when i was a vegetarian, pizza was my favorite food. at least once a week, i’d treat myself to a piping hot slice (or 10) of cheesy pie. even then i was pretty picky, and finding a truly awesome pizza (in my mind) was rare. as you can imagine, now that i’m a vegan, it’s damn near impossible.
luckily for me, tomato joe’s has made it possible for me to eat exceptional pizza that can please vegans, vegetarians and omnivores alike. all i have to do is pay a visit to my home town, santa clarita. i first heard about tomato joe’s from scvegan.com, and being both a vegan and a pizza lover, i knew i had to check it out. plus, it gave me the perfect excuse to drop by and surprise my parents with a meatless dinner.
dude, i can’t even tell you how good this pizza was. if i lived in santa clarita, i would be eating this every other day…and now that i found it, i KNOW mom & dad will be getting sick of me pretty quick. i’ve been on the vegan pizza hunt for quite some time. i’ve tried eating out, cooking countless recipes at home, buying it from the store, and it’s never been quite right…until now. tomato joe’s pizza is perfect. they even use follow your heart cheese, which i have never been a great fan of, and it STILL tastes just right. they get it melty and everything!
i can tell they use only the best ingredients at tomato joe’s—the toppings are fresh, the sauce is delectable, and the crust is off the chain. i can’t speak highly enough of the soft on the inside and crispy on the outside micro-brew option. it is unbelievable. the menu describes it as “hand tossed dough flavored with a locally brewed hefeweizen. puffy edge and thick center.” this crust was so delicious, i think if this pizza were cheeseless and toppingless, it would still be some of the best out there. the menu goes on to specify that the micro-brew crust is entirely vegan and only offered in 16″ (large). i just LOVE it when restaurants know what “vegan” means, and mark items that i can eat clearly on their menu. this is not the small town santa clarita that i remember from when i was growing up! i also love that this scrumptious crust only comes in large…it just forces me to get more pizza. damn. 😉
my parents, on the other hand, opted for the garden combo pizza with a thin crust. they assured me that it was absolutely delicious. i still refused to go near it, though, ’cause it was covered in bell peppers (which i hate).
one trick i did pull, was to not tell my mom that she was eating vegan cheese. when she said the pizza was wonderful, i let her know that it was dairy-free. she was astonished. if this vegan pizza could fool my southern, meat-eatin’ mama, it must be pretty damn good!
the crust on this one looked yummy as well. my parents loved it, and my dad told me it was just as good as the micro-brew, which he also tried. the menu describes the thin crust as “slightly more crispy dough flavored with garlic and extra virgin olive oil,” and also vegan. mmm mmm mmm.
so as you can probably tell, tomato joe’s was a great find. i am gonna make it a point to go there as often as possible, and my parents have vowed to switch over from pizza hut. so great to find a vegan-friendly pizza place with genuinely great food.
so all you vegan LAers, next time you go to magic mountain, YOU NEED TO CHECK THIS PLACE OUT.Tags: follow your heart, garlic, pizza, santa clarita
sometimes i just want greasy, oily mexican food that makes me remember what it was like to be a vegetarian. unfortunately, i can’t trust the stuff at conventional mex restaurants, and a lot of the veganized establishments offer dishes that are a bit too healthy-tasting. so i’ve decided to take matters into my own hands and create a masterpiece of junk food with no redeeming qualities except for a few tomatoes, and the fact it tastes ridiculously fine. vegan homemade nachos! so yummy, despite the fact that all i had on hand was follow your heart cheese.
now, imho, what sets these apart from the countless vegan nachos in everywhere else you’ve ever eaten, is that these include homemade chips. most restaurants smother store-bought corn varieties (from the bag) in vegan cheddar and all the fixins, leaving people like me 10 minutes and 1,000 calories short of satisfaction. now, while cool places like pure luck have the homemade chip thing down, they don’t even provide a nachos options. wtf! that’s where quarrygirl comes in: care-free, greasy, unforgivable homemade nachos…from the chip to the guacamole.
