Sunday, November 8, 2015

Belated Birthday Weekend!

My best friend Sheridan and her partner Drew came up to Memphis this weekend for a little post-birthday celebration. They live in Little Rock and couldn't get here for my actual birthday in mid-October, so we had a make-up weekend. We ate lots of delicious food. So much food!

This weekend was the annual India Fest in Memphis. It's a massive celebration of Indian culture with food from all the states of India, sales of saris and bindis, dance performances, and more. Sheridan and Drew got here right in time for India Fest, so we went straight there for lunch.

My friends Pam, Stephanie, and Richard (and Steph and Richard's kid Peter) were there too. We all scattered to find food and met back up to stuff our faces. Sheridan and I both tried the Dhal Bati — dhal with wheat rolls. The dhal was so well-spiced. Good stuff.

A trip to India Fest is never complete without at least one Samosa (fried potato pastry) and one Vada (fried lentil doughnut).

I love, love, love dosa (lentil flour crepe), so I grabbed a Plain Dosa with Pepper Chutney and Peanut Chutney.

And Pani Puri is another Indian street food fave. I seek it out at India Fest every year. These little crispy pockets are stuffed with a chickpea-potato mash that's seasoned with black salt. And you pour the spicy green water inside just before eating.

After all that, I was pretty stuffed. But then Sheridan and Drew appeared with these noodles, and I had to try a few bites. They were just sold as Veg Noodle, so we're not sure what the spices were. But they were super-oily and very well-spiced. Soooo good. Maybe my favorite dish from India Fest this year!

After India Fest, we thought we'd never be hungry again. But I wanted Sheridan and Drew to try some of Cassi's cupcakes from Pink Diva Cupcakery. So we stopped by and grabbed some to go. I chose the Cranberry Orange Cupcake, flecked with dried cranberries and topped with orange syrup.

We always visit one another's Whole Foods stores when we're visiting each other because the Memphis store and the Little Rock store have some different products, so we killed a little time at Whole Foods. And then, miraculously, we were hungry for dinner! Drew was craving ramen, so we hit up Crazy Noodle. They got ramen bowls, but I wanted to try something different. So I got the Crazy Bibam Noodle. It's like bibambap but with noodles instead of rice. The veg version has tofu, shiitake mushrooms, carrots, zucchini, lettuce, noodles, and spicy Korean sauce.

After dinner, we grabbed some beers and headed to my house for a game night. We played Clue and Jenga. But we tucked in early because we wanted to squeeze in breakfast before Sheridan and Drew had to leave on Sunday. They wanted to try Abyssinia for brunch because Sheridan's never had Ethiopian food. But they don't open until 11 a.m., and they needed to be gone by then. That put Imagine Vegan Cafe out too, since they don't open until 11. But thankfully, Brother Juniper's opens at 8 a.m.! So we went there this morning and got Fahim's Special with Home Fries & Whole Wheat Toast. 

Note to locals: Fahim's Special (the tofu scram with portabellas, peppers, and olives) is no longer on the menu, but they'll make it if you ask. The only catch is they no longer carry kalamata olives, so the scramble comes without olives. BUT we brought our own olives to add!! BYOO, right? Vegans always come prepared.

After breakfast, they had to head home. But they got me this awesome tea diffuser pot and adult coloring book for my birthday, so I made chai and got busy coloring! They also got me the soundtrack to The Light Princess, the musical by Tori Amos.

Here's what I colored today!


vegan peace said...

I love love love Bibimbap, and noodles in place of rice sounds amazing! What a great food day! I love the picture too! I didn't even know they made adult coloring books!

Dennis said...

india fest!! what?!?! that sounds awesome!! is there a list of vegan or cuisine fests like that online?? i want to go to one!!

my wife loves coloring too!!! her favorite book is animorphia by kerby rosanes.

Dana said...

Definitely try flavor of India next time you are in the rock. They have so many dosas on the menu!

Happy belated birthday! Looks like so much fun :)

Susan said...

India fest sounds awesome!

Sheridan said...

Yayyy!!! So much fun!! Miss you already!

Sarah@welshgirleats said...

Sounds like an awesome weekend. Love, love indian food but the hubs isn't a fan so we rarely have it (although i do try to make chana masala every couple of weeks). On a more serious note, how do you stay so slim with all the amazing food you eat... Not going to lie, I'm a tad jealous :)