Thursday, October 20, 2016

Tailgating with Califia Farms

If you're a fan of professional athletics, you know we're about to enter the sweet spot of the year. For one fleeting moment, like a solar eclipse, the baseball, hockey, basketball and American football seasons will cross streams and all be contested at the same time. That means you have a lot of sports to watch — and more importantly — a lot of booze to drink. Califia Farms reached out to the Vegan Man Cave to see if we'd help them get you good and loaded at your next tailgating event.

You may know Califia Farms for their almond milk, you know the one that comes in that buxom, voluptuous bottle. So sexy.... Anyway, they also make a line of vegan, non-GMO juice and coffee drinks that will take your cocktails to the next level. Iused their Spiced Cranberry Agua Fresca to make this plant-based potent potable and took the liberty of naming it after a Pittsburgh sports icon, the Jolly Roger.  (That's what we call the official flag of the Pittsburgh Pirates.)

If you like a cocktail with kick, try raising a Jolly Roger.


Another cocktail I whipped up with Califia Farms is the Geno, named after #71 of the Pittsburgh Penguins hockey franchise. Just drop a few ice cubes and a generous pour of Smirnoff into a glass and add a splash of Califia Farms cold brew coffee with almond milk. Like Geno, it's cold, strong and... a white Russian.

Califia Farms juices are def tasty, but there's one thing that's a bummer: Natural Flavor is listed in the ingredients. Those two words always arouse suspicion in me. However, Califia Farms products are clearly marked Vegan, so at least the Natural Flavor isn't animal-derived. Regardless, I think these still make for healthier mix options than your average can of convenience-store-bought, high-fructose corn syrup garbage. If I might make a suggestion to Califia Farms, consider a spicy tomato juice for Bloody Marys. You're welcome.

Look for Califia Farms products at your local Kroger, WalMart and Whole Foods stores. And for more deets about their milks, juices and coffees, go to www.califiafarms.com. Happy tailgating, and go Black 'n Yellow!



Thursday, September 29, 2016

Spak Brothers Pizza — Pittsburgh, PA

Words can hardly describe the colossal deliciousness of the Seitan Pittsburgh-style Cheesesteak at Spak Brothers in Garfield, PA.This hoagie comes correct, piled high with shaved seitan, grilled onions, peppers, mushrooms, lettuce, tomato, vegan cheese, vegan ranch and, in true Pittsburgh fashion, french fries, all baked to crispy perfection in a blistering hot pizza oven.

In a world where vegan hoagies are hard to come by, this one "steaks" its claim as the best I've ever had. Only fitting that the City of Champions would produce such a winning sammich. You can order the six-inch, but trust me, it's so damn good you'll want the full foot. But that's not all the Spak Brothers menu has to offer. Vegan options include seitan wings, cheesy breadsticks and pizza pies with veggie and vegan meat toppings. This joint is bomb. Go there!

Spak Brothers
5107 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15224

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Plant-based in the 4-1-2

The Steel City. My hometown. Although I no longer live in da 'Burgh, I make sure to visit on the reg. Pittsburgh has seriously stepped up its vegan game over the last five years. New joints are popping up all over the city offering plant-based options from burgers and pizza, to cultural favorites like pierogies and bratwurst. In fact, there are so many new vegan spots that I haven't yet even tried them all! Of the spots I have hit up, these are my favs.

Fortuitea                              B52                           Mad Mex                        Burgatory
The Beehive                 Amazing Cafe                   Franktuary                         Zenith           
Square Cafe                Double Wide Grill                 Mandy's                           

Tofu Scramble at B52
"Chicken" Parm hoagie at Mandy's
Vegan burger on Focaccia at Burgatory
Millet Meatloaf at Fortuitea
Divine Bowl at Amazing Cafe


For a comprehensive list of vegan joints in Pittsburgh, go HERE.








Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Sam's Natural — Exclusive Offer for Vegan Man Cave Readers

True confession number one: I rarely wear deodorant. Maybe it's my genes, maybe it's my diet, but I swear my pits don't stink. I stopped using it after learning how many harmful chemicals are in most drug store antiperspirants (and after reading that suave personified, Matthew McConaughey, never touches the stuff). However, there are certain occasions when I can't risk reeking, so having an all-natural, vegan deodorant at the ready is a must in the Man Cave.


Sam's Natural offers an exceptional lineup of manly-scented deodorants that are 100% vegan, made in America (USA! USA!) and loaded with all-natural ingredients, like arrow root, aloe vera and essential oils. I recently swiped a stick of Sam's Natural Tobacco Deo under arms and was surprised by its awesome aroma. Don't let the name fool you, you won't smell like a dingy highway casino when you rock the Tobacco, instead, you'll emit the sweetness of cherry-flavored pipe tobacco, just like your grandpappy does.

If the Tobacco Deo isn't your jam, there are several scents to choose from, including Leather, Cedar, Sandalwood and even a scent for the ladies. Take it from me, Sam's Natural deodorants help you fight BO while smelling like a gentleman, not a frat boy (see Axe body spray). To borrow a phrase, I don't always wear deodorant, but when I do, it's Sam's Natural.

True confession number two: I have the oiliest skin on planet Earth. Seriously, I challenge anyone to produce more grease through your pores than I do. I think it's called combination skin, because it's a combination of gross and disgusting. As a result, I have to wash my face several times a day to keep from looking like I just crawled out of a deep fryer. I've tried all kinds of soaps, but I'm telling you guys, Sam's Natural Charcoal Face Soap is legit the most effective soap I've ever used to combat the oil.

