Monday, June 17, 2013
I spent a few days last week in Malibu, where it's very easy to be vegan. One night, I decided to try Plate, a little restaurant down the street from my hotel serving "earthy California cuisine."
There were several vegan options on the dinner menu: Penne Al Arrabbiata, Quinoa Shell Primavera, Vegetable Napoleon, and a Garden Burger, in addition to several soups, salads, and appetizers that were either vegan or could easily be made vegan. I probably should have tried something unusual, like the Vegetable Napoleon or Quinoa Shell Primavera, but what sounded good to me at the time was a lunch item that's also available during dinner: Stir Fry Vegetables. This dish consists of seasonal vegetables and mushrooms stir fried in a ginger and garlic teriyaki sauce, then served over brown rice. For an extra cost, I had tofu added. While I wish that the seasonal vegetables had included something more interesting than onions, celery, carrots, cabbage, and bell pepper, the sauce was good and the dish was very tasty.
For dessert, I ordered the Madagascar Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, a vegan ice cream made from coconut and almond milk. It came with fresh berries, and it was delicious.
Plate is located at 22601 Pacific Coast Highway, #103, and their phone number is 310-317-6800. Their website address is http://www.platemalibu.com/, and their Facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/platemalibu. The restaurant serves breakfast from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Monday through Friday and from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. They serve lunch daily from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and dinner from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Monday, June 10, 2013
The 'Wich on Wheels has always been one of the more vegan-friendly mobile food trucks in Sacramento. So when I heard a few months ago that Wicked 'Wich had opened a brick and mortar restaurant, Broderick Roadhouse in West Sacramento, I was pretty excited about it.
But when I went online to check out the menu, I was disappointed to see that the only vegan option was a veggie burger, which is kind of a last resort menu item for me. However, since I seem to be running out of restaurants to blog about, I finally decided to give it a try.
When I got to the restaurant and looked at the actual menu, I was pleasantly surprised to see that they offered not only the veggie burger, but three other vegan options as well. In fact, I had a tough time deciding which one I wanted to try. So I ordered the No Egg Salad sandwich to eat while I was there, and I got The Cheesiest pasta to take home for my dinner.
I've had a hard time finding a good substitute for egg salad sandwich filling. Trader Joe's used to have a good one, but all the others I've tried have been disappointing. So I had my fingers crossed when the server at Broderick Roadhouse brought me my lunch. There was no need to worry -- it was really, really good. The menu describes it as locally sourced organic tofu, crumbled with chives, spices, mustard, and Tabasco, served with lettuce, tomato, and house vegan sauce inside of a whole wheat bun. The menu doesn't mention the chopped pickles, but I loved the flavor and crunch they added to the filling. As you can see from the picture above, my sandwich didn't come on a whole wheat bun, since they had apparently run out of them. But the server assured me the onion roll was vegan too.
I haven't had macaroni and cheese since I went vegan, so I couldn't wait to try The Cheesiest. It's described as pasta and scratch-made cheese sauce topped with bacon bits, all vegan and gluten-free. Since it was good reheated for my dinner, I'm sure it's even better fresh.
The other vegan item on the Broderick Roadhouse menu is the BBQ Tofu 'Wich, described on the menu as locally sourced organic tofu, marinated then baked, gluten-free BBQ sauce, hand cut fries, vinaigrette slaw, and fresh Italian bread. That's what I'm planning to order the next time I'm there. Actually, even their Veggie Burger sounds more interesting than most. It's a house-made vegan patty topped with lettuce, tomato, grilled onions, and veganaise. I see many more trips across the river in my future!
Broderick Roadhouse is located at 319 Sixth Street in West Sacramento, and their phone number is 916-372-2436. Their website address is http://www.broderick1893.com/#, and their Facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/Broderick1893. The restaurant is open Sunday through Wednesday from 11:00 a.m. until midnight, and Thursday through Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m.
Monday, June 3, 2013
I'm running out of restaurants to blog about, so last month, I did what I always do when I find myself in this situation: I went looking for a Thai restaurant that I hadn't tried before. I love Thai restaurants because they almost always have several vegan options.
This time, I decided to check out Manaao Thai Cuisine in West Sacramento. It's located in a little strip mall across the freeway from the IKEA shopping center. Many of the dishes on the menu can be made vegan by adding vegetables or tofu instead of animal protein. However, the curry dishes contain fish sauce, so I stayed away from the curries.
I ordered the Pad Kee-Mow, or Drunken Noodle, since I really like the fat rice noodles that are used in this dish. The noodles were stir-fried with tofu, garlic, onions, and red bell pepper in a spicy garlic chili sauce. Along with the cup of vegetable soup that preceded the meal, this was a very satisfying lunch.
Manaao Thai Cuisine is located at 715 Harbor Point Place in West Sacramento, and their phone number is 916-373-1732. The restaurant's website address is http://www.manaaothai.com/index.html, and their Facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/Manaaothai?fref=ts. They are open Monday through Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 9:30 p.m. The restaurant is closed on Saturdays.
