• November 19th, 2011quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), philadelphia

    hey everyone, today we’ve got a field report by my good friend kevin mudrick all about the newly opened vedge restaurant in philly. the upscale establishment is all vegan and offers the kind of fine dining that makes me wanna take a trip east just to eat there. for more kevin, check out vegan brew.

    From the outside – a short block and a half from the walnut-locust subway stop. Didn’t really get any interior shots but the place is beautiful – lots of very nice wood on the walls, etc. The bar is magnificent and fancy-looking.

    The menu. Lots of small plates so you get varying tastes. Between the two of us we got 1 from the dirt list (roasted sunchokes with smoked paprika aoil), 3 “plates” (grilled seitan, steak spice seared tofu, and the wood grilled maitake), 2 “for the table” (truffled fingerling fries and crispy cauliflower), and 2 desserts (trio of ice cream & choco taco)

    The beer list is much improved over the old Horizons. Nice mix of local & belgian stuff – Rochefort 8 for instance is arguably one of the best belgian strong dark ales in the world! We chose to skip alcohol tonight as the Philly Marathon is this weekend. I didn’t take a picture of the “drinks” because I don’t really care about them.

    Complimentary bread & spicy olive oil with a pesto. Good, though I wish the bread was warm.

    Below is ruffled fingerling fries on top (good) and roasted cauliflower, kimchee cream, black vinegar on the bottom (phenomenal – one of the best appetizers I have ever had)…

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  • November 16th, 2011mr meanermore restaurants (not LA), san diego

    Talk to any vegan who visits San Diego regularly, and you’ll immediately get their answer to the all-important question:

    Does Pokez or Ranchos have the best Mexican food?

    While I have a very clear preference, answering the question is a little like answering somebody who asks: “Should I buy a Ford Explorer or a Mini Cooper?” Those cars are designed for entirely different purposes, and the two restaurants are different enough to warrant a similar analysis.

    In this case, rather than write yet another typical review of each, here’s a shoot-out comparison of several categories, with the inevitable “winner” chosen by adding up the wins and losses. Here we go:

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  • November 14th, 2011quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), san diego

    we go down to san diego pretty often, and for ages people have been urging us to check out ranchos cocina. the small mexican restaurant has two locations (one in ocean beach and one in north park) and although it serves meat, it boasts a massive vegan-friendly menu with everything from breakfast to dinner and specialty products like daiya and mock chicken & steak. we visited the north park outlet for an early lunch, and i can safely say that it was better than most vegan mex options in LA.

    we arrived at around noon and were quickly seated. the waiter was friendly and helpful, and brought us a basket of chips with unlimited salsa. great way to start the meal. the salsa was superb too: packed with heat and super chunky. for my entree, i went with a combo plate that came with rice, beans, and 2 bean enchiladas for $7.95. it’s worth noting that this normally comes smothered in daiya, but i opted to get it plain…

    Combo plate w/ rice and beans: Bean Enchiladas topped with sauce. $7.95

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  • November 12th, 2011quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), north carolina

    hey dudes! today’s vegan field report comes to us from reader george nickle who recently hit up the all vegan plant restaurant in asheville north carolina. i come from LA, a land with many vegan options, and i am freaking out over this place. it looks amazing. we need more fine vegan restaurants in this town.

    Asheville, NC has been one of my favorite places since the 90s. So when Plant was mentioned in the field report about VegFest 2011 on Quarry Girl back in August, I knew I had to go next time I was in NC. I finally had dinner at Plant last week.
    Plant is Asheville’s first all Vegan restaurant, and two bites in I decided that it is one of the best Vegan restaurants in the country. I was immediately reminded of my fine dining experiences at Millennium in San Francisco and Candle 79 in NYC. After being open just a few months it compares favorably to both!

    The restaurant is conveniently located in downtown Asheville and has a simple, elegant modern interior that doesn’t detract from the real star of the show: the food. The food on other guests’ plates draw the eye as you are shown to your seat. By the time I sat I wanted to try everything I’d seen.

