My experience at the veg out health fest
This past Saturday I went to the Veg Out Health Fest for the first time. This was their second year hosting the event. This event is pretty similar to the Midwest Vegan Fest I blogged about here. One difference is this event catered to both vegans and vegetarians, but you don't have to be either to attend. If you did not know the difference, vegetarians in general just don't eat meat and vegans don't eat anything that comes from an animal. This event had lots of vendors selling local goods and services, presentations, and even a bar!
This event was held at the Miller High Life theater in downtown, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The location is convenient right off of the freeway, but we did have to find somewhere to park. Luckily it was Saturday so street parking was free and although it doesn't feel like spring everyday, the weather was decent enough for the walk. Admission to this event was $5 for adults, which I was unaware of, but it was free for children under 12. Admission included a free reusable bag with a few goodies inside. And you should know by now, I love freebies! One unique thing about this event was the checklist for visiting every vendor. I did not participate, but upon completion you were eligible to win prizes!
Speaking of freebies, my favorite part of this event were all of the free samples. Our first sample was from a local Middle Eastern restaurant Shawarma House. They had free samples of their falafel and hummus and it was good! I had never been to this restaurant, but drove past it many times, now that I know they offer vegan options, I will have to stop by one day!
Next, we had a sample of vegan chili. This chili was made by the staff of 102.1 FM, who hosted the event. Unfortunately, we didn't like the chili. I liked that it was spicy, but the beans in the chili were not tender.
Then, we had a pretty exciting freebie...FREE PIZZA! It came from arguably one of the best pizza places in Milwaukee, Pizza Shuttle. I was aware that they do offer vegan pizza on their menu, but never tried it myself. To be honest, I heard it wasn't all that so I was happy I could try it for free. They offered two cheese-less vegan pizzas, but mostly vegetarian options. We tried both, one topped with tofu and one with mushrooms as the star. I'm not a mushroom fan, but it did have more flavor than the tofu slice. I'm happy that they do at least offer vegan options, but I think it would help if they had vegan cheese as an option.
Our last free sample was some delicious kombucha. If you are unfamiliar, kombucha is fermented sweet tea with a culture of yeast and bacteria. It may sound weird if you've never had it before but it is so tasty and so good for your health. It came from another local place Tapuat Brewing Co. They were sampling a strawberry kombucha infused with CBD oil. It was so cold and refreshing. The best part was that we each got a free bottle! I chose the mango ginger one and it was good. You can also find their products at my favorite grocery store, Woodman's.
A hairy situation...
Now for the real tea. Between all of the sampling, we stopped at one of my favorite local vegan restaurants. I hadn't seen this restaurant at an event for a while, so of course I had to stop by. We got a combo plate to share which included mac and cheese, bbq "meat", and collard greens for $10 and a slice of chocolate peanut butter cake for $6. The food was really good, I loved the collard greens. Everything was fine and dandy until we got to the cake which had an extra ingredient..a very long black strand of hair. My friend took his first bite of the cake and BOOM. I can almost puke thinking about seeing him pull that hair out of their mouth, I am so disappointed and disgusted.
After discovering the hair, I decided not to confront this business. I felt embarrassed for the restaurant and there honestly was nothing they could do for me to fix it. I hate to feel like this about this restaurant, but I will most likely will never eat there again. The most disheartening part was I really support this business. In the past, I have heard complaints about this business and I would encourage them to give them another try. I would love to take my own advice, but they really messed up big time. Moving forward, I hope this business will get it together, they can be so much better than what they are.
A few more cool vendors
At this point the even was coming to a close. I had to make my stop to Fit 4 U and get some lavender lemonade! I spoke about them and their amazing lemonade previously in this blog post. This time I even tried it hot and it was so good! I can't decide if it's better hot or cold, I guess it depends on your mood!
I was also happy to see JustVeggiez in the building as well! I did not get anything from them this time, but I know their vegan chicken wings were a hit! Learn more about them in this post. I was a little bummed that Soul Vegan wasn't at this event after all but they were listed as a vendor on the event's website. I spoke with one of the owners, and apparently there were permit issues. He did confirm they will be at the Vegan Sol Food and Drink expo this upcoming fall, so I am looking forward to that. Another cool feature at this event was the bar, they had beer, soda and water for sell. I have never seen one at a vegan expo so that was cool.
Overall, this has been the worst vegan expo I have ever been to. I can not blame the event for the hair situation but it did add to my overall bad experience. The samples were cool, but they were underwhelming for the most part. I heard that last year, the event catered more to vegetarians and didn't have many vegan options. Although I was not there, it seems like they had a lot of vegan options this year. On the good side, this event was very well organized and did have a lot of vendors. I thank 102.1 for putting this event together and bringing more awareness to healthier lifestyles! If this event happens again next year I would not be opposed to attending.
Put yourself in my shoes, if the hair situation happened to you how would you have handled it? Please leave me a comment!
Thanks for reading!
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