Eating Vegan in NE Ohio

Hmm, so I'm curious: What do you think of when you hear the word "Ohio"? Farm country? Endless fields of corn? The Amish? Well, you'd be right for a large portion of the state. However, in urban areas we are quite civilized and modern. With distinct niches for veg-friendly, hippie communities. I live in Akron, which is in the northeast, about 40 minutes south of Cleveland. We have our own hippie/hipster area called Highland Square, on the West side, which is a community of restaurants, hipster bars and a swanky gay bar, local artistry and a tattoo shop, a library, an old-ass theatre, and tons of old fashioned apartments and homes which are quite beautiful. I lived there for a few years and miss it dearly (I'm on the East side now... sigh). Whenever I have the opportunity, however, to branch out and discover other vegan-friendly nooks and crannies of the state I get very excited and venture forth. On New Year's Eve Eve my friend Candace and I took a trip up to Cleveland to visit The Flaming Ice Cube, which is a smaller location of their main restaurant/shoppe in Boardman.

The best damn green tea w/ agave I've ever sampled.

My buddy got the Sunshine Salad: mixed greens topped with dried cranberries, mandarin oranges, green onion, seasonal fresh fruit, and toasted almonds w/ blueberry pomegranate vinaigrette and lemon tahini dressing. Yum!

My dish was the Chickenless Salad and Bacuns Wrap: (tempeh based) chickenless salad, bacuns, romaine lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and green onion on a garlic herb wrap. With their veggie side of the day: a black bean and corn salsa which was to die for! I think I'd branch out and try something different should I visit again, although this was very fresh and light (assuming you only eat 1/2 of this MASSIVE wrap and have my monster appetite).

What's a vegan to eat when she's craving some carb-heavy Italian fare? My dad, brother, and I love to visit Giuseppe's in Northfield, a family owned ristorante which is quaint and has a very authentic menu (meaning heavily meat and cream/cheese based). Yet, there is always a vegan appetizer and a few entrees, as well as an understanding chef who is willing to personalize. Here we see the fresh tomato bruschetta. Crunchy bread, soft tomatoes, strong garlic - awesome. Oh, and they serve fresh baked bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping, as well. Bomb!

Kickass dish which I tweaked from the menu: cappellini with asparagus, onions, and artichokes in a fresh marinara sauce. Very light sauce, crisp veggies, melt-in-your-mouth pasta. This was a fantastic dish.

And I'm sure if you've been reading my blog you've seen me post about Akron's saving grace: VegiTerranean, our vegan restaurant owned by our local veg-activist Chrissie Hynde. Pictured here are samples of their new soups: butternut squash with apple cider vinegar reduction and cream of broccoli topped with cheddar-style Daiya. This place is a diamond in the rough terrain of golden arches, steak houses, and chain restaurants. I patronize it as often as my pocketbook will allow. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, yo!

If, for any reason you are driving through the Akron area or are visiting Cleveland for our Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (um, why else would you go, honestly?), check out Happy Cow or Yeah, That "Vegan" Shit's blog - our local Lindy Loo has a separate blog for Cleveland Vegans who like to eat food: Vegan*In*Cleveland, which is mighty helpful.

Local vegan dining, FTW!

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