Sunday, June 19, 2016

We All Need a Little Culture.

Let us discuss this new product that one of my favorite companies, DAIYA, has put out. It is "Greek Yogurt."

Yes, those quotation marks are intentional.

When I purchased this product, I was all, "Hmm. Greek yogurt. These Daiya types can make anything and it's generally fabulous so this product must be simply divine as well." I snatched that cup of shit right out of the refrigerated section at Full O' Life in Burbank and scampered right on up to the cashier.

"I've never even heard of this," the kid said, leading to a discussion of the merits and flaws of various non-dairy products.

"I'll give you a report once I've tried it," I let the imp know as I was waddling toward my car.

Well, here's my review.

If you have a hankering for a giant spoonful of something that tastes like chalk+butthole+death, then pick you up a cup of Daiya Greek Yogurt.

This shit is REVOLTING. Upon tasting, one is exposed to a sharp, bitter taste that is quickly followed by something that tastes like ripe landfill. Extraordinarily unpleasant.

I would never recommend this to anyone at all, not even Donald Trump, who I believe DESERVES to eat spoonfuls of butthole.

After my first sampling, I immediately messaged my friend Dimples. He exclaimed, "Oh, I hate that shit. I threw six of those away!"

He then suggested that I try Kite Hill's almond milk yogurt. No, it's not "Greek" - but he said it's the only non-dairy yogurt he likes. I've written about different non-dairy yogurts before - some that taste like nothing but sugar, others that are like taking a sampling of blown nose. It's just not something most companies seem to be able to get right.

But this Kite Hill business - it's about as close to tasting like regular yogurt as I've ever experienced. I would give it a B+ (I tried the blueberry flavor and it was a bit too sweet, but Dimples assures me that the plain one isn't sweet at all so I will try that one next).

And in Kite Hill's favor - these hippies have taken packaging awareness to a fabulous new level, perforating the paper portion of their label and making it removable so you ran recycle both the label, the lid (aluminum) AND the container. 

I love hippies so much. 

Heed my warning, though. Unless you're really into eating sweetened, cultured cesspool - run screaming in the other direction from that Daiya business toward the pleasant deliciousness that is Kite Hill. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

When You're Slidin' Into Home...


They're tiny hamburgers, and they're terribly trendy these days. You can't go anywhere without some snotty "gastropub" serving upscale versions made with some esoteric meat and drizzled in truffle oil, distressed arugula with vinaigrette, or some other dumb shit. Bring a book.

Me, I like my sliders they way I had them growing up - lowbrow. 

Picture it - Chattanooga, Tennessee. My great aunt had entered herself in a "local artists" (yes, the quotation marks are relevant) show at some mall or other, and we were just lucky enough to be visiting while it was still going on. 

So we arrived at this so-called "art show" to peruse the rows and rows of these artists' attempts at dogs, carefully-placed lilies, sunsets, Raggedy Ann dolls resting next to snoozing babies. Each painting was worse than the next, and it made me want to issue a blanket statement that some people - they should just stop trying. 

My great aunt's painting, lucky for us, was one of the least egregious of the group - actually resembling what it was supposed to be. Its only flaw was in the lower right corner, where she had forgotten to fill in the water that was supposed to be lapping lazily at the shores of her island paradise she had committed to canvas. Oh well. 

She won second prize.

Ribbon in hand, she demanded that we perambulate through the seas of overweight southerners to Ye Olde Food Court, where we would celebrate in style.

At Krystal!

Now, for those of you unfamiliar, Krystal is the South's answer to White Castle. They taste the same. They look the same. The difference - White Castle doesn't have the Krystal Kreed. (Oh. And while we don't know the politics of Krystal's owners, we DO know White Castle's - they're Tea Party Fuckups, y'all.)

Naturally, I was excited. I had never tried a slider before, and the concept was intriguing to me. And at the time, I was about as gung-ho about eating meat as anyone could be. So we all got in line at this Kiosk of Wonders. My great  aunt was first. 

