Saturday, December 31, 2011

Vegan Disney and California Adventure 2011

Two days in Disneyland and California Adventure gave me ample time to burrow into the ingredient lists in several establishments in both parks in Anaheim, CA.

Some free advertising for Brittany.  If you haven't checked out her cooking videos, you should.
OK, on three, everyone put your hands in your pockets ... one ... two ...
I love love love to wear shirts which cause people to either think or ask questions.  (I also usually have a button or two.  My favorite has become one from For the Animals Sanctuary which just says, "My food didn't scream."  It made a vegan the other day when someone read it and made the connection.  I kid you not.)

This is from Brittany Robert's website, The Tofu Guru (duh), where she posts what I believe are some of the most entertaining vegan cooking videos on the web.  Unless you're into metal.  Then you probably should go to the Vegan Black Metal Chef, which is all the rave but I just am not a heavy metal guy, (picture guitar or banjo or banjo mandolin in an old-timey band).  One day I will get through it and try the recipes, which I understand are pretty decent.

First off to a few rides on the California Adventure side of things.  One of my favorite rides in the world, Soaring Over California is there.  If you haven't gone on this ride you should put it on your bucket list.  We went twice.  Make sure you go to the A side.  The B side was so much blurrier.  I mean you can see the windows on the buildings as you come over the carrier deck in San Diego in one and on the other ... eh.

California Screamin' which has a full 360 degree loop.

Look, they've put my framed picture up on the wall.  Oh, wait, now it's gone.  Good thing I took this picture of it.  Hey, any ride that goes upside down is one a pilot will go on.

I was amazed at how many more vegan options cropped up since my last visit here but also amazed at where I found the non vegan ingredients.  Since we didn't have one meal at a sit-down restaurant, (where I'm told the chef will usually come to your table and talk about your meal), and all of our meals were fast counter service, I asked every cashier for the ingredient list.  Once you get the list you have to delve item by item and read to see if anything pops out.  Usually allergens are listed at the end so that's where I start.  Any milk or dairy will be declared there and you can save your eyes a lot of small print reading. Honey is the ingredient most often not seen as I'm reading as fast as I can, holding up the beginning of a long line, and it's not listed separately in the allergen section.

Most cast members will ask what your allergen is and I just say vegan which sounds sort of like I'm allergic to vegans and the truth is there are very few vegans I'm allergic to. Many more cast members know of or have heard of vegan requirements and I hardly got a strange, "What's that?" look or question.  I did get a few, "I don't knows," and a chef asked me about chicken once then did a sort of head slap, "doh", and realized what he said.

After California Screaming we went over to the Wharf and although I know the Lucky Fortune Cookery has tofu and a few vegan sauces, (make sure you get the book as some of those sauces sound vegan but are NOT), I opted for a vegan burrito at Cocina Cucamonga Mexican.  (At Disneyland, this can also be obtained at Ranch del Zocalo where many of the exact same menu items are available).  Since I messed up and ended up having the exact same thing for dinner the next night, (I just didn't want to wait on the line for the vegan gumbo in Disney Orleans ... although it has always been tasty (if not too salty last time)), there's going to be one less meal to blog about here.  I also had very much wanted to get to Hoa Sen, a vegan/vegetarian restaurant in Garden Grove, just south of Aneheim. Missed it again.  

At the Cocina I start Sherlock Holmes-ing "the book".  I'm looking for hidden things and lo and behold, almost the last ingredient listed is "whey".   (From Wikipedia - Whey or Milk Serum is the liquid remaining after milk has been curdled and strained.). Ugh.  I mean, would the taste of the sauce be so so off that they just had to add it?  Did someone in the tasting lab actually dip a spoon in the first batch and think, "Ah, almost perfect but for that drop of whey"?

The red chili sauce is made with chicken stock.  I can't for the life of me figure out why these 2 ingredients aren't made vegan but their not.  In addition, the guacamole and Pico de Gallo is vegan.  Remember to specifically say, "No cheese, sour cream, or sauce," or you'll get it.  I forgot.  It had to be redone.  And it was with NO problem.  I always get the feeling the chefs and food service people for the most part, really want to give you exactly what you want and will literally open up the book for you.

