Rise! Grand Rapids

I had a very special treat last night (and this morning). A long while back I went to the first ever vegan pop-up bakery hosted by Vegan Grand Rapids. Since I follow them on facebook, I knew ahead of time there would be vegan donuts from Rise! Grand Rapids here in Michigan, and that’s what I was looking forward to the most. The event started Sunday at 11am, but I didn’t get there until 12:30 because I waited til after church. Well, after just 1.5 hours, all the donuts were sold out! In fact, nearly everything was sold out, but I think the donuts were first to go, selling out in something like 45 minutes.

Well, there was another pop-up bakery event last Saturday. All the vendors brought more stuff this time knowing how popular it would be, but guess what? The donuts sold out AGAIN! I was disappointed, but not too badly, because….

Gluten Free Vegan Donuts from Rise! Grand Rapids in Michigan
I’d already placed an order for two dozen donuts for a dinner party just a few days later. Since it was an autumnal party, I went with Maple Glazed Pumpkin (left) and Apple Cider with cinnamon and sugar (right).

Here at Rise everything is made from scratch with true and fresh ingredients. We love representing the conscious side of pastry and pride ourselves on creative spin-offs to the classics. We believe that food is at the heart of community, so come as you are. Have a seat at the table.
-from the Rise Grand Rapids facebook page

Gluten Free Vegan Donuts from Rise! Grand Rapids in Michigan
We had a ton of food, so I was too full to eat two whole donuts after dinner…even though I really, really wanted to. I couldn’t choose between the flavors, so I did what any reasonable person would do. Half of each.

Now, I’m not a gluten free person – I love gluten! I think there were only two gf people at the party, and one singular vegan. What if the donuts tasted vegan, or had a gluten free texture? You know, like what if they are weird and gross I think is some people’s fear. Not my friends, though. They’re used to eating all the interesting things I bring around. So, together we ate 19.5 donuts.

Gluten Free Vegan Donuts from Rise! Grand Rapids in Michigan
Here’s what we decided:

-No weird texture, we wouldn’t have known they were gluten free
-No weird “vegan” taste. Just GOOD.
-Really good.
-Especially impressed with texture of the Apple Cider donut. It was just a little crunchy and slightly browned on the outside, and perfectly soft and light on the inside. Everyone agreed the crunch was a plus, it was perfectly done.

Now, this morning they were day-old donuts. Were they stale? Not one bit! The crunchiness of the Apple Cider donut was gone, but it was replaced by a wonderful slightly-burnt caramel taste, probably caused by some of that sugar coating melting into the browned parts. I seldom drink coffee, but this was the perfect breakfast.

Lots of people were interested in ordering their own donuts, and I hope you’ll be interested, too! Rise also does cakes (including special occasion cakes) and cupcakes. And not only do they have delicious sweets, their customer service is wonderful. Great communication.
To see some of the lovely donuts and cakes that have come out of this brilliant little home-based bakery, visit the Rise Grand Rapids facebook page. Should you decide to place an order (DO IT), contact information is provided in the About section.

Donuts for Everyone!!!!!!!!!!!! Where’s your favorite place to get vegan donuts?

Like Donuts? You might also like:
Donut Sandwich
Vegan Philly Cheesesteak Qrunch Donut
Red Rabbit Bakery in Austin, TX

2015 Portland Vegan Food & Beer Festival

Herbivore Clothing Portland Vegan Beer and Food Festival

At the Herbivore Clothing booth!

FINALLY sorted through my tons of pictures from the Portland Vegan Beer & Food Festival from September 26th! If my BFF has to live on the other side of the country, I’m glad she picked a super vegan-friendly place :D I was due for a visit and this seemed too perfect.

We were lucky enough to win tickets, but even if you paid, it was a decent price and for a good cause – with a $25 non-drinking ticket you got admission to the event, three concerts, and unlimited pours of kombucha. For $45 you got the same, plus unlimited pours of beer. For the $65 VIP ticket you got the same, but you also got in an hour early to beat the crowd and not have to wait in line, and you got access to the VIP lounge. There was also a designated driver ticket, I think it might have been $35? It’s the same as the non-drinking ticket, but with VIP access. And proceeds went to Out to Pasture Sanctuary. Sure you still had to pay for food, the vendors have to make a living!

