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…Tags: burrito, enchiladas, mexican, mexican food, san diego
October 15th, 2011vegan events
you already know this! we are following the band silver snakes as they navigate through a multi-state vegan tour. all updates come to us via text from band member alex. and now, for a gigantic vegan burrito…
Boise, ID post show, bad idea burrito. Los betos. Beans, french fries and guacamole + horchata! (Its actually vegan here!)Tags: boise, burrito, field report, silver snakes
home restaurant is a very veg friendly joint serving american home style meals. they have two locations: los feliz on the corner of hillhurst and kingswell and the second in the silverlake area on the corner of riverside and fletcher. both locations serve the same menu but the silverlake location is much larger and imo has a cozier atmosphere.
i have become a regular at home in silverlake and the breakfast burrito (substitute tofu for egg and minus cheese) has become one of my favorite meals. the veganized version serves up a spinach tortilla filled with tofu, grilled veggies, garlic, black beans, and salsa served on the side. it’s served with a choice of home fries or fresh fruit. when i awake in the morning my typical first thought is “breakfast burrito” and (when i have the time) the craving leads me directly to home.Tags: breakfast, burrito, silverlake
another day, another vegan restaurant opens in LA. that’s what it feels like sometimes, doesn’t it? we are spoiled for choice here in los angeles, and now we can add sage vegan bistro in echo park to our long list of local animal-free eateries.
the newly opened cafe occupies the former mooi space (so sad they closed down!) on sunset, and serves a wide variety of vegan cuisine with a creative twist–stuff like samosa burgers, french grain bowls, plantain sandwiches, seitan salads, and jackfruit tacos. i checked out sage this weekend for brunch with fellow quarrygirl staffer brittany, and our meal was ace!
the brunch menu is served on saturdays and sundays from 9am to 5pm, and it’s loaded with crazy-sounding menu items. in fact, we had a really hard time deciding what to order. after seriously considering the frittata, potato lattkes, and walnut sausage croissant (i need to go back and try that last one), i decided on the jackfruit chorizo burrito…
this thing was a monster and puts most vegan burritos i’ve eaten in my life to shame. it was giant and shoved full of all kinds of tasty ingredients. the menu description doesn’t do it justice—there was jackfruit, scrambled tofu, roasted potatoes, white sauce, black beans, salsa, guacamole, and fresh jalapenos all rolled up together. it came with a side of rice and beans, as well as some extra spicy hot sauce. i gotta admit, this thing was so full of food that i had to eat it with a knife and fork. it looks all neat and innocent in the photo, but believe me, i made a mess of it. this thing had everything i look for in a burrito—it was enormous, the ingredients were fresh, and there was a lot of variety. from the crisp vegetables, to the creamy sauces, to sausagy jackfruit and the chunky nutritional yeasty tofu, this burrito had me covered. i would definitely order it again.
brittany’s meal was quite impressive as well…Tags: brunch, burrito, echo park, macaroni & cheese
my friends who live in the bay area jokingly refer to this restaurant as herbi-bore, in reference to what they say is bland food and an unimaginative menu. i don’t know though, it seems like i always end up having a pretty good experience at herbivore.
on our recent trip to san francisco, we decided to hit up the divisidero location for an early meal. one thing herbivore really has going for it is it opens daily at 9am and is one of the few places in the city to get a great vegan breakfast. we weren’t coming for breakfast though, even though it was morning time. after reading on the herbivore website that the “lunch and dinner menu is always available,” we had our hearts set on the grilled seitan shawarma, which we’d had before and is absolutely incredible.
unfortunately, our waitress informed us that ONLY the breakfast menu is served at breakfast time, and she had no clue about the website. so sad. we’d walked across town for that shawarma, but had to settle on morning-appropriate food instead. luckily, it was pretty tasty.Tags: breakfast, burrito, san francisco
i am always a huge fan of the monthly specials at hugo’s restaurant, and this month is no different. you must (MUST!) get over there and try out the roasted vegetable enchilada burrito before january ends.
first off, this thing is a beast. it’s huge and stuffed with so much good stuff, you won’t be able to eat it one sitting.Tags: burrito, mexican food, specials, studio city, the valley, weho
this is sad news indeed! after a trial run period that lasted about 8 months, we’ve heard that chipotle has decided to pull the plug on gardein and stop offering the vegan garden blend option at most of its LA locations.Tags: burrito, chain dining, chipotle, gardein
heyo, time for another field report from dadatamonkey! though his recent posts have been from barcelona, this one is about benito’s hat, a mexican restaurant in london. for a little back story, you may wanna check out his quite negative review of london’s chipotle. let’s see how this place measures up!
