I have to be honest. I get so jealous when I see all the amazing offerings at the really large vegan festivals like Eat, Drink, Vegan in Los Angeles, CA. Seriously, check it out here. Since I am deathly afraid to fly, I have to settle getting in my tasty vegan treats locally. Don’t get me wrong – I appreciate that I have a festival so close. But the vegan supply on the West Coast is drool worthy for sure.
This past weekend was our third year attending the Richmond VegFest which takes place in Bryan Park. The weather was beautiful even though Richmond was recovering from a lot of rain and even some flooding in some parts. Thankfully, the rain stopped before the start of the event! I was so excited to wake up on Saturday morning and get on the road and was even giddier as we approached the Veggies Ahead signs leading the way. They are the signs of my people.
We got to the park a few minutes after it officially opened and walked in with people and animals alike with the same goal – eating some delicious vegan food! I don’t get the opportunity to go many places where I don’t have to ask questions about everything on the menu or do hours of research ahead of time trying to find something that meets my goals. It’s such a freeing feeling knowing that I can walk in to park and eat ANYTHING in sight! This is truly what dreams are made of, people!
We walked into the park specifically looking for one particular booth – Nu Vegan. Of course, it was easy to spot since it had the longest line! Nu Vegan is a restaurant that is opening up its third location which will be located on Grace Street in Richmond on June 30, 2018. Their other two locations are in the Washington DC area. They are known for making traditional comfort food like mac and cheese, but cruelty free. What could be better in life than having a heaping bowl of vegan mac and cheese?
We waited in line for approximately 20-30 minutes. Don’t worry – it was totally worth it. While we patiently waited, we reviewed the options and made our choices. I couldn’t believe what the food looked like when it was finally our turn. They had four offerings (fried, buffalo, BBQ, and jerk) of vegan “chicken wings” complete with a “BONE” and two sides – collard greens or mac and cheese. We chose to try the traditional fried, buffalo, and BBQ wing with a heaping side of mac and cheese since I can get the best collard greens made by my grandmother anytime I want. The wings were delicious and chewed similar to chicken without the creepy parts like cartilage. The “bone” was made of a wooden dowel so you could actually eat it like a traditional wing if you desired – how creative! The mac and cheese was also amazing! They made the “cheese sauce” out of tofu! This was by far the creamiest and most decadent version of mac and cheese that I’ve ever tried. I would even say it was better than some “real” mac and cheese dishes I’ve had in the past – and I LOVED cheese. I am looking forward to making a copy-cat recipe for the blog in the future so keep your eyes peeled for it coming later in the summer!
We spent the rest of the afternoon walking around reading up on the local sanctuaries and browsing the booths with catchy phrases to increase awareness. I did miss a lot of my favorite booths that we purchased from in previous years, but it seemed like there were less booths to purchase products this year. We did purchase a few products that I will be sampling in the weeks to come as well as some gifts for family and friends. Overall, it was a very successful and tasty day!