Last weekend we took a small road trip to Madison to attend Mad City Vegan Fest with the goal of eating as much tasty vegan food as possible. We managed to squeeze quite a bit in before and after. I also had the pleasure of showing a few of my favorites to some friends who came down with us.
First up was Mother Fools for breakfast before Vegan Fest started. I was really hoping for some of their amazing cinnamon rolls. They didn’t have any, so I had an amazing apple Danish instead. Just after I finished the Danish, fresh made cinnamon rolls were delivered! Of course I had to get one! The sugar and cinnamon was caramelized on the bottom in a crunchy layer of sugary vegan goodness. I washed it all down with a vanilla chai which I seasoned with extra nutmeg and cinnamon. Sheesh, how many times can I write cinnamon in one paragraph?
After vegan fest, we took a quick nap before making the hour drive south to Machesney Park, IL to visit Pig Minds Brewery. Our friends Steve and Clara joined us. We started with the very delicious pretzels and the coveted beer reduction. I am still a giant fan of the agave mustard. The pretzels were perfect. A slight crunch on the outside and soft inside. They were quickly devoured.
I ordered the special: loaded tostadas. The three tostadas were loaded with a well spiced TVP, shredded lettuce, pico, and fresh cilantro. They were covered in vegan sour cream and a jalapeno aioli. So Good. Steve ordered them as well. We both really enjoyed them. The crisp crunch of the tortilla was great. They were a bit messy to eat. Totally worth it!
For dessert Laura had the brownie special and I had deep fried strawberries. The strawberries were good, but the brownie was still better.
While sipping our beer, some live music started. It was good background music while we played with our phones. Sad right? If the music was more engaging, we might have put our phones down. Steve and Clara being silly.
The next morning we again visited Mother Fools for some chai and Danish while we waited for Green Owl to open. We also bought some snacks for the drive back. I bought an amazing olive bread which I totally forgot to take a picture of. It was loaded with kalamata olives. Delicious.
We arrived at Green Owl just when they opened at 10am, and within minutes it was completely packed. The food took a while to arrive. I ordered the vegan nuevos rancheros off the brunch menu. Corn tortillas topped with black beans, tofu scramble, vegan chorizo, and teese cheese. They topped it with roasted jalapeno sauce, avocado, and pico de gallo. I really liked the jalapeno sauce as a nice change from the traditional red sauce. I would easily order it again and it rivaled my favorite vegan rancheros from Hard Times Café in Minneapolis.