One problem I do see recurring all over the country is that when you say, "I'm vegan," it has started to lose its meaning.  I do believe its from too many people saying they're vegan and then adding all kinds of animal crap to their food.  Don't be surprised when the person taking your order doesn't catch the cheese as not being vegan when you say you want a vegan meal.  I'm willing to bet there was a "vegan" who ordered their food with cheese still fresh in their memory.  I was guilty of this before I fully crossed the vegan line.  It was easier to say vegan plus cheese than query about chicken or beef stock, et al, and then add the non vegan ingredient that was still acceptable to me.  Lazy.  And now I see that it fueled a big confusion fire that is still burning.  So if you're not vegan, please don't use the word vegan when you're ordering food.  Please.

Hidden ingredients pop up in rice and beans and I checked or asked about these also.  I tend not to take anyone's word for it anymore as I just think people don't realize that a tomato chili sauce is made with chicken stock.  Below is an example of the recipe page from one of the books:

Here's what the plate looked like.

Here's what the plate looked like after I slathered it with hot sauce and autopsied the burrito.

The burrito itself is certainly tasty and adequate.  The portions are standard American gluttony and of course there was nothing left on my plate.  It's just the way I roll. And if I don't stop this I AM going to start to roll. Anyone hear the word resolution in the background?

The dish is unfortunately repetitive.  Rice and beans on the outside and rice and beans on the inside with a soft flour tortilla.  Inside there are more sautéed vegetables.  The rice, (or beans ... I forgot), can be substituted out for more veggies.  Throw some hot sauce on the whole shebang and you have a decently satisfying meal.

Also at California Adventure at the Pier is Pacific Wharf Cafe.  They are primarily a soup vendor but do have a vegetarian chili.  I didn't go through the ingredients for the chili but did ask if there was milk in the bread bowls.  There I was given a bag that the breads are packaged in for sale and they do not contain milk.  I am making a leap of faith but I'd presume the bread is the same bread used on the Disney side at the Royal Street Veranda to serve the vegan gumbo.

Also on the California Adventure side is a place that prepares picnics.  Where there is hope, namely the Mediterranean Vegetarian entree, is so botched from a vegan perspective you'd be paying ... I don't remember, $13?, for raw veggies.

The only thing on this menu was the Mediterranean Vegetarian dish.  The hummus and couscous both had non vegan ingredients.  I didn't bother asking about the lemon cake.  Plus it was expensive and all you can eat is the raw veggies.  
Another one of my questions was about the popcorn and butter.  In the guest services trailer, (CA is undergoing some renovations and it's a looooong walk all the way around), I asked and the cast member thought there was butter as an ingredient.  From this package I don't see any.  The question is about the natural flavors.  I'll eat anything artificial from cardboard to styrofoam packing peanuts, (Just kidding.  No really.), but who knows what's in there.  It doesn't have milk listed as an allergen and I'm not sure if butter would have to be listed as such but it didn't say "dairy" either.  One of the things I've noticed about my ethical veganism is that I just pass on a lot of food which "might" be vegan and err on the side of not eating it.

Popcorn package.
I'm still never hungry so don't worry about me keeling over anytime soon.

Another place I didn't eat is Award Weiners in California Adventure on the Back Lot.  They do have a veggie option, I think it was a cheesesteak without the cheese and it's cooked on a separate area.  I didn't do much research.  I lied.  I just looked it up.  Portobello-Mushroom Philly - Grilled Portobello, onions & bell peppers sauteed in amber lager, topped with pepper jack cheese. Served with sliced apples or chips. $6.99
So leave off the cheese.  I didn't check the ingredients in the bun though.  And you'd have to check the lager on

So now we're over on the Disney side and I've been thinking about the unlimited skewers someone mentioned along with the words vegetable.  I thought they said it was at the Bengal Grill right by the Indiana Jones ride.  Well, I couldn't find unlimited veggies anywhere and found out that although the Bengal Grill does have a vegetable skewer, it's cooked on the same grill as the meat.  I just wasn't interested.  So, even if you're ok with that I suggest you look at the book for the sauces and marinades they use.

But, right next to the Bengal Grill is the River Belle Terrace.  I was astounded twice there. First we went through the book for a few of the options and then the ingredients in the options.  They have a Vegetable Po Boy that was delicious.  Just the right amount of heat to tickle Americas' taste buds but not blow out their lower intestines, a really nice amount of food in the bun, a great mouth feel and a sweet tomato sauce.  And yes, they have two breads listed, one is vegan and one is not but they only serve the non vegan one there. Score!