On a quick visit back to London, I went to my fave places.. And was either disappointed or they had closed. Didn’t realise I spent that much money on eating out in London! Which meant I had to find new places to munch! Well, through twitter I’d heard good things about Benito’s Hat, and despite my reservations (largely due to my experience with Chipotle) I decided to give it a go. Now I know my Chipotle review caused a little bit of consternation over the pond, so I also know this one may too. So the UK cannot do decent Mexican food yeah? Dream on. This place blows Chipotle out of the water! Read on and see why people…
The menu is the classic multi-choice/stage type, but is really clear as to what’s veggie (actually vegan unless its cheese or sour cream). Instead of being over the serving area it was MASSIVE on the wall upon entry, which helps if long queues build up I guess. I like this. Style. Not sure why but I got to add in as much as I wanted from all the selections vegans can eat, but more on that shortly.
So first things first. It was a dead night in London, and I needed cheering up coz it was raining cats and dogs (virtually the whole time I was there). Walking in I just went “OK, this is cool. I feel at home.” Perhaps it was the fact the ladies working there were all speaking Spanish (Barcelona ladies are the best), but mainly the massive mural at the end of the restaurant with my first love. The VDub Beetle!
Now I am a bit of an aesthetic (I blame it on Alexander Baumgarten), and they’ve got this joint spot on. The high seats have tables that fold out, so if you need to fit on more food you can. They also have these cute cacti dotted about all over the place. Sad, but true. I love Cacti! You can probs guess by now I was slightly taken with Benito’s. But the important thing is the food. And as a very long serving vegan (30yrs), how it was served. i.e. Was cross contamination an issue?
Well, compared to Chipotle, someone had obviously put some thought into how the serving area was arranged. The meat and veg are totally separated. New gloves were used without asking (doubt this would happen at peak times, but the ladies said they will always change gloves if asked, and said it very, very nicely too). I went for the classic burrito, with loads of fresh coriander (cilantro) and lime rice (yup, I’ve been turned, me like now), refried beans (the black beans are also vegan), Guac, and grilled veg. I kinda noticed that they were really packing in the choices here. This was gonna be one big boy of a burrito. The smile was widening as I smelt everything…
As they rolled my BBB I noticed it was never going to form the traditional shape and totally enclose. Gotta say, I didn’t care. The smell of the grilled peppers, courgette in parsley, olive oil and garlic was getting the juices flowing so sod the shape. The menu online says it contains Chayote, but I didn’t see hide nor hair. Not that I was worrying by this stage. Add in the Salsa Brava with fresh habanero and I was away with the pixies. I ordered a Negra to go with it and thought.. Yup, I am gonna be very happy. Then the young lady started filling up my tray with freshly fried tortilla chips.. OK, my mouth was as wide as the moon by this stage. Time to pig out!
Biting into this baby just confirmed everything I had suspected, The tastes were superb. The courgette was pretty chunky, but cooked to perfection. Still crunchy, but not to much bite. The peppers were juicy and slightly smoky. Rice? Oh yeah. Fresh, limey (no Brits were harmed in it’s cooking ok!) and just the right bite back. Now I love coriander, and wow did they stuff it full of really fresh coriander for me.
This was by far the biggest burrito I’ve seen, and the best I’ve ever eaten in London. OK, maybe I was lucky that night (I was), but something tells me this place is about customers. While I was munching one of the owners came in, and was obviously interested to see how the place was going as it had only just opened recently. I was pleasantly surprised by his attitude. I was even happier about the burrito. I ate the whole thing in minutes, and most of the vast number of tortilla chips too. If an American ever says to me that the UK cannot “do,” Mexican food again, I’ll happily take them to both Chipotle, then here. I know who will win. Benito’s hands down. I take my hat off to these guys, well actually, gals! This is near on as good good as my version of Mexican food, and I am not being big headed there. Just honest.
