Reviews written by T-bone
Registered on May 29 07
Gross food and gross atmosphere! This restaurant feels kind of dirty and grubby, and the vegetarian food is bland beyond bland. They offer many tofu dishes, but unfortunately they don't know how to cook tofu. It tasted like it was microwaved or boiled or something, and there was not enough flavor to cover the nakedness of the tofu. The breakfast potatoes were burnt on the outside, undercooked on the inside. Our waitress was rude and distracted, and she didn't get my order correct (I asked for no cheese, but she didn't write it down, so my dish had a pound of cheese melted on top).
I find this restaurant very frustrating because omnivores rave about the fantastic food, and the menu changes daily, but they only ever have ONE vegetarian option (tamale pie). The tamale pie is delicious, but I don't want it every single time I go there. Also, their enormous plates are covered with a trough-full of weird assorted veggies and fruits, which are supposed to be "beautiful" and "exotic," I suppose, but which I find "annoying" and "wasteful." Nobody can eat all the junk they load up on those plates. We have always tried (because we feel bad wasting), and we always feel totally sick after getting halfway through the salad-y jungle. They charge about $20 for way too much food. I wish they would leave all the gratuitous garnishes out and charge $12 instead. Oh, and the service can be very snooty.
This is by far the WORST restaurant I have ever been to!! They call themselves a vegetarian-friendly restaurant, but they have on numerous occasions served "vegetarian" dishes filled with chunks of chicken mixed in with tofu! I went there one evening, when there was only one other person in the restaurant, and ordered a tofu dish which was clearly marked as vegetarian on the menu. It took almost AN HOUR for them to bring out my food (even though there was only one other customer!), and the first bite I took was a big chunk of chicken! I was shocked to find that my dish was FILLED with chicken (mixed in with the tofu). I told the waitress (manager/owner?) that my vegetarian meal had chicken in it, and she didn't believe me! She actually asked me to prove it to her! So I showed her all the chicken, and she grudgingly took the dish back to the kitchen, with NO apology. It then took another 45 minutes for them to bring out another dish (which was very bland). And then when she wrote up my check, she tried to charge me for both dishes!!! I had to argue with her to remove the chicken-filled dish from my bill! I was astonished at the terrible service, but even more astonished to find out from numerous coworkers that they have had similar experiences at this restaurant (finding chicken in vegetarian dishes, terrible rude slow service)!! I don't know how they're still open.
Only restaurant I've found in Tucson which has mock meats. Their mock meats are pretty good, not the best I've had anywhere, but pretty good nonetheless. I personally think some of their sauces (kung pao, szechuan, brown sauce, white sauce) are kind of gross, but some are great. My favorite dishes there are Mongolian Veggie Chicken, General Tso's Veggie Chicken, Sweet & Sour Veggie Chicken, Curry Veggie Chicken, Fresh Tofu Skins & Chinese Greens, and Vegetable Lo Mein. Oh, and try their Vegetarian Drumsticks, they're delightful! I've never tried their veggie seafood because they're a little too expensive for me ($12). The great thing about Guilin is that you can request "no-oil cooking," and they will omit the oil from your dish. And they don't use MSG. They offer free delivery to a huge swath of Tucson, and they always have free egg roll coupons you can use. Here's a link to their menu (which includes the egg roll coupon): http://www.tucsonweekly.com/binary/7382-299-1/GuilinMenu.pdf
This ENTIRELY-VEGAN restaurant makes it much easier for me to live in Tucson! I love being able to come to a restaurant where I can order ANYTHING on the menu! Their food feels so homemade (I mean that in a good way). I just adore their Golden Nuggets, Tempura Shrimp, Pasta Primavera, Stroganoff, and Bacon Cheeseburger. They have such incredible sauces and dips that I just cannot replicate at home. They have a lovely dessert case, and fantastic smoothies and milkshakes. Everything is vegan!! I only wish their prices were a little lower, so that I could eat there more often. That's not to say they're overpriced, because the wholesome organic ingredients they use are just more expensive than the slop used at other restaurants. Vegan heaven in the midst of the stinking desert. ;) Here's their menu: http://www.lovinspoonfuls.com/menu.html
I love this restaurant! It's got a humble, authentic atmosphere, and very good service. I actually had a huge family dinner (~40 people) there on Cinco de Mayo one year, and the restaurant staff were AMAZING in accommodating us. They made all sorts of special exceptions for us, as they usually don't take reservations or huge groups. They set up the whole back patio to accommodate us, it was so nice of them (especially on a busy night like Cinco de Mayo)! Everyone was delighted with their food, and the service was incredibly on top of it. They managed to take care of all of us, and other customers in the main restaurant, with only 2-3 wait staff! They have a separate vegetarian section on their menu, which makes it so easy for us veggers to order (rather than having to scrutinize the menu to figure out what's vegetarian).
