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Vegan on Cape Cod 2017

I hear it all the time on social media, “it’s so hard to be vegan on Cape Cod; it’s all just seafood and burger places!” While I agree to an extent, I’ve spent 43 years on this sandbar and while that may SEEM like the truth; it is far from it. There are plenty of vegan places and restaurants that have options. I can’t speak of too many places in the Falmouth, Sandwich, and Bourne area but I will mention places that I have heard of.

I’ve compiled numerous places that either are exclusively vegan/ vegetarian or have plenty of veg options on the menu. I can go just about anywhere and eat. Sometimes, a salad is the only option. But I tell you what, The Red Nun makes a slamming kale Salad; just saying!

I hope this list helps you find a great place to eat this summer while you enjoy the beauty of the place us Cape Codders are blessed to call home; it’s a unique place with unique people. I’m sure you knew that already though. I’ve broken the list down in geographical areas of the Cape as they are four of them.

If I missed anything, comment below or e-mail me at vegancableguy@gmail.com and I will make an adjustment.

UPPER CAPE (Bourne, Falmouth, Sandwich, Mashpee)

As I previously said, I don’t know much for restaurants in this area but I will do my best based on some places I have been too and those that friends recommend. If you have recommendations, please comment on this post so I can update it.

The Pickle Jar – I have been hearing really good things about The Pickle Jar (Falmouth). While not an exclusive vegan /vegetarian place they do offer a good amount of options and are willing to work with you to meet your reasonable expectations. Their breakfast menu has a tofu scramble that sounds yummy, a tofu scramble wrap and even a veggie hash made from zucchini, kale, cauliflower, tomatoes and peppers. The lunch menu has more than the breakfast menu and sounds like there’s a good amount to work with here. From the Crispy Tofu Salad, to the Road Race Roll with hummus and tabbouleh; the lunch menu looks amazing. Yes, the name does imply that they have plenty of pickles that they make on site. I’m thinking that I need to make the drive and try this place out.

Organic Market – While not a cafe or restaurant, Organic Market (Mashpee) does offer some in store made sandwiches, juices and more. They are not a vegan/ vegetarian business but focus as much as they can on healthy living with organic products. Price wise it’s similar to Whole Foods, being more of a niche place that keeps the prices higher. That said, I’m also of the belief if you want good food, you’ve got to spend what it’s worth. You can do most of your house shopping here, minus some incidentals, etc. Whenever I am nearby any of the Organic Market locations and need a snack or juice (around Xmas time they make an amazing Gingerbread Smoothie) I stop in.

MID CAPE (Osterville, Centerville, Cotuit, Cummaquid, Marstons Mills, Barnstable, Yarmouth, Dennis)

As far as population density on Cape Cod, the mid-Cape has the most people. With that comes more options not only for restaurants, but for places to shop. Hyannis has a Whole Foods and a Trader Joes, only a couple miles apart from one another, There are also a few niche smaller markets as well that cater more toward healthy living. Of course, again, with more people there are more restaurant options.

The Green Lotus – Since 2013, downtown Hyannis has been blessed with one of the most top notch vegetarian/ vegan cafes on Cape Cod. Started by Nate Fanara and continued on by new owners Keith & Teresa Stigura, The Green Lotus offers numerous items for breakfast and lunch. I eat here as often as possible; it’s surely one of my favorite place to eat on Cape. My favorite sandwich by far is the Maui. The smoky coconut flakes are amazing. Not far behind is the Buffalo Bomb; wow it’s good!! You can read a lengthier review I did of the Green Lotus a couple years ago at http://vegancableguy.com/green-lotus-cafe-cape-cods-first-and-finest-vegan-veggie-cafe/ You’ll read in the review about their soups and my love for them. The one thing I’ve been dying to try is the veggie Reuben. I do have tomorrow off…. hmm….

