The Sea will forever be a mysterious entity, ever changing, subtle in its natural gravitas, and merciless to boot. So is this beer which wets the appetite with a tropical blend of pineapple and cucumber, all mixed in a remarkably smooth yellow and orange haze. It’s a fine beer to start your day with, nevermind the higher alcohol content. Although not as sweet as a porter or stout, it fits nicely as a dessert beer, enjoyed on the balcony of a beach side view as you watch the tropical storms approach.
Stay tuned! Here will be various contemplations of The Deaf and The Musician, the Deaf's musings of music and the Musician's musings of sign language.
Coriander is cilantro. Whoa! Yep, you're drinking cilantro. Ghost Rider starts tangy then becomes tasty. It should be a sipper but no judgement against you if you down it, if nothing else looks good on the menu. It is what looks good on the menu. It taste harmless and it's low enough percentage to be harmless. Down it!
Salt Lake City, Utah
666! An all vegan diner with a superstitious address, a hellish restaurant name and cult knickknacks for decorations, of course Mark of the Beastro wins! I order slowly, hypnotized from reading their clever menu categories: "Sinwiches", "Burgatory", "Temptations." In all my vegan years, breading and hollandaise sauce attempted but not successful until Mark of the Beastro! I always get their Chick’n & Waffles and Benedict for their magical breading and hollandaise sauce. How do they do it? If we knew, they wouldn't be a restaurant, ha! Go taste their secrets! You’ll be won over and you won't get lost, their neon sign will show you the way. 666!
Fake meat, fake milk have succeeded in the restaurant and grocery store market. Every vegan knows someone not vegan who prefers Beyond and/or Impossible Burger to meat burger. Unbelievable, there are vegan cheeses that do indeed melt but except for tofu scramble, there hasn't been progress in fake egg. It's happening though as you read this. Two-Bit Cafe offers a vegan omelet, for novelty sake, I ordered it once, but didn't care much for it. It obviously tasted like fake egg but it looked like real egg. My choice is taste over looks - tofu scramble hasn't failed me yet. But the food industry continues to fake fake egg. For novelty sake, I ordered it twice. I didn't get my omelet until I was on stage performing. During my break between music sets, I gobbled my cold fake omelet. Maybe I was hungry but most likely chickpea flour is best cold, like pizza is better as a cold breakfast leftover. You must visit Two-Bit Cafe in Ogden, order their vegan omelet, then get too busy watching the show til you eat it cold. Worthy!
Grid City vegan options is my second favorite part of the food at Grid City. My favorite part is their menu. The vegan options are obvious because it's the not-vegan options that are labeled with an '(nv).' All food is prepared vegan. The meat and dairy are added as ordered. I'm not just accommodated, I'm priority! Their vegan wings are so good! The texture is soft. I laughed at their hot sauce option of SLC Hot. Humorously considerate of spicy wimps! No matter how many vegan options Grid City tantalizes me with, I've ordered and will order their vegan wings everytime I'm in. I also love anything else I've ordered. They have vegan fried-green tomatoes in Utah! A treat, both in taste and being available in Utah.
Scroll up for our review of their Apricot Nitro beer.
Thai Iced Tea is the reason to go to All Chay, an all vegan Vietnamese restaurant. I get it everytime I'm in since this is not something you'd normally find vegan, grateful I don't have to fly to San Francisco's vegantown for my Thai Iced Tea fix. Everything else on their menu is also the reason to go to All Chay. Their banh mi sandwiches are an inexpensive salivation. The adventurous journey and the end are equally worthy of arriving, tucked away in Rose Park, amid residences and curious businesses, just trust your GPS during this hesitant route. Or walk from the Fairpark Trax station, strolling alongside the backside (or is it the frontside?!) of the fairgrounds and the Jordan River then through the Northwest Rec Center fields and parking lot.
My heart belongs to Chunga's. They are known for a meat dish and looks it, but surprisingly they offer cactus, mushrooms or zucchini flowers to go in nearly anything on their menu. Make it vegan asking for no dairy. Exotic cactus, mushrooms or zucchini flowers are too good not to try at least once, twice, uh, again and again. Opening a second location is evidence of how good they are.
The apricot stands toe-to-toe with the bitter. The foam, like liquid velvet, slides beautifully along my tongue and slips into my belly like Indiana Jones escaping some Mayan trap. The body of this beer is curvy and well-contained, nitrogen being a rich component to its charm. It wouldn't work otherwise, in my opinion. Without the nitrogen bubbles, the fruity parts would be too much and bash heads with the malt and caramel notes, making it not only too sweet but too complex and unbalanced. With it, all the parts seem to get along politely, taking their turn as they tickle their niche parts of my tongue and soothing my thirst. On the right rainy day, I could drink a couple.
Scroll down for our review of their vegan wings.