Portland Vegan Beer and Food Festival
We arrived early and I knew exactly what I wanted before anything else…

Doomie's at Portland Vegan Beer and Food Festival
I was reading about Doomie’s on facebook during the couple weeks before the festival. Do you know what they were selling???

Doomie's at Portland Vegan Beer and Food Festival
VEGAN BIG MACS. In case you can’t read the sign, the price is $15. This thing better be good.

Doomie's at Portland Vegan Beer and Food Festival
Here’s the Big Mac work station where they make a million at a time.

Doomie's Vegan Big Mac
It got a little scrunched because they cut it in half for us – it’s big enough to feed two!

Doomie's Vegan Big Mac
The buns were well toasted, a little charred. They spread a “special sauce” on the buns and a vegan cheese sauce on the burgers, then added lettuce, pickles & onions. It was wonderful. L said she wouldn’t have known it was vegan, except, ya know…we were at a vegan food festival :)

Sizzle Pie at Portland Vegan Beer & Food Festival
Next we got a big slice of Spiral Pizza from Sizzle Pie – I love their “Death to False Pizza” slogan! Delicious tomato sauce swirled with caramelized onions. We were pleased.

Grilled Cheese Truck at Portland Vegan Beer & Food Festival
So this is another one I checked out before the festival, the Grilled Cheese Truck. They’re not a vegan food truck, but they went vegan for the festival and I’m so glad! The menu was awesome, but I could only eat so much.

Grilled Cheese Truck at Portland Vegan Beer & Food Festival
I went with the “Chicken” and Waffle Melt. I think they used the original Chao flavor for the cheese, it was very tasty with the maple syrup – my little cup tipped over in my dish and soaked one half of the sandwich, and I didn’t mind at all.

Heidi Ho at Portland Vegan Beer & Food Festival
Next, BFF wanted nachos so we headed over to Heido Ho. I’ve seen their stuff at Whole Foods and tried one of their chia cheeses. It didn’t really taste like cheese to me, but it was really good and really addicting.

Heido Ho at Portland Vegan Beer & Food Festival
We had the same reaction to the nachos. Not really like cheese, but still delicious.

Portland Vegan Beer & Food Festival
Okay, now this time I was bad. I found a place selling beautiful doughnuts, really, really beautiful – vegan and gluten free. And they had my old favorite, apple fritter. I forgot to get the name of the place, and…I was so happy to eat an apple fritter again, I didn’t even bother taking a picture. It’s not that I forgot, either. I just didn’t want to waste any time. But anyway, there were doughnuts. And lots of other great looking pastries I would’ve loved to try if I could fit them in my belly.

Follow Your Heart at Portland Vegan Beer & Food Festival
That was all we purchased, but there were also a bunch of free samples. We visited the Follow Your Heart booth and tried a cheese sample. We also tried a raw cheesecake place that was great, and I found some curry flavored popcorn. And there was more than food for sale.

Panda with Cookie at Portland Vegan Beer & Food Festival
We checked out some awesome plushies from Panda with Cookie. We actually won a free ticket to the festival from Panda with Cookie, yay!!! I bought a special gift here for my nephew, but I can’t say what it is because we haven’t celebrated his birthday yet!

I also got a lovely pair of laser cut deco-style earrings from Salty & Sweet <—-You can see all their cute earrings (and other stuff) on their website.

Oh. Did I mention…

Portland Vegan Beer & Food Festival
We also got unlimited pours of kombucha and beer?! I guess I did, but here’s proof. BFF was happily checking off all the many kinds of beer she sampled (I think I had three) while I tried as many kinds of kombucha as possible.

At one point we heard this music start up. “Ha. It sounds like a marching band.”

Go Go Marching Band at Portland Vegan Beer & Food Festival
Well actually,

Go Go Marching Band Portland Vegan Beer & Food Festival
it IS a marching band! The Love Bomb Go-Go Marching Band. So that’s why we saw people walking around dressed like they were from outer space in the 1960s.

So it was the first ever Vegan Beer & Food Festival in Portland. Did many people attend?

Portland Vegan Beer & Food Festival
There were a couple.

Portland Vegan Beer & Food Festival
Maybe a few.

Portland Vegan Beer & Food Festival
Maybe a few thousand??

