Brown`s Social House

we live out in the burbs – this, frankly, makes my vegan, gluten-free journey a little tough sometimes. we don`t need to get into that.

date night last night. we decided to hit Brown`s before our movie (The Fighter, ooof, that was a good one). i have to be honest – i was really skeptical. i know Brown`s to be a Yaletown transplant – and my previous experiences were limited to pretty fatty appies. i couldn`t remember the menu but Mike wanted to go, we were pressed for time and i wanted to be a sport.

menu: immediate wow. you can add steamed ginger tofu to any salad. impressive. bean salad as a starter. are you kiddin me? pad thai as a main: now we’re talkin! i knew i could ask for no chicken and shrimp. yes yes, there is probably white sugar and/or ketchup in the sauce and that’s NOT vegan but it’s date night ok? and i’m not splitting hairs in this lifetime. anyway.

bean salad as a starter and pad thai as a main. this is/was too much food but i couldn’t help it. i don’t often have more than one choice and i figured i’d take the leftovers home.

i told the server, who was super sweet, that i was a vegan. she nodded and said no problem.

the bean salad arrived – and it’s good. mostly greens, marinated (and fresh) beans on the side and lots of shredded cabbage. lovely vinaigrette. sadly – crumbled cheese on the greens. i wasn’t going to get into it – – the salad is served in 3 little distinct parts – so i didn’t touch the greens. the beans and cabbage were great. if you order this: remember to specify no cheese. if you do that: this is a vegan, gluten-free home run.

pad thai, no chicken no shrimp. it arrives full of egg. shoot. this is my fault. yes, i told her i was vegan – but honestly – i should have specified no egg. all pad thai has egg. i just forgot. i couldn’t eat around it and i just can’t eat it. it kills me to waste food but i had to send it back.

a fresh one comes immediately and it’s awesome. piled high with bean sprouts, lots of peanuts, nice and spicy AND they scatter wok fried veggies around the outside. lots of bok choy. so so so good.

the server apologized for the mixup, i was apologizing for not being more clear – we were all apologizing. they staff’ed the meal!

come on guys – this is above and beyond. our server says it was their fault because i said vegan, they just screwed up. gosh. it’s just so easy to make friends in life isn’t it? just be honest and make things right when you can.

i asked our server to send the manager over. he came apologizing (i’m sure assuming i was going to yelp about it). i interrupted, i couldn’t help it – because i had asked him to come so i could sincerely thank him for all the care and attention. i complimented him on our server (who was a DOLL) and said we couldn’t wait to come back.

five out of five. no hesitation. mixup and all. these guys are just awesome.

bonus star for 2 very very good virgin mojitos.

and my paleo eating husband had an awesome halibut meal with double veg (paleo) and a generous salad. on top of that: he had a view of the game (what a shame for him 😉 )

thanks Browns Langley! we’ll be back!

http://brownsrestaurantgroup.com/brownssocialhouse/
twitter: @BrownsSH_

A brand new vegan!

On January 12, 2011 I took a 30-day vegan challenge. We were enjoying this process at work, each of us taking on a fun, inspired and challenging 30 day goal. Some cut out sugar, others caffeine – I went vegan. I’ve done it before, it felt right – I went for it.

A few days after I started, I opted to cut out gluten as well. This began initially as a way to up my game even further (read: outdo the boys I work with 😉 but was informed by a distant reminder, from a few years ago – that we’re better off without it. I was also genuinely interested in forcing myself to cut out refined products. Cutting out gluten would help with that right? So I went for it.

3 weeks into my challenge I knew this was a change that would stick. I just felt too good to ignore it. My heart breaks for the animals but more than that – I honestly just feel amazing. I know there are health benefits but I’m learning to do things by feel at this point in my life – trust my intuition…I’ll read up on all the health benefits later and you can follow along with me.

I am a marathon runner who developed a nagging injury after running the Walt Disney World Goofy Challenge a few months ago. Over 24 hours, I ran 39.3 miles – or 63.3 kms – and as a result – had to take some time off of running. I normally need the running to manage my weight, and I have – in my running career – had to adjust my caloric intake to compensate for drops in training. Since this vegan journey started, these concerns are a distant memory. I’m eating well, to satiety, and my weight is stable.

Let me tell you that I’m a Mom, wife and non-drinker. My husband is an avid-crossfitter who follows the Paleo diet as best he can and our 3 year old son is a very fussy, dairy and gluten free food snob. Add to this: we love to eat at restaurants. We eat out about 5 times per week. Date night on Thursdays with my husband, family date night on Fridays and I grab lunch twice a week when I’m working downtown. Add to this that I frequently have plans with girlfriends and family – and this usually involves eating out.

I’d say I’ve always fallen into the category of “foodie” – defined really (by me) as being totally geeked out on food. Willing to pay more for organics, being fussy about ingredients and loving the process and ritual of fine dining. I don’t want to, nor do I think I should have to, give this up. There are too many great restaurants out there willing and able to have us. I’ll tell you about them here!

We live in the Greater Vancouver area and I’m inspired here to blog about:

-my experiences at Vancouver restaurants as a gluten-free vegan (restaurant reviews with a focus on how the restaurant was able to accomodate me)

-my cookbook reviews – telling you about the book, which recipes I’m trying and what’s working/what’s not

-my honest and candid journalling of my ups and downs. I can’t get this right overnight. I ate the chocolate that my son gave me on Valentine’s Day – knowing that it likely had milk solids in it. I ain’t about to break anyone’s heart, let alone my own family’s, over this. This is not a hill to die on – it’s a journey – it’s me: making meaningful changes for myself andmy little family and it’s about feeling amazing.

Thank you for reading and I look forward to sharing this journey with you.

Love,
dre