• October 18th, 2011quarrygirldoomie's, LA restaurants

    *for an explanation on the secret menu, scroll to the bottom of the post.

    oh god doomie’s, are you trying to kill me? i stopped in the other day and inquired about their current “secret menu*” (something ALWAYS worth doing when dining there), and they pointed me towards a brand new vegan big mac. i can say without hesitation that this was the most gigantic, delicious, ridiculous burger i’ve ever eaten. nothing else comes close. if you’re feeling like having a healthy, light-eating day, stay away from this thing. if you want the a vegan burger that you’ll remember for years to come, proceed.

    vegan big mac with fries. $10.95

    this thing was what a real big mac should look like (massive, not smashed the way fast food always is), except it was 100% vegan. two huge beefy patties, tons of melty vegan cheese (look at it in the bottom left of the picture!), creamy special sauce, lettuce, onion, (i got mine w/o pickles), double bread, and a sesame seed bun. we all know how much i love doomie’s, but they’ve really outdone themselves this time. get over there and beg them to let you try it.

    but wait, there’s more…

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Tags: , , , ,
  • October 14th, 2011quarrygirlLA restaurants, nacho truck

    today’s good news comes via my friend basia, who stumbled upon the nacho truck in the valley. while their online menu isn’t updated to list vegan options, they’ve got ’em—with daiya cheese and everything!

    veggiefied vegan nachos: daiya cheese, black beans, soyrizo, chipotle corn, lettuce, pico de gallo, salsa verde. plus guacamole.

    she writes: “This is random, but I stopped by Cinema Secrets in Burbank yesterday, and there was a Nacho Food Truck there that served veggie/vegan nachos, which were REALLY yummy. They make everything themselves, and the chips are incredible. 1 plate of nachos is more than enough for one person, I was sooo filled. The bowl might look small, but there’s lots in it.”

    here’s a snap of the truck menu…

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Tags: ,
  • September 20th, 2011quarrygirldoomie's, LA restaurants

    if you want hearty vegan comfort food, there’s absolutely no better place in LA to get it than doomie’s home cookin in hollywood. the all vegetarian (and mostly vegan) restaurant recently reopened, and i swung by last week with the team from clara’s cakes to check them out. good god, it was all fantastic—after a plate of nachos, 2 burgers, a pulled pork sandwich, a ham & cheese croissant, and a massive brownie, we could barely walk.

    doomie himself was in the kitchen and was delighted to tell us that he was working on a new vegan cheese—one that stretches, melts, and tastes like the real thing. he’s already using it in the croissants, and offered to let us test it out on our burgers. hell yes.

    let me work backwards though, and start off by telling you about the croissant…

    vegan ham and cheese croissant $4

    the vegan croissants at doomie’s are gigantic—definitely big enough to be an entire meal—and they’re stuffed full of homemade vegan cheese and sliced soy ham. i used to love real ham and cheese croissants when i was a kid (gross, i know), and these really took me back to my childhood donut shop days. absolutely amazing. the flaky pastry shell was so “buttery” and realistic. and the cheese inside is eerily close to the real thing.

    vegan croissant the size of your head

    even if you eat yourself silly at doomie’s like i did, grab a croissant to go. they heat right up in the oven and taste as good as new.

    the new vegan cheese was just as insane on doomie’s already delicious burgers. check out how real this stuff looks…

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Tags: , , ,
  • August 30th, 2011quarrygirlLA restaurants, native foods

    the more i eat at native foods, the more i love it. ever since they opened up their new spacious location in culver city, i can’t stay away. they even have a rewards card program, and just last week i got an email saying i’d earned ten bucks worth of free food!

    i recently took my omnivorous sister and niece to native foods and they were impressed. seriously, they were shocked that it was vegan. have a look at what we ordered:

    chili cheese fries: seasoned potato fries smothered in homemade native chili. topped with native cheese and diced red onions. $5.95

    topped with meaty vegan chili and homemade “cheese,” these fries are not to be messed with.

    native nachos: homemade corn tortilla chips covered in black beans, native taco meat, native chipotle crema, native cheese, salsa fresca, and guacamole. topped with corn, green onions, and cilantro. $7.95

    we couldn’t decide between the chili fries and the nachos, so we got both. best decision ever.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Tags: , , ,
  • did y’all know that it’s international day of the nacho (look it up)?! and to celebrate, we’re bring you a quickie list of our 5 favorite places to get vegan nachos in los angeles! you should eat some today…you know, to honor the holiday. here we go:

    1.) veggie grill: uptown nachos

    Uptown Nachos Tortilla chips, chili, VG-cheese, corn salsa, avocado, soy cream, jalapenos … $4.95

    i think these nachos are the best, because they come with everything i love: daiya cheese, bean chili, salsa, avocado, soy sour cream, and jalapenos all on top of crispy chips. super good and SUPER cheap at under 5 bucks!

