Reviews written by Herbivore68

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I'm vegan
Registered on Jun 17 09

Whole Foods in Triangle Area, North Carolina
May 11 13

rating star

I was pleasantly surprised to find numerous vegan options in the hot food bar, grab-and-go section, and in the bakery. They have plenty of tables and booths where you can sit down and enjoy a fresh vegan meal. Vegan grocery items are also plentiful.

Banana Leaf in Columbus, Ohio
Jan 9 12

rating star

It's true that they have many vegan options and the owners are friendly and willing to accommodate vegan requests. This used to be one of my favorite restaurants, but I no longer think that the dinner buffet is a good value. In addition to increasing the prices for both the lunch and dinner buffets by $2 in the past year, the owner insists on serving appetizers (called chaat). Chaat used to be optional for dinner - a meal without the chaat used to be a lower price. However, on a recent visit for the dinner buffet, the owner told us that we couldn't opt out of the chaat (well, we could opt out, but we'd still be charged the full price). I'd rather not fill up on the salty & oily snacks, which are mostly empty calories. Perhaps the owners would like customers to fill up on the chaat so they can keep their costs down and minimize the labor required to prepare the real food. I noticed that during the last hour of the buffet, none of the dwindling buffet items were replenished. If I dine there again, it will be for the lunch buffet (half the price of dinner).

It's All Natural! in Columbus, Ohio
Oct 18 14

rating star

This is the kind of store I'd been hoping would come to the Columbus area, and it's finally here. It's a one-stop vegan shop. They are smaller than the large chain natural grocery stores, but they carry only vegetarian and vegan products. I estimate that over 80% of the products are vegan. As soon as I walked in, a rotating literature stand holding a variety of booklets on compassionate living and veganism caught my eye. Next to that was a table with snack samples.

In addition to vegan staples (nutritional yeast, grains, flours, pasta, etc), I was pleased to find a number of unique, hard-to-find, high-quality vegan products. Many are organic, GMO-free, local, raw, or gluten-free. They have a small selection of frozen and refrigerated foods, including frozen vegetables, entrees, Wayfare vegan ice cream, Daiya cheese, Vegenaise, and VegeUSA meat substitutes. The only thing missing was fresh produce.

They carry brand-name and locally made vegan and cruelty-free cosmetics, personal care products, and supplements. I also found detergents and household cleaning products, as well as products for eco-friendly and sustainable living (such as compost bins, lunchboxes, bamboo utensils).

I met the owners (affiliated with the Ching Ter Maitreya Buddhist Temple in Columbus). They are very friendly and welcome feedback. The store is clean, organized, and well-planned. It's obvious that they put a lot of care and thought into the mission of their store and researched to find the highest quality products that are not available elsewhere locally. The prices are very competitive - everything I purchased was less than what I would have paid at popular chain natural stores. Overall, I highly recommend this store and plan to shop there regularly even though I live on the opposite end of town.

Link to It's All Natural's Facebook page:

The Olive Tree in Columbus, Ohio
Aug 3 11

rating star

Although the food at Olive Tree is above average and the owner is happy to accommodate vegan requests, I'm giving it a rating of "fair" based on my unpleasant interactions with the owner. He is friendly, but overly familiar. More than once, he stopped by my table to chat with me and my dining companion. The first few times, I was impressed by his attentiveness, but on the last occasion, he sat down with us and engaged in an unwelcome political rant. It was annoying enough to keep me from going back.

P.F. Chang's China Bistro in Columbus, Ohio
Jan 9 12

rating star

I have met the Central Ohio manager of P.F. Chang's at both this location and the Easton one. Both times, she told me "we have nothing for vegans" in a very abrupt tone. She explained that they use sugar filtered through bone char and insisted that most vegans will not eat bone-char filtered sugar (using her vegan relative as an example). When I told her that I do not avoid refined sugar when dining out, she proudly told me that many vegans thank her for being honest about the sugar and go elsewhere.

Papaya Fusion Grill in Columbus, Ohio
Jul 13 12

rating star

Since opening, Papaya Street Grill has gradually improved their menu offerings. They now offer extra vegetables (onions, peppers, zucchini, mushrooms, jalapeno) which can be added to the rice or noodle bowls for a quarter each. While their noodle and rice bowls are quite delicious (I prefer mine with brown rice, extra veggies, steamed tofu, and peanut sauce), my favorites are their Thai curries which can be made vegan upon request. All have a wonderful depth of flavor. For dessert, I recommend the Mango Sticky Rice (vegan).

Sun Tong Luck in Columbus, Ohio
Jun 1 13

rating star

I've been eating regularly at Sun Tong Luck for over 12 years. The owners (Frank and Helena) are friendly and attentive to vegan requests. The food may not be the most authentic Chinese fare, but I'm willing to sacrifice authenticity because I know when I order vegan food, that's what I'm getting. I've had too many bad experiences at other Chinese restaurants when I find out that they use chicken broth, or I find pieces of egg, fish, or meat in my meals. Helena understands what vegan means, and she tells me that over 70% of her customers are vegetarian or vegan. I believe her, because every time I'm there, I've encountered at least one customer ordering only vegetarian food. I like the vegan spring roll, sesame noodles, tofu with black bean sauce, and the curry tofu. Any dish can be made vegan with the substitution of tofu and vegetables.They also have vegan Pad Thai, vegan lo mein, vegan Singapore noodles, and vegan fried rice.

The setup is fast casual. You order and pick up your food at the counter to eat in the small dining area, or you can get takeout (my preference). They do use styrofoam plates (and takeout boxes) and plastic utensils. I bring my own glass food storage containers from home.

Whole Foods Market in Columbus, Ohio
Oct 7 15

rating star

One of the positives about this new Whole Foods is that they have more vegan baked goods than other Central Ohio locations. However, they are careless in labeling prepared foods in the hot bar. Items with meat are incorrectly labeled vegetarian or vegan. Sometimes, labels are completely missing. Meat and vegetable samosas were mixed in the same bin. I took home what I thought were vegetable samosas and when I bit into one, it was meat. I spoke to the manager, who promised to have a special meeting with employees to discuss vegan & vegetarian diets, clarify food handling procedures and preventing cross-contamination, and set goals for proper labeling. Hoping this will resolve the issues. This review will be updated after sufficient time to monitor the changes.

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