This year Eat Drink Vegan's reputation preceded itself with local favorites, out-of-towners, and way out-of-towners joining forces to tackle this ever-increasing festival. We had Portland, Orange County, San Francisco, New York AND London as vendors accompanying the LA crew! It was a plethora of delights every which way you turned and I'm not just talking about food. I'm talking food PLUS people, vendors, retail, Erewhon sponsored wellness area, drinks of many varieties and music! A little bit of everything for everyone.
For my experience this year, I went in with a calmer mind/body approach. I decided ahead of time that I was not going to go in needing to do, try and see everything without taking a moment for myself. I made it known to others that I was there to enjoy everything I could at a moderate pace. In the past, I've attended EDV with the M.O of NEEDING to do it all, so listening to myself this year was key...and this year, it wasn't to feed my OG M.O.
And guess what? I did just that!
I took my time, remained present about how I was feeling and what I was needing while still managing to: eat some crazy good dishes, shimmy (dance), drink some delicious kombucha's and sit in the shade to reflect, people watch and enjoy pleasant conversations with friends.
Some highlights included, but not limited to:
Chef Ayinde | Mac & Yease
This dish is such a favorite of mine that I've ordered trays of it for my birthday...multiple years in a row. This year Ayinde went above and beyond with a "Pop Up" concept. Each hour, he added different ingredients to the OG Mac & Yease recipe to make it loaded. I was fortunate enough to stop by when the BBQ Jackfruit round was happening because it was one of the best damn dishes I ate all day.
Donna Jean | Nashville Hot Shrooms
As many of you know, spicy is not my thing, but I enjoyed a few bites from this fiery dish. Give it up to those mushrooms! I'm a mushroom fan through and through. Especially when those mushrooms are fatty, juicy, oyster mushrooms. Then competently bread, fry and add the complimentary accoutrements and you have yourself a great festival dish.
Fine Feathers Kombucha Co | Silver Needle
At last years EDV, I came across Fine Feathers for the first time and fell head over heels for their Jasmine Peony. It was my gateway booch to their other fabulous options. They pull their flavors from high-quality herbal teas and you can taste it–individual notes coming through respectively. I'm an everyday herbal tea drinker (nothing added) so I can really appreciate a brand that holds teas in high regard and allows them to shine.
Block Party | Michelada
Block party brought some fun to their booth with free Micheladas and watermelon popsicles! A wonderful treat to stumble upon on especially when you thought the day would be cloudy and cool, but instead reared it's head to be hot and sunny.
Blessed Booch | Elderflower & Lemon Balm
When I muse about seeing booths from afar, certain flavors will draw me in. If I see you have Elderflower, Lemongrass, Jasmine and/or Guava, you can bet I'll come a runnin'. Blessed Booch drew me in with their Eldlerflower, but they were able to keep me hanging about because every flavor they had was delicious! Each hand-crafted and meticulously balanced.
Peaceful Provisions | Holy Cannoli
You want the truth? I'm not a cannoli person. Never have been. This is why I didn't think too much of it when my friends Russell (rollercoastervegan) and Belinda (b_dubslove) grabbed this cannoli inspired donut for us to share. I soon came to realize, I was gravely mistaken because It. Was. Unbelievably. Good! Now I know why Peaceful Provisions has the reputation it does. Every bite I had from anyone's dessert was incredible–decadent, moist, balanced and downright yummy.
Pomodoro E Basilico | Bad Boy Burger
Hailing all the way from London, Pomodoro made some unique and tasty burgers. My favorite option from the festival was The Bad Boy (pictured above) a homemade charcoal bun with seitan schnitzel, mushroom sauce, apple mustard and homemade sauerkraut. Again, they came all the way from London! The schnitzel was delicious–cooked and seasoned perfectly–while the kraut, mustard and mushroom sauce elevated it. The perfect balance of tangy, savory, crunchy and creamy was definitely made. The bread was slightly overwhelming in thickness, but eh, I'll let it go since again, THEY CAME ALL THE WAY FROM LONDON!
Plant Alchemy | Cheddar Cheese and CRACKers
I couldn't go to EDV and not pick something up to take home from Plant Alchemy's booth in the Green Saturday Section. I grabbed the ever delicious cheese and crackers combo.
There were other drinks I drank and other dishes I ate that you can see in the short, little IG video I made below. It was a great day with great friends and I left later than I expected too. As always, thank you EDV for bringing it another year in a row.