This hockey puck-looking round of bamboo charcoal contains zero sulfurs, zero parabens and zero artificial anything. Cold-processed and loaded with all-natural oils and extracts, Sam's Natural Charcoal Soap totally tightened my pores after the first face wash. I've been using it for a week now and haven't had a single breakout, which is unheard of for me.

I'm pretty stoked that I've finally found a line of vegan personal care products that not only work with my skin, but are also artisan-made with men in mind. That's why I want to pass along this exclusive offer to all my readers. From now until January 31, 2016, you can save 10% on any Sam's Natural purchase of $20 or more by entering coupon code "VMC10" at checkout. Sam's Naturals has a great selection of products, such as soaps, deodorants, lip balms, beard and mustache wax, candles and you can even pick up a Sam's Natural gift card, which would make a most excellent stocking stuffer this holiday.

Head over to www.samsnatural.com and man up your hygiene. I'm sure you'll become a loyal customer, just like this dude right here.


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Jackalo Box

Receiving a Jackalo Box is like cracking open a care package from someone who totally gets you. Carefully curated to deliver a unique sampling of artisan vegan foodstuffs right to your doorstep, a Jackalo Box comes loaded with 5-6 animal-free items tied around a common theme. October’s theme of “Feasting in Brooklyn,” includes products from what is arguably NYC's raddest neighborhood. Here's a quick rundown:
 
Lime Leaf Sambal — 
Auria’s Malaysian Kitchen
This sambal brings the heat. Full of flavor and perfect for chip-dippin’, slathering on a sammy or, as I did, tossing into a tofu scramble. Tip: Have a cold beverage near by. 

Spiced Apple Syrup — Morris Kitchen
Add a few drops to a mug of hot water, fresh lemon juice and cinnamon for a sweet start to your morning or mix some syrup with a few snorts of Kentucky bourbon for a smooth nightcap.

Spicy Syrup — Trees Knees
Spicy and sweet and perfect when drizzled over a warm vegan biscuit. Also good to go on top of pizza, salads and whatever the hell you want jazz up with some sweet heat.

We Rub You Korean BBQ Marinade — Ann and Janet Chung
Still waiting for the right time to bust out this marinade, but it's Korean BBQ sauce, so how can it not be good?

Pistachio & Cherry Jubilee Granola — Early Bird
Straight up awesome granola, in fact, it’s possibly the best I’ve ever tasted. The olive oil and salt really bring out the sweetness of the dried cherries and maple syrup.  Ate the whole bag in less than 24 hours. No shame in my game. 

 
Orange Candy — Cracked Candy
Not a big candy dude, so honestly, I haven’t even opened these yet. May gift them to a candyless friend.


I’m really impressed with my first Jackalo Box and look forward to seeing what items will be offered in November. And take it from your boy, with the holidays coming, a Jackalo Box subscription would make a fun gift, even for the non-vegans in your life. Hit them up at www.jackalobox.com to place your order. Jackalo Box offers monthly, six-month or full year subscriptions and you can cancel at any time. 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Fortuitea — Washington, PA

Maybe tea cups, doilies and fine porcelain china don’t fit your idea of a manly dining experience, but one mouthful of the mega-tasty meals at Fortuitea in Washington, Pennsylvania, and you’ll fully embrace your inner fancy boy.

Fortuitea is a cozy little joint with a bed & breakfast vibe that specializes in loose leaf teas, exotic coffees and 100% plant-based comfort foods. Owners Tiffany Ford and Jeffrey Hirsh have truly created a vegan oasis in the Steel City with a menu that includes soups, salads, sandwiches, entrees, pizzas and desserts. Fortuitea, as the name implies, is also a wonderland for tea aficionados.

Hirsh and co-chef Susan Ford are making a splash in the Pittsburgh foodie scene with meals like the Open-faced Millet Meatloaf & Gravy sandwich. Served on home-baked challah bread and topped with tomato, smashed potatoes and coconut bacon bits, this sandwich is culinary-quality home cookin' that will blow the socks off of even your staunchest meat-eating friends.

The soups at Fortuitea are also works of art. Take the Sweet Potato, Black Bean and Kale Chili; spicy, chunky and delicious. It comes with a slice of cornbread that’s so incredibly addicting, you’ll want to take home an entire tin of it. If you still have room for dessert, order up a mug of joe and a slice of Oreo cashew cream cheesecake, or grab a dozen snickerdoodle cookies to go.

Fortuitea is one of the best-kept secrets in Pittsburgh. Honestly, it’s the kind of joint that, if located in a larger city, like Los Angeles or New York, people would wait outside of for hours just to get a table (especially if it were to consider serving Sunday brunch). I really want this place to be a part of Pittsburgh for a long time, so whether you're a local, in on business or just need some hearty sustenance in between poker games at the Meadows Casino up the street, go support this restaurant. Pinky up!

Fortuitea
1445 Washington Road
Washington, PA 15301
724.222.2442
 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Gracias Madre — West Hollywood, CA

From the people who brought you Cafe Gratitude, it's Gracias Madre! — an all-vegan Mexican restaurant on the border of Beverly Hills. Featuring an all-star brunch cast, including the delicious Biscuits & Gravy...


...the voluptuous Chimichanga, with smoked tomato sauce, tempeh chorizo, black beans and potatoes...


...Madre Maria, a mezcal-spiked Bloody Mary, as the wacky next door neighbor...


 ...and the sinfully sexy Apple Cobbler dripping with vanilla bean coconut ice cream.


Don't miss what The Vegan Man Cave is calling, "A plant-based eater's wet dream."
Stuff your face in a super cool space. Visit Gracias Madre today!

Gracias Madre
8905 Melrose Avenue
West Hollywood, CA 90069
323.9782170