Good eats for travel inspiration
Travel Courier wants to introduce you to some (mostly healthy) food for thought.
Dining is always seen as one of the highlights of travel and here we track down some great ways to chow down.
All Good Granola Bars
The old adage waste not, want not isn’t lost on Bryan Daniels.
In fact the Virginia Beach, Virginia, resident has clearly embraced the saying and area residents who prefer healthy snacks over the likes of sugary chocolate or salt-laden potato chips should be thankful for it.
Daniels — a certified personal trainer — launched All Good Granola Bars two years ago, a project that began after the home brewing enthusiast noted his making suds was resulting in considerable leftover grain, which “smelled too good” to throw away.
He then realized those grains could be used to produce granola bars and began collecting leftover grain from breweries in Virginia Beach’s thriving craft brewery scene and converting them into “delicious, healthy snacks.”
Ingredients may include the likes of cranberries and almonds, and choices bear such catchy names as Pumpkin Spice Oktoberfest.
The granola bars are sold at different Virginia Beach venues and on allgoodgranolabars.com.
Daniels gathers considerable amounts of grain from local breweries, some of which would likely become animal feed but most of which would probably be thrown out.
And that, he says, underscores that his products aren’t just tasty but should also be looked on approvingly by those who believe businesses should be committed to environmental sustainability.
“The more (granola bars) that I can make the better because that means less food waste,” he declares.
The LINQ Promenade
Vegetarians and vegans will clearly be in their element at Las Vegas’ The LINQ Promenade this month and next.
The open-air district is inviting the public to enjoy tasty vegan and vegetarian breakfast, lunch and dinner specialties right in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip in October — declared National Vegetarian Month in the U.S. — and November, which is World Vegan month.
The LINQ Promenade is offers an expanded selection of vegan and vegetarian dishes at 10 of its signature restaurants for those searching for meat-free or plant-based options.
Here’s some of what awaits visitors:
Chayo Mexican Kitchen + Tequila Bar: Serving a variety of vegetarian and vegan options, guests can enjoy classic Mexican dishes with a meat-free spin at Chayo Mexican Kitchen + Tequila Bar. The breakfast menu includes chilaquiles made with fried eggs, Anaheim green chile sauce, baked tortillas, Mexican cheese, cilantro, onions and Mexican cream as well as the churro French toast made with cinnamon sugar crusted bread, Cajeta caramel sauce and fresh bananas. The lunch and dinner menu includes classic dishes such as sweet corn enchiladas, vegetarian nachos and more. Chayo is open Sunday through Monday 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday through Saturday 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Favorite Bistro: At this elegant venue, guests can savor Favorite Bistro’s many vegan and vegetarian dishes combining French cuisine with American flare. Le Petit Déjeuner (breakfast) menu includes vegetarian favorites such as steel-cut oatmeal made with mixed berries and maple syrup as well as the Breakfast in Paris – a buttery croissant, juice and coffee. For savory vegetarian options, Favorite Bistro offers delectable cheese plates and pizzas including margherita and vegetarian made with mozzarella, olives, artichokes, peppers, onions, fresh basil and tomato. Favorite Bistro is open Sunday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.; breakfast is served daily until 2 p.m.
Maxie’s: Breakfast and lunch are served up at Maxie’s daily from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The menu features vegetarian classics, including three varieties of avocado toast served on freshly baked ciabatta bread and the signature avocado grilled cheese made with tomato, avocado, sourdough bread and cheddar and Monterey jack cheese. For sweeter options, Maxie’s offers tempting breakfast dishes such as buttermilk pancakes, Belgian waffles, French toast or a classic bagel with cream cheese.
Off The Strip Bistro + Bar: A Las Vegas locals’ favorite since 2007, Off The Strip offers guests classic bistro and bar comfort food with ample plant-based options. Vegetarians can enjoy savory dishes such as the veggie skillet made with scrambled eggs, asparagus, avocado, waffle potato fries and spinach as well as the vegan protein quinoa bowl made with quinoa, zucchini, tomatoes, onion, black beans, avocado, asparagus and roasted red peppers. Off The Strip is open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 12 a.m., and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Flour & Barley – Brick Oven Pizza: With a creative menu featuring individual brick oven-style pizzas, including the meat-free margherita pizza, vegetarians can enjoy signature Italian dishes without missing out on flavor. Additional vegan and vegetarian options include the arugula and kale salad, romaine ‘Caesar’-style salad, tomato caprese salad and spaghetti alla vodka. The eatery is open Sunday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Friday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. On the go? They offer a to-go window serving fresh-made slices open daily through 2 a.m.
