Vegan Restaurant El Paso
El Paso Restaurant Review
Our Boondocking Life Podcast – Transcript
Good morning El Paso. Welcome to today’s podcast, number 006. Today we’re going to talk about our boondocking experiences near Tucson, and the Military RV park in El Paso. Then we’re going to talk about our favorite vegan restaurant in El Paso and also one of our favorite recipes for waffles. In our Who Knew? section we’re going to talk about the crazy intersection lights in Tucson. So stay tuned.
Introduction to the Podcast
-Welcome to Our Boondocking Life podcast. I’m Louisa, and together with my husband Michael, and our dog Sugar, we’re traveling full time in a Class V camper van visiting national parks, monuments, mountains, oceans, lakes, rivers and everywhere in between all the while being frugal and looking for cheap sleeps and good eats along the way. We’d like to share them with you. So join us each week as we share three different things. First, where we’ve been and where we found free or really cheap camping spots, to include Military bases. We’ll also share what’s our fridge or which new vegan restaurants we’ve discovered.
Finally, we’re going to have a section called Who Knew? This is the section where we’ll share what we learned this week because who knew there was so much to learn about traveling full time in a camper van?
So as we get started on our podcast today we’re going to let you know that we recently became members of the Vegetarian Society of El Paso. And, along with Tom, Arturo, Valerie, Barbara and Joe, we had the opportunity to serve a vegan meal to shelter residents at a place called Opportunity Center. It was a great way to share some Thanks-Living goodness. But now onto our boondocking spots in and around Tucson. Of course, you know I like to find the boondocking spot on “Campendium” because it’s really very knowledgeable. People put in their reviews and I can pick and choose.
But I found a boondocking spot on land right outside of Tucson, and it’s called Snyder Hill. Michael’s going to give us a little overview of what we found at Snyder Hill.
Snyder Hill – Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
Snyder Hill is right outside of Tucson, and it’s a BLM and absolutely free. As we said before, we really love free boondocking spots. It’s classical, Southwest, sagebrush, very dry and with small hills that you can hike on if you choose to. Unfortunately, this particular BLM was not very well taken care of. Some of the folks who live year round are leaving it trashed out and not picking up anything. But we found that there were some isolated spots where we could be very comfortable.
One of the things that I’d like to mention is that at the entrance to this BLM there is a police and fire station, so that might give you some comfort there. Again, it’s right outside of Tucson. It’s free. And just as a reminder for all of us, please pick up anything that you leave at any site that you stay at.
Of course, this is all dirt road and dirt sites, but there were some trees. I would say they were between 15 and 20 other RV’ers in there in all different sized rigs. The big problem was the glass on the ground. As you’re walking your dog, you have to watch out for broken glass because it is everywhere. Then what we decided to do after we parked for a little bit was to get back in and go around the other side of the hill, which had an interesting kind of area that you could pull off the road, Ajo Highway it was called.
You can go off into the other section, which had two people in it, and not a lot of trees there to park next to. But at least it had a lot of wide open space that you wouldn’t be near anyone. So I liked that one better because it felt like it was more isolated. But again, pick up after yourselves, please.
Casino Parking or County Campground
We also heard that there was a casino in the area and so I called to see if they allowed overnight parking. They did not at this time because they were having a big festival. So we looked around because we like to find out what else is available in the area, and I found Gilbert Ray Campground, which is a county campground. It was $20.00 for the night and it was electric-only. But it was really full of cacti and there were other RV’ers in there so it was really very nice to walk around and be able to chat with people who were actually on vacation and not people who were homesteading over on the BLM. Which, we find it more friendly in the RV parks, except for sometimes they are more crowded.
We enjoyed this place. It had a bathroom, running water, no showers, but electric. Then we thought $20.00 is a lot for that. So we went back to the BLM on our third night because we could.
Local scenery around the county campground
Oh, by the way, the ride up to the county park was just absolutely awesome. I’ve never seen thousands and thousands of large cacti, or cactus, I’m not sure which one is correct. But they were spaced apart and there were thousands of them. Some of them looked like they reached up to at least seven feet. Just beautiful. There are several places along that route where you can stop, take pictures, even walk a little bit. So I definitely recommend, even if you don’t stay at the county park, take that ride up that way and view the beautiful cacti.
