Category Archives: Travel

Raw Review: Root – Lancaster, PA

Root of LancasterLast weekend, I finally made it to Root, a semi-new vegan restaurant in Lancaster. I wanted to check it out as soon as it opened, but I kept putting it off, basically because it’s in Lancaster and I never really wanted to battle 5 o’clock traffic during the week into the city, and on the weekends I got busy doing everyday life things.  They are pretty lame excuses and I found out I was missing out on some awesome food.

I told my husband I wanted to go for brunch and we headed out a little after 11 on a Saturday. To my relief, there was a small parking lot for the restaurant (marked as Reserved for WOW) that was mostly empty. (Parking in Lancaster or Harrisburg *really* stresses me out.)

Root of Lancaster

The Menu
The best thing thing overall about Root is that it is completely vegan, right down to the alcohol menu. I love having an entire menu to order from. Speaking of the menu, it had a decent selection and was reasonably priced. I’m looking forward to going back to try the dinner menu because there is more on it, and there are a lot of things that sound delicious.

Root’s menu is great for vegans and non-vegans alike. The brunch menu has pancakes, french toast, a grilled pb&j, and (tofu) tacos. The lunch menu includes soups, salads, and sandwiches.

Root Lancaster Zucchini Sandwich
Grilled Zucchini Sandwich – Grilled zucchini, lemon aioli, lettuce & tomato on rustic Italian bread served with fries.

What We Ordered
First, we ordered the brunch special, a pumpkin ginger waffle. It was a flavorful Belgium waffle. This item was the only thing that I thought was a little pricey given that it was just one waffle for $7. It tasted great, but I think if it was served with some fruit or something on the side it would’ve been a more substantial meal.

My husband got the Hearts of Palm “Seafood” Salad. It’s blended hearts of palm, celery, mayo and seafood seasonings on rustic Italian bread with lettuce and tomato, served with fries. He said it was a little salty, but devoured it before I could try a bite so I’m going to say it was good.

I ordered the grilled zucchini sandwich – grilled zucchini, lemon aioli, lettuce, and tomato on rustic Italian bread served with fries. I really liked the sandwich. The bread was crusty on the outside and soft on the inside and the aioli was super tasty.

We were both full after our meals, but I wanted to try as much as possible, so we got the two desserts, the Caramelized Apple Spice Cake and Blueberry cake, to go. We ate them later at home and they were both really, really good.

I’m kind of kicking myself for putting off visiting the restaurant for so long. I can’t wait to go back for dinner and to bring my mom.

Farm Sanctuary Event
What’s even more exciting is that in a few weeks, Gene Baur will be celebrating 30 years of Farm Sanctuary’s work in helping animals at a dinner party held at Root! I had no idea that Farm Sanctuary has history in Lancaster, which makes it even more awesome. More info and tickets can be found here. Let me know if you’re going!

Root of Lancaster Parking
Root Parking

Root of Lancaster

Root of Lancaster - Brunch Menu
Brunch Menu
Root of Lancaster - Lunch Menu
Lunch Menu
Root of Lancaster Beer List
Beer List
Root of Lancaster Wine List
Wine List
Pumpkin Ginger Waffle
Pumpkin Ginger Waffle
Hearts of Palm “Seafood” Salad
Hearts of Palm “Seafood” Salad – Blended Hearts of Palm, celery, mayo and seafood seasonings on rustic Italian bread with lettuce, and tomato, served with fries.
Grilled Zucchini Sandwich
Grilled Zucchini Sandwich
Caramelized Apple Spice Cake
Caramelized Apple Spice Cake
Blueberry Cake
Blueberry Cake

Bethlehem VegFest 2015

VegFest

Fall is becoming my favorite time of the year because of all the food festivals! This was my 3rd year attending the Bethlehem VegFest, and it sounds silly, but walking around all the vegan vendors and animal rights groups brings me so much joy.  This was the largest amount of people I’ve seen here, and it makes me so happy that it’s growing.

Cinnamon Snail Korean BBQ Seitan
Cinnamon Snail Korean BBQ Seitan

My absolute favorite, The Cinnamon Snail, was there and holy cow was the line long! It was totally worth it though. My mom and I both got the Korean BBQ seitan and my only regret was not taking better photos!

Cinnamon Snail Donuts
Cinnamon Snail Donuts
Cinnamon Snail Donuts
Cinnamon Snail Donuts

We got donuts to bring home and oh my goodness were they the best ever. I cut the donuts up so we could try a few. I had a Chocolate Ganache Stuffed S’mores, the apple crumb, and another one with glaze and (maybe?) candied hazelnuts. I can’t even begin to describe how amazing they were. If you ever get the chance to order food from the Cinnamon Snail….do it.

Vegan Treats
Vegan Treats

Okay, I do kind of have another regret. I didn’t want to get Vegan Treats too early because I didn’t want to carry it around and crush whatever we got, but then by the end of the day the line was loooonnnnggg so we just stuck with the donuts from Cinnamon Snail.

Vegan Treats Line
Vegan Treats Line

At the end of the day my husband said we should’ve just picked something up early when there was no line and stuck it in the car…::facepalm::

Gangster Vegan Organics
Gangster Vegan Organics

I loved seeing all the vegan food vendors and I really wish I had the stomach capacity to eat from all of them. I went in planning to get something from Gangster Vegan Organics, but after my BBQ seitan I was stuffed.

Heavenly Hot Dogs
Heavenly Hot Dogs

My husband got a hot dog from Heavenly Hot Dogs. He said it was good, but I just about scolded him for getting a plain dog instead of one of the specialty ones. (How could you pass up a chili dog, or one with spinach, peppers, and onions??)