And as a side they have either pasta salad, (not vegan because of mayo), fresh fruit or ... get this ... Freaking Lentil Salad.  2 out of 3 vegan options.  In Disneyland.  Dudes and Dudettes, we are making strides like Paul Bunyon if we're finding options like this and finding them in the most middle of the road Americana dining.

The beans are vegan also.  I should have eaten here twice.
I think this is a meal that from a flavor and texture standpoint is worth putting on your list.

Vegan Police Tee Shirt the next day.  It reads, "Vegan Police" and "Until Every Cage is Empty"
That raised an eyebrow or two.  Good.  It started a few conversations also.  Even better.
A few more pics of Disney.
OK, I'm really just a big kid.  What better way is there to teach the kids in the front row a bit about joy?

Seasons Greeting at the "It's a Small World" ride.
Maybe I missed it but I didn't see one menorah.  Way to go Walt.

Two last things.  First, there are many places to buy apples, carrots, pineapple, etc. if you're not in the mood for ingredient archeology, or just want something raw.  

Second, one last word to the wise.  Since menus change and suppliers change, I'd only use this list as a guide and not gospel. Please ask again to see the books and if you have a quick second, throw a comment up to confirm, verify, or correct.  Thanks.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Where does the road that is paved with good intentions lead? CIBO, Flat Top Grill, Martin's and SBN airport

It's been an interesting couple of days.  So many things came across my plate, yes, figuratively speaking too.

My trip took me through Chicago's O'Hare airport.  I planned to pick up a Seitan Burrito at CIBO which had previously carried Soul Vegetarian's offerings, (now it's Soul Gourmet).  So of course there wasn't a Seitan Burrito there from Soul Vegetarian.  They did have many other offerings though.  I tried to take a picture to show you, my loyal readers, but here's what happened:

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As I took the picture of vegan offerings I was approached by this employee who told me that picture taking wasn't allowed and to delete the picture.

I'm just following orders
I have to find a lawyer to ask but in the absence of any kind of sign, in the absence of any kind of National Security Risk, isn't taking pictures in a public place legal?  Despite the claim by CIBO executives that this is how they thwart corporate spying?

Hi Marty,

I am writing to you in response to your question regarding our policy on photographs of our products in CIBO Express Gourmet Markets.  We do, in fact, have a policy prohibiting pictures taken of our product within our stores.  We have had this policy in ORD since we opened almost 4 years ago. It is, unfortunately, to help prevent pictures being taken by our competitors. Yes, that is a very real issue here.  Please understand that we do have to maintain that policy for everyone, to be as fair and consistent as possible.

I know you were interested in our vegan offerings - I will be happy to provide with you the contact information of the local vegan company, Soul Gourmet, that is our business partner.  I am sure they can provide you with pictures of their products as well company background.  I will also be happy to give you information on our other offerings if you would like.  I believe since you were here last, we did change our vegan business partner from Soul Vegetarian to Soul Gourmet.

I hope you understand that it is not that we want to lose the opportunity to be a part of your endeavor! Like many things - if we do it for one, we have to do it for all.  If I can be of further assistance, please feel free to contact me anytime! 


Kathy Contreras
CIBO Express Gourmet Markets/OTG Management

I will follow up to get you a complete menu or else I'll just have to buy everything in the store that's vegan including a whole lot of "health" bars and take individual pictures of them.  

I did buy the Vegan Eggplant Parmesan and sat at the gate eating it.  It most definitely would have been better had I been traveling with a microwave.

If you blow this pic up you can see that the ingredient list is small and the vegan cheese is home made.  It's not Daiya or Follow your Heart.

The main ingredient was eggplant and it was nicely seasoned.  I ate about half at the gate waiting to board.  I'd have liked to taste the "cheese" in it's warmed state and from a consistency standpoint this wasn't all that palate pleasing as I hacked at the contents with my plastic fork.  Still, it was nice being able to purchase something vegan without the 20 questions game.  Next time I'll try another of their offerings that might be better eaten cold.

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Next we get to South Bend.  I actually had to stop and take a picture of this.  It makes me think.  It especially makes me think because I'm a pilot.  Why do we need a special place in an airport terminal to pray?  Isn't praying on Sunday enough to cover you for the week?  Does a special "preflight prayer" give you any more insurance against crashing or is it just a good time to reflect on the afterlife?  Does praying sort of short circuit me, the pilot, from making mistakes?  Yup, makes me wonder.  I mean, if you're that scared, there's always Amtrak ... although the hand of a Supreme Being certainly has slapped a few trains off of their tracks too.

