Due to its proximity to Los Angeles, a short journey to the desert is always on the horizon for the most trivial or celebratory events. My first stop whenever I go to Vegas is always Ronald’s Donuts so I can stock up on donuts for the duration of the trip and to take back home. After Ronald’s, we decided to make another short drive in order to try Pura Vida. After passing through an industrial sector, I managed to spot Pura Vida on the opposite side of the street, overlooking vacant lots and surrounded by empty business. This sector is certainly an unlikely place to find delicious vegan food, but after searching through their website and a handful of Yelp reviews I knew we were going to be in good hands. It appears the menu on weekends is mostly focused on “Sweet” rather than “Savory”. Seeing as how we were in the mood for “Savory” we decided to forego the waffles and ask for some recommendations. Our server was very accommodating, along with Chef Myra, who personally came out to assist us and explain what she could make for us.
Spinach/Tofurky Sausage/Daiya QuesadillaTags: cake, field report, las vegas, quesadilla, wrap
One of my pet peeves when dining out is ordering an item that you could easily make at home. For this reason, I don’t think I have ever ordered a vegan quesadilla at a restaurant. However, I have to say this quesadilla was fantastic, easily better than any I have made at home. I could try to duplicate it, but I doubt it would be as delicious….
it looks like the wynn is really upping its game when it comes to vegan offerings. several of the hotel’s restaurants now offer gardein, and terrace pointe cafe has even introduced a vegan fast food menu! WTF?! i was at terrace pointe less than a year ago and was stoked to see tofu pockets, hummus and soy milk on the menu.
above is a pic of the burger, shake, and fries i got from a reader named anita. here’s what she wrote…Tags: las vegas, wynn
we may not like it, but on occasion we vegans have to travel to unvegan-friendly places or dine out with omnivores…and sometimes we find ourselves at the most dreaded establishments of all: chain restaurants. don’t fret though, team QG is here to help! here at the blog we are committed to helping vegans find edible food at “normal restaurants”. we’ve covered fast food joints like chipotle and baja fresh, as well as higher brow chains like CPK and macaroni grill. today we’re all about the super tasty and vegan-friendly il fornaio.
if you haven’t been to il fornaio yet, you are missing out on one of the best vegan chain dining experiences available. their freshly baked ciabatta is unmatched, and it’s FREE with every meal. not just that, but their vegan options are plentiful…Tags: chain dining
UPDATE 9/5/11: before dining at the wynn, please check your restaurant’s dress code. i’ve heard some horror stories of nice vegans being turned away for not being fancy enough. boo! just a heads up!
this is great news! a couple of months ago it was announced that gardein’s mascot was teaming up with steve wynn to revamp the menus at the mogul’s las vegas casino. apparently, tal’s been busy because la cave at the wynn is already offering gardein! score! this is a huge step up from when we visited vegas in late 2010, and most of the wynn restaurants only offered salad or boring pasta dishes on their vegan menus.
a QG reader named mark sent us a snap shot of his gardein la cave meal, which he described as “awesome”!Tags: gardein, las vegas, tal ronnen, wynn
as you probably already know, since going vegan himself, vegas mogul steve wynn has ensured that every restaurant in his strip hotel has a vegan menu. we’ve already posted most of the menus online for you to check out, but what about the food we’ve actually eaten?aside from pizza place (which we reviewed earlier), the only other wynn establishment we’ve dined at is red 8, a fancy pants chinese bistro.
upon arriving and asking for the vegan menu, we realized it was all pretty standard “vegan 1.0” stuff (meaning mostly vegetables with a touch of tofu), but we decided to give it a whirl anyways…Tags: chinese, las vegas, wynn
UPDATE 9/5/11: before dining at the wynn, please check your restaurant’s dress code. i’ve heard some horror stories of nice vegans being turned away for not being fancy enough. boo! just a heads up!
