Reviews written by jendo612
Registered on May 27 08
also ate here twice while in chicago...
the radical reuben lived up to its name. gigantic, delicious, and messy. oh so messy. i also had the el pastor tacos, but sadly, was not impressed at all. the flavor was lacking in the tacos, and i think spanish rice on the side is redundant, and uninspired, and theirs was both. if the tacos has some guac, salt, and more filling i think they'd have been okay-but lets nix that rice for some beans in mole sauce!? now, while we're at it, i'd like to add that my host for the weekend is a complete and total Mr.Bloody Steak and Taters, and after having one bite of my reuben he declared it motherf*cking good, and ordered one himself. if you knew him like i do, you'd take that in the utmost highest regards of badass vegan cooking.
one thing-if you're going to order a shake for your post-meal-walk, make sure you're walking home and not to a dance party because believe me, you'll be in too big of a hazy, stuffed food-coma to move. yummy food coma.....
i ate here twice while visiting friends last month-once for dinner, and once for brunch. i had the buffalo "chicken wrap", the chicken was a bit tough, but nice and spicy. my hubby had the black bean maduro made vegan-it was to die for! the spicy chipotle sauce was something dreams are made of! the plate was huge, the plantains perfectly baked and crispy swimming in black beans-YUM! for brunch i had the motherload of all vegan biscuits and gravy. the softball sized biscuit was so so so soft, made with "golden flour" (half white half wheat is my guess), it was like a salty sweet pillow. the gravy was pretty terrific as well; salty, peppery, with teeny bits of mock sausage floating around. i have no idea how i finished the whole thing (ask my hangover?), but i washed it down with a spicy vegan bloody, and a pot of coffee. my only dislike was the cramped seating both inside and on the patio. when we went for brunch you couldn't really see where the walkway was due to the overcrowding.
i like that you can choose a single-fist, or double fist burrito, and the interior seems like a cool place to hang for a beer. my husband and i's food was ok, but it wasn't anything special either- the burritos were a little bland/lacking salt and heat, and our guac was under-ripe and too tart so we didn't finish it. i would try it at least once more since it's one of the few advertised vegan-friendly establishments.
my husband and i ate here on our way back to the cities; in short it's bland, overpriced, under-thought food. for almost 40$ we received 2 lemonades, 2 tempeh sandwiches and a "buffalo" tofu appetizer. (2 beers, 2 entrees, and app and a dessert the following night at sen yai sen lek was 36$)
our food was incredibly disappointing; the sandwich consisted of a few chunks of un-seasoned tempeh, a few pieces of jarred, roasted bell pepper, and a piece of chalky soy cheese- no sauces, no spices- and very thick bread. our "buffalo" tofu appetizer was just plain old firm tofu with some sauce to dip it in. these items barely went beyond opening a few packages, and putting them together.
i really felt like maybe at one time, the duluth grill had a vegan employee who convinced them to add an option or two to their menu, and when the employee quit/left/whatever, the vegan options fell by the wayside. the only plausible reason i can think that would lead someone to serve something that unappealing would be that they had never once eaten it themselves, or didn't know better enough to not serve it- especially at the price.
got some decent take-out here- our "salad rolls" were huge, fresh, and crunchy. i think our entree was the prik king with tofu? it wasn't as hot as we were expecting but it was pretty good. the host/server helping us with our take-out order was super nice, knowledgeable and gave their own personal recommendations for menu items that would be best veganized, which i always appreciate. and the food was ready in less that 10 minutes. win.
another inhabitant of the udupi-nala pak-amus madras cafe-ect on central space, this is another decent indian restaurant offering vegan options. i dined in and found my hubby and i's usual choices, as well as a very standard menu. the food was fine, but since no one has gone far enough to re-vamp the dining room (it's still all the same furniture minus those awful tv's), and given that the menu is pretty much the exact same no matter who's running the show, i can't say that the food or experience is any different either.