    It was less than an hour before closing so my partner and I ordered from the dinner menu. He ordered the Nightly Soup, which was a creamy potato, and I had the Flame & Herb Seitan Skewers.

    FLAME & HERB SEITAN SKEWERS sour cream · tostones · greens . $8

    The presentation was beautiful. The Skewers came with two pieces of plantain, which I didn’t expect to go with them but did. They were caramelized and crunchy on the outside, breaking apart to reveal a warm gooey center. The Skewers themselves were large knots of perfect seitan spiced with herbs that were just tangy enough without being overpowering. They came on a bed of wonderfully fresh greens and a dollop of “sour cream” that complemented the flavor of the herbs.


    The main thing you find with your first bites (or sips of that amazingly creamy soup) of food at Plant is flavor! Everything tastes as if there is more to it than meets the eye.

    For my entree I had the Smoked Portobello Steak. Again, the presentation was lovely, a mix of colors and textures arranged on stark white plates. Halves of grape tomatoes glistening in light dressing and mingling with fresh basil were off to the side. It tasted as good as it looked. Again, lightly tangy with enough flavor to make you hungry but not overpower the senses.

    SMOKED PORTABELLO STEAK* spinach & garlic · crisp loaded polenta · grape tomato salad · v1 steak sauce. $15

    Tender sauteed spinach mixed with bits of garlic hid under the thick Portobello Steaks, drizzled with “v1” sauce that tasted just like the A1 you remember. And those steaks were thick, juicy and filled with a rich balsamic vinegar flavor that only enhanced the smoky mushrooms. Complementing them were triangles of crispy polenta. Divine!

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  • November 10th, 2011quarrygirldenver, more restaurants (not LA)

    on our visit to denver 2 years ago, the all vegetarian pizza parlor city o city was one of our favorite finds. about a month ago we returned to colorado, and were happy to find that the small pizza shop and bakery had expanded to take over the space next door and even added a brunch menu. of course, we had to try it. (please note the restaurant’s website is under construction but i’ve got a copy of the new menu right here!)

    we hit up city o city at around 9am on a saturday morning and the place was already bustling, but we were able to get a seat at a long communal table in the middle of the restaurant. my only complaint is that the table was pretty fat and they seated us across from each other, so it felt like we were dining far apart. the food was amazing though…

    vegan breakfast burrito: scrambled tofu with potatoes and pinto beans smothered with green chile or gravy. $7

    my husband ordered the breakfast burrito made vegan style: scrambled tofu, potatoes, and pinto beans rolled up in a tortilla and topped with chile or gravy for seven bucks. burritos never photograph very well, but this thing was excellent. not enough places put beans in their breakfast burritos, but they’re so good! other restaurants, take note.

    the burrito was on the medium size compared to some of the beasts i’m used to, but it was packed full and definitely filling. the chile on top was delicious, but i’d be interested in trying it with gravy next time.

    speaking of gravy…

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  • November 4th, 2011quarrygirlitaly, more restaurants (not LA)

    hey guys! time for another italian vegan field report by christina. this time she’s bloggin’ about an all vegetarian hostel in rome. i so hope i get to go here someday…

    The Beehive is one of my favorite hostels in the world. (Or at least the handful of countries I’ve visited, anyway!) Located just two blocks from Termini Station in Rome, this small hostel is an all-vegetarian oasis. On my first trip to Rome I was lucky enough to stay here because of a last minute cancelation. This past August, even with a month’s notice I was unable to score a spot, so if you want to stay here book well in advance. If, however, you have other accommodation and would just like some yummy vegan food, The Beehive is still a great stop. Unfortunately, due to some bureaucratic nonsense, the only meal The Beehive is able to serve is breakfast, but for afternoon and evening they offer tidbits like fresh bread with hummus and popcorn. Please note that not everything is vegan, but there are several vegan options.

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  • November 2nd, 2011mr meanermore restaurants (not LA), portland

    Back in 2009, we raved like it was 1986 about Portobello restaurant in Portland. Back then, it was a sort-of popup affair, taking over the space of a small east-side coffee shop after hours, and opening its doors to hungry patrons who usually had to book way in advance. Although our experience was stellar, we’d heard that other visitors had suffered from long waits, and the restaurant had a propensity to run out of some food items early on in the evening.

