These pretty carrot cake cupcakes are from Local Harvest Grocery on Morganford near Arsenal in St. Louis City. I had popped in to pick up some coffee, mainly, and Maddie mentioned that the cupcakes in the baked goods display were vegan! Well all righty then. These were moist and delicious, full of carrot flecks and an occasional dark chocolate chip. The frosting had the tangy taste that typical cream cheese frosting has. If you're vegan, let Maddie know the next time you shop there, and she'll keep you posted about the vegan options when you stop by. She can place special orders even for products they don't stock such as tempeh bacon. The store carries vegan products such as Desert Essence face wash as well. Truly, the store is an asset to the City.
But the St. Louis surprises don't end there. I recently noted that I knew of only two local restaurants that use the word "vegan" on their menus. I'll gladly eat my words now, with a side of marinated tofu please. Thanks to Ruby Red Vegan, I found OR Juice and Smoothie. This non-vegan establishment uses the word vegan 16 times on the menu. Not to mention that they have a sign beside the cash register that encourages, "If you are vegan, tell us before you order." How accommodating is that?
OR Juice and Smoothie is located in Richmond Heights in the mall with the Schnucks grocery store, right beside a Pub and Grill. The furnishings are pretty basic, so to me this is a place for carry out. In fact, they encourage calling your order in ahead, so you can pick it up quickly and conveniently. And the vegan options are plentiful! I can't recall seeing tempeh on a menu since The Sunshine Inn was in business! Okay, I'm rambling a little from excitement. Let me try to pull myself together. In the vegan wrap category, options are the tofu, portobello, or tempeh wrap. As for rolls, you may choose from vegan spring rolls, nori rolls, and sushi. There are three vegan salad options and three vegan sandwich options. Wait, there's more. There's a vegan rice bowl and vegan pizza. Vegan soups, count them, three.
I ordered the marinated tofu wrap and lentil and squash soup to go. Ruby Red Vegan had raved about the vegan burger. That sounded really good, but I'd had several recently, plus I had a little drive to get home and thought that a tofu wrap might keep better. So while I'm waiting for my order, what does a friendly customer advise me to try next time? The vegan burger. And she's not even vegan. So next time, this is a must.
My wrap was delicious. The tofu was crispy on the outside as if it had been fried as well as marinated, but what do I know. The wrap was stuffed with a reddish brown rice, tomato, lettuce, onion, hummus, and, I think, vinaigrette. I considered saving half for later, but quickly decided that was foolishness and finished it off. Excellent!
The pureed soup was a little sweet and savory too with minced fresh ginger. It had that pretty golden color that's so perfect for soup in October. This has been a great week for vegan discoveries in St. Louis. I'm taking tomorrow off to prep for our Halloween party, so I'll be back on Monday for more VeganMoFo!