BIG UPDATE: since the writing of this post, we’ve gotten a ton of menus for more places at the wynn. huge thanks to awesome quarrygirl reader matthew who sent us a PDF with vegan menus from FOURTEEN of wynn’s restaurants!!! this should help you plan your trip. click here for the menus.
however, the bad news is, the menus for these places aren’t officially posted anywhere online. we went to vegas last month and decided to start collecting vegan wynn menus for your benefit. we were there for a couple hours, and hit up every place we passed that was open…but we still only scratched the surface. i urge you, readers, to take these menus as a starting point to see what’s out there. and if you ever go to the wynn and get your grubby little hands on more menus, SEND THEM TO US. we will post them. the restaurants all appear to act independently, so we’ve seen everything from innovative options to salad sans cheese. here’s what we’ve got:
let’s start with the buffet…Tags: buffet, pizza, wynn
Just hours before our recent trip to Las Vegas, a vegan friend (and Vegas native) recommended Mint Indian Bistro, a vegan-friendly Indian restaurant a couple of blocks off the strip. After we checked out the menu online, and saw that almost all their vegetarian dishes are “vegan friendly” by default, we made up our mind to visit at the earliest opportunity.
We’d originally planned out our meal from the online menu, but were a little disappointed when we arrived to find that they had taken a reservation for a large party (of 40 people!) and so would be doing a fixed price buffet service rather than a la carte. Of course, it was just our luck that this was the first time ever the restaurant had operated a buffet in the evening and so the regular menu wouldn’t be available.
We asked if the buffet had any vegan items, and were told “there are lots of vegan options, you won’t go hungry!”. Even with that reassurance, we checked out the buffet tables before we settled in, and any hint of disappointment was swiftly dissipated by what we found…Tags: buffet, curry, indian food, las vegas
unless you have been living under a rock, you probably know that the wynn is the vegan capital of las vegas. basically the owner, steve wynn, went vegan and decided that there should be an animal-free option at EVERY restaurant in his casino. score! walk into any wynn eatery, ask for the vegan menu, and you are set.
Tags: las vegas, pizza, teese, wynn
well it has been a while since our last vegan field report from red velvet in las vegas, but i am happy to report that our operative is back in sin city and has even more delicious food to share with us.
Tags: coffee, cupcakes, dessert, field report, las vegas
hey everyone, time for another vegan field report written by vegankitten! here ya go:
This is my last night is Vegas and I wanted to get a little creative for my final dinner. I ran across a Las Vegas Restaurant Guide site called lvvegan.com and noticed they had a tab for Japanese food. My omnivore traveling companion has been talking about miso soup non-stop for days, as it was her only experience up ’til now eating tofu. I got pretty excited when I read that Miko’s Izakaya Sushi & Tapanese has their own vegetarian menu and I knew we had to check it out.
It didn’t disappoint. The proprietor was also our waiter and his eyes lit up when I mentioned I am vegan. I grabbed a vegetarian menu for me and a regular menu for my buddy. He asked how I heard about the place, where we were from and was generally very chatty. He was very excited to tell us that he is discussing teaming up with Red Velvet Cafe to offer their cupcakes. Hopefully the excitement of my non-vegan dining companion at this news was enough to convince him it is a great idea!
The sushi bar was packed and the diners were enjoying sports highlights on the big screen TV. The atmosphere was really relaxed and the staff was super friendly! They were playing Social Distortion in the bathroom and the lotion on the counter was not tested on animals. Yay!
On to the food: I am not used to having so many vegan sushi options. The menu was front and back and very overwhelming for me, as it included many ingredients I wasn’t familiar with. I left it up to the owner and he chose the Age Tofu Roll. I added Inari and Edamame to the order. My buddy ordered the miso soup she was so excited about and the owner was kind enough to let me know I couldn’t eat it that day, as they has added bonito fish flakes.
The edamame was particularly delicious. Each bite was coated in salt and pepper. I’ve never had edamame with pepper before, so this was quite a treat. It was beautiful, too!
The Inari was some of the best I ever had. Fresh, sweet and moist.
Sadly, the Age Tofu Roll left a bit to be desired. The roll consisted of deep fried tofu, green onion and miso. I guess I was just looking for a little more excitement, because it was kind of bland. My biggest complaint was the sushi rice was very mushy in two out of the eight pieces. It was really strange and the other six had perfect texture. Next time I am going to be more adventurous and pick out something myself.