So. Do I really need to summarise? Oh yes. And this is where I guess I’ll get a mouthfull of not food. Please, America, keep Chipotle. We do not need ya. The combination of Spanish staff and really good, fresh ingredients cooked to almost perfection means I will never walk through Chipotle’s doors in London again. Sorry if I offend any Americans. But I say it as I see, well, eat, it! Marks out of 10? Err.. Love to give you a ten, but mine is a 10/10. So, 9.5/10. I’m mean like that. That’s chefs for you!! If you are in London pop in and enjoy. You will, I reckon. ☺
Benito’s HatTags: burrito, england, field report, london, mexican food, uk
19 New Row,
Tel:020 7240 5815
Opening times: Sun – Wed 11:30-22:00, Thurs – Sat 11:30-23:00
Do you remember the moment in The Wizard Of Oz where the celluloid goes from monochrome to color? Well, I had a similar experience last week when I drove alongside a dusty railroad track to a barren industrial park on the outskirts of downtown Fullerton, Orange County. The monochromatic middle-American dustbowl view turned into vibrant color as I stepped inside our destination: Bootlegger’s Brewery.
Suddenly I was surrounded by brew kettles, mash tuns, piles of kegs and a makeshift “tap room” (which was actually a corner of the brewery itself).
What’s more, as I looked back out toward the parking lot, I could see Seabirds, California’s only entirely vegan food truck, pulling up and getting ready to serve food.
Now, many of us have been to plush beer bars with comfortable seating and a vast array of beer on tap. Some of us have also been to tap houses: usually less comfortable and with a much smaller choice, but the beer is fresh from the brewery which means it’s as good as you can get. The experience at Bootlegger’s is a little different as you’re actually sitting right inside a working brewery, and the beers are served to you directly from the kegs that have been filled and aged by the brewing team.
While we waited for Seabirds to set up, we enjoyed a few pints of the outstanding “Old World Hefe”, a traditionally brewed unfiltered ale that was extremely drinkable (some might say, TOO drinkable!). We also enjoyed the “Palomino Pale Ale” which was served via a contraption called a “Hopinator”, a sort-of glass tank containing fresh hops under a little pressure. The beer flows over the hops right before it gets served and they impart a fresh, floral flavor that is to die for. In fact, Bootlegger’s chose Citra hops, a relatively recent American hop strain that’s finding its way into more and more beer varieties.
At Bootlegger’s, your beer is served from glass preserve jars rather than glasses, and you sit (if you’re lucky enough to get a seat) on plastic lawn chairs either inside the brewhouse or outside in the parking lot. Urban chic it isn’t, but if you care about being in a place with friendly people, great beer and awesome food you will find few places better in Orange County, or anywhere else. Talking of food, we managed to tear ourselves away from drinking to step outside and grab a bite from Seabirds truck, which was open for business just outside the brewhouse.
I regularly run into food trucks at various events, and it’s surprising how many of them are quite vegan friendly. As Seabirds is entirely plant-based, though, everything on the menu is up for grabs, and we wasted no time in availing ourselves of a few dishes. First up was a Veggie Burrito in a bowl (kindly made in advance for us with no bell peppers) which was a deceptively tasty collection of chopped vegetables, beans, rice and a tangy salsa/guacamole combination. It was truly remarkable, so fresh and healthy tasting yet full of flavor. I’d certainly have that again, and I bet the burrito is even better.
Next up we were drawn to the Seabird burger, as they proudly proclaim the patty is “home made”. I’m a sucker for home made burger patties as so many places use off-the shelf burgers (at worst Boca, at best Gardein). Not Seabirds! Their burger was perfectly prepared with just the right amount of ingredients – a nut/seed patty with crunchy onion, tomato and fresh lettuce on top of a tangy sauce (also home made) in a wholewheat bun. There’s something about fresh farm-produced organic ingredients that are carefully prepared – they taste SO DAMN GOOD! You can pig out without feeling bloated, and that’s exactly what happened here.
Feeling the need to be bloated, though, we also ordered a side of hummus and pita bread and were delighted with its freshness and taste. I sometimes forget how awesome something so simple can be, and Seabirds really delivered a super-creamy hummus that wasn’t too oily. Oh yum.
We planned to eat some more food, but were just too full. Next time we’re going to go all-out for some of the more exotic dishes like the Beer Battered Avocado Taco, Jerk Jackfruit Taco and the “Bella” – grilled portabella mushroom and pesto sandwich. Oh and for those with a sweet tooth, Seabirds also offers dessert – delicious vegan cupcakes by Luscious Organics.
Not only is the food stunningly good, but the crew at Seabirds are so pleasant, polite and nice that I felt like picking each one up and hugging them. I tend to do that when I’m drunk, though, so don’t read too much into it.
