Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Memphis Vegan Drinks! Our First Meetup!

I've been wanting to form a Memphis Vegan Drinks for well over a year. We have a pretty active vegetarian social club, Food Awareness, but we typically meet for leisurely lunches on Saturdays. I wanted to jump on the Drinks bandwagon and gather some vegans for booze and happy hour fun!

So after months of procrastinating (and being re-inspired by Super Vegan and New York Vegan Drinks founder Jason Das at Vida Vegan Con), I finally scheduled a meet-up. I plan to move the meeting around to various vegan-friendly bars. But I knew I just had to host the first one at my favorite Mexican/hot dog joint, Chiwawa!

Okay, I'll admit that part of the reason I picked this place is because they have a vegan hot dog named after me. But that wasn't the only reason. They have several vegan menu items and, perhaps most importantly, they have Adult Snow Cones (yes, that means snow cones spiked with booze). Ashley ordered one! Not sure what flavor this was one was.

I was so amazed at the crowd that came out for this. We had about 20 people at the first meeting!!! Here's a crowd shot early on, but more people poured in as the evening wore on. Oh yea, by the way, Chiwawa also has an amazing patio!

Here's me and Barbara.

And here's Autumn, Vaughan, and Nicole.

Stephanie and Richard brought their kid Peter. And Stephanie even let little Peter take the last little sip from her cocktail. Even the kids get drunk at our Vegan Drinks! Don't worry — she's a good mom, I swear. The glass was actually empty.

Stephanie ordered a Bianca Dog, which typically comes dressed with vegan slaw and a black bean spread on a pretzel bun. But since she was sharing with her kid, she had the slaw and beans on the side. I wish I'd taken a picture of someone else's fully dressed Bianca Dog since lots were ordered at our table. But I got so busy chatting that I forgot!

And let's not forget Cassi. Here she is with a plate of Papas and Chipotle Ketchup and a Sangria.

Leslie ordered the Pickled Veggies.

Here's a close-up of those Pickled Veggies. I was surprised to see corn in there!

I started the night with an Abita Strawgator — a mix of Abita Andygator and their strawberry ale. So summery!

Then I switched to a Michelada, which appeared vegan on the menu (sometimes they contain Worcestershire sauce). It was made with Pacifico beer, tomato juice, lime juice, and habanero hot sauce.

Since Chiwawa opened, I've had plenty of Bianca Dogs! So I wanted to try something new tonight. I went with the Aftershroom Delight Taco — oyster mushrooms, corn smut (that's corn fungus ... like a mushroom!), and corn. Corn smut sounded weird and gross, but I was willing to try it. And it was surprisingly tasty. I couldn't tell much difference between the corn smut and the oyster mushrooms.

I also ordered Chips and Salsa for the table. Chiwawa's homemade tortilla chips are ridiculously good, and the salsa is garlicky and just the right consistancy.

Here's Shay lookin' lovely with a classic Margarita. You can never go wrong with a margarita.

Some folks ordered the Jicama, Mango, and Cucumber Fries with Chili-Lime Salt. I didn't try one, but they looked healthy and lovely.

Our first Memphis Vegan Drinks was a huge success. I'm only a little sad that I didn't do this sooner! We plan to switch bars each month, but we'll likely end up back at Chiwawa in a few months. If you're in Memphis and want to join us, we'll be at 3 Angels Diner on Tuesday, August 27th at 5:30 p.m. Hope to see you then!


Adi Pantera. said...

Congrats on the first meet-up! Even though you didn't do this before, I love the fact thay you went for it anyway and just by looking at the pictures it shows how much of a success it was.

I wish I had a vegetarian dish named after me. ;( Hahah
And I love your "Made In Memphis" shirt by the way!


Dana said...

aw! the next one is my birthday! that is a great turnout. I always wonder how many vegans we have in LR and if we could get something started like that. love your "made in memphis" shirt

Sheridan & Drew said...

This looks like SO much fun!! Wish I could have been there! And Dana -my husband, Drew, and I are vegans in Little Rock (if that's where you mean by LR?). I've "joined" a few vegan meetup groups on facebook and such, just never been available to go when they've planned their meetups! So, I know they exist!

Pam said...

I wish I was a little closer to Memphis! I would SO be at your next one!

Kyleigh said...

That's awesome, congrats! Too bad I didn't live closer it sounds like so much fun!

Katie said...

SO COOL!!1! Wish I could've transported there, what an awesome gathering! Those dishes all sounded so yummy and intriguing, too... Cheers!

Scissors and Spice said...

Love the short hair!

billybicket said...

Love your gumption and writing about all-things vegan. Looking forward to participating at next week's event. See ya then!