The absolute highlight of the meal was the tempura bananas. The owner happily explained their tempura batter is vegan and they do not use eggs, which I had also read online. We were in no way planning to eat desert, but can I really say “no” when the owner is offering us a delicious VEGAN option? We decided to share. Embarrassingly, sharing involved my friend gracefully eating two pieces while I wolfed down the other six. Ooops! They were delicately crisp on the outside and oh-so-warm and gooey on the inside. It was heavenly! The only thing that could have made it better was a vegan ice cream option on the side. Maybe next time???
I think Miko’s is one of my new favorite places. The staff was awesome, they love vegans and I love sushi. It’s a match made in heaven.
Miko’s Izakaya Sushi & TapaneseTags: field report, las vegas, sushi, vegankitten
500 E. Windmill Ln. Ste. 165
Las Vegas, NV 89123
Open Monday-Thursday 4 p.m. to 11 p.m., Friday 4 p.m. to midnight, Saturday 5 p.m. to midnight, Sunday 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
hey readers, this is a very special guest post from none other than vegankitten who spent the last couple days in las vegas! she was kind enough to email me some great blog posts, so here’s the first one! take it away…
If you’re ever stuck at the Mandalay Bay for a convention, I suggest checking out the Burger Bar. The Vegas Vegan Burger came highly recommended, so I didn’t spend much time looking at the other options, although I should have for the sake of this review. There appeared to be another veggie burger on the menu, but I doubt it was vegan. However, there is a “build your own burger” menu that looks pretty do-able. (List of potentially vegan options at the bottom)
When we arrived, there was a 45 minute wait. The good news is Lush was directly across the walkway from Burger Bar and they were having a big sale. I did some shopping while we waited for our pager to buzz.
I went with an omnivore who has eaten her first two faux meat meals in the past two days and claimed to be “craving real meat” on our walk to the Burger Bar. Once were were seated and she browsed the menu, she ordered the Vegas Vegan, too. I would say that speaks volumes! Here’s the description per the menu:
Slow roasted eggplant, marinated and grilled roma tomato, grilled zucchinis, sauteed peppers. All sandwiched between two portobello mushroom caps.
The burger is served with skinny fries, but I requested mine with sweet potato fries. My eating companion kept the skinny fries and added a side salad. The burger arrived sliced in half, each half held together with a toothpick. This was necessity, as the veggies were slippery and smothered in juices. The second you removed the toothpicks, the whole thing fell apart. This was fine, because it was a delicious mess! The portobello mushroom caps were massive, fresh, firm and full of flavor. The veggies inside were cooked to perfection. The side of sweet potato fries was very generous and they were a perfect compliment to the burger. One of the most exciting parts was that I was not charged for substituting the sweet potato fries. It was $12.00 for this delicious lunch and, in Las Vegas, that’s a smokin’ deal!
The only thing which I found kind of odd was the garnish – but I often find garnish strange. Included on the plate was all the “fixin’s” for a burger – onion, lettuce, tomato and pickles. Not exactly appropriate for the type of burger we ordered.
Last but CERTAINLY not least, they have a pretty massive beer selection that takes up two pages of the menu. They have over 100 bottles of beers and about 25 on tap. I had a Pipeline Porter draft from Kona Brewing Company. Thank you Barnivore for letting me know if is vegan, too!
So the bottom line is this: Burger Bar is a fun place with good food and lots of tasty beer. I will definitely go here again!
Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino
3950 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas, NV 89119-1005
Open Mon-Thu 10:30am-11pm; Fri 10:30am-2am; Sat 10am-2am; Sun 10am-11pm
Build your own Burger menu after the jump…Tags: burger, field report, las vegas, vegankitten
ronald’s donuts in las vegas are known to be the best vegan donuts ever. quite possibly the best vegan desserts ever. however, they are so cheap, so good, and so “real” tasting…they often leave people wondering if they are really vegan. i mean, why is this little hole in the wall shop in nevada the only place to master the art of the vegan bear claw?
