A Freebielicious Day

A sunny day in Santana Row, four girls eager to shop, and free item coupons to redeem—these are the makings of a fantastic birthday weekend day trip, particularly mine ;).

We arrived at Santana Row around midday, and admired the classic, old downtown-esque style of the buildings and how the shops were so close together.

Santana Row Walk

It’s such a fancy-schmancy place, you could dish out the big bucks and drive out with a Tesla car if you wanted to :P! I could imagine the conversation a rich couple living in Silicon Valley would have…

“Hey honey, what did you buy at the mall today?”

“Oh the usual, it’s out on the driveway.”

We soon arrived at the place that was the whole reason for making the trip down to Santana Row. I have been dying to visit ever since learning about their Northern California existence…

My friends are non-vegetarians, but they appreciate good vegetarian/vegan food as much as the “whole earth/plant-obsessed” vegan ;). My sister and I appreciate, and like to support, restaurants that are veg-friendly since we’ve been vegetarians since birth.

I didn’t need a menu since I already knew what I was going to order. My friends debated dishes from burgers to appetizers, but once we all knew what we wanted, we made our way to the counter to pay. I came prepared with a free dessert and free entree coupon, since I had joined their e-mail club program and their birthday perk is an entree on the house. We were able to wipe off $13 from our bill—not bad considering we were four hungry young ladies :P!

We found a booth near the cooking action. Perfect for taking “discreet” phone images.

Veggie Grill in Santana R.

Even though we were close to the kitchen and our stomachs were growling, we didn’t have to wait long. We got to sample the dessert we had already ordered. I never had an in-restaurant sample before, so that was new to me!

Sample

Within 10 minutes of sitting down, our food came to the table—fresh and pippin’ hot. Before fully digging into our own meals, we were slicing up samples for eachother, taking bites out of eachother’s burgers, and reaching over the table…it probably looked odd, but hilarious to all the other patrons!

I had come with a plan, and went with my growling gut on the decision to order a Crispy Chickin’ Plate.

Fried Chickin’, cauli-mashed potatoes, porcini mushroom gravy with fresh rosemary, steamin' kale

Fried Chickin’, cauli-mashed potatoes, porcini mushroom gravy with fresh rosemary, steamin’ kale.

What was great…

  • Breaded chickin’—enough said.
  • The gravy sauce was perfect with the chickin’.
  • It was an all-around favorite with the girls.

And not so great…

  • The kale could have been seasoned more, even though there was dressing on top.
  • I’m not a mashed potato fan, so the cauli-mashed potatoes were a bit of a bore to me.
  • Would have preferred more chickin’ over the potato or kale :P!

One of my friends ordered the Bali Bliss Burger.

“Too-Good” Tempeh, lettuce, tomato, red onion, chipotle ranch.

“Too-Good” Tempeh, lettuce, tomato, red onion, chipotle ranch.

What was great…

  • The adorably-shaped tempeh “patty”. Square beats circle when it comes to patties!
  • The cute, fluffy wheat bun.
  • Chipotle ranch….mmm!

And not so great…

  • Avocado cost extra ($1.50!!).
  • The side slaw was poorly seasoned and very mediocre.
  • The tempeh could have had more flavor.

My sister went for the Chickin’ Tacos.

Sauteed Chickin’, Mexican spices, cabbage, roasted corn salsa, white corn tortillas, with mashed avocado and tomato salad.

Sauteed Chickin’, Mexican spices, cabbage, roasted corn salsa, white corn tortillas, with mashed avocado and tomato salad.

What was great…

  • Perfect ratio of inner ingredients to tortilla.
  • The jalapeno slices on the side.
  • Watching my sister’s taco face while devouring this :P!!

And not so great…

  • Vegan cheese could have taken this to the next level
  • The tacos were a tad too small.
  • The cabbage didn’t taste bad, but the bright white color of it didn’t work well appearance-wise with the other ingredients.

My other friend feasted on the “Crab” Cake Burger.

Crispy “crab” cake, spiced tartar sauce, pickles, tomato, lettuce, red onion.

Crispy “crab” cake, spiced tartar sauce, pickles, tomato, lettuce, red onion.

What was great…

  • The sweet potato fries with their “special” seasoning.
  • Dipping said fries into spiced tartar sauce.
  • Just this burger!

And not so great…

  • Not much to say except maybe I should have asked my friend if she wanted to swap dishes with me in the middle? While everyone loved my plate the best, I was a fan of this whole plate. 

After all of that vegetarian bliss, we wrapped up lunch with the Chocolate Pudding Parfait.

Made-from-scratch pudding, topped with chocolate sauce, crushed cookies, walnuts, VG Crema.

Made-from-scratch pudding, topped with chocolate sauce, crushed cookies, walnuts, VG Crema.

What was great…

  • The cookie crumbles.
  • The presentation: perfectly centered cream, cookie crumbles on top AND at the bottom.
  • Perfect for sharing.