Next I'm in Elkhart, Indiana.  I scour the internet and come up with two possibilities, both in Mishawaka.  The vegan websites say over an over again, "void", "wasteland", and "limited vegan options."  Not very positive.  You'd think with so many colleges, including the tiny Notre Dame that there'd be a ton of vegan options on Happy Cow.  One, "New York Boys Pizza" held out some hopes.  Man I could use a slice with Daiya.  I call up and I speak to someone who has no clue of what I'm talking about.  "We have mozzarella," is the best I get.  "Vegan"?  No clue.  So I remember seeing something about mock meats and do a search and find The Flat Top Grill.  I'm amazed and enthralled.  Mock meats at a chain restaurant?   A do-it-yourself stir fry place?  Oh well, they'll throw my stuff on a big grill with the steak and chicken and fish right?  Nope, they actually say they prepare the food separately.  I'm in awesomeness land.  I go.

Looking at the food prep area.  The buffet is to the left.
You go down the buffet line and put your stuff in a bowl.  Then they put your stuff on a grill in piles.  Yuck if you're a vegan right?  Nope.  Watch ... 
But lets start at the beginning.

Brown rice.  Yes, brown rice.  The noodles you see above are also vegan.

The line of fresh veggies including 5 mock meats, 4 of which are vegan.  (Maybe 5 one day now that Quorn has a vegan product). 

All of this is freshly prepared.  

There are some veggie pre mixes like Pad Thai mix, (shredded carrots and purple cabbage amongst others),  and Asian Veggie mix (baby corn, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots).  There's bok choy in one of those containers.  My favorite green veg.

The Veat is vegan although regularly available Veat is not.  

After you load up on veggies and mock meat you choose your sauces.

Here's what I dropped off at the cooking station.  The wooden stick has my table number and name on it.  The white stick is the "add tofu" stick.  And the red stick is the "dietary allergy" stick. 
Now watch what happens.  This impressed even me and you know how jaded and cynical I am, right?

You can't see it but my bowl is isolated just in front and to the left of the chef on a shelf next to the fridge.

He takes a wok and puts it on the burner, not the grill, and then adds water.  Or vodka, I'm not sure.

Now what you are seeing, in this amazing split second photo, is my vegan food being tossed into its very own wok ...  all by it's lonesome.
And here's what was put down in front of me.
A few other shots of the restaurant and then the review ... and the bad news.

It's amazing to see that in the Heartland of America there is a chain restaurant progressive enough to offer mock meats.  I am truly blown away.  The veggies cooked up well, for the most part none were overdone, and that's the way you have to cook this kind of thing because you can always eat a veg with a tad of crunch left in it if it's undercooked but can't undo the mush if it's over cooked.  The bowl made it hard to eat the little things, like edamame with chop sticks but I'm not too proud of a New Yorker to grab a spoon to put the finishing touches on a consumption episode.

The flavors of the sauces were interesting.  I thought they were one dimensional but with so many to choose from they end up being quite complex when you add a few together.  I wanted to stick my finger in each one to taste but there were people watching.  How do you know what's vegan?

The bottom row shows a "v" for vegan and all of the sauces are listed on top.

Allergies like gluten free, seafood, peanut, are plainly marked.
Or so you'd think.  Ahh.  Now the next picture is a list that vegans are supposed to get when identifying as vegan.  It plainly states that you can have everything except what's on the list.  It even identifies the honey in the Korean BBQ sauce.  Some of the ingredients in some of the sauces, (in the secret recipe book that I was given a look at), are listed as other sauces, such as Bulgoggi Sauce and Char Siu sauce.  Later, with the manager Gabe, we drilled into the ingredient list.  I wasn't given this by my waitress for some reason but I suggested that every vegan be given a laminated card with a printout of this when they sat down.

This is where the restaurant shows every other restaurant how it's done ... or should be.  You say, "I'm vegan," and they say, "Here's the list of what you can't eat."  I'm not sure it needs to have ice cream and cheese on it because these are obvious to us but it's the hidden stuff that goes into sauces that creates a "gotcha," for us.  I suggested they make up laminated cards for us to carry around.