recipe, pix, and more. all after the jump.Tags: mexican food, nachos
June 27th, 2008follow your heart, follow your heart, follow your heart, LA restaurants, products, stores
follow your heart? of course, they are the ones who make the awesome fake mayonnaise and the vegan cheese that doesn’t melt! yeah, and they have that supermarket in the valley with all neat healthy stuff. but did you know they also have a restaurant? i don’t know why it never occurred to me until recently to try their café (maybe eating in the back of a grocery store didn’t sound very appealing), but now i’m sure glad i did. the food was spectacular, and the atmosphere was just fine—i forgot that the bustling health food market on the other side of the wall even existed.
breakfast burrito: scrambled tofu, black beans and vegetarian ‘chorizo’, wrapped in an oversized whole wheat tortilla. served with spanish rice, guacamole and vegan sour cream. $7.95
follow your heart burger: burger pattie with vegan cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, vegenaise and thousand island dressing, on a toasted whole wheat bun. $7.95
before i even say that the food tastes good, check out those huge portions they give you for under $8! with the economy plummeting and food prices soaring, i challenge you to find a healthy vegan meal in a sit-down restaurant at a better value. on top of that, everything tasted incredible. the burrito was stuffed with the finest of fake meat, and the sour cream & guac garnishes were delicious. the burger was also tasty and hearty—the follow your heart cheese was even melted. how on earth did they accomplish that?Tags: burger, burrito, market, soyrizo, tofu
at quarrygirl.com, we are always looking for new vegetarian restaurants to hit up, and last weekend we got lucky with the spot.
savory garden burrito: with garden veggies, cheese and savory sauce (all non-dairy): $8.95
guacamole burger: a homemade burger patty served on a wheat bun with guacamole and a side of almond rice: $8.95
as many of my fellow imbibers know, the hermosa/redondo/manhattan/whatever beach areas are great places to find breweries and specialty beers. what i DIDN’T know until last weekend, is they are also great places to find uncharted vegan fare.
after planning a day of drinking in hermosa beach, i decided to research some food options on the internet. one spot, a vegetarian restaurant, kept gaining my attention and outshining all the other restaurants with its glowing reviews. so of course, we had to give it a try…Tags: burger, burrito, guacamole, vegetarian
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ahhh…sunday morning breakfast. what better way to begin the end of the weekend than with a stomach full of homemade vegan food?
fantastic frittata: quarrygirl.com’s veganized version of the monterey frittata
i REALLY love a leisurely sunday breakfast. 3 cups of coffee and a calorific vegan feast sounds like the perfect way to prolong the agony of the forthcoming week. but in a world where most restaurants are packed on sunday mornings and/or pride themselves on the fact they shovel heaping piles of eggs onto peoples’ plates, it’s hard for me to get morning meal satisfaction on the day it matters most.
this week, i found solace in this amazing recipe…located right under my nose, in the back of my cupboard, on the back of a tofu scrambler box. all it needed was to be veganized…Tags: breakfast, fantastic, frittata, recipe, scramble, tofu
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Ordering pizza was one of my favorite activities before I became a vegan. Now, though, that avenue of pleasure is firmly closed off to me since I don’t eat dairy. All is not lost, though — if you live close to Hollywood in LA, there’s always Damiano’s, but their delivery customer service is appalling (last time I ordered it took them nearly two hours to deliver a cold pizza — and that was when I lived under two miles away). There’s a reasonable frozen pizza option, but nothing beats freshly made pizza with ingredients you can select and add at will.
So, I set about creating a similar experience to delivery pizza in terms of taste, timing and effort. I succeeded in two of those (taste and timing), but on the effort front, nothing beats the convenience of calling a ‘phone number to get hot food delivered to your home, just as nothing beats not being milked to death if you’re a cow.
When I used to order pizza, it would take around 40-50 minutes from picking up the ‘phone to the local Pizza Hut to when it arrived on my doorstep. This method of preparing this pizza takes a little less time, but the end result is very comparable to delivered pizza if you’re happy to put in the effort.Tags: pizza, recipe