My great aunt - she was ample, and she liked to eat. And she had a coupon. "I'll take 20 Krystals," she said to the cashier. Now, my parents and I - we all figured that those 20 Krystals were for ALL of us to share. "What're y'all gonna have?" she said, turning to us. Well, I was baffled. How could anyone eat 20 Krystals? How could that possibly be? 

I couldn't wait to watch her eat those burgers. She sat right down and ate each and every one of those things, along with waffle fries. Bitch was not messing around. "Delish, delish!" she burbled when she was through. 

Me, I had ten. But I was hooked. These things were mm-MMM good. 

So naturally, when I became vegan, I longed for a substitute. Veggie burgers are a dime a dozen. I wanted fucking sliders. 

And then I saw the Sol Cuisine Original Sliders at Ye Olde Purveyor of Fine Alternative Foods. I snatched those fuckers up so fast... the only problem - they don't come with buns. Where the HELL do you find Slider buns? That's right, you don't. So - while these were ok, the rolls I had to use made the experience less than vibrant. 

And then I saw them.

Gardein - the subjects of our Fantasy Fish Fest - had done something miraculous. They had two - yes, two - varieties of Slider available in the Frozen Foods Section. COMPLETE WITH BUNS, y'all.

First we tried the standard variety. They are fine. They are delicious. A dollop of vegenaise on these little bastards, and you've got a meal that will keep you happy for hours.

But the real treat is the Chick'n Sliders, y'all. Holy CRAP are these things good. Crispy, delicious... just plain fabulous. And they only have 180 calories! (Well, each. But the good thing is that, unlike meat sliders that are steamed slabs of goo, these are substantial enough that you really only need two in order to be satisfied.)

So. God. Damn. Good. 

We here at YOPV give these Chick'n Sliders our top honor. Unlike the artists in my great aunt's art competition, the people at Gardein have created a MASTERPIECE.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Ahoy, Mateys!

I don't know about y'all, but whenever I am in a vegan restaurant and see their "fish" selections, I get a little queasy. "Creamy fish," "sauteed vegan fish," et cetera. The descriptions conjure up images of pasty nastiness that must taste like red tide - or worse. 

So imagine my surprise when a friend actually recommended Gardein's new (and elusive) Fishless Filets. "They taste just like Arthur Treacher's," I was told. Now, I am not a seafood enthusiast by nature. Growing up down south in Floridaar, I was exposed to conch fritters, crab patties, oysters, clams, lobsters, any sort of nonsense one could dredge out of the beleaguered Gulf of Mexico. As a Floridian, I was expected to gobble that crap up with glee. But the taste of all of those things made me want to fucking scream. I hate all of it. HATE IT. The only seafood I could ever manage to get down without wanting to die was the deep-fried whatever-it-is fish they served at Long John Silver's and other purveyors of "fish 'n chips." These restaurants deep-fried any lingering hint of that gross "seafood" essence right out of that fish, and made it fit for a person of my proclivities to gobble up. (Deep-frying anything makes it better - that's what we say down south, y'all.)

Now, Gardein has never let me down. Their turk'y cutlets (with gravy packets) are so god damn good. Their  crispy tenders - DIVINE. And let's not even get into how beyond delicious either variety of their sliders are. Slap a heaping helping of Just Mayo on those jive turkeys and you are set for a one-way trip to heaven. 

Yes - they are THAT good. 

So, I figured, "You know what? I think I'll try that fishless filet, seeing as I like to use any excuse at all to go to as many health food stores as possible in search of esoteric and stupid foods."

I was told they carried it at local (California) Whole Foods, so I visited several. To no avail. Finally, I went to this dinky and precious little health food store in Eagle Rock called Organix - and there that fake fish was, screaming out at me from the frozen foods section like a banshee in the night. 