Now here's where the problem occurred.  I had asked Phil, an assistant manager what was in the Teriyaki sauce.  It was a pretty random request.  I had no idea it wasn't mixed in-house like some of the other sauces.  Phil brought over the jar and one of the ingredients was anchovies.  I'm amazed that with so many things being made in-house they use jarred Teriyaki sauce.  I think in it's most basic form it's soy sauce and sugar with maybe some clove, 5 spice, or ginger thrown in.  This was a sucker punch.  And I had just eaten some.  It was explained that they had recently changed suppliers.  Well, there needs to be some sort of trigger that when something is changed or substituted it triggers a full and comprehensive review of ingredients.   This review would't happen at most restaurants but at The Flat Top Grill, as in others which try very hard to cater to our needs, I expect it.  Sadly, it didn't happen.

Gabe later told me the next day, when I went back for a second dinner, that he was going to cover the pre-printed menu board with a blank square where the Teriyaki sauce indicated it was vegan.  This was the day after I brought the issue to his attention and it wasn't yet done but I'm sure Gabe did it.  He seemed genuinely interested in making sure that we get what we wanted.  I was just a little surprised that it wasn't done before my return visit.

Here's a sample of the ingredient list.  As you can see, some sauces have other sauces as ingredients and you really have to drill down deeply to get the full list of what's in there.   For instance, the second to last sauce, Garlic Sesame Sauce, has  Black Bean Garlic Sauce in it so you'd have to check the ingredients in that.
We found that the Bulgoggi sauce was vegan but the Korean BBQ was not as it has Char Siu sauce and that also has honey.  I didn't have time to see if there was Char Siu sauce in any other sauces.  The Flat Top Grill sauce was vegan as well.

So do we accept these errors?  I think we have to.  Humans make mistakes.  They weren't trying to slide anything by us or get away with anything.  They changed a product.  I do call them out for taking more than a day to get the change on the menu board made, or put up a label on the Teriyaki sauce that it contains fish, or something.

The real question would be if the ingredient in a new product involved an allergy instead of a moral choice.  What if shellfish was an ingredient, or peanuts?  Kudos to Flat Top for showing what all restaurants need to do to keep pace with the healthier eating habits this country is heading towards.  Kudos for providing info to those of us, for whatever reason, want to know what's in our food.  Kudos for giving enough thought to vegans that you are one of the few restaurants to plainly display our food choices.  Now all that remains is to tweak the process, develop a checklist for when products or suppliers change, and take care of errors in a more timely fashion and you'll be the leader of the pack.

A second trip to the bar is $2 for dinner or $1 for lunch ... if you're THAT hungry.  
The next day for lunch I stopped by Martin's supermarket.  I grabbed an organic spring greens mix, (surprising that there were numerous organic options), and some Maple Farms Fat Free Balsamic dressing, (vegan of course), and finished up the salad with a few things from the salad bar.  Impressive.  Colorful.  Healthy and tasty lunch.  Inexpensive too.

Leave it to South Bend to show me something I've never seen before.  A water fountain specifically designed to fill  your sports bottle.  Someone please tell me how well, (or poorly), it works as I didn't have an empty, (or full), sports bottle with me at the time.  Neat idea though.  Very Green.

One last thing that I found in the vegan wasteland of Northern Indiana.  At the airport there is a small cafe.  There's a Boca Burger listed on the menu sign.  I asked and was told, "It's a Boca burger."  When I asked which one I was once again told "Boca."  I asked, "Is it vegan?"  Lo and behold, it's a vegan veggie burger.  Now if the airport has a vegan boca burger then I would imagine that there are a few other places where vegan food can be found.  We're making inroads almost everywhere, fellow vegans.  Kudos to the airport cafe SBN.

Update to the Flat Top Grill:
Last month, in June, I had the opportunity to return to The Flat Top and much to my surprise and joy I saw the vegan indication had been removed:

Hopefully they'll do something to make the sauce vegan again instead of just living with an ingredient they hadn't intended to serve.  Still many vegan options and still a great value for the fresh stir fry.  I do very much enjoy eating where they make it easy to choose tasty, fresh, vegan food.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Best News of 2011

Here is the link to the Vegsource article.  It's a testament to our hard work, our ceaseless advocacy for the animals and veganism.  It's a reward for every time we had to answer the, "Where do you get your protein?" question or respond to the "Animals are put on this earth for us to eat," statement.  Over and over again we step up to the plate by our actions and our choices.  Over and over again we have to hear, "Well I don't eat much meat," as a response to our use of the word, "Vegan" and we have to take it from there.

