• January 12th, 2011quarrygirlfigueroa produce, LA restaurants, products, stores

    if you aren’t already hip to figueroa produce in highland park, you need to get over there. the neighborhood grocery store is super vegan-friendly and has more cutting edge products than anywhere else in los angeles.

    insane vegan meats

    when i popped by over the weekend for one of the epic deli sandwiches, they were handing out samples of vegan meat by a company called fry’s that totally blew my mind…

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  • October 16th, 2010quarrygirlmore restaurants (not LA), NYC

    a couple weeks ago we told you about ten must-eat food items in the LA vegan bucket list…and today i am gonna tell you about a dish you need to add to your lifetime vegan bucket list: the open-faced turkey sandwich at curly’s vegetarian lunch in nyc.

    open faced turkey sandwich: sage and garlic rubbed soy fillet over corn bread stuffing and toasted rye, napped with gravy and served with cranberry dressing and greens. $11.95

    we have written about this sandwich before, and after eating it for a second time recently, i can without a doubt say that it’s one of the best (if not the best) dishes i’ve ever had. if i could choose one last meal on the planet, this would definitely be it.

    curly’s vegetarian lunch is a great little new york diner with an entirely meat-free, all-american menu on which every item can be made vegan. i have heard from friends that some of the dishes can be hit or miss, but i will never know if that’s true because i intend to order the open-faced turkey sandwich EVERY TIME i eat there. to call this thing a “sandwich” doesn’t do it justice. it’s more like a sandwich on steroids with it’s greasy fried bread and mounds of thick seitan covered in deliciously creamy gravy. i’d say it’s enough to feed about 3 people, so be sure to arrive hungry.

    size isn’t all that makes this sandwich special though…every component of it is pretty much perfect. the seitan and gravy are both the best i’ve ever had, and the mock meat comes all mixed up with an incredibly rich and juicy stuffing. the bread it’s on is cooked and seasoned specially as well, and it’s served with an enormous side of sauteed greens and squash. mix all the ingredients up together for the best taste….i promise you, one bite of this thing and you will be hooked.

    next time you are in NYC, you MUST VISIT CURLY’S, and YOU MUST order the open-faced turkey sandwich. and if you don’t have plans to be in NYC anytime soon, this meal alone is worth the plane fare.

    curly’s vegetarian lunch
    328 e. 14th st.
    New York, NY 10003
    (212) 598-9998

    PS: curly’s totally has healthy stuff too! and it’s great! look:

    vegetable plate: five steamed or grilled vegetables with grain, beans and mushroom gravy and a side salad. $11.95

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  • December 10th, 2009quarrygirlLA restaurants, native foods

    native foods in westwood has had a complete makeover, and i’m a fan of their new style. not only does the place have a fresh paint job with brighter colors, but they’ve implemented a new rewards program, added some pretty amazing dishes to their menu and are now offering daiya cheese.

    oklahoma bacon cheeseburger: thinly sliced seitan, melted daiya cheddar, caramelized onions, crispy tempeh bacon on a bun slathered with BBQ sauce and ranch dressing, lettuce, carrots, onions, and tomato and topped with crunchy battered dill pickles chips. $9.95

    oklahoma bacon cheeseburger: thinly sliced seitan, melted daiya cheddar, caramelized onions, crispy tempeh bacon on a bun slathered with BBQ sauce and ranch dressing, lettuce, carrots, onions, and tomato and topped with crunchy battered dill pickles chips. $9.95

    we checked out the new native foods the other day, and while loads of stuff on the menu looked delicious, i couldn’t resist the oklahoma bacon cheeseburger, a seasonal special (pictured above). we ended up eating our food out of takeaway boxes—more on that later—so the photo really doesn’t do the burger justice AT ALL. let me tell you, this baby was massive, juicy, and probably one of the best things i’ve ever eaten in a bun. the seitan inside wasn’t a patty, but more like thick juicy strips of wheat meat topped with the tastiest tempeh bacon ever. there was a generous helping of melty daiya cheddar in there as well, which mixed in with the two types of creamy sauces to make a hot delicious mess. it was drippy, huge, meaty, cheesy and wonderful. seriously, where else can you get a vegan bacon cheeseburger in los angeles? this is on the “specials” menu, and it’s seasonal, so everyone needs to try this thing before it goes away!

