Smile Politely

Welcome Veggie Trails to the vegan party

My time in Champaign-Urbana is dwindling and so the thought of choosing one more place to review for this column has been a bit daunting. Then, I got a little update from a Twitter account I follow called Vegan Mainstream (@Veganmainstream). According to the short snippet, this new traveling vegetarian/vegan trailer was going to make an appearance in Chicago. However, upon clicking the link, I discovered it was going to be located at our very own Farmer’s Market in Urbana, Ill. How convenient that my last weekend corresponded with the same weekend for both the first market of the season and the debut of Veggie Trails.

My excitement for this little trailer was ridiculously high. I suppose that should be coupled with a disclaimer that finding specifically labeled vegan food anywhere is always a source of cheer in my life. Regardless, I showed up at the market too early for lunch, which is what I really wanted. Embarrassingly enough, I waited in the continuously long line about three times before they actually began serving what I desired. My original choice was the Sloppy Cowboy Joe, but upon the third visit to the stand, I decided to opt for the Texas BBQ wrap instead, since that was ready.

While I think that you could create this sort of fare in your own home, there is something about having your food (especially this type) prepared for you that makes it that much better. The wrap was just the right size for an afternoon treat, although I probably wouldn’t recommend relying on it to fill you up. I felt that the wrap seemed a bit empty. It would have been much more fulfilling if it contained a little something extra like bell pepper or various other veggies. However, the texture of the barbequed tofu along with the flavor of the onions was pleasing. I would also like to add that eating this sort of food outside seems almost mandatory for which the Market is the perfect venue.

Ultimately, I think Veggie Trails is a wonderful addition to the farmer’s market in Urbana. The owners definitely contribute to an atmosphere already ripe with friendliness and community. I would also like to add that the presentation of the stand itself is endearing. The cowboy theme and western style of this vegan/vegetarian stand contradicts some of the fundamental notions of what items normally comprise barbeque. Check them out online as well because they sell meatless jerky which unfortunately I did not have the opportunity to sample.

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