I hosted a food meetup at Celesta on the east side of Milwaukee, and it was spectacular. There were zero cancellations, and everyone was just great. I thoroughly enjoyed yesterday and hope to have future meetups with a lot more of the same people!
Going vegan was one of the best decisions I have made in my life. Hands down, no questions asked. I tell people all the time that going vegan is not hard as you think. Trust me. I feel good, eat better (you've seen my Instagram posts) and enjoy the many health benefits that a vegan diet provides. Simply put, it takes research, an open mind and preparation to take the plunge into this lifestyle. Here is a quick rundown of why it might be a great time to go vegan starting next year.
There Has Never Been a More Convenient Time
Take a stroll around your nearest grocery store, and you will quickly find that there are plenty of healthy plant-based options available. The produce department has always been a staple for plant-based diets, but now other areas of the grocery store assist with this lifestyle change. Metro Market makes it easy for vegans and vegetarians to find specialty items including vegan mayonnaise, Tofurky products and seitan in their specially marked vegetarian section. Head to to the center aisle and you'll find items like Bush's Baked Beans' Vegetarian option and other easy-to-understand labels. Not to mention, it is cheap. I bought $100 worth of groceries last week, and I do not plan on going back to the grocery store for at least three weeks. Want to give this method a try? Check out "How to Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half with America's Cheapest Family " by Steve and Annette Economides.
Don't want to cook every day of the week but want to enjoy delicious vegan food? Most big cities have a couple vegan options available, and if you are lucky to live in Milwaukee, there are a ton of options including Beerline Cafe, Celesta, Cafe Manna, Urban Beets, On the Bus, Impossible Burgers at numerous restaurants and Comet Cafe. Need I go on?
Helping the Earth Is More Important Than Ever
I opted to follow a plant-based lifestyle for health and wellness reasons but quickly realized the positive impact that my lifestyle was having on our planet. The amount of water, trees and animals that are being saved are astronomical. Not having a car is one way to save the earth, but not eating meat or dairy is an even more efficient and impactful way to help the environment. Rising sea levels, pollution and other environment issues are the direct result of our food choices and stress these meat and dairy companies can put on the environment. While I personally don't believe in shaming people who aren't vegan, I do believe there is something to be said about helping the same earth you explore and live on everyday.
There Are So Many Opportunities to Meet More People
Going vegan opens up a whole new world of spices, foods and people to connect with about this lifestyle. Without making it sound like you are joining a cult, you truly can meet a lot of people and learn about their journey and why they decided to give up animal products. There's nothing better than bonding over a common interest with someone. Think working out, sports, religious gatherings and of course--food. Plant-based food. The app Meetup is a great way to meet like-minded people, and the Milwaukee vegans is a prime example of a group to consider joining. I have also hosted meetups throughout the city like the one I recently had at Urban Beets Cafe in late November. At the end of the day, I just want to have fun with food, meet great people and live a happy life. Once I became vegan that became even easier. I'd love to share more tips, recipes and anything that might be helpful as you embrace this plant-based lifestyle. Interested in more eats? Consider signing up for my newsletter! Here's an example of one I've done in the past.
1. Happy Hour Changing
A lot of you all might be familiar with Rice N Roll's happy hour that runs on Tuesdays from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Same time. However the original happy hour special has been half off all rolls. To make things easier for the staff and production, it will be changed to buy two rolls, get one free. If you do the math on say three rolls, it is virtually the same, but this is much easier on the kitchen staff. No official word on when this change is happening, but it is something to think about.
2. Family Over Everything
There are plenty of restaurants in the area that are run by restaurant groups including Hospitality Democracy which operates the likes of Holey Moley Doughnuts, Blue Bat And Tequilaria and Smoke Shack. Rice N Roll is operated by three siblings and their cousin and head chef, Tony. Other customers and food bloggers have told me about the exceptional hospitality they have experienced at this spot, and mine was no different. While I was able to eat at Rice N Roll when it was closed and was the only party eating, their attention to detail was spectacular and the camaraderie between staff members was palpable.
3. New Digs in Tosa Soon
They are opening up a new restaurant in Wauwatosa in February. While the news surrounding the name and concept has yet to be decided, those on the west side of Milwaukee will be thankful for a similar space to dine. I'll let you all know when word is out on name and restaurant concept!
4. Vegan and Gluten-Free Friendly
As you might have noticed in my Instagram post, Rice N Roll has a plethora of plant-based options to try, and it has been that way since July 2018. From their basil thai fried rice with tofu and veggies to their grass noodle stir fry, there are thai and sushi options that are legit for vegans. I tried around six items during my visit, and they are stellar. Be sure to mention your dietary restrictions, and Rice N Roll can easily accommodate you! Thai iced tea with soy milk? Check. Gluten free and vegan soy sauce with stir fry? You got it!
5. They have a new vegan sushi roll that has yet to be named!
One roll I ate during my visit was wrapped in white rice with a boatload of vegetables and topped with hash browns! The texture combination was satisfying in every way and matched the flavors that came from this roll. As for the name, I was experimenting with names while eating, but nothing worth writing about came to me. Have a name? DM me on IG !