• April 19th, 2011quarrygirllas vegas, more restaurants (not LA)

    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”!

    gardein "chicken", celery root puree, lemon caper sauce. $14

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  • January 23rd, 2011quarrygirlLA restaurants, yard house

    today’s quick bite comes to us from friend and quarrygirl reader patricia, who is also a bad-ass vegan certified massage therapist and yoga instructor (check her out!).

    there has been a lot of talk in the vegan community about the new availability of gardein (an awesome vegan meat substitute) at yard house (our favorite chain of beer bars). here patricia addresses our concerns about cross-contamination, and explains why yard house doesn’t specifically classify any of their menu items as “vegan”. check it:

    do you guys remember a while back when yard house was testing gardein in their restaurants? well, unlike Chipotle, it is now offered on their printed menu under a separate “vegetarian” section. i’ve been to yard house a lot and i always order the same amazing “chop salad” (without bacon) at the pasadena location. the salad has no lettuce but it’s a bunch of chopped delicious veggies: avocado, celery, corn, onions cucumber, and tomato. last night no one felt like driving so we took the metro to the downtown location which is about a four block walk from the 7th street station. the place was especially packed thanks to the clipper game that was happening literally next door. so i contribute the busyness, in part, to why i ended up with my usual chopped salad accidentally served with a few scraps of bacon. we were sitting at the bar and just so happens when i got the bartender’s attention to show him my salad the manager was standing right next to him. they were both very apologetic and i asked if i could order something different. i didn’t want to spend my time picking through plate of vegetables looking for bacon bits.

    veggie fried chicken strips with fries. $9.65

    so round two brought me the “veggie fried chicken strips” served with fries and i asked for it without the (non-vegan) sauce. here’s where the veganocity of yard house gets questionable. the manager explained to me that the fries are cooked in a separate fryer and although the “chicken” strips’ ingredients were vegan that they are fried in the same oil as chicken. well, clearly i’d prefer everything cooked separately but this time i just said “fuck it”…

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  • January 10th, 2011quarrygirlchipotle, LA restaurants

    we will miss you, garden blend!

    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.

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  • September 21st, 2010quarrygirlfigueroa produce, stores

    this is just a quick post to let you all know about figueora produce, a small little grocery store in highland park that’s bringing you high-quality foods at discounted prices. in an area that lacks a whole foods, this place has got most our favorite products including gardein, daiya, teese, and so delicious. plus, they are always willing to take suggestions from vegans about what they should carry.

    we popped by the store over the weekend, and i was so excited to see the shelves stocked with so many vegan items.

    silk and so delicious right there with the normal milk…

    stinkey monkey pudding and blissed out chocolates (two very good, yet hard to find vegan products)…

    several gardein frozen products…

    along with teese, tofurky, and daiya…!

    i was actually pretty excited to see teese on the shelf, because i’d just suggested to figueroa produce via twitter that carry it a couple weeks ago. they sure didn’t waste any time!

    but it’s not just bloggers that figueroa produce listens to. my friend recently moved to eagle rock and was shopping at the grocery store when one of the owners, ruben perez, introduced himself and welcomed her to the neighborhood. he gave her his email address, and said if there were any vegan products she’d like to see, to let him know. she emailed him to suggest they carry field roast sausages, and with in a few days she got a response saying they had been ordered and would be in stock soon. WOW! talk about customer service!

    if you are ever in the area, be sure to stop in and check figueroa produce out. it’s a real gem in the highland park neighborhood with a wonderful staff and great vegan products. oh, and be sure to follow them on twitter! they are always announcing deals and discounts. in fact, TODAY is twitter tuesday…meaning, if you go to the store and mention twitter, you get 10% off your check! so go do it!

