Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Back from Boston: Being Fancy & Raw at Grezzo

I've been trying to write this happy post the past three days I've been back from vacation. Already, I've hit up a new vegan-friendly food cart (Just Thai - the return of the I Love Thai Food cart owners) and this afternoon I stopped by the first Wednesday downtown farmers market for sweet choi, asparagus and red anjou pears.
There's simply too damn much I want to talk about, so where the hell do I start?  I'm going to take the lead from The Urban Housewife and break things up like she does on her grand travel posts.  
Let's begin with the first part of my trip in Boston, MA where I went to college.  The city was vegetarian friendly, for sure, when I lived there, and has gotten vegan-friendlier since the nearly five years I've been gone.  This includes vegan ice cream, the transition of the pizza shop next to Grasshopper that introduced a small vegan menu into the all-vegan TJ Scallywagles, my old favorite Buddha's Delight which is now My Thai Vegan Cafe, the classic Veggie Planet(I swear their oven wasn't working every third time I went there and I'd order 'pizza' over rice), and the all-raw, upscale Grezzo in the North End.

I stopped by the raw restaurant for lunch with my friend Emily, who I studied abroad with in the Netherlands back in 2002.  While neither lunch or dinner menu entirely terrified me with its prices, I wisely decided on lunch to save some cash.  

Cemented in front of the entrance:

Creamy, nutty gnocchi with fresh peas, pea shoots and fabulous eggplant bacon.

Sliders and Cassava chips

Emily and her virgin Bloody Mary

The dining room


Around the corner from an Italian bakery - aw, North End.

And desserts!

Brownie Sundae

Cheezecake with Lavender infused Agave and Chocolate Ice Cream

The waitress/chef (she was in a chef's uniform) told me this would be the best cheezecake I would ever taste.  I have to admit, for a raw cheezecake, it's definitely the best, and quite likely the creamiest I've had in years.  

A full review will be coming on Stumptown Vegans.  I would definitely return and try more items.

Feeling fancy....

Going to Grezzo makes me yearn for a fancier vegan restaurant in Portland.  I take the vegan culinary arts seriously, and get excited when anything from a smoothie stand to a sushi restaurant to a fancy restaurant purposely offer vegan options.  When you're not reliant on animal products, you learn to taste the flavors in actual, fresh vegetables!  You can do fancy things with vegetables and tofu, whoa.  Despite the controversy over the formerly all vegan Nutshell that closed last year in Portland, I was a fan and was proud the level of esteem it achieved as a restaurant (formerly) solely serving vegan food.  I'm proud to see the new Portobello class things up with their vegan trattoria, and I am confident that Portland will have additional restaurants to pair with the likes of Candle 79,Vegiterranean and Millenium

Coming next - More Boston grub, sights and the tackling of NYC.


snugglebunny said...

Never been to a raw resteraunt, but we do have what I have heard is a fairly good one now in St. Petersburg. But Boston sounds like a good place, much more veggie friendly than Florida.

jodye said...

Ahh so much yummy food in one post! I'm jealous!

IsaChandra said...

I always prefer raw cheesecake to the tofutti craputti. Eggplant bacon sounds like a great idea! I think I will steal it. I mean invent it! Um, reimagine it?

DJ Karma said...

I heard about eggplant bacon a while ago- thanks for reminding me of it! Those desserts look incredible!

Laura said...

yummmm those deserts look scrummy!

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

I can't believe I haven't been too Boston yet! Eggplant bacon intrigues me & I want those desserts!

DJ said...

That brownie sundae looks awesome and lavender and agave infused chocolate ice cream? Gimme!!

Monique a.k.a. Mo said...

How I long to go to an upscale vegan place. I am very intrigued by this eggplant bacon. I've been hearing so much about it lately.

Erica said...

Oh Jeeee-eessss (sing-songy voice)

Still wanna meet up after work sometime? :D
(sorry, I couldn't resist!)

Bianca said...

Wow! All that food looks so fancy, especially that raw cheezecake. I adore raw cheezecake, but it's soooo expensive to make at home with all those nuts. I'd love to order an indie-portion for just little ole me.