    twister wrap: organic greens, fresh avocado and cucumber salsa, creamy chipotle sauce and your choice of crispy or grilled chicken. $9.95

    twister wrap: organic greens, fresh avocado and cucumber salsa, creamy chipotle sauce and your choice of crispy or grilled chicken. $9.95

    for our other entree, my husband and i split the much lighter twister wrap. it came filled with leafy greens, avocado, creamy sauce and crispy soy chicken. the faux meat in this thing was excellent, slightly greasy and crunchy on the outside yet moist and soft in the middle. we got this with a side of nicely seasoned native fries which were spicy and garlicky. yumz.

    while we were there, we also learned that native foods has introduced a new frequent eater program where you sign up for a card and earn points that go towards free food every time you dine there. just by signing up we received a complimentary drink with our order, a refreshing cup of lavender lemonade. they also have this promotional gift thing going on through the holidays where if you buy someone (or yourself) a $100 gift card, you get extra $20 card for free. that’s a good investment, if you ask me.

    native foods in westwood

    now let’s talk about how the interior of native foods has changed. at the westwood location, you used to order at a counter in the front of the restaurant, then take a seat upstairs and wait for your food. now native foods has expanded and the counter where you place your order has moved next door. there’s also a new seating area there, but it’s not where you sit and eat your food…for some reason the new area is for take-out only. so you order at the new counter, then go outside and back into the original restaurant and sit upstairs, where they will bring your your meal. whew. sounds complicated, right? it is! when we were at native foods, there was no seating upstairs, so we had to eat in the take-out part of the restaurant. and unfortunately, if you dine in that area, you have to eat your food from a to-go container and not off real dishes. oh well, the food tasted great nonetheless!

    while the dine-in experience was a little awkward due to the logistics of the westwood location, i was completely blown away by my meal at native foods and i can’t wait to order even more stuff off the new menu. they’ve got daiya quesadillas, pizzas, chili cheese fries, and more. but seriously dudes, get to native foods NOW and eat the bacon cheeseburger. it’s fucking amazing.

    native foods in westwood

    native foods
    1110 1/2 Gayley Ave.
    Los Angeles, CA 90024
    (310) 209-1055
    11AM – 10PM

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  • December 8th, 2009quarrygirlLA restaurants, vinh loi tofu

    vegan turkey by vinh loi tofu

    for the holiday season, vinh loi tofu is offering full size vegan faux turkeys, and you just have to try one! we ordered one of these for our thanksgiving celebration with my omnivorous family, and it was definitely a crowd-pleaser.

    vegan turkey by vinh loi tofu

    the vegan loaf is shaped like a real animal, with little fake legs and a hole for stuffing. it isn’t realistic enough to be gross though, if anything it made for a great conversation piece and i thought it was kinda cute. we pre-baked a batch of homemade stuffing and carefully put it inside the vinh loi turkey before heating it.

    vegan turkey by vinh loi tofu

    the turkey comes already cooked from vinh loi, but we put it in the oven for a while to heat it up. after about 40 minutes it was just right, and the outer skin was perfectly crispy. the soy meat inside was soft and juicy, and the overall flavor was amazing.

    vegan turkey by vinh loi tofu

    there were four of us, and we didn’t even finish off half of this thing. in fact, i still have tons of leftovers in the freezer. the turkey cost $49.50, and was worth every cent. it’s definitely some of the best fake meat i’ve ever had.

    call vinh loi tofu to order a delicious vegan turkey for your xmas meal. you can have a traditional holiday feast, except without the murder. oh, and they also have a vegan ham tray as well! YUM.