** i have to change my review, sigh.
i've had three rounds of donuts since my last review, and sadly, the quality diminished further each time. on my last visit they had hit an ultimate low, my donuts were small, greasy, and hard as bricks on the outside, and due to them being 'topped' while still hot and oily, my powdered sugar donut was a sticky cold mess. i also seems to only go on days where the vegan options are pumpkin pie filling, sugar, or cinnamon sugar- where are the magical donuts featured in images on their facebook page?
i had my first of many vegan donuts yesterday, and long story short- i think they're great! i have a full review here: http://midwestvaygun.wordpress.com/2011/11/06/the-donut-co-op-and-other-tasty-adventures/
i had a vegan apple cinnamon, and vegan pumpkin cinnamon donut. both were light, crisp, airy, and fresh out of the fryer. until they get their supply and demand ratios down (just opened a few days ago), you can expect a 10-20 minute wait during peak breakfast hours on the weekends. they also coffee and have grab and go sandwiches. the vegan banh mi sandwich had far too much rice vinegar on it, but i guess when your specialty is sweet pastries you have to expect these things. the coffee was great but the inexperienced barrista was holding up the line a little. i'm looking forward to trying each and every vegan option, so hopefully these ladies hold out longer than their predecessor, cake eater bakery.
ugh-who else here was so upset that nala pak closed that they almost shed a tear when the vegetarian closed its greasy-carpet doors too? well, pick up your britches and go to dosa king!
granted, its a decent drive from anywhere, housed in a quaint strip mall in front of some grain elevators, but the staff barely spoke english and i was the only pale complexion in sight :) these are all good signs to me! the interior is mis-matched-diner, and seemed very mom-and-pop. my hubby and i had the gobi manchurain- great texture and spice but a tad salty. the veggie-chili utthapam-nice and spongy with a crispy bottom, and the chickpeas bhatura-the chickpea curry was excellent! so yummy, creamy, and lightly spiced. the bhatura was awesome, but how do you screw up fried bread? all of the food was slightly oily, but not nearly as oiled up as the vegetarians. the prices are fairly moderate; the gobi, as kedar stated, was a whopping 8$ but it was easily enough for 4 people to share as a starter, or 2 as an entree if you added some bread/rice. the prices though, were definitely less that what nala paks were, so i guess they're right in the middle! i also loved that the receipt came with a coupon attached for 15% off of your next meal w/in 15 days. i plan on eating here at least once a month because i can't find anywhere else with a great veg indian selection in my hood, let alone completely veg, AND i do NOT want to witness another indian restaurant on central bite the dust!
i hadn't been to the ecopolitan in years, and now i find myself questioning why that was because i just had one of the best dining experiences that i can recall-anywhere!
i went in at 7:45 on a saturday expecting a wait, but the dining room was already winding down from the dinner rush, and we were seated immediately. my hubby and i shared the cashew "cheese log" for an appetizer, and ordered the 'chili cheese' green burrito and the casserole plate with soup for our entrees. the cheese log was incredible! i can't remember ever having a raw cheeze that was so thick and creamy, and whatever they season it with (rejeuvalac maybe?) gave it a very distinguished, savory-cheesy flavor and depth. it was salty creamy bliss covered in olives, basil and oil, and came with some great flax crackers. out of our two entrees i enjoyed the burrito the most. it was 2 huge collards stuffed with cashew sour cream, pine nut cheese, and this amazing lentil-mushroom taco meat that was spiced like a traditional taco meat would be. the portion was more than ample, especially after only eating 2/3rds of our app. the casserole was covered in a creamy dill sauce, and eat bite reminded me of dipping veggies in ranch dressing as a kid; actually, this is the only vegan 'ranch sauce' that i've had that actually tasted like ranch! my only complaint is that since the ranch flavor really permeated the layers of the casserole, it would have lost it's oomph if i hadn't had the side of soup (and the hubby's burrito) to change it up. some people comment on skimpy portion sizes but i found our experience to be quite opposite- we had one burrito and half our appetizer left when we decided to save a little room for dessert. we split a piece of strawberry cheesecake, and it was pretty tasty-and light! my biggest surprise was that although a cashew cheese was incorporated into each dish we had, each had a different, remarkable texture and flavor. my other surprise was the bill: $61.50 for one appetizer, 2 entrees, a bottle of wine, and a dessert. most of our meals out sans wine and dessert can run us at least 50. this is definitely going high on our list of cozy dates for two that won't break the bank.