    Clearly, there was a supply and demand mismatch so something had to happen. In mid-2010 we were delighted to hear that Portobello had graduated from the intimate coffee shop and had moved into a proper space of its own, with a high-budget build-out, new chefs and a much larger staff.

    It was, then, with some trepidation that we made reservations to visit the “new” Portobello on a recent trip to Portland. After all, would its newfound influx of cash and staff affect its food? Would its new location lack the atmosphere of the old one? Would the gnocchi be as chewy and the bread be as crispy as before?

    Well, to cut a long story slightly less long we were even more delighted with the new Portobello than we were with the old one. Yes, in many ways it’s like eating at a different restaurant, but the owners have clearly maintained what’s good about the original concept and expanded it into a broader, more capable offering that moves it several notches higher in the all-vegan fine dining league table.

    The new location is in a modern strip mall in a faintly industrial area much further south than before. Across the street is a machine tool shop, and in the same parking lot is a large beer store, as well as an acupuncture clinic. Even for typically diverse PDX, this is quite varietal.

    Of course, it’s not what’s on the outside that matters, but the inside is what counts. It seems that no expense has been spared to create a wonderful dining experience. Dark woods, steel and concrete and floral designs come together perfectly to create an ambience somewhere between a casual cafe and upscale restaurant…

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  • October 30th, 2011quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), rhode island

    we love pizza! time for a pizza field report all the way from rhode island by tamar of the curveball. i have eaten a lot of vegan pizza in my time, and this stuff looks insane. check it:

    If you’re vegan and enjoy thin-crust pizza, and find yourself in Providence, RI, do yourself a favor and find your way to Nice Slice on Thayer Street.

    The photo does not do this pizza justice. First, let me start with the crust. It is a thin whole wheat crust, but not overpoweringly whole grainy tasting. The texture is top-notch. Biting into it, there’s that perfect combination of chewiness and crispiness. My omni boyfriend and I shared a margherita and a BBQ vegan chicken slice and we both agreed – the best vegan pizza we’ve ever tasted…

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  • October 26th, 2011quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), new york

    remember that vegan pizza bus tour we were freaking out about, that took place earlier this month?! man, i wanted to go on that so bad. luckily one of our readers, nicole, did go on it…and she sent us a review of the tour. i can’t wait to visit NYC and hit up all these places…

    October is national pizza month, and to celebrate, Scott’s Pizza Tours arranged a special all-vegan tour inspired by Scott Wiener’s vegan brother (and co-guide) Jon. Scott’s Pizza Tours is one of the most unique and highly rated tours in New York City, and currently the number one NYC tour on Yelp! Scott himself is certainly a pizza celebrity in his own right– all the staff of the pizzerias we visited regarded Scott warmly, as if he were family. Scott is truly and his pizza knowledge and enthusiasm is unmatched. Scott’s just starting to dabble in speciality pizza tours, and this vegan tour was his 2nd all-vegan pizza tour ever, following a sold out walking tour this past December.

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  • October 22nd, 2011quarrygirlbay area, more restaurants (not LA)

    as you probably know, we’ve been tracking the culinary adventures of the band silver snakes as they tour around the western US. band member alex has been texting me all kinds of delicious looking snapshots of life on the road from restaurants in california, nevada, idaho, washington, and oregon. the silver snakes tour wraps up sunday in los angeles with a CD release party at amplyfi at 7pm, and i implore all of you local readers to come show some support and rock out.

    back to the food…alex ran into some phone trouble on tour, and was unable to text me photos of his bay area meals, but sent me the following text:

    Eating alone at Souley Vegan. It’s too good. I’m going to die. Just fried tofu, mac, and greens. But I already had a stomach ache. FML. Come to the LA show!

    the picture above is from a meal i ate a while ago back at souley, but you get the idea. anyways, let’s all show up at the silver snakes show on sunday. again, that’s 10/23 at 7pm (the band will prob go on a couple hours later) at amplyfi. it’s super close to astro burger, so we can get dinner after. sound good?