    vinh loi tofu
    18625 Sherman Way #101
    Reseda, CA 91335
    (818) 996-9779

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  • November 1st, 2009quarrygirlproducts

    recently we wrote a very sad blog post about morningstar farms which included the fact that they not only un-veganized some of their products, but discontinued our favorite vegan steak strips. yep, at the meal starters that we’ve used for years just suddenly disappeared from store shelves and from the morningstar website without explanation. total bummer.

    morningstar farms steak strips discontinued!

    morningstar farms steak strips discontinued!

    but wait! it turns out that almost the EXACT SAME PRODUCT, gardein’s beefless tips,  is available in the los angeles area…and probably at your local ralphs, in the freezer section right next to the spot that morningstar farms steak strips used to occupy.

    gardein at ralphs

    as of a few weeks ago, gardein (the leading maker of faux meats in america) launched a frozen line which included a product called “beefless tips.” it turns out that gardein is the same company that used to make the discontinued morningstar steak strips…and this new product tastes EXACTLY the same! did you hear me? the product we were mourning is still available, it is just in different packaging and has a slightly rounder shape! YES! HELL YES!

    gardein vegan beef

    when i tried the “new” gardein beefless tips, i was just beside myself. the round little faux beef balls were flavorful, chewy, and spiced ever so slightly…exactly how i remembered my old vegan steak favorite. i ate these beauties in a bowl of vegetables along with homemade tofu sauce, but they are open for interpretation.

    gardein vegan beef bowl

    los angeles vegans: next time you are at ralphs and want to grab the old familiar morningstar farms meal starters steak strips, grab for a new white gardein bag instead. the taste is the same, and this time it’s coming from an all vegan company—we can count on gardein not to get all shady and start adding egg whites to stuff.

    and hey, if you have never had morningstar farms steak strips before, that’s even more of a reason to check this stuff out! gardein is so good, it will probably get you hooked. i am placed firmly under the vegan beef spell.

    i can’t wait to put these beefless tips to use in my favorite cornish pastie recipe. 🙂

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  • October 27th, 2009quarrygirlproducts

    match vegan chicken quesadillas with daiya cheese.

    match meat chicken vegan quesadilla

    have you tried match premium meat alternatives yet? this stuff is insane.

    match meat vegan chicken

    recently match sent me some samples to try, and i used their very versatile “chicken” to whip up some vegan quesadillas.

    match meat vegan quesadilla

    match meat quesadilla with daiya

    with the help of daiya cheese, this was hands down the best and most “real” tasting vegan quesadilla i’ve ever had. you could serve this to an omnivore, and they would never know they were eating vegan meat & cheese. seriously, this tasted just like the standard rich appetizer so many restaurants serve.

    vegan quesadilla

    match is a vegan meat alternative that’s so convincing, it’s just unbelievable! you cook with it exactly like you would meat, it acts like meat, except no harm goes into making it. i seriously think that it’s this kind of product that could sway omnivores to consider a vegan diet—it’s game-changing.

    if you live on the east coast, you can probably buy match at a store near you. unfortunately for us here in los angeles, right now our only option is to order it online…both cosmo’s vegan shoppe and vegan essentials carry it. the possibilities are endless with this stuff.

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  • October 20th, 2009quarrygirlother, products


    i am loving gardein’s new vegan frozen food line, and finally it’s available in los angeles. i’ve already told you all about the amazing spicy buffalo wings, so today it’s all about chick’n good stuff.


    this little meal comes in packs of two and is basically a vegan take on stuffed chicken, complete with marinara sauce and daiya cheese in the middle. i topped mine with even more daiya cheese that i had on hand, and served it up with roasted brussels sprouts and collard greens.


    on bite of this thing, and i was SOLD. the crispy bread crumb coating was garlicky and flavorful, and the vegan chicken was moist and perfectly chewy. as soon as i cut into it, rich daiya cheese and marinara sauce oozed out of it all over the place. the sauce was awesome, and i’m sure you already know how amazing daiya is. i’ve never had a vegan frozen product this tasty….seriously!


    each stuffed chick’n is definitely enough for a 1 person meal…i even had a bit left over. these things pack so much decadent taste, i couldn’t believe it when i picked up the package and saw they only contain 210 calories each! i know i will be eating these on a regular basis.


    oh and it looks like i CAN be eating these on a regular basis, because they are available at ralphs! i’d never seen gardein at a normal supermarket before, so i was pleasantly surprised when i saw their entire frozen line in stock at ralphs in hollywood yesterday. and at just under $4.50 per bag, the price is right as well.

    come on, it’s VEGAN CHICKEN stuffed with VEGAN CHEESE….available at the grocery store!!!! i never thought i’d see the day!

