Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Week in Vegan: Horses, Bon Bons, and Locally Sourced Factory Farm Restaurants

Posted By on Tue, Dec 3, 2013 at 8:00 AM

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  • Jails in Maricopa County, Arizona have been on a vegetarian meal system since last year. This Thanksgiving, inmates were served Tofurkey as their holiday meal. Question: will this make recidivism rates go up or down? (Tofurkey is delicious, but probably not as delicious as freedom).

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  • Vegan Dad wants to teach you how to make vegan croissants. Just don't tell him you're hungry -- because he'll tell you he's dad. Dad jokes: Is there anything more hilarious? Besides everything?
  • A new bill has been introduced to stop "race-day doping" race horses. In case you've been wondering: Horse racing is still awful for the animals. (So save your money for slot machines.) (That's what she said.) (Sorry.)
  • Al Gore has gone vegan. This is a huge surprise, mainly because everyone I know thought he was vegan already. What, did he just watch his own documentary for the first time? You won a Nobel Peace Prize for that PowerPoint, Gore. How is it that you're just doing this now? And congratulations!
  • The Onion ran an article about a factory farm restaurant that serves only the finest locally tortured animals. I didn't read it on The Onion, though: my mom forwarded it to me with 'DO YOU THINK IT'S EXPENSIVE?' as the subject line. (Yes, in all caps.)

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  • New vegan bon bon alert: Rescue Chocolate has just released a new collection of whimsical confections (I can't believe I just wrote that). Favors include "Pick Me! Pepper" and "Peanut Butter Pitbull." I'm going to order three boxes and take to my bed like that one character in Harriet The Spy.
  • Ready for your weekly dose of violence turned awww? Here's a video of a turkey fighting a German shepherd. And then exacting cuddles when it wins. Just don't turn the volume up too loud. The noises in the video startled my partner and we had a fight of our own about appropriate volume control. It did not end with cuddles.


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Mark Shrayber

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  • Nevada City and the South Yuba River: A gold country getaway

    Nestled in the green pine-covered hills of the Northern Sierra Nevada is the Gold Rush town of Nevada City. Beautiful Victorian houses line the streets, keeping the old-time charm alive, and a vibrant downtown is home to world-class art, theater and music. The nearby South Yuba River State Park is known for its emerald swimming holes during the summer and radiant leaf colors during autumn. These days the gold panning is more for tourists than prospectors, but the gold miner spirit is still in the air.

    South Yuba River State Park and Swimming Holes:
    The park runs along and below 20 miles of the South Yuba River, offering hiking, mountain biking, gold panning and swimming. The Highway 49 bridge swimming hole is seven-miles northwest of Nevada City where Highway 49 crosses the South Yuba River. Parking is readily available and it is a short, steep hike to a stunning swimming hole beneath a footbridge. For the more intrepid, trails extend along the river with access to secluded swim spots. The Bridgeport swimming hole has calm waters and a sandy beach -- good for families and cookouts -- and is located 14 miles northwest of Nevada City. Be sure to write down directions before heading out, GPS may not be available. Most swimming holes on the South Yuba River are best from July to September, while winter and spring can bring dangerous rapids. Always know the current before jumping in!

    Downtown Nevada City
    The welcoming, walkable downtown of Nevada City is laid back, yet full of life. Start your day at the cozy South Pine Cafe (110 S Pine St.) with a lobster benedict or a spicy Jamaican tofu scramble. Then stroll the streets and stop into the shop Kitkitdizzi (423 Broad St.) for handcrafted goods unique to the region, vintage wears and local art “all with California gold rush swagger,” as stated by owners Carrie Hawthorne and Kira Westly. Surrounded by Gold Rush history, modern gold jewelry is made from locally found nuggets and is found at Utopian Stone Custom Jewelers (301 Broad St.). For a coffee shop with Victorian charm try The Curly Wolf (217 Broad St.), an espresso house and music venue with German pastries and light fare. A perfect way to cool down during the hot summer months can be found at Treats (110 York St.) , an artisan ice cream shop with flavors like pear ginger sorbet or vegan chai coconut. Nightlife is aplenty with music halls, alehouses or dive bars like the Mine Shaft Saloon (222 Broad St.).

    The Willo Steakhouse (16898 State Hwy 49, Nevada City)
    Along Highway 49, just west of Nevada City, is The Willo, a classic roadhouse and bar where you’re welcomed by the smell of steak and a dining room full of locals. In 1947 a Quonset hut (a semi-cylindrical building) was purchased from the US Army and transported to its current location, and opened as a bar, which became popular with lumberjacks and miners. The bar was passed down through the decades and a covered structure was added to enlarge the bar and create a dining area. The original Quonset beams are still visible in the bar and current owners Mike Byrne and Nancy Wilson keep the roadhouse tradition going with carefully aged New York steaks and house made ingredients. Pair your steak or fish with a local wine, such as the Rough and Ready Red, or bring your own for a small corkage fee. Check the website for specials, such as rib-eye on Fridays.

    Outside Inn (575 E Broad St.)
    A 16-room motel a short walk from downtown, each room features a unique décor, such as the Paddlers’ Suite or the Wildflower Room. A friendly staff and an office full of information about local trails, swimming and biking gets you started on your outdoor exploration. Amenities include an outdoor shower, a summer swimming pool and picnic tables and barbeques. Don’t miss the free vegetable cart just outside the motel in the mornings.

    Written and photographed by Beth LaBerge for the SF Weekly.

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