Crowd

My dad and husband also got ice pops from Mompops, and I would’ve gotten one but I was way too full. I had a bite of a pretzel and it was salty and buttery and basically perfect.

Herbivore Good Luck Elephant Tank
Herbivore Good Luck Elephant Tank

I got to see Compassion Co in person, and got an Herbivore Clothing Good Luck Elephant tank from The Grape Cat.

There was music, cooking demos, people speaking, yoga, wine. It was a really well put together event. I can’t wait for next year!

Vegan in NYC: by CHLOE

Outside

My mom and I are huge Chloe Coscarelli fans. Her recipes are some of my favorites because they use simple, normal ingredients, and always come out delicious. When I learned Chloe was opening a restaurant, I immediately told my mom and we vowed to go when it opened. Well, they are opened two weeks ago, and we made the trip to NYC to check it out.

Casaer Salad
KALE CAESAR – SHIITAKE BACON, AVOCADO, ALMOND PARM, MAPLE-WHEAT CROUTONS, CAESAR DRESSING

Food

We spent a ridiculous amount of time looking at the menu (and pictures on Instagram) trying to decide what to order when we got there. Despite how amazing the burgers looked, I had my heart set on the Casaer Salad. I haven’t had one in years and it just sounded too good not to get. I decided to get a side of fries and an order mac n cheese too. I almost ordered the pesto meatball sub, but I’m glad I didn’t because after the huge salad, I could barely finish the fries and didn’t even touch the mac and cheese until later. The salad was humongous and delicious, and the shiitake bacon was the best not-bacon I’ve ever had. It was crispy, salty, fatty, and sweet. The fries were very much like other fast food fries, and you would never know they were air baked instead of fried. I generally don’t care for ketchup, and my mom doesn’t like beets, but we both loved the beet ketchup and special sauce that came with the fries. I ate the mac n cheese when I got home, my mom also got an order, and we agreed it was the best mac and cheese we’ve ever had. I realized when I got home that I had made her recipe for mac and cheese with sweet potato sauce before, but I don’t remember it being that good.

My mom got the Whiskey BBQ burger, and also loved it. Every single thing on the menu sounded so good, I wish they had a sampler with tiny portions of everything. We also ordered peanut butter banana smoothies (YUM) and desserts to go.

The cupcakes didn’t quite make it home in one piece but they still tasted wonderful. You can see what the Raspberry Tiramisu cupcake looked like when I ordered it below.  I had to order it since it was one of her winning Cupcake Wars cupcakes! The Chlotess cupcake had the perfect chocolate ganache and little vanilla loops. The chocolate chip cookie was the most perfect cookie, it was chewy with a little bit of crunch…I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.Desserts

IMG_20150809_225742
MAC N’ CHEESE – SWEET POTATO-CHEESE SAUCE, SHIITAKE BACON

Fries

IMG_20150809_230214
WHISKEY BBQ – SMOKY PORTOBELLO MUSHROOMS & SEITAN, SAUTÉED KALE, ONION MARMALADE, GRILLED PINEAPPLE, BOURBON BBQ, POTATO BUN

Price

The prices were very reasonable…especially for New York. My salad was $9.95 and was huge. My mom’s burger was $10.95 and also filling. The sides we got, sweet potato and regular fries, and mac and cheese, were $3.95 and $4.95. The 16 oz smoothies were $8.50, the cupcakes were $3.50 and the cookie was $2.50. Our bill was higher than we’d normally spend at lunch, but that’s only because we went a little crazy and got extra food to go.

Casaer Salad2
KALE CAESAR – SHIITAKE BACON, AVOCADO, ALMOND PARM, MAPLE-WHEAT CROUTONS, CAESAR DRESSING
Peanut Butter Banana Shake
PB – PEANUT BUTTER, BANANA, RAW CACAO, HOMEMADE ALMOND MILK, RAW AGAVE

fries2

tirimisu
RASPBERRY TIRAMISU CUPCAKE
chloestess
CHLOSTESS CUPCAKE
cookie
OLD-FASHIONED CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE
trio
Dessert Trio

The Interior

The restaurant was packed when we got there, which was peak lunch time, at a little after 1pm. I took more pictures of the inside but it was mostly the tops of people heads or their backs. The decor was very modern and I would’ve loved to really look around and see the other merchandise she was selling, but I didn’t want to waste time or be in anyone’s way. We had to stand and wait a little bit for a seat, which was okay, and it was slowing down a little bit by the time we were leaving. The lines/people standing around waiting was a little confusing. I ended up standing in line 3 times (more about that in a second) once behind someone who was waiting to get their food, not order it, and the second time I decided to ask the person in front of me just to be safe and he responded like “of course I’m in line, why else would I be standing here.”

to go

The Service

I ended up in line the second time because after we sat down, I was looking at my receipt and realized the woman at the register missed a bunch of our food. I went back and reordered what was missed, so no big deal.

When we were ordered, my mom asked me if Chloe would be working there and I said I wasn’t sure. When we were eating she was walking around asking people how their meal was and was giving smoothie samples out. She was also cleaning tables, and asked my mom if she could take our trash when I was ordering desserts.

I can only image how hard it is to run a restaurant, especially in NYC. And while I have no clue how much of the business responsibility is on her, I saw first hand how hard she was working. Chloe has been one of my favorite “celebrity” vegans for a while and I love her even more now. She is incredibly inspiring and is showing people vegan food can be reasonably priced, filing, and delicious.

fries3

Overall

If you’re in the tri-state area, get to By Chloe, and come hungry. If you can’t get to NYC to eat at there in person I highly recommend her cookbooks. They are all filled with easy, recipes that everyone will love.