Friday, September 14, 2007

The Big Move: Part II (Road Trip to NY)

HappyCow is a real lifesaver on road trips. It's a fantastic resource for traveling vegans in general, but I'm especially thankful for it when I know I'll be on the road for long stretches of time without many options besides Subway (which frankly, I find rather disgusting) - unless I'm prepared. So in anticipation of our 12 hour car ride from Chicago to central New York, I hopped on HappyCow's website to find a proper pit stop.

What I found was this: The Web of Life natural food store and cafe just outside Cleveland, Ohio. It was the perfect place for lunch - entirely vegan, right off the highway, and located exactly halfway between our starting point and our destination. We even opted to dine outdoors since it was such a lovely day - you may notice Uma and Dexter's carriers sitting on that bench in front of the entrance. We wouldn't want them to miss out on the fun and fresh air, after all (incidentally, they were both SO well-behaved the whole trip - I was shocked).

Faced with a menu full of tasty sandwiches, pizza, soups, juices, and smoothies, I was lured in by the catchy name of the "Save the Fish!" sandwich - a marinated and breaded tempeh patty with veggies and tartar sauce on a whole grain bun. It was good, though I could have used an extra helping of the sauce to even out the dry texture of the patty. Still, the name is so cute.

J got one of the biggest wraps either one of us had ever seen, filled with spicy tofu, hummus, and fresh vegetables. I would probably order what he had next time. We both got to try the much-anticipated OatsCream, as well, but I was too excited [and hungry] to take any pictures. Unfortunately, I found it a bit watered down, but I appreciated the opportunity to try it nonetheless.

Prices at The Web of Life were incredibly reasonable, especially considering that nearly all ingredients were organic and local. Check out this vegan baklava for $3.99 - which I considered a steal after shopping at Whole Foods for a year. Overall, the vibe of the store was friendly and inviting enough to make me want to return someday, even if my food choices weren't perfect (the baklava was excellent, though ;-).


The first few hours of any road trip are exciting and generally fly by, but as one gets closer to their final destination, the miles drag on and the passenger tends gets rather weary. The above picture is my attempt to pass the time while it was J's turn to drive - playing with my new camera. My old one finally bit the dust about two days before we left Chicago. RIP Sony Cybershot, it's been fun.


Finally, the sign we'd been waiting for for four states...too bad we still had about 4 hours of driving ahead of us...

15 comments:

Selina said...

Wow, moving to New York!

I actually found ur blog from Bazu. She suggested it because I live near Chicago & was wondering what to order at the Chicago Diner. Looks like I just missed you.

Hope the moving is going ok & cant wait to see how your doing in New York.

VeggieGirl said...

oh my goodness!!!! you were RIGHT near my house!!!!! I've only heard great things about Web of Life, yet I've never dined there before - and I can't believe they have Oatscreme!! I've been dying to try that!! :0D

bazu said...

Web of life sounds awesome! I know what you mean about happy cow, it saved my life in Puerto Rico. I would have never known that PR was full of little independent health food stores without it! When we checked into our hotel, they knew we were vegetarian, so they gave us a happy cow printout of every veg. restaurant, cafe, and store on the entire island!
Oh, and I know what you mean about that final stretch of the drive... Buffalo... Rochester... 2 more hours... Syracuse. (and then for you ... Ithaca). The worst part is, during the winter it goes... chilly... grey... cold... icy... snowy as we get closer and closer to home!

theONLYtania said...

Ohhh what an exciting trip! Lucky that you found that great place to eat, it looks excellent. Keep us posted on the move :)

Veg*Triathlete said...

Wow-your road food looks better than what I've been eating this week - and I was home!!! Can't wait to read about New York life, though I'll miss your Chicago posts!

Emmie said...

So exciting. Moving is such a fantastic thing to do, new places to see new people to meet. For me, even going to the new grocery store is exciting. Six years ago I moved all the way from north Sweden to the very south. The trip by car took us 2 days . We had sold all our stuff off and were travelling with just our two cats, some plants and our clothes. It was super exciting and turned out to be the best choice we've ever made.

The food looks so lovely. And baklava? MMmmm!

erica said...

Wow, both those sandwiches look really good. I don't envy you the long car trip, but you know I totally envy moving to the country. And - I finally spy a bit of J!

JohnnySensible said...

Guys - great article / fine comments - "The Web of Life" deserves more Reviews! - please make it a habit to write Reviews - http://www.happycow.net/reviews.php?id=3172 - write them regularly - Reviews are the "life" of HappyCow - thank you, thank you, thank you - as I travel I use HappyCow every few days & the Reviews are what help me the most - John

aTxVegn said...

Hey, Kati! I'm glad the move is over. What a dreadfully long drive. But at least the food was outstanding. It all looks fantastic. I was surprised you thought the Oatscream tasted watered down. I haven't had that experience here. But now I'm into Good Karma.

Glad you made it to NY safely.

laura jesser said...

Hope you get settled into your New York home soon! I enjoyed your account of the road trip--Web of Life sounds awesome.

Vivacious Vegan said...

The name, "Save the Fish" is a cute name but I thought your catchy adjective was even more clever! I hope you're all settled into your new home by now. Can't wait to hear all about it.

The Little Vegan said...

Mmmmmmm vegan baklava! And I loooove Oatscreme (only had it once). Sorry yours was watered down.

Lindy Loo said...

Awesome! I am at Web of Life *ALL* the fricking time. Their food rocks. Very cool that you had time to stop in and chow down!

Rural Vegan said...

Having just done this drive myself, I wish I would have gotten off the highway and stopped at The Web of Life. We were plagued by awful fast food choices on the turnpikes and survived off Swedish Fish.

I am very interested in how you like central NY comparatively. We're looking to get out of IL too and I was so impressed with the Ithaca area last weekend.

maybelles parents said...

Oh, I am so glad you liked web of life. Haven't been there in years (when they had different owners) and there has been some mixed reviews of it since.