edit: fyi, the wait between ordering and our app was 15min, and our food came out less than 10min later. a super win in my book :)
i usually order delivery for the 4:20 special, ($4.20 off any order at 4:20 p.m.) too see the superhero costumes and the amazing discount, but it was 10 p.m. and i was starving. the hubby and i walked down to galactic and for the first time ever, ate in. the decor inside is retro hippy cute with 50's tables and chairs and lots of greenery in the window.
we usually go for the vegan paul bunyan(!) or the alamo but tonight we had the vegan old schooler, vegan cheese toast and muddy paws cheesecake for dessert.
the cheese toast could have been browned longer, i like it pretty crunchy but it had garlic spread with the cheese so it was extremely tasty. the pizza crust was perfect, crunchy and chewy and the toppings went well together. and the cheesecake, its that perfect "have to drag your mouth on the fork to get it off because its so thick" consistency so you actually are forced to savor it. i rounded everything out with a bells oberon and for the 2 of us, it was only 40$ with leftovers.
the staff was attentive, nice, and full of suggestions:)
i went to gingerhop a few weeks ago with 2 other vegans; we had the yellow curry, the crispy tofu salad, and the mock duck seoul food. of all three dishes, the mock duck was the only palatable one- we were expecting the crispy tofu salad to be, well, crispy. or at least like one of jasmine 26's noodle salads. this was cold, limp, underwhelming at best with nothing more than old, cold tofu, gluey noodles, and scant veggies. the yellow curry was the biggest disappointment. the curry sauce itself was thick, mild, and "chalky"; i've made better curries myself with remnants in my cupboard. the portion was also small in comparison to what you would get at the king and i, or true thai. the groups favorite dish, as well as mine, was the seoul food. my only complaint was that the mock duck was literally tossed from the can to the grill to make it look more like meat, which accentuated how "canned" it was. there were 3 *large* pieces of mock duck deliciously grilled and lightly seasoned, served atop warm rice noodles, and kimchi. we left none to be taken home. in the future, i think having the mock duck shredded post grilling would make it mix into the dish better, and make it easier to eat. one thing about gingerhop that may entice me to go more often, the ambiance, and drinks are incredible. i've never sat in a more beautiful dining room! there are several private nooks and crannies in the layout, making it perfect for a romantic date. the drinks are also excellent and moderately priced.
i hope that gingerhop stays put as its a short walk from my home, but i do hope they bump up the quality of their dishes, i cant eat booze for dinner all the time.
as a vegan who is also gluten intolerant, it can be hard to find a great meal- especially in northeast. gorkha has always delighted me with their vegetarian menu- the majority is always vegan and gluten free, and has some pretty excellent non-typical items to the cities like the hariyo saag- mixed on choy, kale, mustard greens, and raab with garlic and ginger- super unique, and for a bitter green loving gal, super delicious.
i always order the pakoras, which are never greasy or heavy, and either the channa chutt putt, or bhatmaas which are these amazing mustard oil spiked salads of either chickpeas or soy nuts. my husband eats gluten and adores the MoMos, FYI.
portion sizes are reasonable considering the use of organic and local ingredients, but they'll seem skimpy compared to your standard strip mall indian restaurant. the service inside is always friendly and on point, and i appreciate a place that learns their customers' faces.