Earthly Delights – Tucked into the center of downtown Osterville is a great little cafe, Earthly Delights. I’ve been in here quiet a bit and have enjoyed their smoothies but have absolutely gone to heaven each time I have the Fakin Bacon Tempeh sandwich; it’s a BLT for vegans and it’s glorious. They are a bit higher in price but like I said before, I believe you get what you pay for. They are not exclusively vegetarian or vegan, but have many menu items that are and can be veganized. Try them out for sure!

Pizza Barbone – Please tell me I’m wrong, but I believe this is the only place on Cape that makes vegan wood fired pizza, or vegan pizza for that matter. Found in downtown Hyannis on Main Street, Pizza Barbone has a few appetizers here and there that are vegan and you can manipulate their salads (drop the cheese) and be good to go. But the pizzas are to die for. They make their own in house cashew cheese and they do an amazing job. I absolutely love their margharita pizza, the basil usually comes from their rooftop garden as do the tomatoes. You have to try this pizza!

Sam Diegos – Ok, OK! This is not even close to being a vegan restaurant but I just recently found out they have a special vegan menu. You heard me, you CAN get vegan food at Sam’s and it’s great. When you walk in and are seated make sure to ask for the menu. It’s small but you can go out to Mexican grub with your friends and not feel out of place. Eat up and make sure to ask for the rack of hot sauces!!

Tropical Smoothie Cafe – This chain restaurant does not bill itself as vegetarian or vegan in the least, but they do have options. You can veganize any sandwich or wrap. What makes the a step above the average chain you can get options at is that you can sub chicken for Beyond Meat Chik’n. The food is super affordable and you can add a smoothie to your meal for only a few bucks more. I definitely eat here when I’m on this side of Hyannis (right off Bearses Way next to Bobby Byrnes).

Spoon And Seed – Out in the commercial area on Independence drive  in Hyannis you will find this gem; The Spoon and Seed. The options are few and far between here but I really like the ambiance of the place and the fact they have a garden right on site. They do make a mean chickpea burger and you can ask for it vegan so they don’t add cheese or anything. I’ve gone in and asked them to just have liberty and put together a vegan dish; their chef is really creative and likes the challenge I think.

The Underground Bakery – Well we’ve finally made it out of the Hyannis area and find ourselves on the north side of Dennis just off of Rte 6A at The Underground Bakery. Tucked behind the Post Office, and underneath a local shop, you will find one of the coolest little places to grab food. The seating is tight, and waiting for food can get crowded if they are in a lunch rush, but it’s worth it. The are not vegan exclusive but they have a separate vegan menu that has 7 items at all times; not including specials which at time of this article is a vegan ramen. I love this place as it’s only 3 miles from my house. Now if they would just make a vegan donut!!

The Red NunThe Red Nun is located on Rte 28 in Dennisport. Yes I get it, this is a carnivore’s heaven, but sometimes you are out with friends and may find yourself here thinking you can only have a salad. While they do not have tons of options, you can swap any burger for a vegan patty and veganize the burger to your liking. They also have a great kale salad that is gigantic. And if that doesn’t interest you, they have an amazing Buddha Bowl with quinoa, chickpeas and all sorts of veggies. If you get the Buddha Bowl ask for extra tahini, it’s great that way!

Organic Market – While not a cafe or restaurant, Organic Market (Dennis) does offer some in store made sandwiches, juices and more. They are not a vegan/ vegetarian business but focus as much as they can on healthy living with organic products. Price wise it’s similar to Whole Foods, being more of a niche place keeps the prices higher. But I’m also of the belief if you want good food, you’ve got to spend what it’s worth. You can do most of your house shopping here, minus some incidentals, etc. Whenever I am nearby any of the Organic Market locations and need a snack or juice (around Xmas time they make an amazing Gingerbread Smoothie) I stop in. (yes I cut and pasted from Mashpee location)

Ice Cream Smuggler – Currently located on Rte 6A in South Dennis, these guys offer two homemade non-dairy ice creams. From what the owners have said, they are working on some more, but for now they have a couple appease your sweet tooth. I had the oreo cookie flavor and it was great. They use a coconut milk base, and that is evident, but not overwhelming. If you are out with a group of friends that want great ice ream, and you want to join them, drop by the Ice Cream Smuggler!