    2.) real food daily: not-chos

    better with cheddar nachos: Tortilla chips, melted cashew cheese, black beans, pico de gallo, guacamole, tofu sour cream. $11.75

    the not-chos at real food daily are BY FAR the best thing on the menu, and i have to order them every time i go. tortilla chips topped with the best homemade cashew cheese i’ve ever tasted, along with black beans, pico de gallo, guacamole, and tofu sour cream. you can add taco mix for an extra $2.75…but with an $11.75 base price, i think these nachos are expensive enough. pro tip: if you like spicy food, be sure to ask for the jalapeno cashew cheese!

    3.) hugo’s tacos: vegan nacho grande

    nacho grande (vegan): Freshly made tortilla chips topped with your choice of filling, choice of salsa, daiya cheese, topped with a dollop of guacamole. $5.92

    hugo’s tacos sells “normal” nachos, but if you request them with a vegetable filling and daiya cheese, they are instantly vegan. they use the italian blend daiya rather than cheddar, which may sound a little bit odd, but it’s surprisingly good! i get mine with the soyrizo, potato, and zucchini filling; along with the jalapeno hot sauce! the serving size is absolutely massive (enough for 2 people to share), yet only costs $5.92.

    4.) chili addiction: chili vegan addiction nachos

    Chili Addiction Nachos: Try our fabulous homemade corn tortilla chips (or potato chips) smothered with chili, VEGAN cheese, and diced jalapenos! $8

    what makes these nachos stand out are chili addiction’s phenomenal homemade chips and chili. the chips just taste incredibly fresh, and the chili is by far the best in town. you get a huge portion of those, plus a layer of daiya cheese, diced jalapenos, and onions for $8. if they would just melt the daiya a little, these things would be PERFECT.

    5.) mandoline grill: vegan vietnamese nachos

    vegan vietnamese nachos: tofu served over crispy corn tortilla chips topped with scallions, jalapeno, mint, cilantro, and sriracha aioli. $4.50

    a fresh take on vegan nachos, these don’t have any kind of fake cheese on them, but instead are covered with a creamy sriacha aioli. they also come with a healthy amount of mandoline’s amazing lemongrass fried tofu, scallions, mint, cilantro, and jalapeno. and at just $4.50, they’re an excellent value!

    those are our picks for the best vegan nachos we’ve actually tried in LA, but native foods has some brand new nachos as well that look amazing:

    Nuevo Native Nachos: Homemade corn tortilla chips covered in black beans, Native Taco Meat, Native Chipotle Crema, Native Cheese, salsa fresca, and guacamole. Topped with corn, green onions, and cilantro. $7.95

    these are definitely at the top of my list of foods i need to try. with both homemade chips and cheese, i bet they are spectacular!

    so let’s all go eat some vegan nachos tonight, and show everyone that the international day of the nacho doesn’t need to include meat or dairy. weeee!

  • August 5th, 2010brittanyLA restaurants, mandoline grill

    ok listen up people ’cause i have some BREAKING VEGAN NEWS. starting next week, the much beloved mandoline grill will be switching up their menu. first, their cha gio will be going away. this makes me incredibly sad because those delicious deep-fried rolls are a staple in addition to my mando sando every time i visit… but, they are being replaced by two awesome options! i’ve already told you about the secret tacos that are available on the truck, and well, they’re no longer going to be secret. the second item is brand-spanking new, and it is REALLY FUCKING GOOD: lemongrass tofu NACHOS!

    vegan lemongrass tofu nachos

    freshly fried tortilla chips, sriracha/vegenaise aioli, yummy lemongrass tofu, green onions, and fresh mint. i’m not a huge fan of mint leaves but these were so damn good, i didn’t even think twice about it. the tortilla chips… wow… i don’t know what made them so good but they were really some of the best i’ve had. i split these babies with some of my friends and everyone thought they were delish. i’m more than happy to switch out the cha gio with these!

    so be on the look out for the new menu items on your next trip to mandy grill… and if you haven’t been yet, wtf are you waiting for???

    Tags: ,
  • April 15th, 2010quarrygirlappetizers/snacks, products, recipes

    these nachos are the ultimate indulgence, and you seriously don’t have to be raw or even vegan to enjoy them.

    we’ve been toying around with raw foods for a few weeks now, and this has to be the richest most extravagant meal we’ve made at home. i suggest you give it at try—it puts most cooked vegan nachos to shame!

    here’s how you make ’em…

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Tags: ,
  • March 15th, 2010quarrygirlchili addiction, LA restaurants

    about a month ago, we wrote a post about the very awesome and vegan-friendly restaurant, chili addiction. well since then, they’ve expanded their animal-free offerings, and now even have a separate vegan menu!

