veganmofo 8: hanging at upton’s breakroom

driving in chicago
I left warm, sunny Portland for this gloom?

So I have arrived safely in Chicago for Riot Fest weekend, hanging at my parents’ house, being driven crazy by non-recycled paper towels and such, coffee in K-cups, and just soooo much stufffff. (I mean, I never really considered myself a minimalist, but maybe I am.) But they’re my parents and they’re nice and they have cute cats, so whatcha gonna do?

This afternoon I met up with Kelly Peloza and the folks behind Upton’s Naturals, Dan and Nicole, for an interview and photo shoot. And food! I got to tour their building, which is super cool, and we of course tucked in at the restaurant, Upton’s Breakroom. If you’re in Chicago, you need to make this a destination. Everything I didn’t try, I wanted to. In fact, I think I’m going to try to squeeze in another visit over the weekend for brunch. Because waffles.

FARM 10 billion lives

When I pulled up, what do you know? The FARM 10 Billion Lives truck was here. Just parking behind the building until it’s time to do some outreach over at Riot Fest, I guess. This is the truck that pulls up and pays people a dollar if they’ll watch a 4-minute video. Turns out most people give the dollar back. I’ve never watched the video—I can’t bring myself to, and quite frankly, I don’t need to.

Uptons italian seitan sandwich

My lunch! It’s an Italian seitan sandwich with giardiniera. Now, I make a decent sandwich, but this thing’s off the decentometer. The seitan is delicate and the flavor is spot the spot on. Oh, and it’s huge. I’m sort of impressed with myself for finishing it. Then Dan asked who was up for soft-serve. Ugggggh…OK! (The other food you can kinda sorta see in the photo is a club sandwich up top and cheezy bread over to the side. Again, I wanted to eat everything, but this girl’s only got one tummy. Only so much room, man.

Dan and GretaI met some pups, too! I’m normally not great with dogs and talk to them in Cat, but I did pretty OK with these guys. This is Dan’s little lady, Greta. He said she smells like pretzels, but I didn’t get that. She didn’t smell offensive, but I wasn’t like, “Hey, what’s going on? I’m seein’ dog but I’m smellin’ pretzel.”

Nicole’s pup pal, crazy Maizy, wouldn’t sit still enough for my phone’s camera, but here she is over at the Breakroom’s Instagram. She really is a sweet thing, and she’s got the giantest smile!

All for now, from me and Upton! See you tomorrow with more hastily shot, low-light phone photos from Riot Fest—no outside food and no ins/outs, but they did promise vegan options, so we shall see. Good night!



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