Grilled Cheese, Eh?

I just ate a grilled cheese sandwich for the third time in 15 years. The other two times were this past week in Toronto. The time before these three was over 15 years ago in Montreal. I'm not from Canada, but I guess it's kinda like the land of grilled cheese for me.

There was a big difference between the two Canadian grilled cheese sandwiches, though. The Montreal was a regular grilled cheese sandwich, eaten by a hungry vegetarian searching for protein options. The Toronto was a tapioca cheese sandwich, eaten by a gluttonous vegan at the 8th vegetarian restaurant of his week-long trip.

Soy cheese has come a long way in the past decade and a half. It went from practically non-existent in the nineties, to not very good in the noughties, to pretty good in the past couple of years. Now, it may be on its way out with the introduction of tapioca cheese.

There is a brand of soy cheese that melts (Vegan Gourmet), but there is no non-dairy alternative that compares to Daiya's tapioca cheese. It's the first vegan cheese that I would describe as awesome. I've frequently said that cheese is the only thing I miss as a vegan, particularly on pizza. Now there is nothing that I feel I'm missing out on. In fact, I enjoy tapioca cheese considerably more than I ever did traditional cheese, particularly after a decade plus of soy cheese.

May Day

Happy May Day, Beltane, and seasonable warmth to all! And happy birthday to me. Yes, I'm 32 today. The nice thing about being born in the spring is that birthdays never make me feel old. Sure, they did when I was 22. But now they feel like a rebirth of sorts. A reinvestment of energy and rededication to purpose. And there is much for me to be excited about right now.

Just this week I have committed to playing the Main Event at this year's World Series of Poker. As I write this, I'm playing the PokerStars $1 Million freeroll as sort of a warm up. I'll be playing some of the SCOOP events on Stars as well, to make sure I'm in good tournament shape before plunking down $10k on a buy-in.

But I'm doing something much more exciting (to me) than playing in the WSOP. I'm hoping to have my first poker book published before then. This is an absurdly ambitious time frame, but that's sort of what I'm all about. I'm still working on a limit holdem strategy book (or two), but my first book should have more universal appeal. I'll share more details once the process is further along, but needless to say, I'm overwhelmingly excited. I've wanted to be a writer since I was 13, and having a book published is the beginning of a dream.

I've also started private coaching again, but given everything else going on right now, I'm keeping this on a small scale. I'm offering half price session reviews which become Drag the Bar bonus videos as part of The Sauna series. Details Here.

Finally, if my poker work isn't keeping me busy, there's always music. I'm playing a show tonight with my band Villain's Lament at Arlene's Grocery (95 Stanton Street). We go on at 10 PM, and I can't think of a better way to celebrate my birthday. If anyone's from NYC, stop by, say hi, and I'll buy you a drink. Cheers.