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 Post subject: Re: Iowa
PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 2:37 pm 
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Are there any cant miss places in Cedar Rapids? My 83 year old grandma is getting married and this will be the first time visiting since going vegan. I know there are great places in Iowa City and I will pick things up on the way to CR but I have to find places to eat there too.

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 Post subject: Re: Iowa
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 11:16 am 
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baszilla wrote:
Are there any cant miss places in Cedar Rapids? My 83 year old grandma is getting married and this will be the first time visiting since going vegan. I know there are great places in Iowa City and I will pick things up on the way to CR but I have to find places to eat there too.


It's probably way too late since you posted this question in August, but if you're in Cedar Rapids again and need some vegan specialty products, stop by Vineria Wine Shop. http://www.vineriawineshop.com/ It's owned by a couple of really nice vegans, and they have a lot of things like Field Roast sausages, Soy Curls, We Can't Say It's Cheese, Daiya, etc. It's a great resource for the area.


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 Post subject: Re: Iowa
PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2011 3:38 pm 
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Does anyone know where in Des Moines you can order a vegan cake? My co-worker wants to get one but she lives in Grimes and doesn't want to go to Ames (wheatsfield).


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 Post subject: Re: Iowa
PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2011 10:30 pm 
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Dang, I can't think of anywhere. Maybe have her call Carefree Patisserie, they might make something. I wish she'd come to Ames because I have awesome vegan cakes at Wheatsfield.

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 Post subject: Re: Iowa
PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 11:49 am 
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Hearts James Cromwell
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Location: Iowa City, IA
I live in Iowa City and here are a few more suggestions from a local!:
1. Leaf Kitchen - great owners, amazing food and very accommodating to vegans. They have been kind enough to make small adjustments to make a dish vegan, just ask! Also - the saketinis are to die for! http://leafkitchen.com/
2. Thai Spice - the service can be very, very slow but if you can stand the wait the vegan selection is really good, you can add tofu to any dish and the tod tofu appetizer will make you cry with delight! http://www.thethaispice.com/
3. Her Soup Kitchen -Check the seasonal menu and daily soup specials for vegan options. There are not a lot of vegan options but they are always delish and it is worth checking and supporting this small, local eatery. http://hersoupkitchen.com
4. Exotic India (Coralville, IA) - Again the service can be slow here but the food is very good, spicy and authentic. http://exoticindiarestaurant.com/default.aspx
5. Lincoln Cafe (Mount Vernon, IA) - OMFG. The best. You can call or e-mail ahead and let the staff know you have vegan diners coming on a certain date and they will make you something special and out of this world. The only bummer - they DO NOT take reservations so get there at least half an hour before opening to get in line. No joke. Totally worth the drive and wait though!

NOTES:
*Oasis also has THE BEST french fries in town and they are vegan!
*Fairgrounds has come under new ownership and we have had multiple experiences where our vegan food was NOT vegan (real butter, milk, etc) and/or our entire orders were wrong, so if you go there double check everything and set aside at least an hour of waiting. Hopefully they will find their footing anew because this was our fave Sunday brunch spot. However, we got very turned off when the new owner (who is not vegan) told my 20 your vegan veteran friend that the real butter on his meal was soy butter - then instead of apologizing made excuses about how real and soy butter look exactly alike.
*Red Avocado is my fave restaurant in town -true, it is a bit pricier but so, so, so amazingly good with a very knowledgeable staff and very socially active owners who do fundraisers for causes such as bicycle rights, disaster relief, etc.

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 Post subject: Re: Iowa
PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 5:17 pm 
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Thanks for the updated list!

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 Post subject: Re: Iowa
PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2011 9:50 am 
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Thanks for the very thorough update, Charmkinface! Great to know there are so many more options in Iowa City. What a bummer about Fairgrounds, though!


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 Post subject: Re: Iowa
PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 12:59 pm 
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Hearts James Cromwell
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Location: Iowa City, IA
Thanks! The first list is very thorough and has lots of awesome suggestions - just thought an update and a few more ideas from a townie might be appreciated! :)

Oh - whenever any of my friends are in Des Moines we take a cooler and stock up on Bandit Burritos - burritos with vegan chorizo! They are one of the best things I have ever had in my mouth!

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 Post subject: Re: Iowa
PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 11:16 am 
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Hearts James Cromwell
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Location: Iowa City, IA
https://www.facebook.com/theredavocado

VERY SAD NEWS! Iowa City's best vegan restaurant, The Red Avocado, is closing on January 29th. A land developer has purchased the building and will be demolishing the current building and putting up an unnecessary (and no doubt slum Lard scale) apartment building. Another soulless move in Iowa City's real estate game. BOO!

I'll keep you posted as news develops regarding a potential new location.

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 Post subject: Re: Iowa
PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 12:46 pm 
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Hearts James Cromwell
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Location: Iowa City, IA
IC Restaurant Review: Chef's Table
http://www.chefstableiowacity.com/

Last night the husband and I attended a special dinner at Chef's Table - five courses with wine pairings. The staff was informed well in advance that two vegans would be in attendance. This was a five course price fixe meal with trout, cod, es cargo and bison steaks for the meat eaters. At the start of the meal our server announced that the two vegans would be getting the same dishes as the others without the protein. Red flag!