Return to El Paso, Texas
Just as a side note, the reason we went to Tucson, we were in El Paso, was because the temperature was dipping into the low 30s at night in El Paso and we didn’t want to have to winterize or freeze our tanks out. So we looked on the map. We said, “Oh, it’s warmer over there in Tucson, so let’s go.” But then we were able to finally come back to El Paso and now we’re going to talk about one of our favorite RV parks. We may have talked about it already in the past, but it’s Fort Bliss RV Park in El Paso.
Fort Bliss RV Park
Fort Bliss RV Park is located right outside of the main post. It’s got full hookups. It has water. It has private, clean showers. It has a full gym, and a gigantic lounge area. Also, we found the cellular and WiFi to be outstanding, and it also has cable hookup. It is a mostly flat cement padded area. One of the things that you have to be aware of there, major freeways on both sides of the RV park, so it does get a little loud throughout the evening.
And that’s true, but we really like it because it is in the heart of El Paso, and so you can get onto any of those freeways pretty quickly. But it’s $17.00 a night for full hookups. One of those places you don’t get to make reservations at, but we call ahead and ask, “Do you have a lot of openings, and could we get in there, do you think?” They’re always very nice and helpful. There is a camp host that is available until 10:00 pm, so if you come in later in the evening when the office is closed, you just stop by the camp host trailer and then ask them for a spot. We haven’t been turned away yet, but we go there because we like, like Michael said, all of the amenities, which mean there’s private restrooms with the shower, which we love.
Then the people are very friendly. All of the workers that work there are very friendly. There’s also a dog park on both sides of the park, so you can walk your dog in the grass and not worry about all the gravel that is around. We really like Fort Bliss RV Park. In the winter, it does fill up with some snowbirds on their way to Florida or California. We don’t know where they’re going exactly. But during the summer you can pretty much have your pick of the lot because it’s 110 degrees in El Paso, but we have taken advantage of the hookups for air conditioning and for heat. We really recommend Fort Bliss RV Park.
Queen’s Table Vegan Restaurant
Next up, of course, is our review of one of our favorite vegan restaurants in El Paso. It’s called Queen’s Table, and Michael’s going to talk about it.
The Queen’s Table is located on the far East side of El Paso, and it is a full vegan, vegetarian, health conscious restaurant. They have all kinds of delicious entrees such as: vegan burgers, vegan tacos, they have full dinners that have pasta, rice dishes. They have dishes for children such as: hot dogs, un-hot dogs, which have [inaudible 00:10:11] and tofu in it. They have smoothies. They have delicacies that we indulge in occasionally such as the chocolate chip cookies and a slice of carrot cake.
The staff is just magnificent. They will cater to your needs. If you have any allergies, if you want to add items, they’re just wonderful. It’s unusual in a little small town such as El Paso to find a pure vegan restaurant. We hope it becomes more frequent as veganism and vegetarianism continue to grow in this country of ours.
Okay, my favorite dish at The Queen’s Table so far is their kale salad with un-chicken, because it really is filling and it has a great dressing on it. I’m not exactly sure what it is, but the salad itself is very good and the un-chicken tastes almost like real chicken.
The pasta dish was outstanding. They had a lot of vegetables and tofu. I also had a big, giant what they called a Queensburger, which starts out with a base of soy and then also they put a lot of vegetables in there. I also had tacos which had portobello mushrooms and lots of vegetables in it, and then a sauce on top that quite frankly tastes like a regular street taco. We really recommend The Queen’s Table.
Stay tuned for our What’s in Our Fridge? section where I share one of our favorite recipes on waffles.
This next section of the podcast is dedicated to your colon, and who better to bring you information about the colon than our son, Dr. Avery Walker, colorectal surgeon and also known as “The Colon Whisperer.”
The best way to prevent colon cancer is to start getting your colonoscopies at the age of 45. You should also make note of any symptoms you may be having such as blood in your stool, constipation that doesn’t go away on it’s on, or abdominal pain. See your doctor if those symptoms are there. The other thing that you can do is make sure you get at least 30 grams of fiber a day in your diet to include: green, leafy vegetables like broccoli and spinach, peas, and beans. Always drink lots and lots of water.
