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 Post subject: Re: The Square is outta control
PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 11:17 pm 
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Oh! And I went to the new Stone Brewery + Bistro now at Liberty Station. Some ambiance is missing when compared to the landmark No County location but the vegan shepherds pie, which I love, is again on the menu after a kitchen remodel hiatus. And of the course the beer is fierce. It's a lovely location in its own right; service is good.

Speaking of shepherd's pie, as I was, there is a vegan version served at Ritual Tavern is good, but quite different. At Ritual I prefered the homemade lentil burger which was yum, and always do get the homemade hummus, you wont be disappointed. Food here is mostly farm to table, locally sourced, and lovely.


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 Post subject: Re: The Square is outta control
PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 12:02 am 
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See, now I want to have a discussion about that Shepherd's pie, but the mods are going to be all "back on topic!" if I do. Time to go reclaim the SoCal forum from LA.


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 Post subject: Re: The Square is outta control
PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 9:00 am 
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I've found Happy Cow very useful usually. But it's only as good as the updates it gets and those come from us. When you find a place closed or different from the way it was described do you let them know? It's only out of date because people don't let them know. Whenever I send them updates they are quick to revise the listing. I have also added new places. I find the reviews very useful and I sometimes add reviews to keep things current.

I agree that in places where vegan options are limited the Happy Cow criteria won't allow some places with just a vegan dish or two to be listed which is a shame as there is usually nowhere else to find out about these things unless you know other vegans in the area.

I like having the sub forums in the square so if I'm going to a particular place I don't have to wade through stuff about other places. I think people read these sub forums because they are interested so I feel I can go into more detail in my posts there too.

Another type of listings and reviews resource would be very welcome and your ideas so far sound very interesting Isa.


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 Post subject: Re: The Square is outta control
PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 10:08 am 
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I think top dishes is better in a lot of ways than top restaurants too because than it doesn't matter where it's coming from. Also then people won't order wrong! It sucks when you only have one shot at a place and you order something stupid and miss out on the best thing at a restaurant.

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 Post subject: Re: The Square is outta control
PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 10:09 am 
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As someone who travels for work regularly I find it does take using multiple sites - Happy Cow, Yelp, individual blogs and this site to get a good sense of the gems of the city.

I think the social aspects of The Square should be separate from the restaurant listings.

I've always thought the best travel site would a website that had up to date information on the restaurant along with links to blog reviews of that particular place. This way you can decide how far you want to travel from where you're sleeping that night.


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 Post subject: Re: The Square is outta control
PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 3:14 pm 
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annak wrote:
See, now I want to have a discussion about that Shepherd's pie, but the mods are going to be all "back on topic!" if I do.

I don't think so, it seems like people only try to stay on topic with, like, hot button issues. Like pasta salad.

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 Post subject: Re: The Square is outta control
PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 3:59 pm 
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I was thinking about this a lot this morning and how revolutionary a return to well written, cuisine-focused reviews would be vs. blogger-eats-food and announces-blogger-ness focused reviews, which is so much more common place now.

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 Post subject: Re: The Square is outta control
PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 3:59 pm 
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I love love love the Square. It's my favourite room on the board. I travel a ton, and always come here first. I think it's mad useful to travelers, and I learn a lot about my two home cities as well.

The one thing I wish was different is that there's no way to keep a constantly-updated list of restaurants/places to eat/visit, so often we get dozens of threads for cities like NYC and Portland. I've tried to keep the Paris thread updated, but one still has to sift through to find information, since some of the places on the first page no longer exist, and new places have popped up. So if there were a way for each hot spot to have one central place to list must eats/must dos that could be updated, that would be great.

I really like how specific the groupings are by city and, in some cases, country. I think the subdivision of the Square into many cities/regions has been really helpful.

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Last edited by molasses jane on Tue Jun 18, 2013 4:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The Square is outta control
PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 4:02 pm 
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I think a 'Where to dine' or 'Where are you dining?' thread in each room would be an amazing start.