Congratulations to each one of us who made someone think about their choices because you know, you changed a few minds this year.  And saved more than a few lives of those who can't defend themselves.

Seasons Greetings and best wishes for an activism driven 2012.



Monday, December 5, 2011

Cooking Class at Jivamuktea Cafe, NYC

My job kills me in so many ways.  Well, not death killing but exasperation killing.  I can't make plans because I'm on call so often and never knowing where I'll be makes it counterintuitive to pay for something when you have no idea if you can be there.

Life becomes last minute.  I wanted to attend this cooking class but when I showed up it was all full.  Chef Kevin, (also the General Manager), told me that I could sit anywhere and watch but they already divvied up the portions, recipe sheets and menus.  This is a combination of my notes while watching and a bit of actual blog posting.  Click on the link below to get to Kevin's blog and the complete recipes.

As Kevin made the rounds and served the diners, while passing my table, he poured a glass of the Eggless Nog for me.

Made with Eggless nog: almond milk, vanilla, maple syrup, banana, cardamom, coconut, nutmeg, coconut milk vanilla ice cream, agave.  This was like stepping back into the decadent world of old, creamy, vanilla, rich.  Oh man.  This is a holiday drink.  I'm taking him up on the suggestion to add rum.  It will have it when I make it tonight!

We talked later about all the dishes.  His point was valid to a tee.  It's not the turkey or the cream or the actual ingredients but the flavors and seasonings and spices that bring us back to reminisce.  One sip of this Nog was all it too to experience an incredible snapback in time.

All of the recipes from the workshop can be found here on Kevin's blog:

Chef Kevin Archer

Now I'm sitting here smelling the onions, garlic, fennel and cumin cooking for the next dish, a Sausage Stuffed Kale.

Onions and garlic
Fennel seeds
Cumin (ground)
Cumin seeds, toast in oil
Paprika (smoked)
Sea salt
Olive oil

All wrapped in a lightly steamed Kale leaf.  I got to taste everything at the end.  It tastes like a crumbled sausage, nutty consistency as you bite into the tempeh, with a soft bite of bitterness.  I have found that tempeh can be steamed before use and some of it's bite can be cooked out.  I would imagine that some nutrients also get steamed away but this is an option if you don't like that kickback in your flavor profile.  I've also read that tempeh is more digestible if you precook it but I have no trouble digesting anything ... that I eat.  

Pesto was very thick, almost like a spread, nutty and cheesy.

Quinoa pilaf, used as a stuffing
sautee onions and mushrooms and celery

pecans - toasted
figs black mission but any will do
veg stock 
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
sea salt

This was NOT my portion ... although it could have been!  Quinoa Stuffing

This smelled like traditional stuffing.  You don't need no stinkin' turkey.  Celery, sage, and a bite of sweet in the quinoa.  I can just see wrapping this around some seitan (roulade) and covering it with a mushroom gravy.  

In the center a pumpkin and hemp seed pesto, quinoa stuffing, on top is the chorizo stuffing for the kale leaves, (sans kale leaves of course), and to the right, Brunch the next day oatmeal with cherries.
For dessert there were 2 types of Bark.  I didn't get a picture of these as they didn't spend much time on the plate!

Peppermint Bark
cacao in double boiler to melt.
lay on mint while still wet, cool, let harden, add another layer of melted chocolate, chia seeds, cacao nibs, etc.

Goji Berry Bark

99% mix with gogi or mint.  still maints bitterness but soft.
maple syrup, coconut oil, cover 1st layer with acai powder. Dries.  another layer and add gogi berries.

I didn't taste the bark but that's ok too.  I probably lost a 1/4 inch off of my waistline knowing how eating chocolate results in uncontained release of Dopamine into my brain and the uncontained consumption of whatever is put before me.

The next day of course is brunch and with a little bit of leftover oatmeal you can alway thaw out some frozen cherries, (or other fruit) like gogi berries, cranberries or blueberries and pour them on.  If the tartness isn't to your liking or you just want to start the day with a sugar high there's always brown sugar, maple syrup or agave.

Enjoy.  I did.  And Kevin's creations can be enjoyed at the Jivamuktea Cafe on Broadway just south of 14th Street.