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Shangri-La Vegetarian Diner

January 23, 2011

Since I know you’re dying to know what activities I chose off of yesterday’s list, I did laundry, mailed Lara Bar packages, went to church, made an amazing dinner, and saw a band play at a bar with my brother. I did end up having one glass of red wine followed by lots of water, but I still didn’t sleep well. It’s seriously gotta be in my head…one glass of wine? Something else had to play into it.

Anyway, I didn’t stay out too late because I had a big treat planned for this morning – a deep tissue massage! I get painfully tight in my shoulders, but now that I’m in training my legs really benefit from the rub down too. I have now gone to the Massage Luxe chain twice and have been pleasantly surprised by the quality of the massage both times.

It was definitely a “hurts so good” experience on my legs! My massage therapist suggested getting sports massages leading up to my marathon. Has anyone gotten a sports massage before? Is it good?

Before my massage I had a quick breakfast of a green monster (which I’m now making with a full frozen banana for more flavor and creaminess) and a piece of sprouted grain toast with almond butter.

This afternoon my mom, aunt, and I went to go see Idina Menzel sing at Powell Symphony Hall. It really was clever of my mom –she wanted to go but didn’t want to go alone, so she got us tickets for Christmas. Not something I would have thought to go to on my own, but it was great!


Idina most recently played Rachel’s Mom on Glee, but before that played Maureen in Rent on Broadway, starred opposite Kristin Chenoweth in Wicked, and played Nancy in Enchanted. She put on a great show that intermixed jokes with well known songs as well as some of her original compositions. And yes, she sang Defying Gravity backed up by an entire orchestra. Such an amazing voice.


Powell Symphony Hall before the show

We considered doing dinner after, but my mom had a meeting. I suggested using my Groupon to Shangri-La Vegetarian Diner to do a late lunch before instead! This Groupon has been burning a hole in my pocket and I figured my mom and aunt would be willing to give the vegetarian food a try.

The diner is in a kind of sketchy area of town and is very eclectic and hippie inside (like you would expect from a vegetarian diner!) There were beads hanging from the ceiling, brightly painted walls, and tons of funky lamps, dolls, and dishes.

Strike One: The lighting accentuated my lack of skin color. I wish you could say “OMG that sucks, take another!” to someone that volunteered to take a picture of you.

Strike Two: A sign on the door saying they aren’t accepting Groupons. They said that Groupon was only supposed to sell 100 but forgot to set a limit. Tons of people bought the Groupon and the restaurant couldn’t sustain it cost-wise. So now I have to call Groupon and get my money back. Hmph.

Strike Three: They told us we couldn’t order off the regular menu for another half an hour. They still had their breakfast buffet out (it was 1:30pm) which had some fun options like scrambled tofu, veggie sausage, and french toast, but all three of us were eyeing some of the interesting lunch dishes.

We decided get something to drink and wait until the kitchen was ready, and they nicely brought us a salad out in the mean time. I skipped the greens since I had a huge helping in my breakfast Green Monster. Plus I had big plans for the meal:)

While I was tempted to try their African stew or veggie meatloaf, I couldn’t pass up the #1 rated veggie burger in town! All three of us ordered it, although my mom and aunt split theirs. I got my veggie burger on whole wheat with grilled onions and a side of sweet potato fries. They messed up my order at first (Strike Four), but quickly brought me the correct meal.

Dear God did they redeem themselves with the food. The veggie burger was incredible! It was hearty but soft, meat-like enough for non vegetarians but enough bean and portabello goodness for veggie-addicts like me. My mom and aunt, two meat lovers, adored the burger. My aunt said they should try to sell them in stores!

And the sweet potato fries. Ohh I went to town on them…so much for sharing. I ended up eating half of the sandwich and all of the sweet potato fries. The only thing that stopped me from eating the other half was the delicious thought of getting to taste it again tomorrow at lunch!

Despite the iffy service, the great vegetarian options at Shangri-La are probably enough to get me to go back. I’d love to try a pulled “pork” sandwich, tofu scramble, or veggie gyro. But I honestly don’t know if I’d be able to pass up that veggie burger again!