Gordon Ramsay Fish & Chips
In addition to their expertly battered whitefish, Gordon Ramsay Fish & Chips offers the vegetarian Dirty Fry #2 made with crispy potato chips, truffle, parmesan cheese and fresh chives. The eatery is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Combining Mexican and Japanese cuisine, Jaburritos features a wide selection of sushi burritos and bowls. Both vegans and vegetarians can savor the Venice made with Gardein™ “steak” or tofu, sweet chili sauce, avocado, roasted corn, black beans, cucumber, romaine lettuce and pico de gallo. Tasty side dishes include edamame, seaweed salad and miso soup. Jaburritos is open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Virgil’s Real BBQ: Vegetarians and vegans can savor world-famous barbecue tastes of Tennessee, Kentucky, Texas, the Carolinas and Missouri while also enjoying meat-free options. For breakfast, Virgil’s serves a variety of pancakes including mama’s original, chocolate chip and mixed berry. Lunch and dinner specials include the vegan black bean burger prepared with grilled vegetables, black beans, herbs and spices, pico de gallo, chipotle sauce and avocado. Other vegetarian options include crispy hush puppies made with maple syrup butter, potato salad, cornbread, coleslaw, mac and cheese and buttermilk biscuits. Virgil’s is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., Friday from 11 a.m. to midnight, Saturday from 8 a.m. to midnight and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Yard House: With an extensive menu combining contemporary American cuisine with Gardein options containing no meat, guests can enjoy vegetarian entrees such as mac and cheese, orange chicken, wings and the grilled chicken and avocado sandwich. Yard House’s vegan Beyond Burger™ combines pickles, vegan mozzarella, red onion, tomato, arugula, smashed avocado and mixed field greens tossed in a balsamic vinaigrette. Other vegetarian options include Wisconsin cheese curds, onion ring tower, truffle fries, tomato bisque and cheese and margherita pizzas. Yard House is open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to midnight and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.
Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery
More than a pub and sports bar, Tilted Kilt offers a festive, modernized, Celtic-themed environment featuring traditional pub appetizers and entrees as well as a variety of plant-based options. Veggie lovers can savor Tilted Kilt’s Emerald Isle Flatbread Pizza combining garlic butter, mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, green peppers, mushrooms and red onions as well as the Bad Arse Brussels tossed in sweet Thai chili sauce. Vegans searching for entirely plant-based options can enjoy the Beyond Burger made with fresh lettuce, tomato, pickles and red onion as well as the house salad made with fresh greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, and red onions. Tilted Kilt is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.
The LINQ Promenade has implemented Caesars Entertainment, Inc.’s (“Caesars”) new health and safety protocols, which enhance its existing plans and practices in these areas. All Caesars properties are focused on the well-being of team members, guests and the community, and continue to work to create an environment with high standards of sanitization and physical distancing practices. Among the enhanced health and safety protocols include more frequent cleaning and sanitization. Caesars has also implemented a health screening program for all employees. Team members and guests are required to wear masks, which the Company makes available, at all Caesars properties.
Ovolo Hotels is inviting people to be kind to Mother Earth when they break bread.
The company used Oct. 1 — World Vegetarian Day — to announce that only vegetarian food will be served at its Australian and Hong Kong restaurants for the next 365 days.
The “Year of the Veg” invites people to sample the fare at the likes of the Veda restaurant in Hong Kong’s Ovolo Central, with Veda billed as Hong Kong’s first vegetarian hotel restaurant.
Elsewhere in Hong Kong, The Ovolo Southside reports that it’s “lively, all-day” dining Komune restaurant is now shunning meat and will introduce a new restaurant concept that will be “fully vegetarian.”
Designer hotel company Ovolo — which has undertaken such other initiatives as banning single-use plastic — is pleased its guests will be able to discover the joys of meat-free dining.
“Dining out and enjoying tasty food and wine with great company is one of life’s simplest pleasures,” says Ovolo CEO Girish Jhunjhnuwala. “Good times and good intentions are how we evolve. We want to be conscious about what we’re consuming and practice environmental sustainability as best as we can. This leads to a larger impact on humanity, not just the environment.”
More information can be found at ovolohotels.com/eat/.
Apple Pie Trail
Blue Mountain Village
Meanwhile, Ontario’s Blue Mountain Village is promoting a fall attraction that it hopes will be the apple of your eye if you’re a cider or pie lover.
“Dazzling fall colours, a crispness in the air, and nature’s finest fragrances emanating from the orchards that define one of Southern Ontario’s most beautiful and inviting regions. This is Apple Country. And this is your chance to discover it,” Blue Mountain Village — found north of Toronto — says.
Locals have created the Apple Pie Trail, which features 28 stops from Blue Mountain Village through the Beaver Valley to Thornbury and Meaford “showcasing all that is apple. Discover restaurants, orchards, vineyards, cideries, galleries, museums, artisan products and argri-tourism, plus enjoy outdoor activities including hiking, biking and paddling through the spectacular autumn colours.
“You would expect the largest apple growing region in Ontario to be fertile ground for cideries, and the trail welcomes two more to our list of destinations this year: Windswept Orchard, perched high on the Niagara Escarpment between the Beaver and Big Head River Valleys, and Grey & Gold Cider Company, whose award-winning Spruce of the Bruce cider comes from their sustainable, farm-based cidery in the heart of Grey County apple country. Taste a variety of unique ciders or take home a growler or two.”
Apple Pie Trail experiences include “Waterfalls & Wine Tour – remarkable scenery; Wild Edibles Experience – educational and nutritious; Paddle & Cider Tasting – paddle board, kayak or canoe on the Beaver river; Thornbury Sticky Bun Cycling Loop – self-guided, heart-pumping 14 km loop; iwa Spa Pedicure & Cyder package – treat your feet after a day on the trails; and Scenic Caves Nature Adventures – outdoor family exploration.”
To learn more about the Apple Pie Trail visit applepietrail.ca.