• Vegan in Norfolk Virginia: Taphouse Grill

    April 25th, 2010quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), norfolk

    it’s time for another vegan field report! this one, written by a brand new quarrygirl operative named steve, comes to us all the way from norfolk, virginia. here goes:

    “I was looking for a job, and then I found a job, and heaven knows I’m miserable now.” – Steven Patrick Morrissey

    It’s commonly known that every silver lining has a cloud. My silver lining was getting a job, but the cloud was having to spend some time in Norfolk, Virginia: A city of near unGoogleable veganocity. I mean, there’s not one vegan, or even vegetarian restaurant in the entire place.

    So, on my first evening I wandered the streets late at night, happy in the haze of a drunken hour, heaven knows I was miserable now…. Until, that is, I hit upon the Taphouse Grill, a nondescript tavern hidden in a side street off the main drag. I intended to grab another beer so I could forget about my hunger and hopefully pass out when I got back to my hotel.

    I walked in to a neighborhood pub: full of portly regulars downing beers (a good selection: the beer menu ran to several pages). There was a band playing by the window: Bob Marley covers seemed to be the order of the day. I sat at a table up against the wall, ordered a nice IPA and began to wish there was a ZPizza within delivery distance of where I was staying.

    When my server brought my beer, he dropped off the menu, a single sheet of paper crammed with food choices. I read it, more for the sake of it than to discover that there was anything on it I could or would eat. After scanning through turkey and bacon burgers, barbecue dishes and even crab cakes, I started to notice several green “V” symbols against many of the items: Things like “Faux Fried Chicken”, “Curried Chickette Wrap” and the tempting sounding “Tempeh Reuben”.

    When my server came back to take my order, I asked about the “V” meant, and he said “Oh, everything with a “V” is vegan”. “Not vegetarian?”. “No, vegan. We have a lot of vegan items on here.”

    In a state of shock, I stammered “The te-te-te-tempeh Reuben, please. That’s vegan right?”. “Yeah, no dairy or egg.”

    After another IPA, my Reuben arrived and appeared to be more than respectable dinner for one. The bread was crispy (it had been grilled), and it was full of tempeh, sauerkraut, something called “Tofu Russian Dressing” and even BBQ sauce. On the side was a large order of fresh french fries, leading to quite a deal for only $9.

    Tempeh Reuben: marinated tempeh, tofu russian dressing, tomato and kraut on grilled bread. Served with fries or a salad. $9

    While not the most amazing vegan Reuben I’ve ever had, the Taphouse did an awesome job and I was very, very satisfied by the time my plate was clean. By the time I was well on my way through the second half of my sandwich, the band had started to sing Cat Stevens songs so the evening was going really well.

    The people in the bar were friendly and the staff were easily accommodating of my vegan desires. A hot Reuben, some cold beers and a versatile cover band really made my night. A big thanks to the Taproom for making this boy from home welcome as well as feeding and watering him so well.

    Taphouse Grill
    931 West 21st Street
    Norfolk, VA 23517-1535
    (757) 627-9172

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12 responses to “Vegan in Norfolk Virginia: Taphouse Grill” RSS icon

  • So, who was visiting PETA HQ, then?

  • Why do I give valuable time to people who don’t care if I live or die?

  • Funny you should write this, because I live in Virginia Beach and there IS a Z pizza! Haha. 🙂

    Taphouse is better though, so you made a good choice. How long are you in VA for, I have a list of restaurants for you to try. Email me!

  • I love Taphouse! Yorgo’s is another great spot that’s not too far from there.

  • That’s so cool you were able to order something vegan there!!

    Now I want French fries after looking at the Tempeh Reuben photo 🙂

  • I work at PETA in Norfolk and this place is a regular hang. We do have tons of vegan-friendly restaurants though!

  • Awesome post! I will go there tomorrow. Thanks much.

  • These restaurants (mostly in Norfolk) have Vegan menus:

    azar foods
    bangkok garden
    bella pizza
    elliot’s fairgrounds
    heritage store and cafe
    rajput indian
    taphouse grill

    There’s also ZPizza and Heritage Cafe in Va Beach, plus a few more I’m forgetting.

  • Oh yes…there’s also San Antonio Sam’s- has a full Vegan menu and delish! And there’s Red Dog Saloon next to that…also has some Vegan.

  • Do they have a separate fryer for their french fries?

  • I live here in LA but am from Norfolk. Going home to spend Christmas has not been easy since I became vegan. What a wonderful surprise to find this post!!
    FYI I stumbled across a great site, http://veganhamptonroads.com/, before I went home for Christmas last year. Hope this helps!!

  • Hi Steve~
    Your “field report” made me laugh. I am a vegan living in VA Beach for the last 20 years and it does feel that it is a vegan wasteland sometimes, but it’s getting much better. We actually have two all vegan restaurants here now: Quenna’s Raw and Vegan and Path Norfolk. I’m writing a piece for AltDaily.com on where to find protein-rich vegan meals in Hampton Roads and I haven’t been to Tap House in ages, so I found your report helpful. I’m actually a brand new vegan cookbook author (Vegan Heritage Press, May 2011) and thought you and others might like to check out “The Blooming Platter Cookbook: A Harvest of Seasonal Vegan Recipes” (online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble) and my blog at http://www.thebloomingplatter.com.
    Thanks for all!

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