Friday, July 31, 2009

Rhode Island

We decided to take a weekend trip to Rhode Island when Nate's aunt left us her car while she took a trip to Italy. We had planned on coming in on a Friday night and going right to Nice Slice, but the traffic getting out of New York was insane — so we were hungry way before we made it through Connecticut. As luck would have it, we just happened* to be driving by the Shoreline Diner and Vegetarian Enclave in Guilford, CT.

*for anyone who loves to travel and has an iPhone, Amy strongly recommends the VegOut application; it finds you veg (and veg friendly) restaurants within up to a 20 mile radius. Without this sucker, we would have been starving for the rest of our drive!

Here we see Nate scarfing down barbecue tofu, chili-lime corn on the cob, and vegan cole slaw. Not pictured: vegetable soup.

Amy went with a tempeh reuben and chili. The reuben had mustard instead of Russian dressing, and also had a wild-rice type patty nestled beneath the tempeh that Amy found to add a really great texture to the sandwich.

For dessert, we had a vegan Napoleon and a slice of "chocolate drift" cake. Forgot to take pictures though!

The next day, we got a Whole Foods lunch and went to the beach. After returning to our hotel and changing, we checked out the Garden Grille Café. This place was a really great surprise, being from Brooklyn we're lucky enough to experience all the great vegan fare our area has to offer, but there was something really unique about this place. It had a hippy-vibe with gourmet, flavorful dishes.

Amy's black bean cakes with a side of sweet potatoes were the highlight of the evening. The slightly spicy flavor of the cakes was balanced by a cilantro remoulade. A crispy cornmeal shell held it all together, and the side of sweet potatoes added another flavor dimension. The plate of cakes were also adorned with grilled lime oyster mushrooms that were slighty crisp and incredibly flavorful. Amy is a lover of presentation, and the way they plated this dish made her almost think it was too good to eat. Almost.

Nate went a little more for comfort food with a TLT and side of mac and cheeze. A chipotle sauce on the sandwich went well with the sourdough bread and avocado, while the mac and cheeze was realistic without being overly salty. For a healthy kick, Garden Grille adds some broccoli into the mix, which Amy really appreciated when she stole a few bites.

Dessert consisted of this apple pie á la mode and carrot cake with fragrant dates and walnuts. We're both lovers of carrot cake, but Amy found it a little dense for her liking, but of course we both ate it anyway. Overall, a delightful ending to a solid and satisfying meal and experience.

The next morning, we got brunch at Julian's.

Nate has now had vegan Benedict more than he ever had regular eggs. Greasy as this offering appears, it was not overbearing, nor was the portion too heavy on the fried tofu "egg" that it left him feeling ill. Sopping up the garlic "Hollandaise" with the Italian toast was a treat. Hash browns were good as well. Amy however, was horrified at the sight of this place and tried only a bite before deciding she wasn't interested. Julians also offers a homemade ketchup, that was sweet and maple-y, and went really well with the slightly spiced hash.

Amy opted for cinnamon-orange French toast. The name (and the smell) of this beauty were unfortunately more impressive than the taste, the outside of the french toast had a nice crisp to it, but Amy was dissapointed to find that it was mostly uncooked plain bread in the middle. Perhaps using texas toast style slices has it's downside when it comes to French toast. No complaints on the giant stein of coffee, however.

Unfortunately, we never made it to Nice Slice. Maybe next time.

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