I really wish Seabirds would put some extra miles on that spiffy truck and go a few miles further up I5 to LA for some of our events closer to home. The good news, though, is that even if Seabirds can’t come home with you a growler full of fresh Bootlegger’s brew can. 🙂
As we headed away from Bootleggers, along the dusty railroad line to our car, I took one last look back toward the brewery and food truck and was again reminded of The Wizard of Oz when Dorothy and the gang look down at The Emerald City in the distance – a tempting vista of wonder ahead. As we headed away back to LA things turned into black and white again, but I’m sure that was the pints of Palomino finally taking control of my consciousness.
Bootlegger’s BreweryTags: beer, brewery, burger, burrito, food truck, orange county
401 S Richman Ave
Fullerton, CA 92832
Thur and Fri 4pm – 9pm, Sat 2pm – 9pm
chef brooke’s natural cafe seems to be a rarity in fort myers, where you’re more likely to find chain restaurants and fried gator tail than super fresh organic food. my mom and i wandered in one week day for lunch to sample some of chef brooke’s healthy offerings – and i must say i was pleasantly surprised to see the place with quite a few patrons. we skimmed the menu and while not a lot of the items are marked “vegan,” there are several vegan options.Tags: burrito, florida
UPDATE 6/9/10: garden blend is available in even more locations! see the list here.
we went out and got chipotle’s new vegan chicken burrito the minute we had a chance, and—-holy shit! it MORE THAN LIVES UP TO ALL THE HYPE! this thing is phenomenal!Tags: burrito, chipotle
vegans in los angeles: have you been to stuff i eat yet? if the answer is no, you are really missing out!
stuff i eat is one of our favorite places to eat in town by far (after all, we did name it one of the top 5 vegan restaurants in LA)…and every time we go there it’s better than the last. we hit up the small inglewood eatery this weekend with an out of town friend, and everything was beyond delicious.Tags: burrito, inglewood
UPDATE 1/7/10: THANKS EVERYONE who read this and wrote in to chipotle!!!! they have CHANGED THEIR WAYS and now cook gardein separately! read the update!
thank you so much for being the only fast food chain where i can get a decent vegan burrito. i really appreciate you not using meat in your black beans, chicken stock in your rice, or lard in your tortillas.
so much excitement, in fact, that on my first day of vacation in new york i hustled 3 miles to the chelsea chipotle eatery on 8th avenue (between 17th & 18th street)…the only storefront in the state to offer the coveted garden blend burrito. when i arrived, i was out of breath from hurrying through the manhattan streets and my nose was bright red from the below freezing temperature. no worries though, all would be worth it for a genuine fast food chipotle gardein burrito.
i pushed my way up to the front of the line and asked for the “vegan garden blend burrito”. the nice chap behind the counter looked at me and smiled apologetically while explaining, “oh yes, that’s our new soy meat. we cook it on the same grill as the real meat though, so technically it’s not even vegetarian.” sure enough, he pointed at a super gnarly looking grill with chicken, beef, and mystery meat clumps piled atop it, with animal fluids oozing all over the place. he saw that i was clearly disappointed and offered, “our vegetarian burrito is completely vegan, without cheese. and it’s very popular!” i told him that i’d come special for the garden blend burrito, and he apologized again. needless to say, i left bummed and hungry.
why, oh why, oh why, chipotle?!??!?!?!!? you are awesome. you already have the best vegan burrito in town (and that’s with just vegetables in it!), then you join forces with gardein (the best animal-free protein ever!), then you non-veganize the gardein by cooking it on the same grill in meat juice with all the other dead animals….and THEN you educate your dude-bro employees to warn me against ordering your otherwise vegan soy meat because you’ve contaminated it!!! i am epically confused, chipotle! what are you doing?!
this is me asking you to, begging you to, and insisting that you please carry legitimate vegan gardein protein at all your locations. all it would take is a quick clean or a small separate section of the grill. and we would love you for it, more than we already do!
gardein plus chipotle could change the world….if done right.
i love you! xo
PS: oh, and all vegans who read this, please bug chipotle about the same grill issue. if enough of us complain, we may get our way! yay!Tags: burrito, gardein
on my recent trip to PDX, i used food fight grocery’s vegan guide to portland to help find my way around town. on their list of places to hit up was laurelthirst public house. they even went as far as to call it,
“Portland’s best breakfast, or so we think right now… The vegan breakfast burrito with their homemade sausage and salsa, can’t be beat. Not even with the stick that is stuck up your uptight vegan butt.”
