I'm currently embarking on a major (for me) trip around the United States. My work has brought me here, but I'm finding some time for fun and food along the way. My first stop was Gainesville, Florida. The hot, humid days, sub-tropical trees and afternoon thunderstorms reminded me of Queensland, and the sub-par restaurants near my hotel reminded me that I should really get a driver's license. My work commitments happily sustained me through the week, and then I splashed out on a taxi into town on the weekend, checking out the excellent Museum of Natural History and Harn Museum of Art, wandering through the university campus, and settling in for an early dinner.
I fell upon Bahn Thai Restaurant almost by accident, noticing their handwritten "Vegan and Vegetarian!" sign in the window, and deciding on a whim to give them a shot. I'm glad I did. Their menu included three full pages of vegetarian and vegan dishes, headed up with information about their ingredients and utensil practices. Most of their mains come with a choice of tofu, seitan or tempeh. My ginger seitan (US$12.95 ~ AU$13.90) was lighter and spongier than I usually encounter back home, all the better to soak up the thick sauce. I'd've easily got two meals out of this order, if only I'd had a fridge to take it home to.
Next door was Karma Cream, the icecream cafe that I was actually aiming for. Since I was full of Thai food I skipped over their sandwich menu, which included a vegan grilled cheese with tempeh bacon and Tofurkey Rueben. I had to look past the full sundae and cookie sandwich options, too, and stick to their smallest serve of icecream (US$3.70 ~ AU$3.97). They had ten vegan flavours on offer, most of them coconut-based, and all the toppings - including hot fudge, cookie dough, gummy bears, sprinkles (US$0.75 ~ AU$0.80 each) - were vegan too. My bowl of ginger cookie caramel icecream with peanut butter shell (aka ice magic) was creamy, coconutty and very, very sweet. I'd expect no less of an American icecreamery. I picked up three Go Max Go chocolate bars for the price of two on my way out.