LOWER CAPE (Brewster, Harwich, Chatham)

This area is not even remotely close to the Mid-Cape as far as saturation goes, like I said the densest population on Cape Cod is in that area. That said, there are a few options in this area as well, one of them in particular is one of my favorite places to get food.

J·Bar – Let’s kick off the Lower Cape with one of my favorite places to eat, J.Bar! Founded by Erin Tucker, J.Bar in Harwichport is hands down one of the places to get the cleanest of eats anywhere on Cape. Her intention is to keep food the way it was meant to be and not mess with it. J.Bar offers juice combos that are tasty as they are healthful as well smoothies that will satisfy. They also offers all sorts of raw treats such as J.Balls, bars and a variety of chia puddings. You can have a variety of Acai bowls. There are also tons of grab and go foods such as zucchini noodles, tabouli, hummus and grain cups. If you haven’t been here for a sandwich yet, I recommend the Garden or Rose Baby. There are some items with honey in them, so make sure to read the descriptions before ordering, they are always open to removing it before preparing so. J.Bar is only open through the srping/ summer season and a bit into the fall so make sure to get by there as often as you can.

Organic Market – While not a cafe or restaurant, Organic Market (Chatham) does offer some in store made sandwiches, juices and more. They are not a vegan/ vegetarian business but focus as much as they can on healthy living with organic products. Price wise it’s similar to Whole Foods, being more of a niche place keeps the prices higher. But I’m also of the belief if you want good food, you’ve got to spend what it’s worth. You can do most of your house shopping here, minus some incidentals, etc.

Karma – To be honest, I’ve only dropped in a few times and I don’t think I’ve walked out with anything but a smoothie. To that point, they have always been delicious and my favorite of them all was the Mocha Dream. They have an array of foods that first and foremost have “no wheat and no meat” as their website says. They’ve got all sorts of bowls whether it’s breakfast or lunch you are craving. They claim anything on the menu can be made vegan, so if you drop in just make sure to specify.

Corner Store – With two locations, one in Chatham and one on the Outer Cape (Orleans), the Corner Store is not an exclusively vegan or even vegetarian place. The Corner Store is well known for their burritos which are made to order. That means you can get them however you want; even vegan! We eat at the Orleans location quite a bit but I also drop into the Chatham store when I’m in the area while working. You don’t just have to get a burrito, you can get it in a bowl instead which can be just as filling and sometimes, you get more in the bowl! They also offer a variety of paninis that you can customize as well and some baked treats. The Chatham location is extremely small and has a limited amount of seating on the outside porch. This one is more of a grab and go location. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stop in, beware though, around lunch time the line can go all the way outside; even in the off season.

OUTER CAPE (Orleans, Eastham, Wellfleet, Truro, Provincetown)

If you are familiar with the Cape than you know that this area is sparse at best when it comes to restaurants. Yes, there are a fair share of carnivore restaurants, but few offer any options; AT ALL! There are some though, and here is what I currently am aware of.

Corner Store – We just talked about this place via their location in Chatham, I wanted to point out the differences here though. Unlike Chatham, there is plenty of seating and parking in Orleans. The location is much better if you are looking to sit down right after ordering. It’s also right in the center of downtown Orleans so there’s plenty to do, whereas the Chatham location is stand alone and is really not near much else. See the description of the food in the entry above for Chatham, the food and preparation is the same here. We go here way more often then Chatham for the space alone.

Ice Cream Cafe – This spot, located in Orleans, has been around for over 20 years now and has become a staple in the community. What’s really awesome is that they’ve been doing vegan ice cream for a while now and may very well be the first on the Cape to do it. You can find a variety of soft serve and scoopable flavors as well as sundaes and more. What better way to beat the heat of summer than with a cone and jimmies; right?! Check out their site at http://www.icecreamcafe.com/ice-cream/#vegan for current flavors.