some internet digging produced stories of rey ortega from sun flour baking having the donuts tested for veganocity, but the actual lab results were nowhere to be found. well thanks to mr. wishbone, the stealth agent behind operation pancake (our undercover investigation of the ingredients at LA vegan restaurants), we were able to get our hands on rey ortega’s report.
the results for the glazed donuts tested show that if any egg white was present, it was below the threshold they could detect. although rey didn’t have the samples tested for milk products, at least we can rest assured that the donuts don’t contain egg…which is a prominent ingredient in every donut recipe i can find online.
i definitely feel comfortable enough to continue eating ronald’s donuts after these results, but stay tuned…maybe we can get these suckers tested for milk in the future. until then, let’s give rey ortega of sun flour baking a big shout out for getting the donuts tested. doing this stuff isn’t easy or cheap, and now we can all eat our sweets with peace of mind.
and thanks to mr. wishbone for the tip. DONUTS.Tags: donuts, lab tests, las vegas, operation pancake
today, we bring you a special report on red velvet cafe in las vegas, a casual restaurant with a very vegan-friendly menu. you may remember that recently one of our secret quarrygirl.com operatives relocated to sin city, and sent us an in-depth undercover report on the breaking news that whole foods in las vegas was offering vegan pizza with daiya cheese. well now, our secret operative is back with another vegan vegas discovery…proving once again that there is much more than just ronald’s donuts to eat in the desert. over the weekend, our operative teamed up with another agent and ate the hell out of red velvet cafe, and they sent us a write-up and pictures to prove it.
here is some of the vital information we gathered from their report:
-the server was super nice, helpful and answered or found the answer to our million questions. seeing that it was his 3rd day, i would have told myself to fuck off. he said everything was able to be made vegan besides the caprese salad, but that it could be made vegetarian.
-appetizer: avocado strips. they were pressed in a panini press, crispy shell and such gooey cheese, i was convinced it was daiya.
-at this point i was asking so many questions that the owner came over and said their vegan cheese was made from scratch. he did note that they used the same ingredients as daiya, but the texture, taste and feel was identical…it was too on point.
-lunch item #1: the buffalo chicken wrap. this was 100% hands down the best wrap i have ever had anywhere, PERIOD!
-the sauce was ranch and buffalo mixed, tangy and spicy at the same time. the chicken chunks where huge and the sandwich left my mustache and hands so messy, i needed a wet wipe. LMFL
-lunch item #2: tuna salad. so good as well. it was made with faux meat and not tofu so it had texture and it wasn’t overpowered with too much mayo, it was perfect.
dessert: face off between red velvet cupcake and chocolate chip cupcake. both operatives agreed, the red velvet won the challenge. super creamy sweet frosting and moist cake. a staple.
other fun things:
-there were 2 big flat screen tv’s, unfortunately they were playing sports.
-magazines everywhere (as can see pictured below, secret operative #2 is reading the fall fashion issue of vogue).
-as we were leaving someone was picking up a huge vegan cake… bday possibly.
-if red velvet served beer or were BYOB it would be heaven.
—–over and out—-
a very special thanks to our secret operatives who took the time to eat and document all this food.
so there you have it. a very glowing report of red velvet cafe from our field agents in las vegas. in fact, i even got a phone call from our operative immediately after he ate there, and he said red velvet was the best food he’d had during his entire stay in vegas, AND was better than most of the vegan food available in los angeles. that’s a bold statement, and a strong endorsement if i ever heard one.
i can’t wait to get to vegas and check this place out.
red velvet cafe
7875 W. Sahara Ave.
Suite 103 / 104
Las Vegas, NV 89117
Mon-Sat. 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.Tags: cupcakes, las vegas, quesadilla, tuna, vegan cheese, wrap
here at quarrygirl.com, we do our best to scour the los angeles restaurant scene and report back on all the vegan pizza that’s available. recently, one of our secret operatives was relocated to las vegas for a couple months, and within the first 4 hours of his arrival, he sent us evidence of vegan pizza in the desert.
it turns out the massive vegan-friendly whole foods on la vegas blvd is serving up vegan pizza in their prepared food section. and like a handful of whole foods stores in southern california, the vegas location is now using stretchy, melty daiya vegan cheese to cover their pies. if ronald’s donuts wasn’t enough, it looks like there is another amazing cruelty-free option in sin city. seriously, if you haven’t had daiya yet, you need to try it and see what all the fuss is about.
of course our operative ordered the vegan pizza and sent us his findings, as well as all the awesome photos throughout this post. here is some of the vital information we gathered from his report.
