Wednesday, April 30, 2014

LR Restaurant Review: Revolution Restaurant

Last Wednesday, the weather was so beautiful that I decided to forgo hot yoga and find a patio where Josh and I could hang out.  It was a crisp, beautiful night, so we headed downtown to Revolution Restaurant (Rev-Room or Rumba, as it is also called.)

Now, this isn't the first time that I've mentioned Rev Room in my posts, as we eat there occasionally, and I usually really like it.  Awhile back, they changed their menus to the taco style that they currently have, and every time we've gone, it's been really good.  I believe last time we ate here was 4th of July weekend, so it has been awhile.

Josh and I grabbed a couple copies of the Arkansas Times and headed out onto their patio.  The first thing we noticed was how empty the dining room was.  I know it was a Wednesday night, but I figured their patio would have been packed.  We were one of a couple tables that were occupied.

Eventually, our server came out to greet us and take our drink orders.  I forwent beer, even though it was beautiful patio weather, in favor of water.

We loved the view to the Junction Bridge.  If you can squint through the trees, you can make it out.  We enjoyed our drinks and watched Riverfront Park fill up with families enjoying the beautiful afternoon.

We ordered a flight of salsas:  mango, smoked out and rockin', which came out pretty quickly.  The rockin' was pretty boring, and the mangoes were not ripe at all, but the smoked out was really really tasty.  Josh ordered a few tacos, and I ordered the veggie fajitas.  I remembered them being really great last time.

The food was disappointing this time around.  The fajitas were over cooked and soggy, with too much oil and not enough seasoning.  I didn't even mess with the rice.  The tortillas were cold and hard around the edges, which seemed like they were stale and had been microwaved too long.  The pico was fresh and tasty, so that was a highlight of the meal, and the beans weren't bad.

The patio filled up quickly, and our waiter got really overwhelmed with tables.  That made it hard to get anything else out of him after our food was put down.  I was hoping to add some guac to these fajitas, but it never came.  I should have ordered it with the food.  The fajitas were nothing special, but they were food in a beautiful setting.  It seemed like the kitchen quality had slipped a bit since we'd eaten there last, but it could have been an off night.  I'll be willing to try again.

We walked off dinner as the sun was setting over our beautiful downtown.  It was a great date night, even if the food was a little sub par.  Josh said to remember that Revolution is a bar first, restaurant second.  I'll have to try them again and report back!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Fresh, Local Strawberries: Two Ways

April showers bring May flowers, but they also bring Arkansas strawberries!  This is such a great time of year, because the fields around Little Rock are bursting with strawberries, and they suddenly start showing up at the Farmer's Markets and on menus around town.  Josh and I had to run a quick errand Saturday morning, and on our way home, we saw an old man in a church parking lot with the sign "Fresh Arkansas Strawberries!"  That's when I yelled, "PULL OVER!"

I jumped out of the car and before we had walked up on the stand, I could smell the strawberries.  We bought two cartons and a few tomatoes.  When I got them home, I rinsed them off and tried not to stand over the kitchen sink eating them all.  Some of them were so ripe, they were bursting with juice.  I cut the stems off half of them and put them on a plate in the freezer.  The rest became breakfast food for the weekend.

Spring Is Here Smoothie

1 cup fresh strawberries, stems removed
2 scoops vanilla protein powder
1 cup almond milk
1 tbs maca
1 tbs chia seeds
1 tbs probiotics (optional)
ice and water to blend

The smoothie recipe is simple but really yummy.  Put everything in your blender and let it rip.  If it gets too thick, you can thin it out with a little water or more almond milk.

Sunday morning was supposed to be breakfast taco waffle day, but I woke up craving those beautiful strawberries.  I posed the idea to Josh that we hold off on waffles and opt for pancakes covered in strawberries.  Being the berry lover that he is, Josh enthusiastically agreed.

I took the remaining strawberries, plus a few blueberries from the freezer, and added zest from 1 lemon, juice from that lemon and a tablespoon of sugar to the bowl.  I mixed it up and let it sit on the counter for an hour.  After that, I mashed it up with a potato masher.  Instant berry dressing!

For the base, Josh requested the Vegan Carrot and Coconut Pancakes from Minimalist Baker.  We made these for Easter, and they were so delicious.

Time to assemble!  I layered my pancakes with tofutti cream cheese in between, then scooped a bunch of strawberries to go on top.  So good.

I love strawberries, and they definitely make the perfect pancake topping.  I wanted to eat all the pancakes, but I exercised a little bit of self control.

So, next week, we'll have waffle tacos!

Monday, April 28, 2014

One Vegan Crunk Lunch

When I went vegan in 2008, I scoured the internet for resources.  I was a fresh college graduate, and I spent a lot of time searching for kinship online.  One of the first blogs I really latched on to was Vegan Crunk.  Bianca's blog made it seem like veganism was not only doable, but easy and awesome.  I was immediately drawn to her style and flair, and I found it interesting that she grew up in Northeast Arkansas, like myself.

Lucky for me, Bianca's BFF, Sheridan, lives in Little Rock, and we've all been corresponding on the internet for awhile.  Finally, on Saturday, we all got to meet in person!  It was just as fun and easy going as I thought it would be, and I'm happy to have some new veggie friends to share amazing meals.

In true Little Rock fashion, we meet up at US Pizza in Hillcrest.  Bianca, her partner Paul, as well as Sheridan and her husband, Drew, all joined me for lunch on the patio.  We ordered some beers and had a great time.  Now, no trip to US Pizza can be complete without trying their salsa, which was fresh and spicy as always.

I gave everyone my run down on how to veganize the pizza.  US Pizza always lets me sub a veggie per cheese, for no charge, so we nixed all the cheese on the Vegetable Medley pizza and piled on the veggies.  I asked our server if we could have a couple sides of guacamole, and he brought out the most I'd EVER seen.

After lunch, we wandered around Hillcrest in the sweltering sun to check out the 4th annual Etsy Indie Arts Festival.  We were delighted at all the neat art, jewelry, and crafts to be found.  There were also a multitude of dogs, just hanging out and asking for us to pet them!

This little guy was named Larry, and he was adorable.  I contemplated trying to whisk him away in my purse.

Loblolly Creamery was on hand serving up ice cream, several flavors of which were vegan, but we were all too stuffed.

Being the Etsy lover that I am, I wanted to buy everything in site.  I kept my composure, though, and managed to get through the day with my bank account in tact.  It really was a great showing of artists, and it motivated me to get more focused on building Scribbly Brain.

It was a great afternoon, and I hope Bianca and Paul come back to visit soon.  In the meantime, I'm sure Sheridan, Drew, and I can go on the search for more vegan food in Little Rock.  It is really exciting to have some veggie friends in the city, especially ones that are so cool.

You can check out Bianca's recap of her weekend in Little Rock on Vegan Crunk.  The next time I head over to the east side of the state to see my parents, I'll surely stop over in Memphis for a lunch date with Bianca at Imagine Vegan Cafe.