Reviews written by Stephanie Jaffa
Registered on Apr 17 05
I went to Blue Nile last night for a date, and we ended up using the traditional seating. We went at about 9 pm, and, while there weren't many people in the first room, the "traditional seating" room was empty. Neither of us ate much yesterday, so we were ready for a big meal -- as it was our first time there, we ordered the vegetarian sampler. We were a little disappointed when it arrived (though quickly), because it didn't look like much food. We left stuffed, though. As the handy nutrition cards on the tables show, teff is pretty packed with fiber and protein, and we used a whole lot of injera to scoop up the meal. So, the sampler for 1-2 people is the perfect amount for two really, really hungry, average-sized people. The only problem with the place was the service. The waiter was very nice and helpful, and assured me that everything on the sampler is vegan, but we never saw him after he brought the order. Perhaps he realized we were on a date and was trying to give us some privacy, but my date's water ran out early on and he didn't get a refill until the check came. Besides the water issue, which is very likely only something that might happen if you're in a room all alone, it's a nice place with good food. They even have vegan coffee cake, though I was too stuffed to try it.
This place isn't particularly clean, especially the restrooms, but the food is solid and you can get a really great value. $6.95 for a huge bowl of dahl curry, which came with bread and a large serving of rice -- definitely enough to keep me happy. I would love to do one of their complete dinners, but there doesn't seem to be a way to make it all vegan. There's a 15% off coupon on their website, though I didn't get around to using it.
Green is now 100% vegan, as is declared on the menu, and I had the pleasure of visiting it yesterday. Since it was my first time, I decided to go the all-junk food route: I shared crab puffs with a friend, had the "no harm chicken parm" sandwich with thyme fries, and shared an Oreo "tsoynami" with my friend. Everything was nicely presented in a manner befitting a fast food-type restaurant. Most importantly, though, the food was yummy. The crab puffs went very quickly, I made a bit of a mess of the chicken Parmesan but it was good... and then came the ice cream. When the huge cup of the stuff arrived, I wondered out loud how we were going to eat it all -- 'course, it was gone in less than five minutes. The ice cream is good: eat it.
I'd give 'em a 10 if what I order made up the entire menu, but they get an 8 since they serve all kinds of animal products. I'm lame and get the same thing every time I go, but it's soo good, despite its simplicity. Props to Taco for actually having the word "vegan" on the menu -- it makes one feel quite safe and warm and fuzzy inside. 'Course, on the majority of my visits, after I ordered the vegan burrito, its creator asked if I wanted cheese and sour cream. They don't try to put anything on before you answer, though, so I guess it's all good. Another pleasant aspect of the place is the fact that everything that could be vegan, is. All varieties of tortillas, beans, salsa, etc. You will be offered free chips -- take them, because you will need them to scoop up the burrito goo that falls out as you stuff the thing into your face.
This place is right by my house, and I really wanted to like it because it is so vegan-friendly. So many of the vegan dishes sound good, but they just don't have that Asian taste. It's kind of bizarre, like someone who'd never before made Asian/veg food grabbed some ingredients and combined them, and hoped for the best. I gave it a second try, but the different dish had exactly the same, odd taste. For the record, I had the eggplant tofu in garlic sauce and the Asian coconut curry. The food isn't bad-tasting -- it's just not *good*.
Their weekend buffet is absolutely amazing. It is nearly all vegan, with the vegan dishes labeled as such. I find myself with frequent Udupi cravings -- definitely the best Indian food I've ever had. The vast majority of the dishes on the buffet line have some heat, so beware. I give it a 9 because the restaurant's not entirely vegan and because of the price of the buffet ($11 before tip).
Note: According to the most recent (June 2007) Maricopa County health inspector's report, Udupi is doing better, as the establishment received a silver award and there is no mention of cockroaches.
Expensive, but fantastic vegan cheese pizza. Worth it for a treat.
I came from Arizona to try Sticky Fingers -- I only got one item (Little Devil), but dammnn, was it good. And huge. Definitely go if you can.