naturally i had to check this place out.
we hit up laurelthirst on the last day of our trip, and as promised, their breakfast didn’t disappoint. while it wasn’t the best breakfast i had in portland, and laurelthirst only had a few a vegan options, what they did have was pretty damn good. i got the breakfast burrito, pictured above, which came with a large serving of home fried potatoes. inside the burrito was a hearty amount of tofu, whole beans, vegan sausage and super spicy salsa. it was all topped off with several cool slices of avocado, which added a perfect creamy texture. overall the burrito had a pretty smoky taste, and was packed with tons of heat. if you are a fan of breakfast burritos, this is definitely one to try.
my husband got the veggie hash with added tofu, which we confirmed was vegan. the overflowing plate came stacked with home fries, grilled vegetables such as broccoli, carrots & cauliflower, as well as thick chunks of scrambled tofu. a very simple breakfast, but super filling and tasty at a reasonable price.
inside, laurelthirst is a comfortable traditional pub with a long bar, several beers on tap, and ample seating. unfortunately, we were there too early to drink. it’s sad because i don’t think i’ve ever been in such a nice pub and not enjoyed a beer or two. oh well, there’s always next time.
laurelthirst is just one more reason i can say portland is the best town i’ve ever visited. here we have a good pub, one that would make most LA bars ashamed of themselves, that just happens to offer up a damn good vegan breakfast with homemade veggie sausage and everything. i’m really looking forward to my next visit to pdx. if any of you guys have ideas about what the best vegan breakfast is up there, let me know.
LaurelThirstTags: breakfast, burrito, oregon, portland
2958 NE Glisan St
Portland, OR 97232-3271
my first introduction to portland was a good one. after waking up at 3 in the morning to catch a 6 o’clock flight from los angeles (i know, crazy right?) we arrived in oregon frazzled well before 9am. but it was nothing a good breakfast and some strong coffee couldn’t cure, so we headed to one of the few places we knew opened early—paradox cafe.
paradox cafe is a cozy little laid back diner with free wi-fi, bottomless cups of coffee, and organic food cooked to order. their breakfast menu was filled with plenty of appetizing vegan options, and after much debate we finally settled on the vegan fiesta burrito and the vegan paradox benedict.
the fiesta burrito was massive for under 9 bucks and came with a boat load of nicely seasoned breakfast potatoes. paradox certainly didn’t skimp on the vegetables either, this thing was filled with broccoli, cabbage, carrots, and others of the like. the tofu chunks were thick and soft, all mixed up with vegan chili and whole beans. the breakfast potatoes were also top notch; big slightly salty chunks that were great slathered in hot sauce and salsa.
now, whenever i go out to breakfast and see a vegan benedict on the menu, i pretty much have to order it. we have some damn good benedicts here in los angeles, so i was anxious to see how paradox’s would hold up.
the paradox benedict definitely didn’t disappoint. the heaping plate came with a large soft slice of sourdough bread covered in vegan sausage, tofu chunks, vegetables and a creamy hollandaise sauce. i was expecting the sauce to be more yellow, like traditional hollandaise, but this stuff was more like a brownish breakfast gravy. either way, it was phenomenal and i couldn’t get enough of it. the benedict came with the same excellent breakfast potatoes as the fiesta burrito, which were even better mixed up with sauce and bits of green onion.
in addition to amazing vegan breakfast served all day, paradox cafe also has a quite charming atmosphere. the funky old/new decor and breakfast bar with stools remind me slightly of the RR from twin peaks. if i lived in portland, i could see myself camping out at paradox for hours with a laptop, taking advantage of the free wifi and refillable coffee.
so when in portland, hit up paradox for a great breakfast. they also have vegan lunch and dinner offerings if that’s your thing, but i highly recommend the benedict.
3439 SE Belmont
Portland, OR 97214
503-232-7508 / 503.232.5525
Monday – Saturday 8 am – 9 pm
Sunday 8 am – 3 pm
P.S. this place also has the best fucking hot sauce ever. it’s this stuff called secret aardvark that we saw all over portland. damn, i wish i could get this stuff in LA. i will always remember the fist time i tasted it at paradox. it was magical.Tags: benedict, breakfast, burrito, hot sauce, oregon, portland