Monday, May 27, 2013
I just got back from Negril on J, where their Vegan Mondays began today. In spite of a little first day confusion, I had a very good lunch, prepared by I'tal Chef Kimba Kabaka.
I ordered the Veggie Patte' Dish, but somehow ended up with the I'tal Plate, which consisted of stuffed smoked plantain balls, quinoa, and callaloo (a dish made of cooked greens), drizzled with a spicy coconut tomato sauce. I really enjoyed the sweet, smoky taste of the plantain balls. I ordered tamarind juice as my beverage, and it was a light and refreshing accompaniment to my lunch.
Next time, I'll try for the Veggie Patte' Dish again, which is pan-fried dough stuffed with organic curry lentils, potatoes, kale, and sprouted tofu, served with a spicy mustard green salad. I'm a big fan of pan-fried dough in any culinary tradition! I noticed that several diners ordered the Curry Tofu Salad, which also looked quite good.
I was happy to see that most of the tables in Negril were full for this first Vegan Monday, especially impressive since most of J Street looked like a ghost town today. The three items I mentioned comprise the lunch menu, but different items will be offered for dinner. There will be a Veggie Fish Stew, described as vegan non-GMO soy protein wrapped in Nori (seaweed) stewed in a spicy coconut tomato sauce, and served with quinoa, fresh stir fried greens, and plantains. There will also be Ackee (a type of fruit similar to a lychee) and Callaloo, served with coconut forbidden rice and kale. The Curry Tofu Salad is available on the dinner menu as well.
Negril on J is located at 2502 J Street, and their phone number is 916-440-1088. Their website address is http://www.negrilonj.com/# and their Facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/NegrilonJ?fref=ts. Vegan Mondays will continue for the foreseeable future from 11:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m.
Monday, May 20, 2013
I've been wanting to check out the vegan cuisine at Baagan for a long time, and finally drove up to Roseville with my friend Kathy for lunch there last week.
I ordered the Veggie Wrap, pictured above, with a spinach herb tortilla as my choice of wrap. The other option would have been a raw nori seaweed sheet. I also had a choice of spreads: hummus, jalapeno hummus, pesto, cheesy chipotle, creamy cilantro jalapeno, curry mustard, sun-dried tomato, or olive tapenade. I ordered hummus and olive tapenade, and they were both very tasty. The wrap was filled with an abundance of fresh vegetables, including mixed greens, tomatoes, carrots, red bell pepper, and cucumbers.
I might have been able to eat the whole wrap if I hadn't begun my meal with a cup of Baagan's Black-eyed Pea Soup. But then I really would have missed out, because the soup was excellent, flavored with Indian spices. A different soup is offered every day, and they all sound wonderful.
Kathy ordered a cup of soup and the Grilled Quesadilla, a grilled spinach herb tortilla filled with a variety of fresh vegetables and a choice of spreads. I think she must have liked it, because she polished off the whole thing.
For dessert, we shared an order of Chocolate Soft Serve, an "ice cream" made from whipped frozen bananas and cacao powder. Various toppings are available, but we decided to keep things simple and just have pecans added. It was a delicious, healthy, and satisfying dessert. Sorry for the fuzzy picture -- I must have been so anxious to dig in that I didn't take the time to focus properly!
I appreciate the fact that, unlike many vegan restaurants, Baagan's menu doesn't rely on fake meats and cheeses. Fresh fruits and vegetables, grains, and nuts are the mainstays of Baagan's cuisine, proof that delicious vegan food doesn't need to be disguised as something it's not.
Baagan is located in a Roseville shopping center at 910 Pleasant Grove Boulevard, Suite 160, and their phone number is 916-771-2117. Their website address is http://www.baagan.com/default.html, and their Facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Baagan/215358211841877?fref=ts. The restaurant is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Monday, May 13, 2013
I've been watching the corner of 19th and J streets with interest for a few months to see what would occupy that space, which hasn't worked out well for the last couple of restaurants. Most recently, a Mongolian barbecue was there, and before that, a Chinese restaurant. This time, it's a Thai restaurant called Sawasdee, which means "hello" in Thai. If the food I tried there was any indication, maybe this restaurant will be more successful than its predecessors.
I was pleasantly surprised to see the words "Vegan friendly" on the front of the menu. There are numerous vegan options on the menu, since many of the dishes offer a choice of tofu or vegetables, in addition to all the animal protein options. I asked, as I always do in a Thai restaurant, whether their curries contain fish sauce. I was told that they do not. I didn't order curry, though. Instead, I decided to try the Pad Kee Mao (Drunken Noodle) with tofu. In addition to the tofu, this dish consists of pan-fried flat rice noodles, green beans, snow peas, bell peppers, tomatoes, basil, and pineapple. It was a very tasty and satisfying lunch.
I asked if any of the desserts were vegan and was told that the Mango Sticky Rice (made with coconut milk) was vegan, so I had to give it a try. I'm so glad I did! It was delicious.
Sawasdee is located at 1830 J Street, and their phone number is 916-329-8678. The restaurant's website address is www.SawasdeeSac.com, and their Facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/SawasdeeSac?fref=ts. Sawasdee is open daily from 11:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m.