Hi everyone! It has been SO long since I’ve had the chance to write a travel blog post. If my memory is correct, the last one was waaay back in 2012 when we went to Germany to visit my family. We just don’t manage to travel as much since we’ve had kids, just the thought of packing up all the diapers, wipes, sippy cups, snacks, and other gear that they need is enough to make me exhausted and scrap any plans. But we finally made it out to New Mexico to visit my in-laws and take a much needed vacation. It was my first time in New Mexico ever, and of course I was really excited to sample all the local good things to eat.
Our first stop was in Roswell, where my in-laws live, and where it seems that aliens might be easier to find than decent vegan food. We survived only because we were able to eat with our family at home, and because we could cook in our hotel room’s kitchenette. Roswell is a town of chain food restaurants and fast food, and vegan options are pretty much nonexistent. Our hotel was right by an Applebee’s, and we attempted to piece together a vegan dinner there one evening. Our very nice server offered to make me an off-menu portobello burger which sounded decent, but when it came out was actually two large, completely RAW portobello caps on a bun. When I requested that they, you know, actually cook the mushrooms a little bit, she admitted that the kitchen had no idea how to make a portobello burger. Clearly, aliens are spotted in those parts more often than vegans.
We did much better eating on the rest of our trip in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Taos. Our first stop for provisions at the Whole Foods in Albuquerque was a total delight, as we discovered these vegan tamales, which were pretty much what we’d been dreaming of eating since we started planning our trip months ago. Vegan tamales are so hard to find, and I am much too lazy to make them myself, although once in a while we are able to get them in NYC. They even sold frozen vegan tamales at the Whole Foods, and if I could have figured out a way to carry them back home, I would have stocked up.
We found some real gems in Santa Fe, thanks to recommendations from Happy Cow – a life saving resource for vegan travelers! We had one lunch at Thai Vegan, where the food was really tasty and properly spicy. The Pad See Ew was kind of standard, but good. The tofu with basil leaves had plenty of heat and flavor, and the Orange Chick’n that we got for the kids was also tasty, not too sweet, and came with plenty of veggies. The food all tasted fresh and fairly authentic.
The best find in Santa Fe, by far, was our amazing experience at BODY Cafe. I can’t rave enough about how great it is there. In addition to the serene, newly redecorated cafe, they have a selection of baked goods, handmade chocolates, a spa, yoga classes, a beautiful boutique for organic clothing and yoga wear, AND a kids’ play space stocked with plenty of toys, art supplies, and minders, if you want to leave the kiddos there while you do a yoga class or eat lunch or whatever. I can’t stress enough what an amazing surprise it was to find a mostly vegan cafe WITH A PLAYSPACE FOR THE KIDS. This is basically a vegan parent’s holy grail.
We loved the play space, but we loved the food there even more. They have fantastic raw options that rival the best we’ve had from Pure Food & Wine in NYC. We had the raw enchiladas and a raw pizza. The enchiladas were covered with a delicious New Mexico red chile sauce, cashew sour cream, and filled with cabbage, red bell pepper, corn, and red onion. They were so satisfying and tasted just like “regular” enchiladas, but fresh and crunchy instead of soft and gooey, if that makes sense.
The raw pizza had a zucchini sunflower crust and was topped with sundried tomato marinara, olives, basil pesto, and a cashew cheese. It was also delicious and satisfying, and tasted fresh and vibrant, instead of dense and heavy, which is exactly what we were craving especially in the hot southwestern climate. The homemade cashew cheese also filled the quesadillas that we got for the kids.
Of course we had to try their desserts, so we opted for the raw vegan chocolate ganache torte. It was sublime. Rich, decadent, heavenly. With all the good food and the kids happily playing, we seriously could have stayed there all day, and discussed that as a possibility. If we lived in Santa Fe, I would be at Body Cafe every day. I would just move in. If you are in the area, I can’t recommend them enough!
Stay tuned this week where I will post about the rest of our trip, including another amazing meal in Santa Fe at the famed Cafe Pasqual’s, and a review and book giveaway of Dreena Burton’s new Plant-Powered Families. Lots of excitement coming up!