i love holyland! my hubby and moved into the nordeast neighborhood a short while ago and have been slowly pegging down all of out vegan take out options, and holy land is definitely a keeper on our list! now, some items can be a bit oily, like the samosas, but one of our favorites has been the falafel combination sandwich; warm pita packed with falafel, roasted cauliflower, zucchini, and whole garlic. the tahini sauce IS vegan (most nut butters turn an interesting shade of white when blended with water)and so yummy in this. the sandwiches are the size of a chipotle burrito and only 6 bucks a pop! for a super cheap dinner for two, split a sandwich and get an order of fries, samosa, or salad. i would also suggest takeout as the bustling cafeteria style dining are leaves much to be desired
i have been going here for years, it's decently priced, courteous and fast. my new favorite has to be the green bean mock duck. all it consists of is a huge pile of crispy fresh green beans and mock duck with a salty sweet brown sauce, its a dollar or two more than most of their stir fries but completely worth the price. the happy farmer is a close second.
this was by far one of the best meals, and service that i've had in awhile. my sister and i are both vegans, and we went out for a belated work-holiday dinner on a monday. the restaurant was only 1/3 filled, ,and that can be dicey- either your servers are slacking due to the lack of customers, or they give you their full attention; tonight we got full attention. first and foremost, i L-O-V-E when a place has either clearly marked veg food, or a separate menu, and masu has a separate vegan menu that actually goes as far to asterisk items with miso, because some vegans may find miso unacceptable due to the live yeast- holy crap. i for one am a miso loving mother f***er, but i think that goes to show how far they are willing to go to please all preferences. they also have an extensive gluten-free menu as well.
my sis and i got 2 grasshoppers due to how awesome they are, a caterpillar, tempura appetizer, ginger chile soba noodles, and robata eggplant. the eggplant is a must for all eggplant-o-phobes. it's smoky, crispy, creamy, and meaty-mushroomy heaven. yes, it's 3.50 for 1 skewer, but you can also pay 4$ for a skewer of crappy fried pickles at a not-so-good place down the road, so i'll gladly fork over my money for these. i also really loved my ginger chile soba noodles; they were salty, sweet, and lightly spicy. my favorite though, after the eggplant, was the vegan grasshopper. not only can you get vegan tempura (!) here, you can get a sushi roll stuffed with avocado and tempura asparagus thats been freaking rolled in crushed wasabi peas- wasabi peas!
as far as price goes, our table of 3 had 5 premium cocktails, 5 sushi rolls, 2 apps, noodles, and a few sides (hell yes we can eat) and before tip we only racked up $140. i say only, because i've done just as much damage at other sushi joints without nearly as much fun food to sift through, sans drinks.
the atmosphere is fine, our server was on point with vegan tips and recommendations, and kept what usually turns into a hot mess of a table, nice and tidy the entire time.
What Maya lacks in ambiance is more than made up for in hospitality and the authenticity of their food. The restaurant itself is cavernous, lit with fluorescent tube lighting, and a bit loud. I'm willing to let that, and their abundant use of styrofoam and disposable flatware slide for now because this is one of the few Mexican places in Northeast that I can get a truly vegan meal, and cheap.
The ordering system is cafeteria style; you grab a menu, hop in line, and the next thing you know someone is piling your tray and taking you down a line full of hot sauces and garnishes. You can see into the kitchen and watch tortillas being pressed, veggies getting grilled, and various doughs and tamales getting formed.
My husband and I each ordered a Maya Plate; beans (black or pinto- both veg), rice , and your choice of three single items (tortillas, tostadas, tamales- mix and match) plus salsa bar, and an order of chips and guac. Our entire order was abundant, and only 17.50 after tax.
We tried both the black and pinto beans, and the pintos were perfectly creamy and just salty enough. We shared tacos vegetales, tostadas vegetales with pintos, tamales vegetariano, and split a pina con coco tamale .
The tacos were good, but the tostadas were great! Freshly fried to order, non-greasy, and piled with creamy beans, grilled mixed veggies, pickled jalapeños and shredded lettuce. The savory veg tamales were creamier than I am used to, and the vegetables were a tad too soft for my liking, but the flavors were nice and light. The absolute knockout of the night was the pina con coco tamale- its a dessert tamale with raisins, coconut flakes, and pineapple mixed into the masa, making it like a sweet, cake-y dumpling rather than the creamy consistency of the dinner tamales. I've never had a sweet tamale before, and if I wasn't so stuffed from the rest of my dinner I would have gone back for the fresas con durzano tamale (fresh strawberries and peaches). It was such a pleasant surprise after gorging myself on such a salty and savory meal. I should also mention that they have fresh horchata (sweetened cinnamon rice milk)- which I didn't notice until leaving. The staff is super sweet and friendly, and their service is fast.
