Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Real Food for Real Life!

Workout: Started out this morning with a quick 4-miler; it was supposed to be 8 miles but it got soooo hot, so I took the rest of the workout inside and finished up my workout on the elliptical. Finished up the workout with some weights.....yay! No big philosophical workout post today, simple workout with no elaboration needed; the more exciting parts of the day were to come. Like bike shopping and dinner at Real Food Daily.

Bike Shopping

 So for awhile, my Dad, brother, and I have been mountain-bike hunting, trying to figure out exactly which bikes we want. Mountain bikes are a huge purchase which is why we've been doing our research and not jumping the gun on making any purchases.
Here is what we knew we wanted:
- Bikes that are suitable for easy mountain-biking but also okay for road cycling (I plan on using my bike to commute as much as on the mountains)
- Bikes that are UNDER $1000 each, preferably under $800
- Bikes that have lifetime Warrantees on the frames and unlimited tune-ups at the store from which we purchase them
The Options: There are pretty much only 3 large, reliable bike brands in the United States and the two we were considering are Trek & Specialized.
The Decision: Specialized! We went with specialized, mainly just because the two bike companies are equivalent in quality and cost, but the bike store closer to our home only sold specialized, and they offered life-time tune-ups for free (not the case with the store that sold Trek bikes), so that made the decision for us! I personally ended up getting a 29er (29 inch wheels) with a 19 in frame.

Real Yummy Food at Real Food Daily

The Lowdown: Real Food Daily is an organic, vegan restaurant with 3 locations throughout Los Angeles (Santa Monica, West Hollywood, and Pasadena). They have a pretty extensive menu, with several gluten free, soy free, and nut free options. They also have raw options, macrobiotic options, a lot of healthy/balanced options, as well as some staple foods and some guilty pleasure type foods. In addition they have a great fresh juice/smoothie bar and delicious desserts! I come here often, so this is the first of many reviews of my meals at RFD.

What we got: 

Started with the "Not-chos" which are delicious vegan nachos that come with black beans, jalapeno cashew cheez, fresh salsa, fresh guac, tofu sour cream, and jalapeno slices. We have had these before and they are really delicious. Definitely some of the best nachos I have had in my life; my brother feels the same way about them and he's definitely not vegan.

I also got a "Country Miso Soup" to start which was delicious. I like this soup because it has a lot of mushroom and carrot chunks, and a perfectly balanced miso flavor. I am a loser and always order this soup no matter what entree I'm ordering and regardless of whether or not we have ordered appetizers because it's just THAT GOOD.

Cornbread on the left, meatloaf on the right,
veggies hiding behind the cornbread.
For my entree, I ordered the "TV Dinner" which usually comes with a tempeh-vegetable meatloaf, steamed seasonal veggies, golden gravy, and mashed potatoes but I subbed cornbread for the potatoes. The meatloaf was DELICIOUS, and I'm glad I got the gravy on the side because it really didn't need any more flavor. The flavor of the meatloaf is actually somewhat masked/overpowered by the gravy, and I personally liked the meatloaf better on it's own. The corn grain bread was also delicious; it is not your typical cornbread though. This cornbread is made with whole chunks of corn (and possibly rice....I'm not quite sure) so it was definitely more whole-grain, healthy tasting, and not as sweet as traditional cornbread but I was a very big fan of it.

My brother ordered the Club sandwich, he is simply obsessed with this. Every single time we eat at RFD he has ordered this, without fail. I have tried it a few times and it is pretty good, but I always like to try menu items I haven’t had before so I very rarely order the same entrĂ©e. I will say though that if you are looking for an excellent vegan club sandwich in LA, RFD is definitely where it’s at. It even comes with a side of caesar salad which is also delicious. 
My dad ordered the Supreme Burrito with the red sauce or “wet-style” as they like to call it. He devoured it and absolutely loved it, and I tried a bite and have to say it was really good, but it’s a burrito. It was a delicious burrito, but a burrito nonetheless, and burritos just aren’t super exciting to me. But hey, if burritos are your thing, I’m sure this one won’t disappoint. 
We were super stuffed, but I really wanted to try the Marbled Tofu Cheez-cake so I ordered a slice to –go. It is covered with a layer of soy-whipped cream, and the filling was a vanilla chocolate swirl. I’m not gonna lie, the cheez-cake was mediocre as far as vegan cheesecakes go. I have had many that were far tastier and more creative. The filling had an odd tofu/soy taste that usually isn’t a problem in soy containing foods for me, but for some reason it was annoying in this case. The crust was also bland and too moist, which was kinda a bummer. However, I have had many other desserts from RFD and they were all superb, so I’m hoping this was a freak accident of some sort. 

All in all, we had a great day and accomplished a lot. I am so excited beyond belief that we finally purchased our bikes….although odds are I will definitely be the first one to wipe-out when we’re mountain biking. Dinner at RFD did not disappoint……but that tofu cheesecake was sad. I guess I’ll just have to come up with my own recipe for tofu cheesecake and write about for you all so that you are not relegated to eating RFD’s sad cheesecakes for the rest of your life ;)

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