– the girl making pizza was super nice and friendly.
– operative questioned the employee about the brand of cheese. she said it was new and went to get the box. she returned to the counter with a “big ass box” of daiya cheese.
– vegas whole foods offers a large pizza, as well as 12″ and 8″ versions
– operative was told the large pizza “would take about 30-35 minutes because they had to clean the oven because of not having over spill from normal pizzas infect the vegan pizza” but the 8 or 12 inch are quicker because “they put it on a pizza pan and they don’t have to clean the oven because the pizza cooks on the pan.”
– operative ordered the 12″ which cost $8.99.
– toppings ordered were daiya, tomato, basil and fresh garlic. the cloves of garlic were so huge, they looked like pearl onions, but were not over powering on any level.
– the vegan pizza is available on white or wheat crust. operative chose wheat. “delicious.”
– the pizza crust was more than satisfactory, operative could not tell that the pizza was cooked on a pan, described it as “super crispy, yet chewy in the middle, not to thin not to thick.”
– PBR tall boys are $1.99 at whole foods, and go great with pizza.
so next time you find yourself in vegas, be sure to get off the strip for some high-quality vegan pizza. this whole does a great job at making tasty pizzas, as well as putting time and care into cleaning/separating vegan cooking utensils. and of course, most importantly, they have daiya cheese! special thanks to our secret operative for sending us these great pictures and info. hopefully he will find many more tasty things during his stay in las vegas.
6689 Las Vegas Blvd S
Las Vegas, NV 89119-3215
Tags: alcohol, beer, daiya, garlic, las vegas, pbr, pizza
los angeles vegans: take the day off, pack your bags, fill up your tank, and head to las vegas asap.
it turns out sin city has a lot more to offer than cheap beer, false promises of wealth, broken down hookers and all you can eat shellfish buffets—vegas is also home to the best vegan donuts in the world. i shit you not. ronald’s donuts are so delicious, nobody would ever be able to tell they are vegan. not to be confused with ‘fancy’ los angeles vegan vendors, ronald’s is a typical low brow donut shop. located miles off the strip in LV’s china town, the unassuming hole in the wall opens early, lacks ambiance and charges very little for its treats. it’s an insane experience, going into ronald’s which is exactly like a normal donut shop in every way, and being able to order a box full of classic flavors for just $6. stuff like this in LA would be three times the price and wouldn’t taste nearly as good.
at ronald’s donuts, there’s two big display cases and everything on the top two rows is vegan. my eyes were bigger than my stomach and i went a little crazy ordering, luckily these things keep pretty well in the refrigerator. i highly suggest if you go here, you stock up as well. you aren’t ever gonna find donuts this good again.
my favorite by far was the soy cream filled donut. the round squishy white cake was injected with thick vanilla cream and topped off with a layer of chocolate frosting. i can’t stress how much this tastes like the donuts i remember eating as a child. a cheap, normal, decadent donut in every way….except this one was vegan!
i also filled up on other spiffy treats like the apple burrito thingy pictured above, a fried pastry filled with fruit and topped with crunchy cinnamon. the classic chocolate frosted donut was also delicious…
…as were the glazed donut holes.
and you can sit back and enjoy your pastries with a hot cup of coffee in the traditional donut shop atmosphere. seriously, i never thought vegans would be able to do this kind of thing.
the three and a half hour drive to las vegas is well worth it just to experience ronald’s donuts. if you live in los angeles, i suggest you start planning your trip now. i hear from friends that the thing to do is stay up all night then get to ronald’s at 5am when they open for fresh donuts. not even i am that hardcore, but who knows, maybe i will give it a try next time. get your asses to ronald’s now…and bring some donuts back to LA for me.
ronald’s donutsTags: donuts, las vegas
4600 Spring Mountain Rd
Las Vegas, NV 89102