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 Post subject: Re: The Square is outta control
PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 5:16 am 
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I think a blog sort of deal would be really fun, if it were like a 'living document' kind of thing (ugh, I sound like people at work). But what I mean is that people post their experiences, but go back and update when stuff changes or remove things when places close. And written by people I trust! I always look for vegan bloggers' travel entries before I go somewhere, and they're sometimes really useful (Amey's Morocco posts were awesome!) but a lot of the time they're outdated and do stuff like get me really psyched for empanadas that haven't existed since 2008.

I would also love entries about places for vegan groceries in other cities because Happy Cow just lists every health food store and there are way too many to scroll through to find one that's particularly good.

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Last edited by Erinnerung on Wed Jun 19, 2013 5:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The Square is outta control
PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 5:23 am 
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Oh, another thing that would be fun is if people who lived in these places wrote out walking tour guides or something for their city that took you via good places to eat. You know how in-flight magazines sometimes have those '24 hours in Sydney' (or wherever) articles? Like that, but fitting in awesome meals and maybe a trip to a specialty vegan store or something among the sights.

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 Post subject: Re: The Square is outta control
PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 7:14 am 
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rentaghost wrote:
I've found Happy Cow very useful usually. But it's only as good as the updates it gets and those come from us. When you find a place closed or different from the way it was described do you let them know? It's only out of date because people don't let them know. Whenever I send them updates they are quick to revise the listing. I have also added new places. I find the reviews very useful and I sometimes add reviews to keep things current.


+1 to this!

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 Post subject: Re: The Square is outta control
PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:13 am 
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rentaghost wrote:
I've found Happy Cow very useful usually. But it's only as good as the updates it gets and those come from us. When you find a place closed or different from the way it was described do you let them know? It's only out of date because people don't let them know. Whenever I send them updates they are quick to revise the listing. I have also added new places. I find the reviews very useful and I sometimes add reviews to keep things current.

I agree that in places where vegan options are limited the Happy Cow criteria won't allow some places with just a vegan dish or two to be listed which is a shame as there is usually nowhere else to find out about these things unless you know other vegans in the area.

I also try to keep Happy Cow updated for my region.

It is true though that Happy Cow is not much use in areas where the few vegan options are hidden in omni restaurants. For those places a menu-item based site like this would work better, but it has only a few entries at this point.

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 Post subject: Re: The Square is outta control
PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 10:30 am 
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It would be super rad to have a website that collects travel posts by vegan bloggers together. I see it being organised by place (Continent > Country > Region > City) and also in chronological order so that it's easy for people to access the most up to date info on the place they're headed fast.

I do my best to keep my blog updated when things have closed down but I can only really keep on top of places in Brighton, it's hard to go back over everything! I'm planning on re-vamping my blog to make it easier to navigate the travel stuff later this year and I'd be really, really into teaming up with people to create a central travel site.

As for The Square, I like that places like PDX, UK & Ireland etc have their own forums but I feel like some threads are getting neglected (like in the Asia forums) and they might get more traffic if they were thrown back into the regular square.

RE: Happy Cow, I like it as a resource but, yeah, as people have said it's up to us to update it! It's great when you're somewhere random and can use the app to drop the pins around where you are and something awesome and unexpected pops up!

I think that HC actually have quite a broad criteria for what gets included based upon what else is in the area if you contact them by e-mail. For example if somewhere has maybe one vegan option in London or NYC it probably wouldn't get on there but if there's hardly anything else near there or the option's something special then they're likely to include it if you drop 'em a line explaining why.

Erinnerung wrote:
Oh, another thing that would be fun is if people who lived in these places wrote out walking tour guides or something for their city that took you via good places to eat. You know how in-flight magazines sometimes have those '24 hours in Sydney' (or wherever) articles? Like that, but fitting in awesome meals and maybe a trip to a specialty vegan store or something among the sights.


I'm working on one of these for Brighton right now!

joshua wrote:
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!


My main issue with the vegan passport are 1 - it feels super rude to whip it out when you're trying to converse with someone in a different language. I kinda use it as a last resort! and 2 - It's no good when you're trying to read labels! I make these lists of non-vegan words to look out for in each language and keep a print out in my wallet...like this and then with the translation into whatever language next to them. I'm planning on including PDF's of these on the new fancy blog! (let me know if something obvious is missing from these, I don't know if they'll be overly useful in Asia. I'm in the middle of doing one for Japan and I think it needs some work!)