I have a friend who knows the owner and she confirmed (as well as my tastebuds) that they don't use pork in their beans, lard in their masa/tortillas, chicken or beef stock in their rice, and 3 of their tamales are listed without (and don't surprise you with) cheese. All of the tortillas and tortas are made from scratch to order, the only exception being the tamales because they take so long to steam.
love this place! i have been here 4 times already, 3 for brunch, once for lunch. i like that they're a breakfast joint that appeals to all dietary preferences (including gluten-free), and offer more than the basic tofu scramble. but, just so those who come are aware, this place doesn't do frou-frou faux cheeses and fancy mock meats; proteins are old-school t.v.p., tofu, and AMAZING house-made seitan, and most breakfasts will include tofu. so far the favorites in my house are the evergreen scramble, polenta tofu rancheros, de niro seitan sandwich, and the tofu migas. the service is exceptionally friendly, your coffee will never be half full, and if you're lucky, there will be a dj playing his personal record collection while you eat. the only downside to this place is that it's quaint, so on our last visit we waited a half hour for a seat, but it was worth it.
this was my third time at origami after a friend suggested it and i would highly recommend it to any vegan who loves sushi. there were 5 different maki rolls on the menu that were already vegan, inari, eddamame, and the server had the the chef whip up a veganized caterpillar roll and a vegan futo maki. the server himself was very knowledgeable on what was vegan, could be made vegan, and said the chefs didn't mind making up special requests that werent on the menu:) the ambiance is definitely nice and chill without being overly fancy.
Went here for dinner based on a recommendation. The restaurant itself is incredibly casual, but the service is fast and friendly. Another site commented that not all vegetarian curries were truly vegetarian due to shrimp paste, so I did some sleuthing. Here's what I got from the kitchen staff:
All curries marked V with the exception of #30 are completely vegetarian and vegan friendly. #30 uses a different red curry than the powders/pastes they use for the others, and DOES have shrimp paste already in it.
Curries #32 and #29 have NO MSG, the rest have varying amounts based on the blend of fresh and premade curry pastes.
There is a decent handful of entrees marked V, but I'm willing to bet with some simple substitutions, you could likely get other dishes modified to be vegetarian or vegan. I'm gluten intolerant and love when a place has items clearly marked as gluten free, and this place has a great selection of gluten free items as well.
I had the Pad Prig Khing curry with fried tofu- it was a little on the sweet side which I found odd, but the curry had a nice flavor otherwise, and mild spice at the medium level. The tofu used was silken, so it had a really nice thin crispy exterior with a creamy interior. The green beans were lightly charred and super crunchy, another plus. My husband got the Pad Keow Waan with mock duck. He commented that his veggies were also fresh and super crunchy. I tried some of his curry sauce, and it was nice and light with a hint of thai basil. Both portions were more than ample and made for great leftovers. We also had veggie spring rolls with peanut sauce, which were what you would expect- but they were good.
i was at sapor last friday, and although my food was pre-ordered due to it being a grooms dinner, i had to write this up! our service was excellent!!! unbelievably non-pretentious, cozy, and knowledgeable. we had an amazing roasted beet and caramelized onion pizza for our starter, a lemony strawberry spinach salad, and some incredible black bean cakes for our entree. we even were given an alternative dessert; instead of pound cake with blueberries we received a plate of mangoes, strawberries, and blueberries covered in warm marcona almonds-fabulous! normally when other people tell me that they have our vegan food taken care of and accounted for, i get super nervous. i always fear i will show up hungry because i had food to look forward too, and then will be handed something cheesy, or buttery- this didn't happen! when we sat down the manager discreetly doubled checked with the groom to make sure that we were the 2 vegans because she didn't wan't to "out" us to a room full of people.(granted, the groom and several of the other guests were vegetarian but we all know how touchy the subject of veganism can be) the appetizer was crispy, light, salty-sweet perfection, but my favorite were the black bean cakes! they had a wonderfully thin cornmeal crust, had a perfect amount of heat, and were dressed in guac, and nectarine salsa. i wish these could be on the menu full time! -actually, i think the cakes were a regular menu item, and ours were only different due to no sour cream?