Karoo – I have yet to go here but see people post about it all the time and I have drooled while looking at their website/ menu. Karoo is a restaurant in Eastham that serves South African fare, which sounds so amazing; I can’t wait to finally go. I really love trying various Ethnic foods and stuff like West African Peanut Soup, Pakoras, Samosas, Pap and Chakalaka make my mouth water. Maybe it’s time for a date night so my wife and I can try this place out.

Van Rensselaers – Having worked on the Outer Cape for the past ten years, I’ve driven by this place in Wellfleet over and over. They’ve advertised on the sign out front that they are GF and Vegan friendly, which you do not see often. Like Karoo, I have yet to stop here and eat. From their website you can tell they are more of a fine dining experience, having time to have a sit down meal like that is not something that happens often enough. Again, I’ve drooled over their website/ menu and am drawn to such items as the deep fried cauliflower, veggie fried rice bowl and even the zoodles sounds fantastic. Like most places on Cape this is not a vegan only place, but it’s nice to have options and be able to dine with friends and family that don’t share the vegan lifestyle that you do.

High Tide Food Truck – Once more this is not a place I have made it to, but am completely aware of based on their social media presence. They share the parking lot of Chequessett Chocolate in Truro, which just so you know, carries vegan chocolate!! Hint hint!! The website they have (https://www.hightidekitchen.com) has all sorts of stuff for vegans, if you are willing to ask for some substitutions. I’ve reached out to them and they are willing to try their best to appease the customer and fill your belly. They’ve got a variety of rice bowls, salads, noddle dishes including pad thai and even a Banh Mi sandwich that you can get with tofu.

141 Bradford – I’ve called a few places “one of my favorites” but there is one that truly stands out above them all, and that is 141 Bradford in Provincetown. They are easy to find as their address is the business name. My only issue and I mean ONLY ISSUE is their parking. Even in the off season it’s rough to find a parking spot, and in the middle of summer it’s nearly impossible. That said, it’s worth parking a block or two away and walking over. They prepare tons of grab and go foods like their famous (to me) black bean burger and tofu “egg-less” salad. Certain days of the week they have a hot bar which has all sorts of dishes like sesame tofu, roasted beets, Cuban rice and beans, seitan sausage & peppers and tons more; it changes by the day so follow them on Facebook or check the website before heading over. They have soups, which I love to pick up in the winter when I’ve been hanging lines outside all day. You can get fresh pressed juices and smoothies, the best on Cape might I add. The people are super nice and are as helpful as can be. You don’t want to miss out on this place when you are in Provincetown.

Grab & Go – Located on Commercial St in Provincetown, Grab & Go is a little place tucked away that serves great smoothies, juices and fantastic to go foods. They’ve got a small variety of packaged foods too that are great for munching while you are shopping on Commercial St or just people watching. Oh did I mention they make their own soft serve; yeah it’s vegan. So grab one and stroll around town. Keep in mind, this place is super seasonal and is only open in the summer, which is a bummer because it’d be cool to drop in time to time throughout the year.

Kung Fu DumplingsKung Fu Dumplings is located on Commercial St in Provincetown and are not specifically a veg joint but they have a couple options. They have a slamming tofu dumpling that is paired with their house made soy sauce, which is the best friggin soy sauce you will ever have. They also have a spring roll that is on point, just make sure to wait or you will burn your mouth like I always do. Again, limited options but the tofu dumplings are worth dropping in. They also have a food truck in Wellfleet located a couple hundred feet from the Cumberland Farms on Rte 6.