    Figueroa Produce Market
    6312 North Figueroa Street
    Los Angeles, CA 90042
    Phone 323-255-FOOD (3663)
    Fax 323-255-3030
    Mon – Sat 7am to 9pm
    Sunday 8am-8pm

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  • June 29th, 2010quarrygirlstores, whole foods

    summer is here, and if you live in los angeles, whole foods is going to be your one stop shop for EPIC VEGAN FEASTING. that’s right, this week stores in the area are rolling out a completely vegan bbq case for the month of july in the prepared foods section, and it’s ABSOLUTELY INSANE.


    the case is already set up at whole foods weho, and will be at other stores in the region starting on thursday, july 1st. i hit up the west hollywood store yesterday to check out the goods, and i was beyond impressed.

    it featured various gardien and field roast items as well as vegan potato salad, tempeh salad and a number of vegetable offerings. everything you need for a bbq, picnic, beach or pool party!

    check out all the crazy stuff i tried…

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  • June 12th, 2010quarrygirlother, products

    UPDATE: costco no longer carries gardein. 🙁 it was a trial run, apparently. don’t let that get you down, though! be sure to request gardein each time you shop there. let’s get it back in stores.

    every new vegan product goes through an arc of acceptance. first of all, it very clearly appeals to its core audience; the manufacturer will fall all over itself for any blog post, a bit of twitter love, and a handful of facebook “likes”. they will eke out an early existence sending samples to anybody who asks, while in the background, their PR machine will be laser-focused on reeling in major distribution channels to sell their products everywhere from restaurants to health food stores, all the time hoping (perhaps praying), that they will reach the nirvana of acceptance: going mainstream.

    one of the most notable products to achieve “mainstream” success over the past 3 years, has been gardein. after all, how much more mainstream could a product be than to chill away in a freezer at your local costco? the answer is: none. none more mainstream.

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  • June 9th, 2010quarrygirlchipotle, LA restaurants

    SAD UPDATE HERE. original post below.

    we raved about chipotle’s brand new garden blend protein (made with gardein) when it first came to los angeles, and now we are happy to report that it’s finally available in several more locations! here’s a list of chipotles where you can enjoy the delicious vegan “chicken”:

    UPDATED 6/30/10 new locations to carry gardein:
    Santa Monica 1218 3rd Street
    Hollywood 1460 Vine Street

    Beverly Hills 244 South Beverly Drive
    Burbank 135 E. Palm Ave Space A2
    Culver City 9512 Culver Blvd
    El Segundo 307 No. Sepulveda Blvd. Suite B
    Encino 16350-A Ventura Blvdage
    Hawthorne 5330 Rosecrans Ave
    Hermosa Beach 1439 Pacific Coast Highway
    Los Angeles 121 N. La Cienega Blvd #114
    Los Angeles 110 S. Fairfax Suite A-12
    Los Angeles 1077 Broxton Ave
    Marina Del Ray 4718 Admiralty Way
    Northridge 9205 Reseda Blvd
    Pasadena 246 South Lake Ave
    Roseville 781 Pleasant Grove Blvd.
    Santa Barbara 723 State Street
    Studio City 12175 Ventura Blvd
    Torrance 24631 Crenshaw Blvd Unit A
    Westlake Village 5754 Lindero Canyon Rd
    Woodland Hills 5430 Topanga Canyon Blvd.

    image from the humane society's facebook page

    look, they even put the word “VEGAN” on the menu! man, i love chipotle! go eat some gardein blend today!

    special thanks to the humane society for sending me this info.

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  • June 7th, 2010quarrygirlLA restaurants, yard house

    any reader of this blog knows that we are huge fans of gardein. we live off their vegan protein creations—both the packaged goods and commercial products are part of our daily lives. we are avid beer drinkers as well, so naturally when we heard that gardein had made its way onto the menu at the irvine yard house location (a restaurant that brags they have the word’s largest selection of draft beer), we were beyond excited.

    we found the irvine yard house menu online, and discovered that a whopping 25 menu items could be modified to include gardein. while that’s impressive and definitely a coup for the vegetarian world, we couldn’t help but notice that almost all the items contained dairy…bearnaise sliders, chicken caeser, spicy thai chicken pizza, etc. some of the items did look veganizable, though, so we were determined to make it work. we didn’t want a repeat of the chipotle situation (which was later resolved), so we decided to contact yard house in advance and see just how much they were willing to accommodate vegans.

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  • March 15th, 2010quarrygirlother, products

    whew! natural products west 2010 has finally come and gone, and boy was it awesome. the world’s largest natural and organic products tradeshow took place over the weekend in anaheim, and of course we were there checking out all the new animal-free products.

    there was a lot of cool vegan shit there this year…so sit back, relax, and get ready for an epic photo-filled post of food porn. here we go! (i am posting stuff in the actual order we tried it, so be sure to scroll through the whole post—i don’t want you to miss anything!)

    of course the first booth we had to check out was daiya. the revolutionary vegan cheese made a huge debut at 2009’s expo west, and i remember reading about it on jennshaggy’s blog and turning green with envy. now just one year later, it has completely changed the world of vegan food…

    this time around, daiya’s big news at the expo was the introduction of their snazzy retail packaging which will be available in whole foods by the end of the month! did you hear that?! you are gonna be able to buy daiya everywhere…it’s official. no more paying by weight and weird deli containers full of vegan cheese…this is legit!