We were served a slightly larger portion of garnish and every course seemed to have mushrooms and rutabaga with the only protein being a few white beans in the first course. I had been hoping for more from Chef's Table which specifically states on their website: "Our kitchen staff is always glad to accomodate vegetarians and vegans by preparing dishes tailor made to personal likes and preferences." In retrospect (the dinner was last night) I could not even differentiate between courses - they all seemed to have the same elements, and while delicious, would have been greatly enhanced by a protein of any sort.

We had been hoping for something special made just for us, but we felt like were an afterthought that got the leftovers from the meat plates.

Perhaps with the price fix five course meal it is standard to handle any vegetarian/vegans in this manner for ease of service? However at $900 for six people to attend (with wine pairings) my expectations were set fairly high and I was disappointed that we were not given as much consideration as the other diners. Their plates were beautifully arranged, the food looked delicious and by all accounts was.

Something nice: The meat eaters all agreed this was one of the best meals they had ever had. The service was excellent and the wines were very well paired.

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 Post subject: Re: Iowa
PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 8:20 pm 
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That's all upsetting. I'm really sad The Red Avocado is closing. I remember the first time I went there with my mom and had to explain what vegan was. And such a great building with character! I hate that they're tearing it down to build another worthless, crappy apartment complex. As if Iowa City didn't have enough of those, it only has one vegan restaurant!

Your dinner sounds pathetic. Talk about a chance to show your true skill as a chef and prepare something mind-blowing, especially with all the food resources available in the IC area, and blow it with garnishes. I looked at there menu and it wouldn't have been hard to make a good smoked/grilled tofu steak or seitan cutlet to use in place of the other protein. Even if it was something relatively simple it'd be better than nothing. I know that stuff isn't common knowledge for most chefs but if they say they can accommodate vegans they should know what seitan is at least.

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 Post subject: Re: Iowa
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 10:51 am 
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Hearts James Cromwell
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Location: Iowa City, IA
http://www.change.org/petitions/save-the-red-avocado

A petition to oppose the demolition of the building which houses the Red Avocado. We need 300 signatures, please consider taking a moment to "sign" (it takes about 30 seconds online). Thank you!

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 Post subject: Re: Iowa
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 4:46 pm 
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Signed and posted on facebook.

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 Post subject: Re: Iowa
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 6:56 pm 
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Hearts James Cromwell
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Thank you Catalina! The out poring of support has been amazing!

Here's a link to an interview with Dave Burt one of the owners of the Red Avocado:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQPJ7Oj ... ce=message

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 Post subject: Re: Iowa
PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 9:47 pm 
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So disappointing. My husband and I went to Masala Vegetarian in Iowa City tonight for dinner. They have it posted on their wall and door that they are going to start serving meat. With Red Avocado getting demolished, it's even more sad to lose another vegetarian restaurant. Masala appears to be in the process of making lots of changes. I think they will be doing some renovations, and they've been updating their menu items (like adding more chutneys to the pakora plate). They've been a vegetarian restaurant for many years. It's a shame that they're adding meat now.


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 Post subject: Re: Iowa
PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:59 am 
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New Indian restaurant in Cedar Falls! Taste of India, I think it's owned by the same people as the one in Cedar Rapids? I haven't been yet, so I can't speak to the vegan options, but I'm excited. I've been whining that we don't have an Indian restaurant forever.


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 Post subject: Re: Iowa
PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:37 pm 
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Hearts James Cromwell
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GOOD NEWS! One of the former co-owners of The Red Avocado is opening a new restaurant called The Trumpet Blossom in Iowa City! They are scheduled to open Wednesday, April 18th 2012.

Here is the FB page:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Trumpet- ... 3445660456

Here is the website:
http://trumpetblossom.com/

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 Post subject: Re: Iowa
PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 5:25 pm 
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That's great!

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 Post subject: Re: Iowa City updates
PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 12:12 pm 
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Fair Grounds in Iowa City now serves meat. It was sold about a year ago and has gone downhill, but now they've actually added meat to the menu. I'm SO disappointed. It used to be my favorite. It's pretty clear that the new owner doesn't even understand the difference between vegan and vegetarian.
You can get vegan cupcakes at Molly's cupcakes, just make sure to specify that you want the cake AND frosting to be vegan!
I prefer Trumpet Blossom to the Red Avocado, just because it's a nicer place to sit around.


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 Post subject: Re: Iowa
PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 7:37 pm 
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Yeah, I noticed that about Fair Grounds too. So disappointing. I'll definitely be less inclined to go there.


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 Post subject: Re: Iowa
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 8:34 pm 
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Des Moines is getting an all vegan restaurant opening Dec 12th! New World Cafe. http://www.newworldcafedsm.com.


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 Post subject: Re: Iowa
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 8:35 pm 
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Des Moines is getting an all vegan restaurant opening Dec 12th! New World Cafe. http://www.newworldcafedsm.com.


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 Post subject: Re: Iowa
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 5:22 am 
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Very cool!


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 Post subject: Re: Iowa
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 1:24 pm 
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Nick just mentioned that to me this morning. We might go next weekend.

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 Post subject: Re: Iowa
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 9:01 pm 
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I'm actually doing their volunteer program too. I'll be there Friday and Saturday nights.


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