Reviews written by Michelle Rosier
I'm mostly vegetarian, but not always
Registered on Dec 16 11
Driving across country can end two ways for a vegan. Stop at Chicago Diner and celebrate the joys that exist when you find a shop that gets that just because you're vegan doesn't mean you don't want to live a little or maybe just enjoy some solidly american classics. I stopped for lunch and really enjoyed the Chickun Ranch salad with buffalo sauce. They've got some crazy combinations too for the adventurous like pierogi quesadilla. This location is enviro-friendly and features some great reused woodwork. If you're staying in Chicago long enough to sober up, enjoy some cocktails. Definitely worth a visit!
I dream of the vegetarian special at Helmands which features kaddo (baked pumpkin), eggplant, okra, spinach, tomatoes and spiced pallow rice. There are seven vegetarian entrees on the menu. All dinners are served with brick oven fired flatbread. I have read reviews of Helmands in Maryland that they can accomodate vegans.
What a gem! All of their food is prepared without the use of animal products (unless otherwise noted on the menu) and uses local, in season organic vegetables.
It was nice to see ingredients listed on the large and varied menu. For a started, I ordered the cafe salad - a nice mesclun greens, marinated onion, grape tomato and cucumber salad with my choice from their 6 vegan salad dressings. The salad filled a dinner plate, but wasn't entree size and could be shared. For the main course, I chose a harvest squash risotto with squash, kale, leeks, onions, roasted garlic, red peppers topped with daiya cheese. The dish was delicious and again massive (in hindsight, 2 people unless starving could probably split a salad and entree and maybe have room for dessert.) Also try the chai which is a house specialty made with soymilk and is fragrant and delicious.
The space is small (the biggest table would be a squeeze for 6) and packed. The walls have interesting art and the waitstaff is friendly. Expect to pay $9-18 for an entree, $5-8 for a salad.
Vegetarian friendly, but beware of the rice as our server thought it was made with chicken stock. For vegans, beware. Despite a very friendly note on the website saying they will accommodate vegan diets, we had horrible luck with a veggie fajita plate because they included rice we asked them to remove and kept adding cheese on the beans (even after we sent the first one back because of the cheese.) Very friendly, tasty food, great salsa and chips. Just has a ways to go to live up to its promise of being accommodating to vegans.
Duluth Grill offers a number of vegan options clearly labeled on the menu. The vegan omelet features a chickpea "omelet" stuffed with veggies, black beans, and hominy corn topped with guacamole, green chile salsa and nutritional yeast. There are several vegan side options including hashbrowns and red flannel hash (beets, sweet potatoes & onions with thyme.) The omelet is a huge, flavorful meal. We also tried the vegan chai sorbet which tasted like luscious, frozen pumpkin pie with butternut squash, chai spice, coconut milk and olive oil. The place was buzzing, the service was friendly and prompt and the options were plentiful.
Tonight, my fiance and I went for dinner after doing a little recon on what might be vegan on the menu. Turns out quite a bit can be made vegan (score.) We got the stir-fried bean sprouts with fried tofu on a recommendation. As with all the food, we wondered how they could possibly pack so much flavor in a single dish. I ordered the Machu Ankgor soup mostly because I love to try the unknown and it had lotus stems (which I've never had) and the strange (to me) flavor combination of pineapple, tomato and mint. I got it with clear broth instead of chicken and fresh tofu. Holy nom! I've been complaining a fair amount lately about the overly heavy, earthy flavor of indian dishes, lentils and really anything with cumin and coriander. This is the opposite with a sour, sweet but full flavor. Oh...and.... they served whole young coconuts full of cool coconut water and semi sweet luscious coconut flesh. Yum!
Cheng Heng's business is suffering under the brunt of the Central Corridor construction right now (like many of my favorite restaurants), but they have a parking lot with access off University Ave and amazing food you should try.
The injera here is darker than I've seen elsewhere and when asked they said it's because they use more teff flour and it has higher iron content....it tastes great. They have a couple dishes I haven't seen on Blue Nile or Fasika's menu if you're wanting to expand your horizons. They're suffering from the light rail construction, so take the time and do this small business a favor by checking it out. I don't think you'll be disappointed.
Franklin Freeze has partnered with Pita King and now has expanded menu, hours and VEGAN options! Falafel sandwich sans sauce, hummus, dolmas and greek salad sans feta are all vegan options that taste great. Also back and working is the vegan softserve ice cream with 24 flavor add-in options.