    Read the rest of this entry »

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  • January 10th, 2010quarrygirlchipotle, LA restaurants

    hey vegans, i know i have been updating you on the situation with the gardein meat or “garden blend” at chipotle in regards to which grill it’s cooked on, and most of our info has been coming from phone calls and conversations with the nyc staff. well finally, someone who works at chipotle has taken the time to send an official written response that will hopefully clear up any confusion. here ya go:

    Read the rest of this entry »

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  • January 7th, 2010quarrygirlchipotle, LA restaurants, more restaurants (not LA), NYC

    since we wrote our open letter to chipotle, it appears as if they heard our plea and begun cooking the vegan gardein meat (aka garden blend) separately from all the real meat!

    i was first tipped off by a commenter, and then called the west chelsea location myself…and it appears that it’s true!!!!

    on the phone, chipotle said the garden blend is vegan. when i asked if the gardein is cooked separately than the meat, they replied, “of course it is! otherwise it wouldn’t be vegan!” they also said they made the decision to cook the gardein in a separate pan LAST WEEK after several people complained. ahem.

    so if you are lucky enough to live in NYC (i’m jealous), head on over to the west chelsea chipotle on 8th avenue between 17th and 18th street for a VEGAN GARDEIN BURRITO.

    oh and since we got chipotle’s attention with the last letter, maybe it wouldn’t hurt to ask for one more thing….

    dear chipotle,
    PLEASE bring vegan garden burrito to ALL YOUR LOCATIONS!!!! and if that’s not possible, and you can only bring it to one more storefront, please bring it to los angeles.
    i love you!

    there are a few chipotles in chelsea, and i have read some inaccurate info online about which location has the garden blend. so here is a map just to make sure you go to the right one:

    [googleMap name=”chipotle west chelsea” description=”where you lucky bastards can find vegan burritos” width=”570″]149 8th Ave New York, NY 10011[/googleMap]

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  • December 30th, 2009quarrygirlchipotle, LA restaurants

    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!

    dear chipotle,

    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.

    when i heard that you guys would be testing out gardein (one of the best vegan proteins EVER) re-branded as “garden blend” at some of your locations, i was overwhelmed with excitement.

    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!

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  • November 27th, 2009quarrygirlproducts, stores

    vegan thanksgiving feast from whole foods

    actually, make that: i am thankful for whole foods, gardein and field roast. although i’ve got holiday/family celebrations going on throughout the weekend, my meal on the actual evening of thanksgiving came from the prepared foods section of whole foods west hollywood. and boy, what a feast.

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  • November 24th, 2009quarrygirlstores

    hey los angeles vegans! just a quick post to let you know that whole foods has some special holiday offerings including seasonal products from gardein and field roast.

    gardein and field roast holiday products at whole foods

    in the prepared foods section, you can find a whole holiday spread which features stuffed turk’y roasts by gardein and stuffed hazelnut cranberry en croute by field roast. both products look absolutely delicious, although i haven’t had the chance to try them yet.

    gardein stuffed turkey at whole foods

    gardein stuffed turkey at whole foods

    they also are offering gardein rosemary grilled breast. seriously, there is no excuse not to have a vegan thanksgiving. everything you need is at whole foods!

    gardein breasts at whole foods

    also, at whole foods west hollywood (fairfax and sanmo) they will be offering 50% OFF all whole and 12 inch prepack pizzas! This includes the basu’s homestyle pizzas, the black garlic pizzas, or you can create your own! they also have a hummus pizza and a field roast pizza, which i haven’t tried yet. whole foods uses daiya cheese on their vegan pizza and they do a fucking amazing job, so i suggest you take this opportunity to check it out if you haven’t already.

    i know i will be hitting up whole foods for some vegan thanksgiving eats, as well as a post-holiday pizza.

    vegan basu's homestyle pizza at whole foods

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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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