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Friday, November 12, 2010

Vegan Mofo IV Week 2: Day Off On the Town

Since we all had the day off today, which is rare since two of the four of us work in retail, we decided to make the most of it (sort of).We gals had a big breakfast of Egg McVegans and morning tv relax time. I am  not normally a fan of The View but it's required viewing on my sister's days off. Today they celebrated Whoopi's birthday with all sorts of Martha Stewart radness and also unveiled a forthcoming Wii game that makes me want to cave in and buy a Wii even though my last game system was the o.g. NES twenty plus years ago. Anyhow, We were not due at our first stop until 2 p.m. so we didn't have to be dressed and lovely until 1 p.m. at the latest. I was proud to be dressed, made up and have the dog walked before it was time to leave. Usually I am the lagger but today that title went to my sister, phew!

Our first stop was the L.A. Tamale Throwdown. My sister found it on a site of things to do in L.A./O.C. and the promise of vegan tamales was all we needed to get on the road. When our cousin was vegan, our tia used to make us all vegan tamales, but since he sold out over the summer I think the tamales are toast. He claims he was sad shortly before our grandma passed away and wanted his mom to cook him a steak to make him feel better. I'm not sure I believe his mis-steak excuse and want to wear a "Never Trust An Ex-Vegan" tee to the holiday gatherings, but I don't think my grandma would like that. Plus I want to wear something that shows off the figure I've been carving out the last few months.
The Tamale Throwdown was held at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in L.A. I knew it wasn't going to be festival sized but they just about filled up the parking lot with lots of goodness. As soon as we got there I cruised the food alley scanning for a huge sign that said "vegan" on it. I was pleased to find "Vera's Tamale Express" at the second to last stop. I'm glad I got there first because I got the last vegan tamale, at least for the next 20 minutes until they could steam some more. I went to get a 32 oz. Jamaica and then I was ready to sit down and chow down. The tamale was yummy and I almost wanted another one until I remembered we had two more stops to make- Sanrio Small Gift Carnival and Real Food Daily. After everyone else got their food and finished eating, we did a bit of shopping, I got a big faced caricature, and we left for Santa Monica.

I couldn't get out of the car fast enough to get to the Sanrio event, but once I got inside I was overwhelmed and didn't know what to do first. I made my sister and her fiancé take pictures of me with anything that would stand still. I missed the photo with Hello Kitty because I was getting game tickets ($2 each, most games are only one ticket). I really lucked out on the games, most I won the first prize but on the Tuxedo Sam version of Plinko, I had to keep trying to win the tote I wanted. In all I walked away with the coveted tote, a water bottle, a cup, a keychain, a mini dry erase board and some consolation bookmarks-not bad for the $22 I spent on tickets, right? Then I hit up the store and did some damage there as well.

After we spent most of our money and worked up an appetite, it was time to head to Real Food Daily for a late dinner. All day I had been planning on getting the Reuben since I've never ordered it before. I never had one in my omni days or else I would have wanted the vegan version a lot sooner. My sister brought home half a sammich from Clark's over the summer and it was good- so I just imagined a fresher sammich from RFD would be a million times better. I couldn't have been more right. I am glad I tried something new that will probably be my #1 go-to from now on, sorry Tac-o' the Town. For dessert I really wanted to get the Pecan Pie, which would have been another first for me, but since it was late, they were out. I ordered the Gingerbread Cake and was pleasantly surprised once more. I almost couldn't finish it, but I did.

We got home about an hour ago so this still counts for Friday on the left coast. I have to get up early for my hike tomorrow, wish me luck!

P.S. The Tamale Throwdown is going on tomorrow too so check it out. The Sanrio Carnival runs through Nov. 21. Parking is $10 but admission is free. There are some special events that you need tickets for that sound fun too.

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