Thank you, Dr. Walker. And now we’re going to talk about our What’s in Our Fridge? section. This where we’re going to share a recipe or what is going on in our fridge so you know that we don’t always eat out in restaurants. But this recipe comes from Rip Esselstyn who wrote a wonderful book called Plant Strong: Discover the World’s Healthiest Diet with 150 New Engine-2 Recipes. I’m just going to read what it says on the back of the book:
“Rip Esselstyn is a New York Times bestselling author of the Engine-2 Diet. He attended the University of Texas where he was an All American swimmer. After spending 10 years as one of the world’s top professional triathletes, Rip became a firefighter in Austin, Texas. He joined Whole Foods Market as a healthy eating partner in 2009, and today he travels year round telling the world about the benefits of eating Plant Strong with the Engine-2 diet.”
You can visit his website,” and all of that information is of course on ours, which is called vegansonamission.com. Go there and you can find more information about this wonderful recipe book.
This recipe is called Zeb’s Waffles, and it’s on page 144 of the paperback edition. What I like to do is get out the Vitamix and grind up the nuts. Now he recommends having walnuts. Well, we have a grandbaby whose allergic to walnuts, so I put in either almonds or I use cashews. Here’s the recipe:
You have 2 1/2 cups of old fashioned rolled oats
3/4 cups of the nuts
1/4 cup of flaxseed meal
A zest of half of an orange
1 1/2 to 3/4 tsp of cinnamon
1-1 1/2 cups of almond milk
Now, I’ve made this so much that I just dump stuff in and I know what I like, and I know the consistency that I need to use for the waffle iron. What I like to do is first take out the Vitamix, grind up the oats to make a nice flour, and then I add the nuts. I grind those up. Then put it all in a bowl and I have a banana that I smush because that takes place of the egg. Then smush the banana with the cashews, that’s what I’m using this week. Then add in the oats. Add in the flax meal, add in the cinnamon, and I put a little vanilla flavoring in just for a little zest.
He likes the zest of orange. I don’t always have that, so I don’t always put that in. Then what I do is mix it up really nicely and it’s very, very hearty. He will tell you that these are very dense, and if you like your waffles light and fluffy this is not the recipe for you. But they are so nice and dense that it feels like you’re getting a really hearty breakfast. Now that recipe itself will make about four small eight inch waffles, so Michael and I each have two. Michael will tell you what he likes to add on top of his waffles.
I think it’s important every day to have berries, berries and more berries. I’ll have raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries on top of my waffle. In addition to that, I increase the fiber even more by adding chia seeds and pumpkin seeds. This is a delicious, healthy way to start every day. So add this waffle recipe to your menu.
And be sure to go on our Instagram page @heaveninaclassb to see pictures of these wonderful waffles and other things that we make from our camper van. Now, next up we of course get to have our Who Knew? section, which is going to crack you right up. Stay tuned.
We’ve been driving a lot lately. We have over 25,000 miles on our RV. So we’re pretty good at this, we think. But in Tucson, who knew we would be in a rude awakening. So listen in.
Oh my gosh, in Tucson and a lot of areas in Arizona we have to drive very defensively, especially when you’re trying to make a left turn at an intersection. Add a light, they give you the green light to go straight, but now arrow at all to turn left. So you assume that you get to turn left when there’s no traffic, right?
So then you’re looking at the traffic and you’re waiting for this space in between cars to go, and then you realize oh, you’re having a green arrow all of a sudden. It’s like, “Oh my gosh, now I have a green arrow and the oncoming traffic has stopped.” But you didn’t know that because you’re looking at the traffic, not at the light.
And also occasionally they are blinking yellow lights which is a yield situation you think is going to to from yellow to red, which happens in California. But here in Arizona it goes from yellow, to a green arrow.
We are a retired teacher, Louisa, and a retired physician assistant, Michael, married for 39 years, who want to help busy travelers begin and maintain a healthy life-style while on the road.