• vegan in norfolk: red dog saloon!

    July 11th, 2010quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), norfolk

    UPDATE 07/20/10: since the time i ate at red dog, chickette has changed their recipe and is no longer vegan. 🙁 red dog carries GARDEIN now though, so ask for that if you want a vegan option. also, someone left a comment saying the buffalo sauce is not vegan. i don’t know if they changed that as well, but double check and ask to see the ingredients.

    red dog saloon. beer, bar food, and the best vegan pizza i’ve ever eaten.

    a couple months ago, i was hanging in norfolk virginia and scoping out the meatless offerings. you wouldn’t think that such a small town would be so vegan-friendly, but i must say norfolk holds its own against other massive cities i’ve visited. the main stretch of restaurants i’d wanna visit runs along colley avenue, and within walking distance i found vegan sushi, vegan middle eastern food, 3 spots for vegan pizza, 2 vegan-friendly bars, and vegan tex mex. i can honestly say i’ve never seen so many options in such a small radius…it even rivaled the vegan strip mall.

    today though, i’m here to talk about red dog saloon. located on colley avenue, it has a huge tap beer selection, comfy seating, good music, and most importantly an impressive vegan menu. there is nothing pretentious about this place, and it’s definitely the most “normal” bar that i’ve ever eaten vegan food at…maybe that’s why i love it so much. there is absolutely nowhere like red dog in LA: a typical bar where shit gets rowdy at night and locals hang out for hours, plus a wide selection of delicious vegan food that is readily available.

    i spent less than a week in norfolk, but i wound up eating (and drinking) at red dog twice. both times i was kicking it with my friend and fellow vegan blogger sunny, and although we had complaints about some dishes, overall we agreed that red dog was super awesome.

    chickette bites: deep fried with buffalo sauce. $7.99

    on our first visit we split the chickette bites as an appetizer, and these were without a doubt the highlight of the meal. thick little cubes of some sort of delicious protein…either soy chicken or tofu, i dunno…but they were fried to perfection and served with a mouthwatering buffalo sauce. i am hard pressed to think of a better appetizer here in the vegan mecca of los angeles.

    vegan quesadilla: vegan cheese, peppercini, black olives, sun dried tomatoes and spinach. $7.99

    for the main course, sunny ordered the vegan quesadilla…which tasted great, but the filling was a little sparse. i tried a wedge and agreed. red dog uses daiya as their vegan cheese (huge points for that!), and the vegetables inside were delicious, but unfortunately the quesadilla was mostly tortilla.

    veggie burger: served with homemade potato chips. $6.99

    for my entree i ordered the vegan burger, which ended up being a boca patty. it was decent, but with so many AMAZING vegan patties around (match meats and gardein, to name a couple), i was a tad disappointed by the boca. i think i am just a bit spoiled, being from LA where fake meat basically grows on trees…so i could imagine that for norfolk locals, this is a stellar vegan option. on the upside, the homemade potato chips were fantastic…and frankly, i was happy to get any kind of vegan burger in this kind of bar atmosphere.

    our second trip to red dog happened by accident when we were wandering around colley avenue looking for vegan pizza. we remembered a friend had praised red dog’s pizza, but we were anxious to try somewhere new. we wound up at an italian restaurant a few doors down, but the long wait for a table got the best of us. we admitted defeat and headed back to red dog out of convenience, only to find the best vegan pizza EVER.

    red dog sells vegan pizza BY THE SLICE (take note, LA pizzerias) for only $3.25, and whole pies for $14.99. we were pretty hungry, so sunny ordered 2 slices and our waitress wasn’t having it. “you can’t eat that much food,” she interrupted. sunny was like, “3 bucks worth of pizza?! i need more than that.” the waitress assured us that we each only needed a slice, and we could order more if we were still hungry. BOY, WAS SHE RIGHT. talk about a slice!

    VEGAN PIZZA! marinara, fresh vegetables, and vegan cheese. $3.25

    for under 4 bucks, we each got what equated to almost half of a pizza! not to mention, it was covered in an amazing blend of daiya cheese, pepperonis, sundried tomatoes, and leafy spinach. the crust was fluffly, soft, and thin…serious business. after one bite, we both just sat there in awe of how unexpectedly incredible red dog’s pizza was. seriously BETTER than anything in los angeles, CHEAPER, and BY the motherfucking SLICE. well done, red dog.

    did i mention, this place is a totally normal bar with more taps than i can remember and a nice atmosphere?! yes, i did! but you need to be reminded of how special this is. i wish we had somewhere that was remotely like red dog in los angeles. if you ever find yourself in norfolk, don’t miss it!

    red dog saloon
    1421 Colley Ave
    Norfolk, VA 23517
    (757) 625-4674

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7 responses to “vegan in norfolk: red dog saloon!” RSS icon

  • Vegan pizza that cheap is too good to be true

  • Butter-less buffalo sauce?!

    And yeah, getting out of the big city can be eye-opening how cheap a lot of stuff is. Of course, that just makes you wonder…

  • That was the most gigantor slice of pizza ever… and it was hella good. 😀
    Not only is their pizza cheap, but it’s 50% off (for whole pizzas) every Thursday night! (I’m so jealous!!!)

  • That last piece of pizza looks amazing! As to Norfolk having so many vegan options for a small town, I always assumed that since PETA had their headquarters there a good vegan subculture would be present. After all the field reports from Norfolk it makes me want to go on an eating road trip 🙂

  • Oh my goodness, this does sound amazing! I just recently tried Daiya for the first time in the new Amy’s mac n cheeze and both my husband and I were impressed.

    I’m adding this place to the Go Dairy Free suggested dining with link to your post!

  • Thanks for the research & reviews, Quarry Girl! I’m heading through Norfolk next week on my way to the beach (from Baltimore) and I’m SOOOO excited to try out a few of the vegan haunts you’ve shared. Because of your reviews, I will make a point to stop both on my way down & back!

  • The buffalo sauce is *not* vegan. The waitresses have told me this before. It’s the texas pete buffalo sauce with milk ingredients. Same goes for the Chixette bites and Chixette sandwich. Red Dog is using Chixette which used to be vegan, but no longer is as it contains milk and egg.

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