quick thoughts on travel snacks, boring eats & a thank you to Koyo Organic Ramen

I’m currently in between short business trips somewhere calming, but less than bountiful, vegan-option wise.  It’s been quite some time since I’ve had to truly rely on my emergency rations (bars, instant soup, hummus, fruit, peanut butter, go!). I’ve become so spoiled by Portland and trips to cities that offer vegan culinary adventures as a sweet bonus. I’m fully capable and experienced in special requests, but it’s not like that always works out for the best. And quite frankly, I am just depressed by mundane options and iceberg lettuce and people offering me bacon wrapped scallops and not sure which part isn’t vegan.

Long rant shortened because I’ve been vegan and positive for far too long to truly complain, and I am pretty impressed with the expansion of Luna and Clif bar flavors in the past few years. I thought my new favorite would be the Carrot Cake Clif bar, but it was pushed over by the White Chocolate Macadamia – which yup, is vegan and made with cocoa butter!

The simple hero of my vegan convenience foods that didn’t require refrigeration-or-microwaving was Koyo Mushroom Miso Ramen.  Everything tastes better out of a mug, especially when you’re sitting in a hotel room watching Iron Chef. I used to keep this as a back up option at work, and I think I still have an expired package somewhere, but it was since replaced by downtown food carts.

The only actual meal I was able to semi-successfully order? This pizza. Here comes another mini rant.

blondie's pizza

There was a cheese-less foccacia on this pizzeria’s menu, but when I attempted to order it without cheese, it became just that, an attempt.  I was assured that the pizza didn’t hold together without the cheese. Okay. I was able to talk the staff into a cheese-less personal pizza with tomato sauce. I like to think that every time vegans state their requests, courteously, it helps the vegan (menu ordering) cause.  The next vegan or picky person won’t seem so strange and the term enters the establishment. When I passed on the parmesan as it was delivered, I received another curious/judgemental ‘no cheese’ comment. Vegans are just that shocking.

As for the pizza? I did eat some, because I was a) ravenous for a real meal b) paid for it and c) was gracious, but I won’t be returning here later in the week. Flimsy, dried mushrooms, over-cooked, muted black olives, super thin tomato paste-consistency sauce, and just blah crust. Blah!

I’ll pack more fruit and ramen.


  1. it still happens here. i just went to henry’s (parents in town) & asked what on the menu could be vegan.

    waitress: “the veggie burger, if you leave out the mayo.”
    me: “that’s on brioche. wouldn’t that have egg?”
    waitress: “oh, yeah, i guess. well, you could have it without the bun.”

    i also went with a mushroom pizza, no cheese, with tomato sauce. it didn’t suck like yours, though.

    1. even more ridiculous about Henry’s – I have heard a few stories like that! I myself did it years ago! Why have they not attempted to catch on? blah blah.

  2. what i hate is that someone with a dairy intolerance can ask for no cheese and it’s not a problem, but if you say you’re vegan, WHOA! LOOK OUT! FREAK IN THE HOUSE! ugh. hate that.

    1. hey jenny, yeah, I try to switch up the V card and Lactose card now and then. I’m certainly proud to be vegan, but the Lactose card can be more reliable. triple blah.

  3. oh jess, I’ve been there. cheeseless pizza has a dark place in my heart. I’ve eaten so many crappy cheeseless pizzas, but only because I am starving, and we are in Bosnia, and it is warm. Or wherever we might be. And the weirdo, disdainful service thing too… sigh! But yes, the bars-jerky-etc get better and better all the time. And I also love that ramen. It’s my go-to comfort food when I have a cold or need a little pity-party. Hang in there!

  4. I lurve Koyo Ramen Noodles! Whole Foods has had them on sale lately and I’ve walked out there with armfuls. Okay, not armfuls, but still, many packages. I like to toss frozen mixed veggies in the water as it’s coming to a boil, with some fresh garlic, and sometimes tofu. Or… I cook up a Field Roast sausage, sliced, and then toss in some veggies, and then the cooked ramen, with cooking liquid. So good.

    I hope the rest of your trip is good. 🙂

  5. Sometimes, especially when dealing with belligerant people (which thankfully doesn’t happen too often) I just tell them, okay, I’m allergic and if I die, my hubby will sue. Of course I only do that if I can see them prepare my food…! lol

    Glad to see that you came prepared. Good job!

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