I recently tried Naf Naf Grill for the first time. I first learned about this restaurant by simply walking through Brookfield Square Mall in Brookfield, WI. Usually when I come across a new restaurant, I immediately Google their menu to see what vegans options they might have. I was surprised to see that they actually have a lot of vegan options including DESSERT! You can also get it delivered!
Naf Naf Grill is a Middle Eastern, fast casual dining restaurant with a setup similiar to Chipotle. You basically build your own bowl where you choose a base, protein, toppings, and sauces. It's a great place to eat for vegans and non-vegans!
Everything Vegan on the menu
Salads & Garnishes
I was happy to see this allergy guide clearly displayed by the menu! You can also find it here.
Everything I got
The customer service was great. Our server was very helpful since it was our first time there and he gave us our food for free! My meal would've cost about $8 and it was filling. The food did seem to lack a little flavor, but next time I will try more of the sauces to try to make up for it. I liked the basmati rice, falafels, hummus, and pita the most. I also want to try some of the dessert next time, I've never had baklava. Overall, I was happy with my experience at Naf Naf Grill. It is very nice to have more fast vegan options for on the go or road trips. If you ever get the chance, try this restaurant out for yourself and let me know what you thought!
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April 20th, 2019, the third annual Midwest Vegan Fest was held in Glendale, Wisconsin. I have been to each one and they seem to get better and better every year. According to their website, "Midwest Vegan Fest is a free one day event celebrating plant-based living, culture and community". This event is similar to the MKE Vegan Expo I blogged about in this post. And although this is an free event, you can donate here to support this event. As I mentioned, I love going to these expos, and this one is a must attend for me every year. There's so much to do, between the vendors, cooking demos, raffles, speakers, performers, kid zone, it's easy to stay at this event the whole day!
One of my favorite things about this event, is it was founded by a black woman. Chef Rain Truth founded the Midwest Vegan Fest in 2016 and the event has been a success since. She also is the founder of the Vegan Sol Food and Drink Expo, which will host it's annual event this fall. This event will be held on October 26, 2019, get more details here and mark your calendars! As a black woman myself, it is very inspiring to see another black woman making boss moves! I am so proud of her for creating such great events and, doing great things in our community, and spreading veganism. I hope she will consider opening a restaurant in the future!
For starters, this event is free and it even includes a free swag bag, and I love free stuff! You could also get an early access pass that included an upgraded goodie bag and meet and greet. This option is not free, but it is a good idea considering vendors can run out of their goods before you get there if you are on CP time. The swag bag itself is actually really nice and can easily be fit into your purse or backpack and can be reused for carrying groceries, reducing plastic use, which will benefit our environment. The African American Vegan Starter Guide was also inside, includes A LOT of good information if you are considering going vegan or want to eat more plant based. You can get your FREE copy here. My favorite part was the two coupons to Ian's, my favorite pizza place in Milwaukee, for a FREE slice of pizza!
After checking in, I did a walk through of the event to see which vendors were there and what they had to offer before deciding what I wanted to try. My first stop was to JustVeggiez, a black owned all vegan restaurant in Madison, WI. I LOVE trying new vegan foods, so I wanted to try their drumsticks everyone was talking about. They were $3 each and came in two flavors buffalo and barbecue. I decided to go with buffalo and they were really good! The "meat" was made from soy and potatoes, but the texture was very similar to chicken. I also tried their barbecue sandwich, which was like a pulled pork sandwich, but cruelty free and delicious. I definitely look forward to trying more things form them!
Another cool thing about this event is the cooking demos. This year was my first time going to a cooking demo and it was with Chef Cassandra Lynne, learn more about her and the other cooking demo chefs here. She showed us how to make curry chickpea dip and organic mushroom soup. I was hesitant to try the soup because it contained coconut milk and mushrooms, which I'm not a fan of, but it was actually very good! I'm so happy I liked it, I definitely want to try to recreate these recipes and experiment more with coconut milk in the future.
My next stop was to Rollicious Creamery, a vendor I had never seen before. They were serving up delicious non-dairy ice cream, in a rolled up fashion. I decided to try the Oreo flavor, it was $7 but it was definitely made for sharing, which I ended up doing. It was so good, we all liked it. If you haven't tried it, I definitely recommend. Check out a video on my Facebook page of how the ice cream is prepared!
At this point, I was full but I must've had a sweet tooth because the shenanigans didn't end there. Next I just had to try the beignets that caught my eye. My Grandma is from Louisiana and they are a very popular dessert there, typically not vegan so I was excited to try them for the first time. It is basically a fritter, fried dough and topped with powered sugar. They were messy but very tasty. I had powdered sugar everywhere lol.
Finally I stopped at East Side Ovens booth for their awesome donuts. PRO TIP: if you can stay to the end of the event you can get a whole box (6) of their donuts for $5! They were originally 2 for $3 which is still a great deal. They also had vegan cookies, cakes, brownies, pastries, and so many other sweets to offer.
I had a lot of fun and good food at this event! I'm definitely looking forward to going to this event again next year. There are more expos coming up that I plan to attend, please subscribe to my e-mail list below to get notified every time I post and other updates. Also like my Facebook page and follow me on Instagram for more!
So would you try vegan buffalo chicken wings? Leave me a comment below!
After about one month of training, I completed my first race of the season! I decided to start off with the Brew City Run, in Milwaukee, WI. This was my second year running this race. Last year, I was not properly prepared, but this year I did more to make sure I was prepared.
