Saturday, November 27, 2010

Turning Stone, Strong Hearts Cafe, Peach Blossom, China Road

So it was my birthday on November 13'th (late posting but it still counts).  My awesome girlfriend planned an overnight trip to Turning Stone for a little fun.  We also stopped at my favoritest place to eat, Strong Hearts Cafe (you go now!!!) to pick up a vegan birthday cake and some food.

First up, lunch.  I got a vegan grilled cheese with cajun seitan and tomato.

They use two types of daiya vegan cheese.  It's heaven on a plate.

Yeah boiieee.  =)

Next up was a reuben.  Look, one sandwich just isn't enough ... and I love the reuben!  I was always a fan of thousand island dressing prior to going vegan, so any recreation is grade A in my book.  They use thousand island, some daiya cheese and thinly sliced seitan.  In a word, flawless.  The picture isn't the best but trust me, it's worth it.

I also got a chocolate cherry milkshake and my significant other got a pumpkin spice latte if I recall correctly.  All in all, an amazing set of consumables.  Of course, we left with the birthday cake as well:

Awwww.  <3

Next up we headed over to Turning Stone Casino, about a half an hour drive from Strong Hearts.  We stayed in the tower which was pretty amazing as well, corner jr suite with windows pretty much everywhere.  When we arrived at the hotel, they asked if we were planning on eating there and if we wanted reservations.  Awesome!  We had scouted out Peach Blossom, an Asian restaurant in the hotel so we were all about them making reservations for us.  They had asked if we had any dietary needs and we said that we were vegan, so they informed the restaurant ahead of time.  When we got there, they knew we were vegan and catered everything exactly to our needs.  This was great!  Pretty much the best service we've ever gotten from a ... non vegan-only restaurant.

Now .. the food.  :)  We started with an appetizer, fried tofu sticks.

My lady got a Tom Yum'ish soup (called Tom Yum but they used coconut milk which is usually called Tom Kar soup .. anyway, it was good), which I didn't get a pic of.  It was, in my opinion, the better appetizer.  The tofu sticks were plain tofu, fried in what appeared to be a tempura like batter.  It was ok, but I wouldn't spend $4 on it again.

We got the vegetarian chicken.  This is a bunch of veggie chicken patties fried with vegetables in a garlic sauce.  It was gooood.  This is the same veggie chicken you can find in veg chicken drumsticks, in Asian markets or if you're in NY City at May Wah or Red Bamboo.  (side note, must go to NYC again and take blog pictures at Red Bamboo).

Second entree was General Tso tofu, of course!

While not as tasty as the vegetarian chicken, it was still a good dish.  I think the sauce kind of made it, because as with the tofu sticks, the tofu itself was rather plain.  No marinating, no freeze/thawing .. just seemed like the cut up some sticks, floured and fried them.  Not that there's anything wrong with that but when you're spending $15, $20! an entree, you'd hope for more.

All in all, Peach Blossom gets an A+ for service, and a B- for food.

No trip is complete to/through Syracuse NY without a stop to China Road.  This place has a huge vegetarian menu, veggie chicken, beef, etc.  So we stopped here, and got some clear vegetarian soup for an appetizer (no pics).  Then I had to have my General Tso veggie chicken, of course!  This is the best veg General Tso I've ever had.  It's just like the real thing, which .. may turn some of you off, but I grew up with that stuff.  I know that the difference now that is no animals perished/were tortured/exploited for my lunch!!  =)

Doesn't it look yum?  Yeah thought so.  Hey here's a pic of that veggie chicken I was talking about.  Same stuff at China Road.  I wish I could find it in chunk form ...

Ahh well.  I'm getting hungry just posting this stuff.  Damn you blogging!  Stay tuned for some pictures of my own attempts at General Tso bean curd skin (yuba)...

1 comment:

  1. A belated happy birthday to you! Those sandwiches look great! Bummer on the tofu dishes, I've founded they're always better in smaller pieces so the middle is not so bland, whether in restaurants or at home. I can't wait to see your version of General Tso yuba. :-)