I like that Gardens of Salonica have items on the menu marked as vegan which makes it easy to navigate. Most of the menu items are large portions of one thing, so this is a great place to go with a group and share dishes.
Groundswell is recently expanded. They have a great vegan chocolate sriracha cupcake with coconut maple macaroon, vegan banana bread and some killer vegan tempeh tacos with lime cilantro slaw. The flatbreads are pricey for what they are (vegan = no cheese). Brunch offers a tasty, but decadent banana bread with fresh fruit and chocolate ganache. Other vegan brunch options don't really exist unless you want a garden salad. Vegetarians will find more options, including dinner specials like local beets with goat cheese.
As a coffee shop, they've got an amazing barista blend soy milk for drinks.
Heartland is the premiere vegan-friendly fine dining experience in St. Paul. Chef Lenny Russo was nominated for the James Beard award in 2011 and focuses on local ingredients.
In celebration of my birthday, we called in advance and let them know we were vegan when we made our reservation (recommended, but not required.) When we arrived, they immediately walked us through the vegan menu options and offered a 3 course vegan tasting menu. One of my favorite things about Heartland's vegan dining experience is unlike other places it isn't by "removing" animal products they become vegan; rather, they offer unique substitutions. For instance, tonight's first course is listed on their menu as a fingerling potato, pea, frisee salad with a pesto sauce (with cheese), but instead of just removing the pesto they substituted in a vegan romesco sauce. There are multiple vegan options for each course (with the exception of dessert) which again can be rare in fine dining restaurants for those of us who don't want to consume animal products. The waiter was also willing to work with the kitchen, so if nothing on the menu works exactly for you they seem willing to try to find something that will.
I immensely enjoyed tonight's vegan 3-course tasting menu which featured the salad above; potato gnocchi with spring vegetables (ramps, asparagus, fennel, spinach, beet shoots, etc) and a rasberry sorbet with burnt caramel and thyme glass. Another nice touch is the offering of an amuse bouche and breads with the meal (also all vegan). The amuse bouche was a pickled mushroom, chard and curried mustard mix on a crouton. The tasting menu is $35. You can also order off the menu which changes nightly. Heartland has an extensive wine and cocktail listing.
This is a vegan's dream come true for fine dining where you don't have to take the dregs offered, but get to enjoy the experience of having choices (likely all of which are going to be great.) The reviews are right that there wasn't really a protein substitute dish, so eat it at your other meals that day :)
Tried Heidi's for the first time this weekend. I doubt I'll be back for dinner without some improvements. Despite two of us calling to check on the vegan options, our waiter informed us that the sweet pea soup was not vegan as we had been told, but I could get the ranch salad with a vinaigrette substitute (which ended up being a side of olive oil and a side of vinegar). I found the chickpea tofu entree to be really greasy, but the carrot puree and spinach were enjoyable. For dessert, I ordered the cherry sorbet that was supposed to come with marigolds and a peppercorn polenta. I guess the marigolds and polenta were not vegan because all I got was the sorbet (for the price of the full dessert). The sorbet was enjoyable, but should not have cost $7 for a single scoop. I enjoyed my beverage and found the waitstaff to be very accommodating (but not very upfront about what I was being served and charged.)
Nice to see an independently owned restaurant among Stadium Village's chain restaurants. Kitty Corner is tucked in next to Punch Pizza on Washington Avenue. Cool to see so many options for waffles, and rumor has it the owner is working on creating a vegan nutella (yes, please!) In the meantime, you can get both vegan waffles and vegan sandwiches (featuring vegetarian meats and vegan cheese.)
Visited for lunch on a Sunday and found many vegetarian/vegan options. According to the staff, both the black and refried beans do not contain animal products; however, unlike the previous review, they did say the rice has chicken stock. There are 3 types of vegan tamales: vegetarian (peppers, corn, carrots), pina con coco (pineapple, coconut and raisin) and strawberry/peach. If you eat in the restaurant, check out the condiment bar with fresh radishes, cilantro, onions, jalapenos and lettuce and a myriad of salsas. Not the best Mexican food I've had, but solid with more options than most for the veg crowd.
Tracy Yue offers two dishes each week (most weeks they are both vegan and often gluten free as well.) In addition to that service, she offers cooking classes and catering events. I've been very impressed with her food and find it a great way to try something new.
