I don’t think I ever fully understood the power of the letters “TGIF” until I started working full-time. In high school and college, there were things like “Spring Break” and “Professional Development Day,” where teachers were held captive, and students were allowed to roam free. In France, I averaged 20 hour work weeks, and ended my work day by noon on Fridays.
Now, I have joined the rest of civilization, and have learned to cope with the 9-5 grind. However, by Friday night, I feel like sprawling out across my bed. Sometimes, I try to summon the energy to cook. If I’m lucky, it results in an eatable omelette or bowl of pasta.
Many Fridays, though, I let someone else cook for me. It gives me something to look forward to when I’m trying (and failing) not to watch the clock at 3 PM on Friday afternoon.
This Friday, I decided to visit one of my favorite local cafés, Vegadeli. It’s five minutes from my house, so I don’t have to drive too far to find it.
Vegadeli? You might ask. The name is a bit perplexing…After all, delis are usually associated with meat, and “vega” alludes to vegans.
As the name suggests, the café offers an all-vegan menu, and also some “raw” items (i.e. uncooked or unprocessed food.) I’m not a vegan by any means; I love ice cream, and eat cheese as much as the next person. But Vegadeli constantly exceeds my expectations, and proves that vegan food can hold its own. Everything is healthy, and when you eat a wrap or a bowl of pasta, you actually feel good; the ingredients are all fresh and natural, and everything I’ve tried has been delicious.
Tonight, I decided to order the Kale Wrap. I just discovered Kale this past Fall, and it seems like it’s a trendy produce item…More and more recipes for it keep springing up on blogs and in magazines.
Vegadeli’s Kale Wrap combines a warm, whole-wheat tortilla with fresh, crispy kale leaves, crunchy red cabbage, tomatoes, avocado, and cashew butter. I had never tried cashew butter before I had this wrap, but I would recommend it to anyone who can get their hands on it; it’s slightly nutty and salty, and has a rich, creamy texture. It’s just as good as peanut butter, except it doesn’t have all the hydrogenated oils.
One of the best parts about eating at Vegadeli? The dessert. At first, I was wary of their baked goods; after all, I asked myself, what’s a cookie without butter?
What I’ve found is, you can’t even tell the difference. And I’m not just saying that…I truly mean it. Vegadeli’s Chocolate Chip Cookies are warm, gooey, and the chocolate chips taste like…well, chocolate. I always have trouble ordering just one, but the good news is, you could probably order a few and not feel any of the standard guilt.
I returned home happy, healthy, and most of all relieved; there was no pile of dishes to greet me, or cooking mishaps strewn across the counter.
All in all, I’d call it a successful Friday night.