  • October 22nd, 2011quarrygirlitaly, more restaurants (not LA)

    today’s field report is by christina, who recently went on a european trip and stopped off in rome, italy for some vegan gelato. i’m jealous!

    Just a short walk from the beautiful Trevi Fountain is Gelateria Valentino, one of my first stops every time I go to Rome. It’s true that all throughout Italy you can get vegan sorbet, (though you always have to ask which sorbets don’t contain milk–many flavors do, and it varies by establishment.) but it’s very rare to find a soy gelato, which makes it creamier and comes in non-fruit flavors.

    Valentino’s always has two soy (or soia as it’s called in Italy) flavors, and often there is a rich chocolate flavor that doesn’t contain soy or milk. I have spoken with the owner, Valentino on several occasions and he understands the needs of the vegan customer and neither he nor his staff will steer you wrong. The best part, though, is that the gelato is delicious! Creamy, refreshing–a truly artisan delight. One of the places in L.A. boasting vegan offerings is icy and I can tell they haven’t mastered the art of making an amazing vegan offering. Not so with Valentino’s. Not to mention, for a location so near the Trevi, the price is very reasonable. (About $3 US for two scoops.)

    Via del Lavatore, 96
    Tel +39 06.6783219
    Website: http://www.gelateriavalentino.it

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  • October 21st, 2011quarrygirlcambridge MA, more restaurants (not LA)

    it’s vegan field report time! this one comes to us from fellow vegan blogger jessica of bein’ green savin’ green, and today she reviews a meal with her family at life alive in cambridge, MA. check it out, and bookmark this in case you’re ever in mass.

    On my most recent trip to Boston, I dined at a fairly new vegetarian restaurant called Life Alive, in Cambridge. Located halfway between Harvard and MIT, the hipster café has both a spiritual and intellectual vibe served with a side of healthy, delicious food. The café interior is both relaxing and invigorating, which works perfectly with the energizing meals. There are even motivating phrases painted on the wall.

    At first glance, the menu sounded rather dull. It was merely a mix of various vegetables, some that didn’t even seem like they would go well together. I am so glad I gave this place a chance. It truly proved that just because something is healthy, doesn’t mean it’s tasteless.

    My dad ordered a bowl of chili…

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  • October 21st, 2011quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), oregon

    the silver snakes tour is wrapping up this weekend, but we’re still on the road with the dudes as they make their way down to los angeles. yesterday they were still in oregon, and sent me a day full of vegan updates via text message from band member alex. check it out:

    Morning Glory Cafe in Eugene, OR

    Morning glory cafe, Eugene OR. Vegan biscuits n’ gravy and a blueberry hazelnut smoothie. This was awesome and under 10 bucks! Eugene is such a beautiful town.

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  • October 19th, 2011quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), portland

    yep! we’re still on tour with the band silver snakes, and today they’re hitting the vegan capital of america: portand, oregon. here’s what they’ve eaten so far, as texted to me by band member alex.

    Sizzle Pie in Portland

    Sizzle pie. Portland, OR. Special veggie slice of the day and “half” a slice of the “spinal tap” (no cheese, carmelized onion spread and nutritional yeast) the crust is amazing. Super glad we checked this place out!

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  • October 18th, 2011quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), seattle

    hey guys! as you probably know, we’re following the band silver snakes around on tour, via vegan food text updates from band member alex. he’s taken us around—from other parts of california, to nevada, to idaho, and now they’re in seattle (still) for more tastiness. today was epic, just see alex’s updates below. oh, and don’t forget to check out silver snakes when they’re in a city near you. go to their show and talk them into eating with you…it may end up on this blog!

    Vegan Donuts from Mighy-O in Seattle

    Mighty-o donuts. Seattle, WA. Naked cake and pumpkin spice donuts and a hot cocoa. Naked cake donuts are my favorite! I wish I could find them back in LA.

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