Big Daddy Burritos – I was just made aware of this (and a couple others to follow) by a member of the Vegan Massachusetts facebook page, I quickly checked out there menu and I know when I will be stopping the next time I am working up in Provincetown. Their Saucy Burrito sounds amazing, I can’t wait to eat here. They even have a burrito, the “pawrito”, for your canine friend! This sounds like such a fun place to be. Check their menu out online at http://www.bigdaddysburritos.com

Napi’s – Located on Freeman St, just off of Commercial St, Napi’s is more of an upscale restaurant so you might want to get a reservation. With an extensive vegetarian menu, you can surely veganize just about anything on it. This was another place that was recommended by a user on Facebook and I’m glad they did. It seems like it’d be a nice date night place, not that my wife and I get out much! The Jewel In The Crown sounds like a fantastic dish, looks like we are going to need to get out and try it soon. Check them out at https://www.napisptown.com

I Dream Of Gelato – If you are looking for something a little more decadent than soft serve make sure to check these guys out. They have a huge flavor selection (13 in total) so you can surely find something you are craving. Located on Commercial St (very close to Bid Daddy Burritos) you can cool down and check out great views from the backside of the Aquarium area. See the selections at http://www.idreamofgelato.com/

 

Vegan for.. what?

This is going to come off as more of a rant than anything else, but its something I’ve talked about with a few people lately. See, I’ve gotten some messages that actually have told me I need to be a better vegan; for the animals. I wasn’t quite sure why they would come at me with this, I don’t eat animals nor do I harm them in any way.

When I dug deeper and tried to find out just what they person was implying it was the fact that my “activism” is lacking and that just talking about veganism isn’t really helping the animals; in their eyes at least. Because I have no photos of me at a protest, or giving water to a pig in a truck on its to the slaughterhouse I guess my veganism is diminished. Here is the catalyst for this post, I could honestly care less what their opinion of my veganism / activism is; they said the animals are more important than health? WHAT?

I sat with this for a while and really turned it over and over in my mind. I’d say I was questioning myself but I wasn’t, I was questioning the ineptitude of this person. I remarked, “Please, tell me how I am supposed to help anyone, or any animal, if my health is shit? Explain to me how my body and mind can function, for the benefit of others, if I don’t take care of it?” I’m still waiting for a response and think they may have even blocked me; shocker!

So in case you are reading, answer me this; if I can’t stand, physically stand upright, how can I stand for anything? How can I stand and fight if I have no energy to fight? You get the idea, right?

Our minds need nourishment as well. Things like running, walking, yoga, weight training, etc all help keep the mind sharp and the body in top physical form. Sitting on the mat for 10-15 minutes a day relaxes the mind and clears it of obfuscation and toxicity. It also relieves stress so when confronted on an issue our candor can be effortless and our words can have meaning rather than agitation.

With that said, I will wrap this up with one final thought. I’ve tried to live by a code of sorts, it’s super simple and helps me whenever I feel like I am judging or coming off as an arrogant prick. Make sure your yard is clear and clean before casting dispersion’s upon your neighbor. Maybe if that neighbor sees how clean your yard is they might try to mimic it; how amazing would that be?

Have you ever been judged on your veganism? What was your reaction?

More Than Just a Sandwich

IMG_9077I posted this pic on Instagram with the caption, “I know, it’s just a basic sandwich with hickory smoked Tofurkey, a dab of Just Mayo and some baby spinach, but today it was more than that. I miss sandwiches! I miss the convenience of being able to eat it while driving from job to job and for a variety of other reasons. I also came to be realization that although I missed sandwiches, it didn’t mean I couldn’t have them. I just had to adjust, adapt and make decisions based on compassion and health. For those reasons I am having a f*cking sandwich and it’s fantastic in its simplicity.” #vegan #veganpower #eatingveganiseasy #plantbased #plantpower #whatveganseat #itsavegansandwich

One of the biggest excuses in the non-vegan playbook is “it’s to hard, I’d have to give up everything I like to eat.” Now, unless you really, truly enjoy eating the rotting flesh of an animal, than it can’t be that hard. But, for the sake of argument, say you do “have a hard time.” The simple sandwich in the photo is something I have missed.

I don’t crave meat, not in the least. What I miss, as I said above, is the convenience. I guess it’s not just that though, I miss sandwiches. I can eat wraps all day, but nothing beats a sandwich. I’m as blue collar as they come, it’s the little things that impress me.