I had an apple when I got home from the show, and just finished a simple stir fry dinner. I used frozen veggies and chopped tempeh on a bed of quinoa. I improvised a sauce using szechuan chili paste, braggs liquid aminos, garlic powder, and tarragon vinegar. It was good but SPICY so I calmed it down with a little water and a dash of stevia. Delish.

And now it’s grapefruit, boyfriend, and bed time! Such a relaxing weekend…back to the grind!


  • Whats the best veggie burger you’ve ever had?



18 Comments leave one →
  1. Jenni permalink
    January 23, 2011 7:33 pm

    Yum! I haven’t had lunch @ Shangrila, but their brunch is really good! Sweet Art Bakery has a really good veggie burger–it has sweet potato in it πŸ™‚

  2. January 23, 2011 7:36 pm

    I’m addicted to Fuddrucker’s veggie burgers…or maybe just that melty cheese they have to put on top!

  3. January 23, 2011 7:38 pm

    That looks like SUCH a good veggie burger, its so hard to find a good one! Idina was excellent in Wicked, her voice is amazing.

  4. January 23, 2011 7:43 pm

    Wow that burger does look amazing!!! What are Braggs luquid aminos?

  5. lauravirginia permalink
    January 23, 2011 7:56 pm

    I’m so jealous. I love Idina! There is a place in Charlotte, NC that has the BEST black bean burgers. Mmmm!

  6. January 23, 2011 8:00 pm

    At least the food was good! I go crazy over sweet potato fries. The best veggie burger I had was in San Fran at a cafe called The Plant.. it was made with cashews and beets and lentils and all this other good stuff!

  7. January 23, 2011 8:19 pm

    The best veggie burger…hm…I’d have to say Dr. Praeger’s frozed burgers! I’ve never had a really great one at a restaurant. Those sweet potato fries look great!

  8. January 23, 2011 8:27 pm

    Such a fun day! I am a huge Wicked fan and am so jealous that you saw Idina in person! I’m getting a deep tissue massage on Wednesday. I’m so looking forward to it. I had a sports massage once and remember thinking I like deep tissue massages better. It may have just been the person I went to though. One of my friends used to get them a lot (tennis player) and she loved the sports massages.

  9. January 23, 2011 9:28 pm

    I had a massage yesterday too. It was amazing. I’m actually thinking about getting a deep-tissue massage next. You say that it hurts (in the good way), so I was wondering if you would recommend it? I’ve actually never had a veggie burger before. I’m a meat eater, don’t judge me πŸ˜‰

  10. January 23, 2011 11:20 pm

    i’ve had a sports massage before, but i’m not sure i liked it. i like the feeling of getting all my kinks worked out, and in the sports one ,i think she was trying to stretch me sometimes but it didn’t quite work right. maybe i just got a bad one.

    OH MY WORD your veggie burger looks so good. i wish we had more vegetarian restaurants around me.

    i put braggs on everything. i should start combining it with stuff for my stir fries, that sounds good.

  11. January 24, 2011 8:12 am

    I’ve gone to Shangri-La twice and your thoughts are pretty much the same as mine. Good food, not so good service. One time we waited for 2 hours before we got our food! Those burgers are fantastic though. πŸ™‚

  12. January 24, 2011 8:18 am

    whoa I can’t believe they stopped taking groupons–lame! We used ours RIGHT after buying, thankfully! I enjoyed my meal there too, but now I need to go back and try the veggie burger πŸ™‚

  13. Food & Other Things permalink
    January 24, 2011 10:08 am

    I love Morningstar Veggie Burgers but the best veggie burger I ever had was at a local steak restaurant. Suprising, I know!

  14. Melissa @ HerGreenLife permalink
    January 24, 2011 11:51 am

    I’ve been to Shangri-La three or four times, and don’t remember the service being an issue, though I think it’s been over a year since I’ve been there. The pulled “pork” is good, as is the African stew (though that’s pretty easy to replicate at home). I’ve never tried the veggie burger — it might be time to pay them another visit.

  15. January 25, 2011 8:07 am

    mmm a vegetarian diner sounds Awesomeee! I LOVE when a veggie burger is BIG and SOFT yet still hearty!
    My favorite veggie burger in the WHOLE WORLD is also from a greek diner right down the road from me πŸ˜€


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