Friday, June 24, 2016

Stanford Inn By The Sea
A Vegan Paradise In Mendocino

Stanford Inn by the Sea is a historic farm & eco-resort.
Enjoy vegan cuisine in their Ravens restaurant.

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Lucky Us
My husband has an unusual knack for winning raffles, or maybe it's just that he buys a whole lot of raffle tickets. None-the-less, we were THRILLED to win a few days at the Stanford Inn by the Sea when we bought raffle tickets to benefit the 2015 San Francisco Bay Area Walk for the Farm Animals.  Since we are celebrating our 26th wedding anniversary, we decided to spend it at this amazing resort.

Stanford Inn at the Sea
I have to be honest, I came for the food. Just think, an entire restaurant that serves all dairy-free cuisine. With my dairy allergy, I constantly have to ask, "is there butter in this? Is there cheese in this? Is there milk in this?" And usually, at the end of a meal in a typical restaurant, they bring you the dessert menu that rarely has a item that isn't drenched in whipped cream. And for strict vegans who avoid all animal products, you will be in heaven to know that not a single one is used in their cooking - no eggs, no dairy, no chicken broth, just plants! No need to grill the waiter.

But even though my main attraction was the food, there is so much more here to experience. You can go kayaking or canoeing in the Big River estuary or bike around Mendocino. We both enjoyed a wonderful massage in their spa. They also have an indoor pool, hot tub and sauna. And for people who want to make big life changes, this is center for learning how to live well. You can take nutrition classes, learn yoga and Tai Chi, learn about sustainable gardening, and more.

We had a great session with Jeff Stanford on meditation. For those of you who know us, you know that Doug and I do not sit still for a minute and we just assumed that meditation was never going to work for us. We've made an attempt but every time we try to "clear our minds", we just see giant "to do" lists. 

But Jeff's discussion approached meditation as inquiry, more about "What Meditation Isn't" and how personalized it can be. He taught us an "active meditation" technique that works perfectly for our personalities!

One thing that we didn't get to do but will definitely do next time is take a personalized "Play Shop" with Joan Stanford. This is a creative experience that allows you to tap into your creative wisdom using different media. And luckily you don't have to be an artist to do this.

OK, let's Talk Food!
Being an avid gardener and food lover, I was blown away with their gardens where they grow much of the food they serve in their restaurants. Just feast your eyes on these garden beds!

Life's Short - Eat Dessert First
"Afternoon's at the Stanford Inn" include a tea service and yummy vegan desserts from 3:30 to 4:30. So after you check into your room, this is a great way to begin your vacation!
Here are some of the desserts they served at afternoon tea or with dinner.

Coffee cake with oat topping and blue compote
Spice cake with pecans and orange glaze
Mint chocolate ganache tart with strawberries

Dinner at "The Ravens" Restaurant
Their restaurant serves dinner and breakfast. They will provide an "on the go" lunch for you, if you wish. Here are some of the yummy items we enjoyed at dinner. Note that just about every dish is served with a pretty flower from their garden.

First, they present a simple amuse-bouche, bread with a vegan spread of hummus and grilled broccoli, or baked corn chips and salsa.

Amuse of slaw-covered cucumber with sesame seeds
Fresh baked bread with a vegan spread

Starters, Soups, and Salads

My favorite starter was their Tamari-Maple Glazed Tofu. I could have eaten this at every meal!

Glazed Tofu

The Butternut Squash Soup with Crème fraîche was also a favorite. 

A lovely cream soup of butternut squash

Doug started his meal with a Cauliflower and Trumpet Mushroom Ceviche Taco.

Taco on a hand-made tortilla

We both loved this Kale Salad topped with cauliflower ceviche and avocado tartare.

Stacked kale salad

Large Plates
For dinner we enjoyed a variety of dishes. The most unusual was a Sea Palm and Root Vegetable Strudel that used local sea palm, and was wrapped in phyllo, served with umeboshi and wasabi sauces. 

Sea palm and root vegetable strudel

One night, Doug had Enchiladas.

Enchiladas with grilled portobello

I think my favorite entree was the Spinach and Herb Ricotta Ravioli.

Vegan ravioli, yumm!

And the last night we were there, Doug enjoyed this Thai Red Curry with mixed veggies and tofu on jasmine rice.

Thai Red Curry

Our Favorite Waitperson
The staff at Stanford Inn was caring and attentive - and very talented! The lovely young women who waited on us at dinner, Melissa Smith, is also a vegan blogger! Check out her blog, Eat Love Now.

Check out Melissa's vegan blog, Eat Love Now 
or follow her on Facebook.

What's for Breakfast?
There were lots of breakfast dishes to choose from. Here's what we enjoyed during out stay:

Vegan Portobello Benedict
Garden Tofu Scramble with Braised Vegetables - 
the rosemary potatoes were amazing!

Buckwheat and Oat Pancakes with Fruit Compote

The vegan scones were to die for!
Cranberry Orange Scone
Pineapple Coconut Scone
Fresh Fruit Bowl
Citrus Granola

Enjoy a Book
One last thing I want to mention is their extensive collection of books that are on display and for sale in their cozy lobby (it's really more like a big, inviting, living room). The titles include books on nutrition, veganism, wellness, plant-based cookbooks, meditation, yoga, and more. One could literally spend hours sitting in a big, comfy chair perusing their wonderful books.

So if you are ever in Mendocino and want a unique experience, I highly recommend visiting Joan and Jeff Stanford at their Stanford Inn at the Sea!


Lisa M. said...

I haven't heard of this place but definitely want to go now! The food shots are amazing! Thanks for making me hungry and for sharing! ;)

Dr. Joanne L. Mumola Williams said...

Thanks Lisa. I hope you can make it out there. It's a wonderful experience!