And not so great…

  • Served at the same time as our other meals. It would have been nice to have been served this after we finished our main meals. <—This is a minor issue though :P!
  • The pudding tasted fine, but it would have been awesome if it came in other flavors like vanilla, strawberry, or caramel.
  • Should have had more cream…or maybe we should have ordered a glass of just cream :P!

After our vegan-friendly feast, we left with full bellies and decided to walk around. After some browsing and window shopping, we found this hilarious blackboard beckoning us.

Hey Girl.

We went inside the store, Paper Source, and found some interesting, cute, and “I-wish-I-had-those” items.

These would make fun gifts.

These would make fun gifts.

Books, paper, things organized by color...my kind of store!!

Books, paper, things organized by color…my kind of store!!

One of my friends really wanted to step into Lululemon, so we did since it was close by. I know so many bloggers are practically in love with Lulu, but can someone please justify a $44 sports bra? Until then, my humble earnings are staying in the bank…

Even though Santana Row is known for its pricey and upscale shopping, that didn’t stop us from making any purchases at all. We were just very picky. My sister was on cloud nine when she found…

The Container Store

Yup, The Container Store.

I’m not lying when I say we spent a full hour here, and I’m surprised we weren’t there for even longer. I like IKEA and stores like The Container Store, but since I wasn’t on the hunt for dorm or apartment things, I wasn’t in the mood to stay there longer than 15 minutes.

Good thing I found this ergonomic $99.00 stool thing.

ergoErgo

I sat here while the girls took their time browsing the lower level.

When I collected enough energy, I made my way to the second level. Some pretty cool stuff was there:

Container Store Cool Finds

 

Where else can you find a aisle of TRASH CANS?! Like, seriously…

Trash Aisle

My favorites include these cool kitchen finds:

Kitchen KutiesAnd I love the office supplies and cool wall magnet storage tiles:

For the Office and Organization

 

We took a look at the clearance items, and I was particularly intrigued by the Kapoosh knife storage.

Kapoosh

I finally managed to push my sister to check-out, and even though she bought some things, I didn’t have to tell her to “contain herself”…

I was tempted to buy this...

I was tempted to buy this…

After leaving the store, we walked across the street to Westfield Valley Fair Mall. What’s funny is that this mall is considered to be in Santa Clara, so we literally walked from city to city :P!

The first thing we did was look for Cako, since I had a coupon for a free birthday cupcake. We found the little mall booth in the center of one of the mall walkways.

Cako

There were some sweet-looking cupcakes (and macaroons of every pastel color of the rainbow!), but I chose to keep it simple and fun with the first cupcake I saw that had colorful sprinkles.

The Back to Basics Vanilla Sprinkles Cupcake

The Back to Basics Vanilla Sprinkles Cupcake

We split the cupcake into fourths since we didn’t want to shell out $3.50 x 3 more for three more cupcakes for each of us. In the end, we made the right decision since the frosting-to-cake ratio was less than extraordinary (not much frosting compared to the amount of cake we had), and the cake was very crumbly.

After our cake break, we did some more browsing and shopping. To continue the running theme of the day, we stopped by Victoria’s Secret since I had a coupon for free underwear from their PINK brand. This happened to be a coupon that I received in the mail by coincidence, but it was a great time to redeem it since I normally don’t shop at VS.

The only time it feels good to see zeroes!

The only time it feels good to see zeroes!

My friends went slightly crazy at Forever 21 while I gave my feet a break. At around that time, I noticed an acupressure booth highlighting which parts of the foot, when applied pressure to, affect other parts of the body.

My Feet Needed This...

Hmm, I’ll have to think about this next time I do some golf ball rolling with my feet after a long run :P!

We were shopped out by 7:30pm, and it took us about two hours to get home with the traffic. I was surprised that a lot of stuff I did that day was “free”, but I was happy mainly because it was a great day out with my most favorite girls, and nothing beats a smiles-and-laughter-filled girls day out!

The Veggie Grill on Urbanspoon

What are your favorite birthday freebies? Not included in this post, but I always love getting a free birthday scoop coupon from Baskin-Robbins!

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10 comments

  1. Alex@Veggin' Out says:

    That looks like an absolutely amazing day!! I love freebies. I get a $10 coupon at a horse store which is always fantastic, and I can’t wait for some free bareminerals eye shadow for my next birthday. ;)
    That veggie restaurant looks so good! Wish I had more like that where I live. And an entire store of trashcans??? That’s a new one haha! :P

  2. Emily says:

    AHHH amazing! You spent your day at some of my favorite places in the world! Veggie Grill (as you know) is kind of my obsession. haha. I haven’t tried the Crispy Chick’n Plate though because I was afraid of exactly what you described. Next time you make it over there, try the Chick’n Ceasar wrap or the Thai Chop’t Salad with blackened tempeh rather than chicken. Those are my two favorites!

    And The Container Store is so dangerous for me- I avoid it at all costs! haha. I’m glad you had fun. (:

  3. Ami@dashofcurry says:

    Hi P! Happy belated birthday! Great job cashing in on all those freebies– that sounds exactly like what I would do!! I hate when cupcakes don’t have the right cake to frosting ratio!

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