Ah, Zemam's is my favorite restaurant in Tucson, and one of my overall favorites anywhere. I've had all the vegetarian items on the menu, and they are superb (though the lentil dishes are a bit on the bland side, for my personal taste). Try the chickpea dish, the cabbage dish, and the spinach dish; heaven! The wait staff are so lovely and friendly, I always feel happy being there. I've taken many of my omnivorous friends to Zemam's, and everyone always loves it. This little place gets very crowded on Friday and Saturday nights, so plan ahead.
Probably the best Chinese restaurant in Corvallis. They offer tons of fantastic vegetarian options. Their Sesame Tempeh is AMAZING!! They do lots of great stuff with tempeh and tofu, they really know how to cook it. Their portions are large and their prices low. I met the owner once while I was eating, and he was such a sweetheart! It sucks that this restaurant is located in the Super 8 Motel parking lot, but that doesn't matter once you're inside the restaurant.
I just adore Nearly Normal's! This was one of my favorite eating joints when I was living in Corvallis. My favorite dishes are their Tofu Potato, Athena's Delight, Chalupa, Tempechanga, and Verde Burrito. Wow, I'm getting hungry just thinking about it! This all-vegetarian (and vegan-friendly) restaurant serves such satisfying, hearty food, not the wimpy "mixed salad greens" entrees offered at some restaurants. (Why do so many meat-eaters think that "vegetarian" means we don't like to eat food?!) Anyways, here's a link to their menu: http://nearlynormals.com/menu/menu.html
This is absolutely my favorite restaurant on the planet!! When I lived in Eugene, I ate here at least 4-5 times a week, and I still couldn't get enough. Everything is 100% vegan!! By far the best-tasting, best-textured mock meats I've ever had anywhere. I've had every single dish on the menu, there's not a single "bad" dish. I love love LOVE their Lotus Delight (used to be called Hunan Veggie Beef). I love their Sweet and Sour Veggie Shrimp. Their hot and sour soup is amazing, as is their wonton soup. Their chow mein is SO delicious too. And all their food *feels* so healthy (well I don't know anything about the nutrition content, but their food never feels greasy). It makes me want to cry that I no longer live in Oregon and can't eat at Lotus Garden. :( Every time I go to visit my folks in Corvallis, I always make a journey to Eugene to eat at Lotus Garden.
Oh my, BEST vegan pizza EVER!!! You should taste the cheesy sauce they put on their vegan pizza! It always makes me sad when I go to a place where their idea of vegan pizza is simply to omit cheese (that's no fun!). I'm also not a fan of most of the vegan cheeses out there on the market, in the context of pizza (where cheese plays such a big role). The cheesy vegan sauce that they've created at Pizza Research Institute is so incredibly delicious, I wish I could have it hooked up into my arm with an IV. And the rest of the pizza ingredients (crust, tomato sauce, toppings) are amazing too. I've never had a bad pizza there. The reason I rated PRI as a 9 and not a 10 is because their restaurant is the size of a bathroom. It's tiny, cramped, dark, and kind of gross. They have some tables and chairs set up on the sidewalk, so that's definitely preferable if weather permits. But you're better off just ordering out. Oh, and they're not too strict about keeping their hours, so many a time I've gone there and they've closed early or opened late (we're talking hours, not minutes).
You'll be hard-pressed to find another bakery that has as many unbelievable vegan desserts as Sweet Life. I just cannot believe their vegan cheesecake, it tastes so incredibly authentic and delicious! And somehow they have mastered vegan whipped cream, which acts and tastes like the real thing. I'm not a fan of their chocolate chip cookies, which are the disappointing vegan bricks you find most places. But everything else is just amazing. Try their vegan pumpkin pie and you'll never go back to the real thing. But seriously, your life is not complete till you've tried their vegan cheesecake. Go now!!
This was always my favorite Indian restaurant in Eugene (when I lived there). I never ate there as a vegan, I only started going there after I morphed from vegan to vegetarian. Delicious rich sauces! I never ate anything there I didn't like.
I'm here to tell you that the herb-crusted tofu with mashed potatoes and gravy is phenomenal. With food like this, you won't feel deprived by being vegan. In fact, most likely your omnivorous dinner partners will continually ask you for bites from your plate (that always happens to me when I go there)! :) Additionally, this restaurant is beautiful, chic, intimate, and has wonderful ambiance. It's a great "romantic date" restaurant.