Egg -
Milk -
Lactose -
Whey -
Whey Powder -
Casean -
Cholesterol -
Gelatin -
Honey -
Beeswax -
Butter -
Cream -
Dairy -
Lard -
Fish -
Chicken -
Cheese -
Rennet -
Tallow -
Shellac -
Carmine -
Lanolin -

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 Post subject: Re: The Square is outta control
PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 11:11 am 
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jdfunks wrote:
I was thinking about this a lot this morning and how revolutionary a return to well written, cuisine-focused reviews would be vs. blogger-eats-food and announces-blogger-ness focused reviews, which is so much more common place now.

YES!


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 Post subject: Re: The Square is outta control
PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 12:11 pm 
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joshua wrote:
"stuff" that I have to carry is my mortal enemy

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


Not to derail the outta control but it seems to have changed content since I posted this and only has one phrase available (I am a vegetarian) so if you do find it, I hope it still has the whole library of phrases (I don't eat meat, does this have any dairy? &c) available. Sometimes living in the future is confusing.


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 Post subject: Re: The Square is outta control
PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 5:14 am 
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jdfunks wrote:
I think a 'Where to dine' or 'Where are you dining?' thread in each room would be an amazing start.


Well then I am going to go back to suggesting that we need a mid-Atlantic forum then. We aren't dirty south and we aren't New England. A place where people in northern Virginia, DC, Maryland, Delaware and West Virginia can come together.

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 Post subject: Re: The Square is outta control
PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 11:49 am 
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What about something like this. A site where multiple contributors are responsible-ish for their area. So. You'd have, say, a Chicago rep, and that person would be in charge of keeping the vegan options in their area up-to-date. They wouldn't have to do it alone, they'd have other contributors to help. So, the Chicago rep would have other writers that could blog interesting new finds in their neighborhood. All writers would be approved and make an x-amount of time commitment, and receive perks or something for their contributions. And of course we could also take anonymous tips and have comments open for vegan-on-the-street reports.

There could also be multiple bloggers just keeping general stuff up to snuff. Say, vegan-friendly resorts, cruises, hotels, rest-stops, etc.

So. A blog highlighting fun and interesting things. Also, a guide with area reps. And of course the area reps would be able to blog, too. And everything would be well organized and moderated.

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 Post subject: Re: The Square is outta control
PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 11:51 am 
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IsaChandra wrote:
What about something like this. A site where multiple contributors are responsible-ish for their area. So. You'd have, say, a Chicago rep, and that person would be in charge of keeping the vegan options in their area up-to-date. They wouldn't have to do it alone, they'd have other contributors to help. So, the Chicago rep would have other writers that could blog interesting new finds in their neighborhood. All writers would be approved and make an x-amount of time commitment, and receive perks or something for their contributions. And of course we could also take anonymous tips and have comments open for vegan-on-the-street reports.

There could also be multiple bloggers just keeping general stuff up to snuff. Say, vegan-friendly resorts, cruises, hotels, rest-stops, etc.

So. A blog highlighting fun and interesting things. Also, a guide with area reps. And of course the area reps would be able to blog, too. And everything would be well organized and moderated.


I think that sounds good. But is this in addition to, or instead of, the Square? I want to keep the Square--it's so useful too!

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 Post subject: Re: The Square is outta control
PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 12:11 pm 
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No, the square would stay. I'm thinking a whole 'nother vegan travel site.

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 Post subject: Re: The Square is outta control
PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 2:32 pm 
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IsaChandra wrote:
a whole 'nother vegan travel site.


*love*

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 Post subject: Re: The Square is outta control
PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 10:07 am 
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 Post subject: Re: The Square is outta control
PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 10:34 am 
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That sounds amazing, Isa! Would be really rad to have people in smaller towns to cover their regions too. Finding the gems in small towns is super hard.

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 Post subject: Re: The Square is outta control
PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 10:47 am 
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Kelly wrote:
That sounds amazing, Isa! Would be really rad to have people in smaller towns to cover their regions too. Finding the gems in small towns is super hard.

Yah! Now to figure out how to fund it and build it...

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 Post subject: Re: The Square is outta control
PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 11:20 am 
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I'd be happy to be the/a contributor for SW Ontario! If it's here (in the most populated part of Canada!) I know about it.

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