Grand Rapids

Rise Authentic Baking Co.

Hey all! It’s S, here reporting on my recent adventures.

So I went on a mini road trip!!! Actually, road trip is a bit of a stretch. I went to Grand Rapids. Be that as it may I was on a mission, you see; to visit an old friend and revisit GR veg nibbles.

No trip to GR is complete without indulging in some of the delicious offerings of Rise Authentic Baking Co., and I was delighted to discover that they had somewhat recently paired with Squibb Coffee to open up their own storefront! Located on the west side of town it was admittedly a bit of a hoof from where I was staying, but well worth it

I went early and found parking easily across the street and walked into a cute small space already brimming with early morning readers and chatterboxes happily munching away.

To the left were two large cases stocked full with any variety of vegan delights you could imagine. We’re talkin’ scones, yum-tarts, muffeeens, woopie pies and even full cakes! If you don’t know what a yumtart is, by the way, you are missing out. They are Rise’s own homemade vegan poptarts!

I always sip my coffee black, but do not fret ‘creamer’ lovers! There is almond and oat milk on hand for whatever coffee drink you desire!

I found myself drawn towards a raspberry lemon muffeen for myself and a classic cinnamon sugar donut to suprise my non-veg friend.

Let me just say she was NOT disappointed. And neither was I – my muffeeen was de-forking-licious as well; perfectly soft and melty with just the right amount of crunch to the muffeen top. It had me wishing they would open up another storefront a leetle closer to Detroit!


Forty Acres Soul Kitchen

Looking for someplace new to try for dinner , we stumbled upon Forty Acres. A newish soul food experience that had opened up on the East side. Vegan soul foood? Oh heck fricken’ dang yeah.

When we arrived, there was a little wait, but they took our number down to give us a call when the time was right which suited us just fine. It wasn’t hard to pass the time. We just took a leetle stroll down the road for a drink while we waited.

Before long our table to be ready and we scooted back to a secluded booth near large full length windows. The menu had a surprisingly wide selection of naturally vegan or made-vegan available items (all clearly marked), and after a scoping it out for a while we came to the conclusion that the only sensible thing to do was to start by sharing the potstickers made vegan, and so that’s what we did. When they arrived I was taken back! These little dudes were served in a coconut sauce so creamy that actually made me double check to see if it was in fact veg.

For dinner, I was torn between the soul food platter and the vegan gumbo. The soul food platter, just so you readers know, came with your choice of vegan protein and any two of their sides of which most are vegan or can be modified to be so.

But this particular day I was feeelin the gumbo. They were unfortunately out of the Tofu protein but our savy server suggested brussel sprouts as an alternative. The Brussel sprouts were a nice touch and the gumbo was just the right sort savory such dish that I was craving. It had all the right notes to really make me feel like I was in a creole kitchen.

This place was authentic soul food right down to the easy going and super hospitable atmosphere. Every single person was smiling and friendly creating A lovely little pocket of southern hospitality found right in little old GR.

Brick Road Pizza

A Grand Rapids weekend is not complete without dropping into Brick Road Pizza for their brunch buffet!

We scooted in about 11:20 and waited not a moment to be seated at a table. First of all, let me just say that any place that offers a vegan brunch buffet I am DOWN. But when their food is also this flavorful and sinfully good? You cant keep me away. The brunch buffet always changes so every week is something different and they do offer their usual full menu as well which is pizza parlor meets comfort food for those not feeling brunch or just dying for one of their fantastic ‘zas, sanniches, etc . They have such a wide variety of different things it’s hard to place it in a category!

On the brunch line itself
They always have at least one vegan za on the line. The flavor changes by the week just like everything else. On this glorious Sunday, the special was Vegan enchiladas! These cheesy little dudes were loaded with veg cheese, potato, a few different peppers, etc. and were so dang good! The buffet also featured A corn chowder this soup changes every week, a pasta salad, reg salad and fruit salad all vegan. there is also a sweet treat. this times sweet treat was a slice of frosted cake. Like I said the content changes but the buffet is almost entirely vegan. I know right?!

On this occasion, a Bloody Mary was my saving grace. Brick Road does not have an extended liquor license so if you arrive to get your brunch on before twelve you will have to wait for that morning boozy drink. But never fear, have a cup of coffee or a nice juice while you wait!. Personally, I cannot resist the allure of a bloody mary when the place offers it vegan. Theirs came filled with green olives, a green bean and….wait……fuckin’ asparagus! Hell yeah! Love when there are those extra touches in there.

My two dining companions were not vegan but one was trying and she got the buffet with me. She loved everything! Omni approved. Granted they do have omni options but the buffet is mostly vegan.

We also got the ‘goat cheese’ dip which was so creamy and so tomatoey and so yummy. It is served with toasted crostinis, and both nonvegans were raving about it!

It is so rare that you see a buffet that even has more than one vegan option. This is not the case with Brick Road. Aside from two non-veg pizza options, almost the entire buffet is packed full with vegan delights. When presented with a buffet that you can actually eat from, it is hard not to overstuff yourself just a little, and this little Veghed did just that!

A chocolate chip cookie with the check sealed the deal. A tasty little morsel to save for later when my stum was not so full!

J also loves to hit the Brick so I surprised him by nabbing some takeout for him as well. Yeah I know, I can have my sweet moments. I am happy to report that said takeout made it all the way back without me even stealing a bite! When we finally did munch, it was discovered that It held up very nicely despite the 2.5-hour drive back to our sleepy little home. For your reference, these items were the veg mac n cheese and the Philly ‘cheesesteak’. The veg mac n cheese is otherworldly and you can load it with three different toppings of your choosing. AND it comes with freaking delicious breadsticks. The cheesesteak sammy served with chips. Needless to say, J too was a very happy Veghed.

Okieee well I guess that’s all for now, Catch you guys on my next adventure!

Cheers,

S


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