Vegan food is just like “regular” food. You put it in your mouth, chew it, then swallow. And just like “regular” food, it can be made of junk or it can be made of quality. Vegan foods are not exempt from the simple truth that the more pure and unprocessed the ingredients are, the better–for our health, for the environment, etc. Lately the misconception that vegan food equates to healthy food has been irking me. I’ll chalk it up to a “growing pain,” a new problem based on a great thing–more people offering vegan options. For the new vegans, the vegan-friendly eateries with great intentions of inclusion, the mock-meaters… I’m going to yell it from the rooftops, “Processed food, vegan or otherwise, is no good!”
As a roaming vegan reporter of sorts, I have been conflicted. Should I celebrate all vegan food out there? Should I try to remain positive in all my reviews of vegan eateries? Well, if this was 1996, when I first went vegan and sustenance wasn’t easy to find, I’d say yes! But now, in 2013, I feel very differently. Quality food–food good for us and good for the animals–that’s what’s important. Easy, processed food short-cuts are not good for us and they cheapen what is movement about better options and higher standards in eating. I’ve ranted about this many times before: here, here, here. In fact, here is a page from my zine, publishing in 2004, written by a friend after many conversations:
Anyway, my passion pushes my standards sky-high, yes. It’s not a bad thing. (I think there isn’t enough discernment out there in the world, in general.) Sometimes that discourages me. But I am not going to lower my standards, however frustration-inducing they are sometimes.
Then sometimes I eat a meal that is just perfect in every way, that meets my standards and strolls with them for a romantic walk on the beach. That was Six Main in the lovely and idyllic Chester, Connecticut. Sure, it helped that Ms. CP and I visited Six Main for Sunday brunch (the best meal ever), with a sharp blue sky backdrop against the mingling row of farmers market tents.
Of course Six Main’s head chef has culinary roots out west in Los Angeles, the most vegan-done-right city in the country in this well-traveled vegan’s opinion. This salad was delectable–a subtlely smoky grilled watermelon, topped with a pesto vinaigrette, balsamic drizzle, and a few berries.
My Portobello Benedict. Nothing beats the Benedict for brunch. Biscuit topped with different textures and flavors, smothered in Hollandaise. Dissecting a vegan hollandaise is always fun. Without the egg, the definition is broader. Chefs use a variety of ingredients to create something drenchingly viscous and opaque in color. This one seemed to be tofu-based. Along with the potatoes here and the appreciated palate-cleansing fruit, you have a perfect dish. And you have faith restored.
Vendors set up for the farmers market. People saying “God bless you.”
Six Main is right across from an adorable co-op, The Local Beet.
Being just 40 minutes from Manchester, Connecticut, we took a quick trip to Divine Treasures. This place is now a requisite stop if I’m ever in Connecticut. The variety of delicious chocolates just blows me away.
Even more impressive is how spot-on their hot fudge topping is. Definitely thee best I have ever had. This time I had both hot fudge and caramel sauce.
My only complaint is the lack of seats to sit and enjoy this delicious treat. We sat on the concrete like the teenage derelicts we once were.
You have to meet the card minimum at Divine Treasures, a perfect excuse to splurge on the not-readily-available-near-home chocolates, caramels and truffles. But of course! Goodbye beautiful Connecticut! Until next time.