I discovered this beer years ago when I used to play music in their Tasting Room/Cannery. They were younger then, and the charm of the place was sitting at heavy park benches made of recycled wood and playing boardgames available on a community shelf, while listening to live local music. I instantly fell in love with it. It's bright flavor and champagne color, always brought an air of celebration with each glass. It's subtle sour start and clean finish was soothing to my vocal chords after a couple of hours of singing. And yes, I found myself drinking several of these in one sitting. It's low-cal for God's sake! Consider this an excellent alternative to your classic Corona with lime.
Most ice cream shops have an option for me, I'm pacified if I can get a sorbet or icee. I get excited at places if I can choose from at least two vegan options, ordering both! In the past, I didn't miss dairy ice cream but I missed the choices of flavors. At Monkeywrench, I lose control. An all-vegan ice cream shop, with seemingly unlimited flavors! Of course, there's vanilla and chocolate, and there's Funfetti, Lavender, Rocky Road (with vegan marshmallows!) ... the list keeps going! Easy location to add-on to your playtime in downtown Salt Lake, find them located at the side-street next to Gallivan Plaza..
The Deaf and The Musician
Like most refined things, which are enjoyed by those who have invested in them by researching their origin and playfully experimenting, this beer didn’t do much for me until I enjoyed it a couple different times, in a couple different ways. When enjoyed ice-cold out of the refrigerator, it has the staple characteristics of any juicy/hazy IPA. (And we know how I feel about IPAs.) The body of the beer is just as I expected - a substantial texture in the mouth, balanced with the sharp bite of dry alcohol. But at room temperature, after leaving it out overnight, when a gulp or two was left, that substantial texture blossomed into an exciting array of colors: the spicy, lemony, beery whiff, at its 7% alc/vol is delicious! It leans a little too close to a hefeweizen for my tastes, but you Shock Top junkies should try one of these with an orange and afterwards rock a mohawk yourself. Its powerful punch and citrus tones could bring the punk out of anyone.
*addendum: best way is next day left out unopened warm
Smart! Only offer something available during Vegan Fest 2021, thus waiting in line with fellow-vegans for almost an hour. Their mozzarella sticks are worth the wait, agreed by new friends made in-front of me in line and behind-me in line. Curiosity raised from UARC's countdown to the Fest with Season's in-house made cheese and in-house made breading. Seasons' physical-location inconvenience of no dine-in prevented me from visiting them before, making me more determined to stay in line. Most food lines at Vegan Fest were at least 40 minutes. That could mean the Fest did something right in offering the right food booths or did something wrong in not offering enough food booths. Rain doesn't slow down Vegans, in fact rain is necessary for plant-based foods to grow to feed us.
This time I didn't look for vegan, vegan found me! Sometimes the unexpected way you find love makes it more treasured. I ordered a cherry chocolate beer at Grid City and it came with a gorgeous marble, a vegan cherry chocolate bonbon! Following my awe at Grid City, Chocolatier Anne has provided me with more treasured vegan chocolates. She is approachably down-to-earth with talent to create edible fine art.
Java Junkies in Provo serves light fare food, perfect for a night performing at their window-display stage. I got the River Phoenix bagel sandwich. It’s already vegan, I didn’t have to request substitutes. Tomato, arugula, balsamic. Tasty doesn’t need to be overthought. The coffee shop staff are my instant friends, all I have to do is say “vegan” and I’m taken care of, no awkward questions about this kind of that or that kind of this.
Not a love at first taste, it took some swallowing then I couldn't let the bottle go. It's packaging makes you believe it should be enjoyed at a tropical beach, a hope for different scenery, but instead, it fits, realistically, here in Utah, at a briny beach. With a milky opacity, Coconut IPA is mellow with a cling. Not to be judged by its cover but don't take my word for it.
Since fruit is sugar, there has to be a way for jam to keep without adding sugar. Butcher's Bunches does it! Talking with the Butchers at a fest, they told me their jams keep on shelf for two years and opened in fridge for two months. And it's so good! Their Back In Black, berries with chocolate!, taste exactly like berries and chocolate, nothing more. Just right, not overly rich. I want a sandwich, not pie. Their origins are wholesome, for a family member's dietary needs, they used whole ingredients - nothing uncessary or fake added - then spread to share with you and me.
I went through a phase to find the best vegan ice cream in Utah. I didn’t get very far, amazingly there are so many vegan options along the Wasatch Front! Of the times I’ve been to Brooker’s, located conveniently off I-15 in Vineyard for my lengthier drives, they’ve had a consistent one vegan option, Give Me Chocolate or Give Me Death, but no complaints as it’s the best vegan ice cream I’ve found during my phase. Made with coconut milk and chocolate chocolate chocolate! A creamy and a balanced rich. You’ll have room for second dessert without feeling sick as if binging on an entire container of ice cream in one sitting.
