Monday, March 25, 2013

Update: Watercourse Foods still delicious

I've loved Watercourse Foods for years, as evidenced here, and I'm pleased to report that it is still awesome. Living here means that I can try lots of things on the menu, and every trip here is a joy. My new obsession are their nachos, made super vegan with both daiya and vegan chipotle aioli, with a side of green chili. The key with these nachos is that the toppings are layered throughout, resulting in a well rounded nacho experience. You don't have to worry about that heart-wrenching moment when you realize that you just have sad tortilla chips on a plate. I don't feel like I need to acknowledge that these nachos are amazing, based on the fact that I've already mentioned they have daiya, chipotle aioli and green chili, among other toppings.

Another delicious discovery I've made is the Po Boy. It usually comes on a kaiser roll, but I get it on their magical gluten-free bread. Laden with polenta-encrusted artichoke hearts, lemon-caper aioli and coleslaw, this sandwich manages to both refreshing on a hot day, and comforting on a cold one. Also, you get two sides, so there's no way you're leaving hungry. The sides pictured here are the steamed kale and tomato coconut curry soup. While I highly encourage anyone travelling through Denver to eat the buffalo seitan wings, I also encourage you to save a bit of room for the other culinary wonders that Watercourse offers.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Luscious Nectar: Tasty Food, Boozy Slushies, Fresh juice

Trips to Fort Collins are always punctuated with a trip to Tasty Harmony, but it's nice to branch out. My VegOut app recently pointed me toward Luscious Nectar, a bar with a surprising array of options. Upon walking in, you can tell this place parties hard at night. It's clean but there is the lingering scent of alcohol and poor choices. However, the food here more than makes up for it, and they have a patio for outdoor dining. We skipped the smoothies and juice (although they looked fantastic) and went straight for the food, ordering a 'Tuna' Mocky Roll, Queso Tango Nachos and Cantina Tacos. For me, the stand out was the Queso Tango Nachos, made with housemade vegan cheese, which was slightly chunky, making it easy to apply to every chip.Combine this with pico de gallo and jalapenos, and it's a definite winner- would eat again. The tacos were made with jackfruit, but also offered the options of buffalo seitan or BBQ tempeh for a protein. The 'Tuna' Mocky Roll, a raw creation, was refreshing and a nice palate cleanser between bites of vegan cheese and jalapenos.

The best part? Our total came to $19. We ordered two entrees and an appetizer, making this meal a fantastic deal. There's even a happy hour with $1 off tapas from 3:00-7:00pm every day! You can also get a slushie made with alcohol, which would have made this my favorite bar in college. Cheap food and fun drinks? Luscious Nectar, you have a new fan.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Harbinger Coffee: A Sign of Coffee to Come

My boyfriend loves coffee. A lot. We have three brewing methods at home, any shopping trips will immediately be derailed upon the sight of a grinder and he never leaves a coffee shop without befriending the barista. Due to this, I have been introduced to the world of fancy coffee. Coffee described as having notes of flavors and finishing with a certain taste. I still have a long way to go, but am happy that I can now smell strawberries or milk chocolate in the scent of coffee beans. This also means that we go out of way for coffee, and one such place that's worth going out of the way for is Harbinger Coffee, located in Fort Collins, CO.

Harbinger is a humble stand located in the basement of what appears to be an office building. Harbinger does one thing: black coffee, and they do it well. The owner features different roasters and is able to describe the coffee with fantastic detail. The coffee pictured was a Sumatra, that tasted slightly fermented in the best way, with notes of blueberry. With coffee this good, there's no need to add anything to it. Harbinger Coffee is located at 151 S. College, right in downtown Fort Collins, making it a perfect stop while meandering downtown.

Race Recap: That Dam Run Half Marathon

The course is really pretty too!
When did I become the type of person who celebrates their birthday by running a half marathon? Apparently in 2013, as I ran That Dam Run for the second time, specifically as a birthday present to myself. It was my second time running the course, and knocked about 20 minutes off my overall time, so it wound up being a pretty great gift to myself. Here's the details:

Course: Out and back, my friends. I love out and back courses because you park in one spot and don't have to worry about a shuttle either way and you can cheer yourself on when you recognize things on your way back. This course is special in that it is mostly downhill on the way out, so coming back is pretty challenging. One part of the course is described as "Boston's Heartbreak Hill on steroids". Ouchie.

Crowd: This is a race for runners. There's a crowd at the start/finish line and that's about it, save for some folks who wander out from their homes to watch the runners. They have a few volunteers to cheer you on, but, mostly, you're on your own.

Chow: Aid stations featured water, Gaterade and Sport Beans, which are unfortunately not vegan. Also, they are jelly beans and seem awkward to eat while running. I brought my own Clif Shot though, which powered me through. Post race, there were bagels (which I skipped because of gluten) and Food Should Taste Good chips, which were delicious. The race is pretty close to a Chipotle, which is where I got my post-race nosh.

Bling: Medal upgrade from last year! This one's shiny and nice and heavy. Also, I loved the shirt, which was a lovely shade of green.

Expo: Pretty sparse. Five Hour Energy was there giving out bottles, but that stuff kind of scares me, so I skipped it. I did win a month of Camp Gladiator training, which I'm excited to do after I run the Lincoln Marathon.

Overall, I enjoy doing this race once on the way out and post finish line, but the part in the middle gets a bit rough. Translation: looking forward to doing it next year!