I whipped open that freezer door and purchased the FUCK out of that fishless filet and then careened my vehicle back toward home with desperate abandon. After making a super-speedy stop at the Whole Foods in Glendale in order to purchase a small bottle of Follow Your Heart tartar sauce, I made it home, cranked up the oven and waited. 

Twenty minutes passed while those little assholes baked to golden perfection in ye olde oven, and the waft of seafood was overwhelming. This shit smells EXACTLY like fish. Maybe a little too close, I said to myself as the minutes counted down. 

But then the time came. I took those crispy bitches out of the oven, let them cool for a minute or so, and then dared to take the first bite. 

Fuck. This shit tastes - and feels - EXACTLY like fish, y'all. FLAKEY. And tasty. And wonderful. 

So - if you enjoy the flavor of deep-fried fast food fish but do NOT want to participate in the continued decimation of our world's oceans - or, for that matter risk imbibing whatever toxic chemicals have been ingested by real fish due to decades worth of dumping every single type of poison imaginable into the water (if we can't see it, it isn't a problem!) - then I recommend you navigate your vehicle to your fine health food kiosk and see if they have this deee-licious product. 

It's not vicious or malicious.

Just deee-lovely and deee-licious.  

Friday, November 16, 2012

Hoagie Party.

Yes, we at Ye Olde Pompous Vegan have been on sabbatical for oh, say, a year and a half.  Why? Well, we were laid off from our job in glorious New York City and promptly offered a newer, better version of the same job at the same company out here in glamorous, sunny Los Angeles.  So - we've had a lot to deal with.  But now that we're finally settled in and feeling like we can get back to the joys of writing about our favorite thing - food - we'll try to be a little less egregiously lethargic when it comes to updates.

And so, that brings us to the HOAGIE PARTY.

Somewhere out there in Los Angeles, there was a contest to reveal the area's best vegan reuben sandwich. The results were reported on Facebook as they came in, and we waited to see who the winner was. Well, when they revealed the prize vegan reuben, we had no idea how good it was actually going to be. Back in the day, a "vegan reuben" consisted of tempeh with sauerkraut with some hippified thousand island dressing, all crammed onto a piece of toast. That's what we were brought up with. That's what we know. So we were a bit skeptical. How were they going to make these sandwiches good?

Well, when they announced that winning sandwich, we decided we'd go and find out. The establishment that created this divine concoction is Locali, a sort of hippie bodega on Franklin, right across from everyone's favorite Scientology Celebrity Centre. They sell all sorts of raw snacks, kombucha, organic beers, desserts, et cetera. We ordered, and here's what we were presented with:

Holy CRAP is this thing good. I mean, it is FUCKING good. I'm not really sure what the pink business they substitute for meat actually is - I'm assuming some sort of soy product - but who cares. Once you smell this sandwich's tantalizing aroma, you know you're in for a very special treat. Daiya cheese dribbles out of the corners of this grilled angel, and the sauerkraut and sauce are perfectly portioned. We here at YOPV could eat this fucking thing chaque jour. And we do mean every day. 

We've brought several people who eat meat to try out this sandwich. They are sold. They love it more than we YOPVers do. If you're in Los Angeles, run - do not walk - to this place and get one of these. Try a side of the red cabbage cole slaw with it. 

You will thank us for the rest of your lives.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Y'all It Tastes Like Chicken.

You know that one joke where people say "it tastes like chicken" when others ask what funky, weird shit tastes like? Well... I just was up to the Whole Foods here in sunny Glendale, California. I purchased their vegan curry chicken salad - which, for the past several years, has been made with Gardein. 

Now, I think Gardein is fine - some products are better than others. Their crispy mandarin orange chicken is some of the best shit I've had since becoming vegan. I think I could eat it chaque jour as they say in France. 

But when I bit into this vegan curry chicken salad, something was off. It tasted TOO much like chicken. As I'm suspicious by nature anyway, and expect people to fuck up and put non-vegan ingredients into stuff I've ordered, I got a little panicky. 