granted, there was nothing "different, or unique" about the food but i still highly suggest calling sapor a day in advance-if you can plan that far, because they were so sweet and accommodating. ooh-and if you like bourbon, order "the northloop".
oh dear lord i love this place! its one of the few thai places i know of that not only has a vegan menu, but they make their own curry paste so that it's vegan friendly as well! my go-to meal is mock duck panang curry, tofu satay, and banana coconut rice for dessert. the portions for curry's seem skimpy compared to other thai joints, but add a noodle dish and you and your main squeeze will have enough to share with leftovers for lunch.
edit: i'm now a gluten free vegan, and thankfully a good portion of the vegan menu can be made gluten free without sacrificing flavor! the staff is on point with knowing what will, and what won't translate well in the vegan flavor department.
I can't believe no one has reviewed this place yet! In short, this place is a haven for gluten free vegans, and vegans in general. They make their own gluten free, vegan oyster sauce in house, and only use gluten free soy sauce in all of their dishes. The wait staff is ridiculously well versed in veganism because the head chef himself was a vegan for years before coming to Wok In The Park. None of their menu items are marked as vegan friendly because the only thing not vegan friendly on the menu are the egg noodles, which can be subbed with rice noodles into any dish. The tofu spring rolls are gigantic and crunchy, and come with a ginger spiked GF soy sauce when ordered vegan. I also had the Cherry Own Curry and the Sunrise Stir Fry. The cherry curry at W.I.T.P. is everything i loved about Than Do's cranberry curry, but hotter, and with better vegetables- onions, and heaps of delicate asparagus instead of just onions. The sunrise stirfry was a my favorite- veggies, pineapple, tofu and cashews in a creamy turmeric and 5 spice sauce. It was unique, sweet, spicy, and savory all at once and was a great example of indian-meets chinese. They also offer brown rice for an upcharge of 2$. 2$ seems a bit overkill for brown rice, but at least i was given the option. The only reason it's taken me this long to eat here is that its not convenient to Northeast Minneapolis, but, my prenatal classes are conveniently close so i plan on coming in for dinner now after each one.
i just came back to minnesota after being in texas for a week and all i can say is WOW. my husband had been to Spiral on his last trip 3 weeks ago and came back raving about the place and was intent on eating there as much as possible on our/his next trip. normally, i would be sceptical about so much hyping but when i got to try spiral for myself, i thought i had died and gone to vegan heaven! We went and ate there twice this week and between his family and i we had (and LOVED): the parmigiana wrap (my all time fav!!), the "ate" layer burrito ( mexican quinoa! chipotle mayo!) the hot hummus wrap (veggie explosion) the big taquito (breakfast burrito supreme!)3 orders of the viva las migas (almost like grandmas)the jerk tempeh sandwich (spicy and pineapple-y) red curry noodles (yum!)the mc nut burger (light and tasty) and last but not least, the death star and chocolate avalanche sundaes (food-gasms!!!!!). the interior is cheery and 50's cute, the servers give great suggestions but also leave you to your food and friends. they stock vegan groceries,t-shirts and hoodies, have "oogave soda" on fountain, and baked goodies and truffles to die for! i never would have thought i could find a 100% vegan restaurant in texas (especially since we dont have anything truly like this in mpls)and i may just have to go visit my inlaws more often so i can eat there! also, i just have to say, every omnivore we brought there was truly shocked and delighted at how filling, delicious and creative the menu was:)
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