What happened last year
Last year, was the first year I got more serious about running. I wanted to run longer distances and improve my pace. My ultimate goal was to bump up from 5K runs and complete my first 10K. I did not have a specific run in mind, but I knew I had to start running more more miles to eventually be able to run over 6 miles. So I had begun my training, running about 20 miles a week, slowly adding miles each run until I was comfortable running 7 miles. One day I got a phone call from my aunt, somehow she registered for the Brew City Run twice by accident and wanted me to run it too. This was about three days before the race! After some convincing, I agreed to do it. It was my running goal of the year anyway, so I kind of felt like it was meant to be. It didn't hurt that I didn't have to pay for it too lol.
Three days later, race day arrived on a very cold, wet, and rainy day. One thing about spring in Wisconsin, the weather is very unpredictable. So although it was mid April, the weather was HORRIBLE. It did not help either that I had a slight hangover. I was keeping an eye on the forecast the night before and had it made up in my mind I was not going to the race anymore lol. But in the morning, I decided to not be a lazy bum and just do it. My goal was to finish in an hour and I had did just that! One thing I did not like about this run last year was the course. A majority of the run took place on the Oak Leaf Trail, making it hard for everyone to maneuver around.
this year i took a different approach
This year, I actually signed up for the Brew City Run 10K myself. My training still consisted of running about 20 miles a week, but this time I was teaching four classes a week. Teaching gave me less days to train, but the classes do help me with my running, I'll talk more about that in a future post. Check out my instagram where I post detailed updates about my training runs! I trained for about a full month, running close to 100 miles before race day. My pace has greatly improved from last year so my goal for this year was to finish in 55 minutes.
Race day brought beautiful weather this year! It was sunny, dry, and not as cold. I've learned how to dress better for colder runs, so I was definitely ready this year. During my race, I was focused on my goal, telling myself to "go faster" lol. I was also way more pleased with the course this year! This run includes a 5K and half marathon as well, all ran parts of the same course but they were timed perfectly where I was surrounded by everyone doing the 10K. And the lake view on this course was beautiful.
As I stated, my pace has greatly improved in the last year, and I am super pleased with my pace this year! I surpassed my goal of 55 minutes with 52 and a half minutes! I took 6th place in my age group, I was about 1:15 away from 3rd place's time. They sent me a text with my time as soon as I crossed the finish line lol.
At the finish line, I realized the medal was a little different than the one from last year. It was a lot bigger than this one. Apparently the medal for the half marathon is the largest in the largest finisher medal in Milwaukee. I also like that I was able to customize my name on my bib ;)
Of course, there was a big party at the finish line with a live band, beer, and brats. I do love beer, but I skipped out on the coors this year since I had an empty stomach. One thing I truly hate about the finish line goodies is there is rarely a vegan option. Well anyway I had this cup of unwashed grapes. I guess there is always the option to pack your own meal.
Or you can do like me and go to Beerline Cafe after your run and get the loaded nachos. These are the BEST vegan nachos, if you are in Milwaukee, they are a MUST TRY. I also loved the jacket you get when you register for this run. I got a x-small unisex and it fits me perfectly!
Overall I was much more pleased with the Brew City Run this year than last year. I am proud of myself for training hard and working extra hard to surpass my goal. I am also extremely happy to see that I am motivating others to want to run and exercise, that's amazing.
Now I'm onto training for my next 10K next month. Be sure to follow me on facebook and instagram to keep up with my training. Should I make it a goal to do the Brew City Half Marathon next year?! Leave me a comment :)
One thing I love about my city, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is the vegan community. The vegan community here seems to be growing as well. We have a lot of fully vegan restaurants and more restaurants are catering to us. About a week ago, I went to the 4th Annual MKE Vegan Expo. This was my third year attending the event, this year they had a different location at UW-Milwaukee campus. Not sure why the location changed, but I did like that it was closer to the inner city and I'm sure it drew more people in. This expo always has a nice line up of vendors, speakers, and presentations. And the best part, this event is free to attend!
My first stop at this event was Fit 4 You. I seen them at a event I attended last year so of course I had to stop by and say hi. They are a happy couple that brings the gym to you, they are personal trainers. I also HAD to get some of their lavender lemonade! It is SO good! If you haven't had it, you need to try it! And check out their website here.
My favorite thing to do at this event is EAT! I look forward to it the most and I always come hungry. I love trying new things so it is always my goal to try something new at every event. My first food stop was at Indian Village Restaurant. I usually see them at this event but this was my first time trying Indian food. We decided to try the veg platter. The combo plate included curry, rice, spinach pie, and a samosa for $10. My favorite was the samosa, it was all good. Check out their website here.
One vendor I am always happy to see is Bunny's Bite. Madeline is so sweet and so are her treats. I LOVE her chocolate chunk cookies, I literally have to get them every time I see them, they are sooo good. I unfortunately missed her cooking demo where she made truffles, but I heard they were great. If you come across her , definitely stop by and try one of her treats. She is always out and about, check out her website to see where she will land next.
My final stop was to Daisy's Cafe II. This was my first time hearing of this restaurant, they are located in Illinois. We had a combo plate that included bean curd, mac & cheese, and bbq tips. They had three sauce options too, tartar sauce, hot sauce, and barbecue sauce. The bean curd was just like fried catfish, I had to Google what bean curd is lol it is actually just tofu. I liked the bbq rib tips the most, but everything was good. I would try this place again. Check out their Facebook page.
All in all, I enjoyed my time at this event. I am definitely looking forward to going next year as well!
Which of these foods would you try?
Leave me a comment! I would love to know!