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  • October 12th, 2009quarrygirlproducts

    gardein classic style buffalo wings.





    this fall, gardein is launching a new frozen line all over the united states & canada, so keep an eye out for their products coming to a whole foods near you. if you live on the east coast, you may have already seen this stuff. gardein sent me a sampling of their new line to try out, and i immediately fell in love with their classic style buffalo wings. spicy, tangy, moist and chewy, these bite-sized snacks were everything you could want in a meaty appetizer. they packed a lot of heat, and went down perfectly with cool and creamy vegenaise dip.

    being a vegan is super easy with companies like gardein around to create cruelty-free versions of old meaty favorites. stay tuned for more gardein products coming soon to a freezer near you. and if you spot these wings when you are out grocery shopping, trust me, YOU GOTTA TRY ‘EM. i am gonna buy up bags of these wings as soon as i have the chance.

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  • October 11th, 2009quarrygirlmorningstar farms, news, other, products

    i’m sad to report that one of my (previously) favorite fake meat brands has started being awfully cunty lately. morningstar farms has recently added both MILK AND EGGS to several of their formally vegan products.

    one of my favorite foods to be completely ruined by morningstar farms, was the meal starter crumbles. these things were perfect in any recipe that called for ground meat, and until recently they were vegan. then, without warning and without changing the packaging, morningstar farms added both skim milk and egg whites to the ingredients. gross, right? yeah.

    morningstar farms has added milk & eggs to thier vegan crumbles!

    morningstar farms has added milk & eggs to thier vegan crumbles!

    to make matters even worse, when morningstar farms wasn’t busy de-veganizing stuff, they were discontinuing other wonderful vegan products. like the meal starter steak strips, GONE. i used these strips all the time…in stir frys, in cornish pasties, in burritos, you name it. no more.

    morningstar farms steak strips discontinued!

    morningstar farms steak strips discontinued!

    this whole situation is pretty upsetting to me, and i probably won’t be buying much morningstar farms stuff in the future. if the crumbles are trashed, and the steak strips are gone, what else can they really offer me? if you buy morningstar farms products, i highly suggest you triple check the ingredients to make sure they haven’t snuck in any animal discharge.

    there is a thread going about this topic over on vegweb, complete with a response from the company that really doesn’t make me feel any better. buyer beware!

    oh, and special thanks to commenter Bil for bringing this all to my attention. you rock.

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  • September 23rd, 2009quarrygirlvegan stuff


    vegans, it’s time to get happy. field roast, the maker of some of the best artisan faux meats around have come out with a new product that is nothing short of amazing: the classic meatloaf…VEGANIZED.


    that’s right…the company that brought us the best vegan sausages i’ve ever tasted, lentil loafs, and celebration roasts now has its very own take on the standard american classic. this juicy loaf of luscious plant-based protein goes down well baked with ketchup and served with vegetables and gravy…the same way you would do mom’s old school meatloaf, sans the cruelty.


    the meat stands alone whether you decide to cook it up with vegetables, or throw it in a sandwich. having tried both, i can’t say i have a preference. we sauteed some slices of meatloaf, covered it with daiya cheese and shoved it between some la brea bakery bread, and it was better than almost any sandwich i’ve had in LA, even counting the stuff i’ve eaten in restaurants. field roast is really decadent, moist and tasty…unlike the boring and often chewy fake meat you can find in the deli aisle at ralphs. this stuff is really special.


    so go get this field roast meatloaf and eat the hell out of it. in los angeles, so far it’s available at erewhon…but maybe if we bug whole foods enough they will stock it as well.


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