The Square is outta control
PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 11:11 pm 
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IsaChandra wrote:
What I meant by reviews: I want them, but not by anybody. I want a site where I totally trust the reviews. And I want the listings to be more personal experience than anything.


So, I feel like we do this in the SD or LA forums (the ones where we talk about specific dishes) and I am happy to do more of this, for instance, Native Foods has an amazing meatball sub that I love, but back in the day they had a Malibu Burger to die for, so I've come around to the meatball sub.

The I am Magical burger at Cafe Gratitude with the cashew cheddar is completely amazeballs. I can talk much more about these items that I eat with regularity and add service notes, if anyone is interested.

It is descriptions along these lines that entice me to broaden my horizons when traveling.

I have additional narratives about Real Food Daily, Loving Hut, M Cafe, Samosa House, and now Shojin. I eat, so I would be happy to contribute in a more formal manner to something like this. Especially if others are also doing this in other geo areas!

And, like tomorrow night I'm going to Bombay. I like this resto because they will make an off-menu version of vegan "saag paneer" using tofu and coconut milk, and it tastes terrific. I miss saag panneer a lot, so this is a nice detail for me that I love to share.

I like quality homemade food; I don't eat fast food. Even if we are just going out for lunch during errands, we make it a meal out and I try to never waste a meal experience.

I could be very dedicated to being a part of a project like this if there were others on board as well.


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