Vegan cookies and muffins rock my socks! I also have a song and dance I do when ordering the mariachi with tofu (and cheese) because it is so tasty. Be warned they are not joking about the size of their pancakes...if you can eat 2 you have more of an appetite than I do. Great brunch place for vegans and vegetarians. The ordering system and cooperative vibe can be a little intimidating for first time visitors, but just brave through the learning process and enjoy!
Vegan muffins and the vegan chocolate cupcake with peanut butter frosting are uber-tasty! Great salad bar too. The hot bar leaves something to desire for vegans (especially at breakfast.) Oh, and definitely try the vegan mock duck bahn mi in the prepped food cooler. Be careful at the coffee counter to make sure your drink is made vegan as I've had a couple slip ups.
Shabelle is now serving a buffet from 11:30 - 2pm for $8.99 featuring several vegan friendly options. On my visit they had gomen (stewed collard greens), atkilt (cabbage and carrots), misir alichi (curried lentils), chili beans, injera (spongy, sour bread), and fresh salad. The buffet was fresh and tasty. The staff are extremely friendly. After reading the website, I need to try the various coffees on my next visit!
Recent new owners work hard in the deli serving up tasty sandwiches to a bustling crowd. They've got several vegan sandwiches, vegan chili and a tasty fresh garden salad with sliced green apples. The healthy hoagie was my favorite on their freshly made hoagie bread with all the vegan fixings (lettuce, tomatoes, onions, veganaise, banana peppers) and tasty seitan. Really puts other sub shops to shame. The vegan chili was the right meld of smoky chili peppers and tomatoes with beans and veggies. They also have vegan cookies, turnovers, and other pastries. The oat bar seems unassuming but is a deliciously chewy bar with a strudel-like top and a few plump cranberries inside. So good I went back a second time in a 3 day stay in the Watkins Glen area!
Ask for the vegetarian menu and prepare to have your pick of a wide variety of options. The homestyle tofu came in a rich garlic sauce with loads of broccoli, carrots, onion, mushrooms and peas and was very tasty. Solid choice if you're craving American Chinese food.
As a young adult, Moosewood cookbooks were the gold standard for vegetarian cooking, so on a recent trip to Ithaca I knew I had to visit the restaurant that has been a vegetarian institution in my life. The restaurant is much larger than I expected and doesn't have the same handwritten charm as the cookbooks, but it's bright and pleasant.
Moosewood updates its menu twice a day (lunch and dinner) and doesn't like to rush things (so don't expect an updated menu until within the hour of the opening of lunch/dinner service.) You can catch on to the rhythm though, leftovers from last night's dinner may end up in the next day's lunch recycled slightly and vice versa.
On my visit, I had the tofujitas. It was a smaller serving than I expected, but satisfying nonetheless. The sauce and veggies were seasoned well and meant to be appreciated. We also split a It's Summer, salad plate with roasted tomatoes and asparagus on mixed baby greens with a fresh basil vinaigrette. Again, the flavors were so good I wanted to sop up every last drop of the vinaigrette. There were plenty of vegan options to choose from and the staff even offered to hold on the honey in the ginger tea I ordered.
Impressive vegan offerings with nearly everything on the menu began or vegan on request. I ordered the garlic naan and malai kofta (veggie croquettes in a creamy sauce with peas) because it is very rare to find those dishes vegan in my experience. My husband ordered the masala dosa which came with an amazing coconut chutney. All in all, the food was great, service was friendly, and we left full. Definitely recommend checking it out. Do note it is not very spicy hot food, and the hit sauce is a chili oil which can make spicier dishes a little greasy.
Who knew a Cheese Factory could be so vegan friendly in Wisconsin, home of cheese? This all vegetarian restaurant has quite a few vegan offerings that are an eclectic mix influenced by the staff who have come from all over the world to study at the local Miracle Healing Center. The staff are very friendly and you wouldn't know of the connection to the Center except for a small gift stand and info on the website.
I had a garden veggie wrap with a bright olive, mint, lemon tapenade. My fiance got a portobello mushroom sandwich with red peppers and caramelized onions and a super tasty romesco sauce (almonds, red peppers and garlic.) The vegan chocolate cupcake was a rich dessert that was great to share with a coffee and hot tea.
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