Fun in AC for Everyone!

Never in a million years would I have believed that I’d be anxious to go to Atlantic City. Not even once, much less twice in one year! What do they have to offer little, innocent me? Aside from parties, great food, a beautiful beach, amazing hotels and casinos, gorgeous people, and an indescribable energy….

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This time I was in Atlantic for two days and a night with the fella to whom I introduced you last time, and his son. They really made the experience even better. We drove the two hours from Jersey City to Atlantic City in their family Lexus with Top 100 Hits playing in the background as we discussed life, death, and everything in between. Let me tell you, these two are quite a pair; the laughs and fun are endless!

A great soundtrack for your adventure:

You Want It Darker

My one concern was that his 19 year old son would be bored! However, we discussed the plan and made sure everyone would be entertained and content. After all, drinking, gambling, and partying are not the only things to do in Atlantic City. Not to mention, there was plenty of food! What does a teenage boy love more than food?

When we got to AC, we were tired, but not ready to stop just yet. We ate at the Asian restaurant in Harrah’s Resort and Casino- where we were staying for the night. They didn’t have too many vegan options, but I had edamame and they each had sushi and sashimi.
After some wandering and window shopping, the young guy was exhausted and went to hang out with my dog in the room. Meanwhile, the two big kids went to Harrah’s ‘Pool After Dark’! Considering how many cars were in the self-park garage, the crowd seemed slim. Still, we grabbed a drink and partied with Ja Rule; he was the guest host that night.
Now, that’s a name I haven’t heard in awhile!

The funny thing about the ‘Pool After Dark’ is that no one ever seems to be in the pool. Everyone creeps around it, trying not to fall in. Though, two brave men were chilling out on pool floats in their swimming trunks this time. They looked comfortable. Everyone else just congregated in cliques and danced like only people from New Jersey can dance. new_jersey_pumps_fists_classic_round_sticker-re4aea560380e431e9890426d396bd2a9_v9waf_8byvr_324We did what we came to do: pump our arms and lose money! Well, he lost money. I did my usual one-game-only: one roll in roulette– black. Doubled my money and walked away. Like a champ. Once hunger struck, we went to the 24 hour hotel cafe. He got a fruit tart that looked a bit frigid and sad, and I got an apple. A green Granny Smith apple. Will I never learn to carry snacks with me everywhere I go? We ate our late night snack, and went off to bed just in time for the sun to rise.

Next time, I’m bringing these:

KIND Bars, Dark Chocolate

The next day was no less fun or eventful. After a long, satisfying meal in the Borgata’s buffet, we did a little more window shopping. This time we made a huge purchase- a black and grey hoodie with the name ‘Borgata’ on it. For me, of course!

Unfortunately, we once again did not plan ahead well enough and missed out on seeing a show. The shows were later in the evening and nothing that we were too interested in seeing. Eyeing the rain outside, and knowing how anxious his son was to see the movie Jack Reacher, we went to a movie theatre not far from Tropicana . It looked like a shabby theatre from the outside, but the inside was large, clean, very buttery smelling, and, once the movie started, the darkness was impenetrable. The movie itself wasn’t my cup of popcorn, but it was lively and fun to watch it together. The group who fights bad guys together, stays together.

After this, just as we thought we we were ready to pack up and go, there was a realization that everyone was tired and hungry again. Hungry and tired. Driving two hours in a car together when everyone is hungry and tired is just asking for trouble. We couldn’t do much for the sleepiness, aside from some energy drinks, but the hunger could be solved with no difficulty at all. When we discovered there was a Buddakan in Caesar’s Palace, we knew where to go.

The Buddakan in New York City is absolutely awe-inspiring, but I’ll admit, I think Caesar’s version may have it trumped. Starting with the hotel’s recreation of Ancient Greece, and then a major scenery change into a faux boardwalk, we were under the Greek spell. We walked down the “boards”, looked out at the real beach with its setting sun, and entered a darkened hallway. Once you start down this pathway, you can’t help but turn your attention to the long, amber glass table leading to Buddha himself. Sitting with legs closed and heart open, he entices you to come forth, be seated, and eat!

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We did eat. Although the waitress tried to convince us that a salad and two entrees would not be enough, we restrained our grumbling tummies, and decided to only order more as necessary. We’re very responsible… and stubborn. Nonetheless, the waitress and all the wait staff were extraordinarily friendly, patient, and concerned with our comfort.

I was surprised at the limited number of vegan options, but some of the dishes could be adjusted to fit vegan needs. In the end, I went with the tofu and cashew dish and requested a side of spicy sauces. Can’t skimp on the spice!
Considering that 2/3 of the members of our table were staunch animal eaters, the salad really did get nabbed up quickly. Between the voracious hunger and the amazing ginger dressing, that salad didn’t have a chance.

As far as the main meals, I can’t speak for the shrimp lo mein, but the cashew and tofu was a delight! Being slightly less starved and deprived at this point, we had an opportunity to appreciate all aspects of this dish and its elements. Cashew and tofu protein aside, there was mint and pineapple and eggplant, too! Truly a little of everything, and all the parts of the puzzles added their own unique touch.

When it came time for the end of the meal, we were all completely satisfied and ready for the drive back. Stuffed to the gills and all! Good thing we had mentioned it was my birthday! Not that it was my birthday, but it “was” my birthday. Y’know? It was quite a surprise when along came a little cardboard box wrapped in a red bow. There was no birthday song, but the single lit candle was perfect. I unwrapped my gift and smelled the most amazing chocolate stank of my life. It was glorious.