I checked the incredients, and lo and behold - something that's only been whispered about in Southern California up til this point appeared, as if sent down from the heavens. Yes, I am talking about Beyond Meat. I've heard so many things about this crap from people who have it readily available in the Bay Area - "it's scarily like meat," "you'll never know the difference," et cetera. 

Yeah, yeah, we've heard it before. And then what we're presented with turns out to be some grainy, gross shit that is barely consumable even by people who are starving to death.

Well I am here to tell you right now that this Beyond Meat stuff is the Daiya of Fake Meat Products. What does that mean? Well, it means it's awesome. An extraordinarily pleasant flavor coupled with a non-rubbery, easily-chewed texture.  Finally!

I hope we are going to be able to buy this stuff in forms other than pre-prepared salads, because I would love to make it a regular thing. 


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Y'all it tastes just like a mint julep...

Now, readers of YOPV know that Tinsel Shrimpfax and friends have a strong penchant for that "magickal" elixir, kombucha. We were totally ecstatic when we learned that GT's, that Kombucha Powerhouse company out of Beverly Hills, had not only re-issued their classic beverages with original recipe (a "stronger alcohol content"), but had also added two new flavours to their roster of Phat K drinks.

We did approach one of the new flavours, Maqui Berry Mint, with a little trepidation. Berries and mint - they sound like a mix about as enticing as chocolate and oyster. Well, maybe not that gross, but still. The other flavour - Third Eye Chai - well, where can you go wrong with that?

So we searched. These new flavours - and the other original recipe drinks - are a little hard to come by, even 'round these parts where they're made. They're sort of sequestered in liquor stores, beer kiosks and your finer health food stores - none of which are close to were the new L.A. YOPV Headquarters is located. Luckily, there is one grungy beer ditch in Eagle Rock (on Eagle Rock Blvd., as a matter of fact) that sells them. We felt like we were going to a head shoppe to purchase a pinchy... it all seemed so elicit.

We purchased the Maqui Berry Mint and Third Eye Chai, along with an old friend - SUPERFRUITS, which we simply adore.

Upon first taste, we were unhappy with the Maqui Berry Mint - but as we got adjusted to its strange combo of essences, we realized what it tastes like Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime Tea. So we give it a good review. As for the Third Eye Chai - simply deee-licious. We love it. And we DIDN'T get hammered. If you are near one of these locations, why don't you drop in and give one of these new little elixirs a whirl?

Friday, July 1, 2011

Canta y No Llores!

¡Aye, que rico!

I never, ever thought I would find it. Queso dip for vegans that doesn't taste like sweaty crack. You know what I mean.

As I was perusing the various hippie comestibles at Figueroa Produce in divine Highland Park, I came across a product that I had only marginal hopes for - yeah, yeah, yeah, yet another vegan cheese substitute. Aside from Daiya, vegan cheese is pasty, it tastes like rotting misery or worse, and it's just plain gross. People eat it because they want to feel included in the whole "I'm a vegan and I TOTALLY don't miss cheese because I have all of these great substitutes!" thing. But guess what? Almost all of it tastes like BALLS.

So I bought it anyway. I like to live on the edge.

I saved it for a few days, mostly because I was afraid that I would be opening some Satanic Jar of Death that would send me into a fainting spell. And then it happened. I grabbed a bag of corn and nopal chips and snapped the top off that jar.


This stuff is SO GOOD I can't even tell you. It tastes just like - no, wait - BETTER THAN - any actual queso dip you could ever have imagined. No aftertaste, no questionable flavors that make you think, "Really? They marketed this as cheese substitute?". It is so good that, as a matter of fact, I might just eat the whole jar of it tonight. And I don't give a shit because it is FAT FREE. Try finding a non-vegan queso dip that can add that to its list of selling points.

Find this shit, y'all, if you have to cross oceans of time in order to do so. It's produced by Food For Lovers - which is an especially appropriate name if by "lovers," they mean lovers of totally fucking awesome vegan queso.