Here's one that surprised me! I thought chai was a passing fad, a trend, like Segways and Pogs, Pokemon and Baby Yoda. Chai color palettes and coffee flavoring to appease psuedo-intellectuals and hipsters, expecting a chai beer to hit two birds with one stone. But I was taken back by the complex aroma and fantastic flavor. Simple spices accompanied by a clean finish that leaves one curious to taste it again and again. It's probably best during the colder months of fall and winter, but makes a great dessert beer any time of the year.
It's no surprise that I like IPAs. The interesting history of its recipe, spawned by a necessary balance of hops and alcohol to survive the treacherous voyage from England to India, is a novel story I anxiously hope to share with anybody kind enough to listen. And most brewers, I imagine taste any IPA with the same question "how did they balance the strong alcohol with the skunky aroma and bitter essence de hop?" Here is a noteworthy contender, brought to you with the optimistic title of better days to come. At any temperature it works and the body of this beer is nothing short of Vitruvian. I recommend it with feta cheese and seafood and sifting it in your tulip glass.
Proceed with caution! I've only had this a handful of times and it was usually late in the evening, at the end of dinner and prior drinks, and it was meant to be my last one, and I've usually regreted it. Not knowing the exact number of tastings, I do know it it not my kind of beer. Some people are into sky-diving, some people vote Republican, some people want a beer strong enough to tranquilize an elephant, I am not one of those people. So should you feel adventurous and need a strong IPA to go with your steak salad, by all means. But just like voting Republican, proceed with caution!
*side note: At least start your drinking with this one, never have it as your last.
Probably my favorite beer found in Utah, attractive dark satin color, beautifully balanced and surprisingly light and only available on nitro-tap. It is a true example of something greater than the sum of its parts. It might be because it appeals to my Scottish heritage and fondness of a classic pub pint, or its ability to go with any entrée, I can't decide. What I do know, is it can be a clever dessert and satiate any sweet tooth by adding a scoop of ice cream.
Bitter and a bit sweet, cloudy and uncertain, surprising and able to wallop a punch - this high-point, limited-batch is a genuine IPA with a bouquet of citrus and hops that's likely to liven up your senses and perk up the most boring of circumstances. I advise caution when starting your day drinking with this one, as I doubt you'll get very far after a couple of these, as they're high in alcohol content and unfiltered haze, but certainly a good toast to a unique and challenging beer.
The Deaf and
Writing about Vertical when writing about vegan in Utah is writing about Jazz when writing about Utah sports. Vertical is the Jazz of vegan in Utah. It speaks for itself. Vertical was vegan before Salt Lake was vegan. I know the exact day I first experienced Vertical, July 8, 2007 (the year it opened), that's how much Vertical is ingrained in my history. Yummily, it's still here, still strong, still delicious, even with its many location moves. I am a fan of breakfast, I am a fan of eating breakfast all day and thanks to Vertical, I do! I love pancakes but almost any Blue Monkey can make vegan pancakes, it's dude, Dude Cakes, their biscuits & gravy because biscuits & gravy require patience and I'm grateful to Vertical for doing the drool work for me. Their meals mix & match pancakes, biscuits, gravy or mix & match your own meal.
This beer is noticeably balanced, like a brick of gold, or a weighted blanket, both equally comforting in their own unique ways. I like how inoffensive it is; easily paired with salmon or pizza. It has a malty sheen that leans toward refreshing, the body hefferveisen-y, and its bold nebulous yellow color is simply beautiful.
Click on the links in the reviews for sign language lessons!
All are welcomed, all are included. Bring anyone to Trolley Wing, they are accommodated. Easy! Bring anyone, bring all. Wings are their thing and wings you will get: traditional meat wings, vegetarian wings, vegan wings. Simple yet always pleasing! With their vegan wings, they have vegan ranch and an endless list of vegan sauces ranging in mild to hot hot. Go anywhere with their three locations, two restaurants and hop aboard an actual trolley car, where else but at the Trolley Square!
I'm glad I've gone so long without a chemical satisfaction from Snickers or Twix. And I'm glad to finally be satisfied by local vegan versions! Sweet Hazel's vegan-versions of Snickers and Twix are a steal for their cost, made-up by thanking with hefty tips. Not only nostaglia candy for those who've gone without for so long but they also make custom desserts. They enjoy requests! Fee and her staff have a blast creating in their storefront kitchen.
Buds, in a charming building-corner, walk-up window-order day-only hours all-vegan sandwich-shop, doesn't have an extensive menu, only I'm to blame for not trying everything because Buds is inexpensive, but I can't help myself. I only order my love, their Cheesesteak. It's good and not just the pet-peeve phrase "good for vegan." It's really good. The "cheese" and the seitan are a gooey taste of warmth. And of course, get their zucchini chocolate chip cookie. You better hurry though, they only make a certain amount of cookies for each day.