My point is, everything and anything can be veganized. The things you used to love don’t have to be given up. Like I said, I used some hickory smoked Tofurkey slices and some Just Mayo for the spread. I could have jazzed it up and added some sprouts, maybe some tomato; it boring, I get it.

My son loves bagels. For a while he hasn’t had cream cheese. A couple days ago we were at Whole Foods and picked up some Toffutti. Well, we are now on our second or third container of it. What I’m getting at is that there is so much more out there than what you think. You won’t miss them when you find all the great alternative products.

Being vegan is more than just lettuce and berries. It’s more than just food. You don’t have to give up your favorite things, just the suffering they caused.

Those shocking undercover videos!

This is just a quick post for today as I have to get my boys off their busses from school then get ready to head to Boston to get my wife at Logan. But, last night while folding laundry, I attempted to watch “Earthlings” again. Anyone in the plant based/ vegan world knows the film and know what it’s message is. If you haven’t seen it, you can here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3fRIUnKJk1w. Most of the time, the videos are undercover footage of animal slaughterhouses and are brutal to watch. Even seasoned activists have a hard time sitting through it.

After getting about 20-30 minutes into it, I i posted about it on Facebook and got into a meaningful, albeit brief, conversation with a new running friend/ teammate.

earthlingfacebook

We could talk all day about the importance of these types of videos, because I 100% believe they serve a purpose in activism and for exposing the truth about animal agriculture. But the thing is, we don’t need to continually remind ourselves of the suffering by suffering through the gruesomeness again and again.

We’ve seen it!

It’s affected us!

It’s part of the reason we are who were are and why we do what we do!

As Dana said, “if you’re committed and get it, there’s no need for you to watch.” At this point, even a couple year old newbie like myself gets it and understands it. Is it a good film? Are the other undercover footage films good exposés? Yes, and they are super important. There may come a time when you may need to pull out your smart phone and show one of these to a non-believer. But to suffer for the sake of suffering? No thank you.

I’ll get into this a bit more soon, as I have a series coming up that talks about the different groups/ subdivisions within the vegan movement. But for now, I’m walking away from Earthlings.

Running For Something: Redux

This past September I wrote “Running For Something.” The short and tall of it hinted that this year, 2016, I would have more of a reason to run.

In the past, I ran as part of one of the largest obstacle racing communities, The New England Spahtens. It was only until recently that I was on the admin board of the team as I was one of the founding members. During the last year with the team, I ran as part of our mens team during the Cape Cod Ragnar Relay. I fell in love with the format of the race and enjoyed the camaraderie of the team during our time together.

IMG_0176From the beginning of the race I had seen another team that had some snazzy shirts; The Strong Hearts Vegan Power team. They seemed to be everywhere! It wasn’t until the stop at Nauset High School in Eastham that I had the opportunity to talk to them and see what they were all about. I walked up and introduced myself to Peter Nussbaum. I obviously knew what a vegan was, I was just unfamiliar that this particular team existed and that they were this large. Like many people at this pit stop, Peter was off to find some relief and pointed me toward some other teammates of his. I met Scott, Julie and Kathleen and they gave me more of the low down on the team. Read more

Cowspiracy

cowspiracyed. note: Just caught word this will be available for viewing on Netflix starting September 15th!

We’ve all seen the undercover investigation videos. The one’s that show you the horrifying torture of animals. You know, the stuff that nearly makes you either want to vomit or bury your fist in someone’s face. Even though the title entails this could be THAT film, it is far from it.

Rather than shock and disgust you, Kip Andersen (the man behind Cowspiracy) wants to blow your mind with staggering facts and downright scary figures. We all know where your hamburger came from. It was first a harmless cow that was enjoying it’s life, maybe hoping to continue grazing the fields and basking in the sun. Instead, it was torn from it’s herd and had it’s throat cut before being ground up into chuck for that hamburger. But, did you know all the other stuff? Like how much water it took to bring that one burger to your plate? Read more