Monday, October 31, 2011

FINAL POST: A Month Of Vegan Gravy. A Rant. And a Review.

I've been working on this final post for TWO years of gravy blogging. I've written and re-written and in the end..... I'm going to cop out. I can't do it.

My original plan was to review and rate the different places in Portland and Seattle that serve vegan gravy. A vegan gravy tour, if you will.
I've visited them all (or nearly all). And every place I go, I order something (tofu scramble, biscuits, potatoes, etc) with gravy AND an extra order of gravy on the side, so I can try the gravy plain and unadulterated. It's a miserable job, but someone has to be responsible for informing the masses, right? I LOVE going out. I don't do it often, but look forward to rare trips to places that serve all American vegan comfort food (including GRAVY!) like Paradox Cafe, Hungry Tiger Too, Juniors, Wayward, Caffe Dei, Quickies Too, Cafe Flora, Papa G's........ the list goes on and on and on...

I've definitely come up with a list of favorites and also have those places where I won't order their gravy again. There is good gravy, REALLY good gravy, bad gravy, salty gravy, lumpy gravy, starchy gravy, funny-tasting-instant-gravy and (a lot of) bland, tasteless gravy out there in vegan restaurant-land. And I wish they could all get it right, because gravy can make or break a meal.
But I love each of these many restaurants for different reasons, and gravy aside, I would recommend most any of them to someone looking for a vegan meal. They're places that serve VEGAN food and that's not always easy to find. (Except in Portland, pfffttt.)
And really, it's not fair, because I'm VERY picky about gravy - my personal opinion on a restaurant's gravy may not be ANYTHING close to the general population's consensus. I'm sure of this, in fact; because I can think, right off hand, of two specific places (one in Seattle and the other in Portland) where literally everyone (at least all the vegan people I know!) raves deliriously about the heavenly wonderousness that is their gravy - yet I find it pretty tasteless, bland, starchy, lumpy and awful.
I have to wonder, are other people eating the same gravy I am?
And several places that I personally thing make awesome gravy? I've had friends say it was salty or "weird"...
Even so, I would hate to have others judge someplace (especially a vegan place - I want to support those as much as possible!) based on a sentence or two that I wrote, and plastered all over the Internets, condemning their gravy.
Besides, just because their gravy is awful doesn't mean their other food... or Bloody Mary's... are not worth the trip. Every restaurant that serves vegan food is doing me and my fellow vegans a huge favor and I have a hard time ever publicly criticizing what they do. Most of them are small, locally owned establishments where the owners are putting their heart and soul into surviving. They live and die on word-of-mouth reviews. I admire the services they provide (even if I don't always like the gravy) and I want them to stick around and keep doing what they do!
So, there you have it. My cop-out, no recipe, no pictures, no opinion, NON review of Seattle and Portland's vegan gravy offerings. Google "Portland Vegan" or "Seattle Vegan" and try them all, they are ALL GOOD in their own way, for different reasons and different menu items!
And... if you want my opinions, go HERE to read my REVIEWS OF STORE-BOUGHT GRAVY MIXES. That was a WHOLE lot of fun and might be helpful for the Holidays!
Thank you, and good night!


Mattheworbit said...

I have to ask, and may have missed it - but have you tried the delicious brown gravy from Vegan Diner by Julie Hasson (which was based on a rich brown gravy by Bryanna Clark Grogan?) It is my favourite, fat free, and I definitely don't think it is bland. Just delicious!

Fanny said...

Good job of doing two years of vegan gravy! I'm impressed. I mentioned you in my mofo roundup on my blog.

MisSy `ala* FriBBLe~ said...

LOL, you are so wonderfully humorous in your writing. I really enjoyed this gravy post of yours and I must agree about the serious culinary consequences one would face if they smothered their french fries or mashed taters in an unpalatable coating of goop.

With that said, it would be a shame to waste such precious years of gravy research by not posting at least the eateries in which to find the best gravies. It would be a shame for those gravies not to get recognition because of the naughty few. How sad for those yummy gravies.

Of course now that I have stumbled upon your fabulous blog and read about your gravy adventure I am stricken with this great urge to experiment with vegan gravies. I think I may have one lost somewhere in an abyss of unorganized recipe books and papers.

Keep up the fantastic posts. I will definitely be back for more!!!!

Susan G said...

Enjoyed your month of gravy. I wish I had thought of this earlier, but how 'bout creating a recipe for Beer Gravy? I had it at Comet Cafe in Milwaukee - only in Wisconsin!

Susan G said...

P.S. Here is a gravy you might enjoy from my own blog - I really love this one!

Tofu Mom (AKA Tofu-n-Sprouts) said...

I HAVE tried Julie Hasson's gravy from Vegan Diner, (It
it's AMAZING!!) and was going to review it this month, but several other MoFo bloggers did that one so I tried to cover recipes others may not have hit!

Fanny, thanks for the shout-out!! Appreciate it!

And a beer gravy, hmmmmmm... gonna make a note of that and perfect a recipe to use for NEXT YEAR FOR SURE!!!

Stefanie Samara Hamblen said...

This is our family gravy - just leave out or find vegan worchestershire - you can quadruple this recipe for a crowd and still have a great gravy - keep it hot in a crock pot!