Who: VN Associate Editor Abigail Young and Editorial Assistant Liz Miller
What: Snack breaks at Loving Hut and Starbucks
Where: Downtown San Francisco, Calif.
When: Sunday, May 2, 2010
Why: Because we'll take any excuse—especially brand-new vegan offerings—to spend the day downtown.
The Scoop: Living out by the beach has its perks, but the distance from bustling downtown SF can be quite the deterrent on the weekends when all I want to do is sleep in and lay around on said beach (weather permitting). Luckily, last weekend provided two viable excuses to motivate, and not surprisingly, both were of the edible variety.
Liz and I set out with Loving Hut in mind, whose new location in the Westfield mall's fancy food court promised a bit of shopping, too. Loving Hut has more than 100 locations worldwide, proving the all-vegan chain is doing something right. Even better, the new location has prime food-court real estate, smack-dab in the middle of this mall-food mecca, with its cute, glowing "vegan cuisine"sign and friendly staff inviting everyone to give some egg-free fried rice a try.
Loving Hut's newest location
We each decided on the buffet special, which included two entrée items and a side of rice. The best part? It wasn't just steamed rice like the typical mall chain—diners have a choice of steamed, brown, or fried. We rolled with fried, naturally, and picked out two unlabeled—but completely delicious—items. I stuck with a simple choice of steamed, seasoned veggies and a crispy tofu dish. The servings were huge, making it impossible for me to try two other offerings that caught my eye in the display case: cha siu bao and some major cake business.
Vegan fried rice, steamed veggies, and crispy tofu
It was a good thing we ignored our initial sweet-tooth craving, because it wasn't long before we stumbled into a Starbucks. Have you tried the newly reformulated, vegan-friendly Frappuccinos? Because they might change your life. We both went for a soy mocha frapp, and pretty much couldn't stop talking about how delicious they were until we had annihilated them. A chocolate shake with caffeine? That's all I need in life.
The almighty soy mocha Frappuccino
Oh, there was some shopping and other stuff in there, too, but all I can think about is fried rice and frapps. Is it the weekend yet?