Portland Vegan Food & Beer Festival

In front of the giant chalkboard

I’m not sure what the actual count was, but I’m glad I could be numbered among the throngs of the weird vegans of Portland. I hope this is what our VegFest is like in Grand Rapids next year.

What vegan vendors would you like to see at a Vegan Food Festival?

Grand Rapids VegFest 2015

Well, last week Grand Rapids had its first ever Vegan Festival, VegFest. It was a tiny thing compared to the ones held in bigger cities that have been held for years now, but we still had fun! Two vendors cornered the food market at the festival – Shimmy Shack and Love’s were the only ones selling food. And Love’s is just ice cream and cookies, so if you wanted a meal, you were going to Shimmy Shack. Pretty much everyone wanted to get in on it, and we waited in line for an hour.

Grand Rapids VegFest Shimmy Shack
I wasn’t able to get a good picture of the truck or the line that formed in front of it, it was just too crowded! But don’t worry, I took pictures of all the food Mumra and I ordered. We tried to hit as many menu items as we could possibly fit in our stomachs.

Grand Rapids VegFest Shimmy Shack
First, Mumra ordered the Classic Burger and Chili Cheese Fries (half white & half sweet potato) with a side of garlic sauce. The housemade burger was bigger than a slider, but much smaller than a Boca burger; however, the little guy packed a lot of flavor. I kind of wished I would’ve ordered one for myself. And fries soaked in chili, yeah, they were good. Could’ve used a little more salt & hot sauce, but then again, that’s probably what the dipping sauce is for. The garlic sauce reminded me of toom, thick and creamy. The Daiya shreds melted on top were good, but in this form I think they work better on pizza. For fries, I’d melt the shreds into a sauce with veg milk and spoon it on so you can still pull the fries apart easily. And yet…we ate them all.

Grand Rapids VegFest Shimmy Shack
I ordered nachos, the Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter shake, and a Shimmy Coney – a chili dog. Everything was as expected. My only issue is the LightLife dog was a little over cooked and a little tough. And again I probably would’ve added a little salt and hot sauce to the chili. It was still very satisfying, though.

Grand Rapids VegFest Shimmy Shack
Oh. And Mumra also ordered a cup of Curried Chickpea Gazpacho. I was surprised to find it actually tasted like the dressing on the tomato salad from Little Africa! I think it was the lemon and garlic, it was wonderful.

Grand Rapids VegFest Little Africa
Speaking of Little Africa, we ran into the infamous Lou(l) while stopping by the Culinary Expedition booth of chef Elizabeth Suvedi. Elizabeth offers vegan cooking classes and private cooking events. Sounds like fun!

Grand Rapids VegFest The Brinery
The Brinery was there giving out samples and selling their wonderful fermented foods, along with a bunch of other vendors. I didn’t have the patience to wait for good pictures at all the booths!

Grand Rapids VegFest
There were a few different lectures throughout the day. We sat through part of a cooking class where we watched tofu bacon being prepared.

So once I walked off my coney dog, nachos, and milk shake, what was next?

Grand Rapids VegFest Love's Ice Cream
ICE CREAM. It’s totally different than a milkshake.

Grand Rapids VegFest Love's Ice Cream
It was root beer flavored! I was a very happy girl this day.

Grand Rapids VegFest Harvest Health
A ton of vegan food options were on display at the Harvest Health booth, and even better…

Grand Rapids VegFest Harvest Health Chao Cheese
they were giving samples of Chao Cheese! I already had all three flavors at home in the fridge, but Mumra tried it and enjoyed it. Although knowing her, she’ll just figure out how to make it at home :)

Vegan Pizza
And after eating all the good food, I came home and found my dad had ordered a pizza for me!

Anyway. Now that we know 1500+ people in the Grand Rapids area were interested in a smallish VegFest, I have a feeling next year will see way more food vendors, and vendors in general. It will grow and it will be awesome. But I can’t wait til next year to go to a big, awesome vegan festival, so I’m going to one later this week – the Portland Vegan Beer & Food Festival! Flying out to spend time in OR with my BFF. Also hoping to hit up Next Level Burger for the grand opening of their Portland location, and stop in at Food Fight! Grocery, and maybe grab a slice of cheesecake at Sweetpea. And if I really feel like being edgy, maybe I’ll get a new vegan tattoo at Scapegoat :p