Unfortunately, upon asking, we learned that the waitress had forgotten I was vegan. Goodbye, my sweet sweet! Fortunately, I was with two men who truly cared about me and were willing to eat my brownie for me. Plus, the embarrassed and guilty waitress brought over a strawberry sorbet that I could eat! Not my ideal dessert, but I ate it without a care or fret in the world.

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No hard feelings, Buddakan, this was my punishment for lying, I suppose.

Once fed, packed up, and filled with a heart full of joy from a marvelous day, we headed to the car with feet dragging and a little whisper in our ears to “stay… staaayyyy!”

Finally, having forgotten my phone in the hotel earlier in the day, I asked for photos that my younger comrade collected throughout the day. With all we had done and seen and all the unforgettable memories and moments between the three of us, I was anxious to have images to hold onto and share. He forwarded me the three photos he took:

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Pictures of advertisements for chocolate from the hotel wall

That says it all, folks. That’s everything.

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In the meantime, get satisfied!

‘Things to Try’ (click the link)


Asher’s Gourmet Pretzels, 1Lb


Vegan Street Food

Organici Tai Chi!

Remember that time I went to Brazil? It feels like forever ago. However, I never got around to giving you a full review of eating vegan food in Brazil… what the heck!? I’m the worst.

Fear not, though, I am now here to do that for you. Yes, for you. No one else.

If I can remember anything.

I was on a tour of Rio de Janeiro. You know, beaches, mountains, monkeys, beaches, tan butts, and burned skin (not mine, of course, as I’m a vampire and that would be extremely hazardous to my Vampirian skin!) There was a lot of good vibes and pretty stuff.

We were mid-tour when our tour guide casually asked if we wanted to eat. I wanted to eat. I always want to eat. Vegan options were somewhat slim…. I mean, there were options, but they weren’t amazing options, from what I could tell. Still, we chose one and went with it. It was right by Copacabana (just TRY not singing it) and it was vegan-friendly. That’s exactly what I wanted! Food. Vegan. Vegan food! How did they know?

First and foremost, the downside was the lack of bathroomage. It was a small place, mostly meant as a shop more than a restaurant, so we had to go next door for a restroom. The benefit of that was finding this doodad:

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Public bathroom floss and mouthwash. It’s so genius and yet so potentially disgusting. I flossed my teeth like a champ that day. There wasn’t anymore mouthwash, so the world would just have to deal with my halitosis expialidoscious!

Once everyone had peed and flossed, we entered… ORGANICI! We entered the doorway in slow motion with black suits and ties and sunglasses. We were the gang of Brazilian vegan foods. Don’t mess.

* Guns fire, glass shatters…. As the door enters, we see a grandmother, her extremely white grandchild, and a Middle Eastern tour guide enter*

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“Give me your veggies or prepare to suffer.”

The cashier/waitress doesn’t speak English. So, the guide translates… kind of. While the food is being prepared, the gang eyeball the place. Baked good, teas, sweets, baked goods, teas, sweets, baked good, teas, sweets! There’s so much veganness, how do they do it?

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Don’t ask me what any of this stuff is…. OH! Eggs! I know what those are. But, they’re not vegan, and they’re brown. That’s messed up.

Oh! The food, it’s here. Shut up, guys! Shut up! The food’s here!

First we were given this beet and rice thing

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It looks simple and tasty enough, right? WRONG! It wasn’t very good. I don’t know why or how, but we all agreed that it was not worth the effort of chewing. Fortunately, this was not our meal. They had fooled us! This was just a side dish to the meal! Trickery! Deceit!

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Well, well, well, what do we have here? Think you can just give me spaghetti with tomato sauce and broccoli with macadamia nuts and a side of soy parmesan cheese without further questioning? THINK AGAIN!

This was fine. It was slightly a little warmish, so that’s good. Wouldn’t want my meal to still be frozen! The flavour was fine. Cool. Good enough. I was starving. It worked for us.

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Tofu stroganoff? It’s a thing, apparently. Not a particularly good thing, but a thing, nonetheless. No one can say someone in Brazil didn’t try. There was mushroom, even. I mean, come on! That’s special. Too bad it was super liquidy and didn’t have much in the way of a taste. Sad faces.

But, hey, turn that frown upside down! There’s still a drinky poo waiting to be drinkied! unnamed-8.jpg

Boom! Thirst satiated thanks to WAKER! All the caffeine, none of the sugar. Zing! POP!

It was pretty good, you know, for an energy drink made by an owl. Owl ain’t playin’. And, you will notice that the waitress has a playful top on. Kind of like a nurse’s scrubs. I like feeling like I’m eating dinner in the hospital, it puts me at ease. Bed pans were made for days like these.

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As for the price of things, I have no idea how that worked out. On one hand, it’s Brazil, so… ya know. Money is not easy to come by. On the other hand, vegan-friendly near a world famous beach could go either way. But, since we didn’t love what we had, I guess no amount makes up for that. Good for the starving vegan in unfamiliar territory, bad for the seasoned traveler who knows they could have found a better place if they had done a little more research. Ah, well! If nothing else, you can always buy chocolate!

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Rating: 4/10 unicorn hugs

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