    Chili Mac: Choose ANY of our delicious chili varieties as a topping on a bowl of elbow macaroni...a Midwest favorite. $8

    last week, i hit up chili addiction with brittany from sick of lettuce to check out the new menu, and the food did not disappoint! since i’d already tried the vegan chili cheese sausage (which is amazing), we went with all new stuff and ordered the chili mac and chili addiction nachos. we got the chili mac (pictured above) with soyrizo hominy chili and daiya cheese, and it was absolutely incredible. i’ve never had chili on top of noodles before, but i can promise you it’s a great combo. the homemade chili was super hearty and flavorful; by far the best vegan chili i’ve had in LA.

    Chili Addiction Nachos: Try our fabulous homemade corn tortilla chips (or potato chips) smothered with chili, VEGAN cheese, diced jalapenos, and sauteed onions! $6

    we ordered the nachos with the three bean vegan chili, and they were even better than the mac! if you are a fan of vegan nachos, chili addiction is your place, because they make both the chips and chili from scratch. these babies came smothered with tons of chili, daiya vegan cheese, jalapenos and onions. plus, the restaurant has a toppings bar where you can add more onions, jalapenos, and fresh cilantro.

    we also ordered a side of the sauerkraut, which was mind-blowingly tasty. like everything at chili addiction, this stuff was completely homemade and perfectly spiced. my only complaint is that i wanted more!

    Vegan Sauerkraut from scratch. $1

    so head on over to chili addiction as soon as you can and check out their new vegan menu. they’ve got chili dogs, nachos, and a whole slew of side dishes that you are sure to love.

    chili addiction
    408 N. La Cienega Blvd
    Los Angeles, CA 90048
    (323) 203-1793
    lunch 12pm-3pm
    dinner 5:30pm-9pm

    Tags: , ,
  • February 6th, 2010mr meanerbrighton, more restaurants (not LA)

    I live in Southern California where we have perfect year-round temperatures, palm trees and sun-drenched beaches. A Beach Cafe here looks like THIS:

    Paradise Cove Beach Cafe. Malibu, California

    (picture courtesy of flickr)

    Whereas a beach cafe in my home country of England looks, shall we say, a tad less exotic, especially on a rainy, blustery October day. However, while the Paradise Cove might LOOK attractive from the outside, what’s inside it is positively ugly. Tanks of dying “fresh seafood” – lobsters, crustaceans and even fish waiting to be plucked and cooked in boiling water.

    VBites, on the other hand, is a wonderful and entirely vegan cafe on the “English Riviera” at Hove, just west of Brighton on the South Coast. Yeah, there’s no sandy beach outside the door or palm trees waving in the wind but what’s inside will warm you right to your soul on the coldest of winter days.

    Once you walk through the doors of VBites, it’s like being transported to a city-center cafe like you’d find in London or New York. Bright colors adorn the walls, and everything is light wood, concrete, stainless steel or funky plastic. Right away, you know you’re somewhere different as the first thing you see is a large bar dining area with a “cupcake conveyor belt” rotating, you guessed it, many varieties of vegan cupcakes past your nose as you eat. It was off hours when we went there, so sadly the belt was not operational which is a pity.

    To the left of the bar is a children’s play area with soft mats and toys – a real boon to vegan parents who can pop their toddler in a safe environment and keep an eye on them while they eat. What a great idea!

    Towards the rear of the restaurant is the dining room which has a long bar down one side and comfortable tables along the other. Funky music, cool lighting and bright decor really did make me feel very urban, not at all like I was sitting a few feet form the beach.

    The huge menu is delightfully varied, and has to be one of the best I’ve ever seen at an entirely vegan restaurant. You can start the day with a tofu scramble or vegan full English breakfast, then eat your way through plenty of lighter options such as burgers, hot dogs, nachos, sandwiches, and salads. If you choose to go for a romantic dinner in the evening, there’s also a full-on lunch menu, and a long list of entrees (Italian, Indian, you name it!). Additionally, there’s a “build your own vegan pizza” option with tons of toppings, all baked on dough specially brought in from Italy.

    Nachos with soya melted cheese, salsa and guacamole. £4.75

    We opted for some down to earth comfort food: nachos followed by bangers and mash. The service was very fast and attentive, the food arrived extremely well presented, and didn’t hang around long on the table. The nachos were awesome – home baked chips, salsa, guacamole and cheezly cheese topped off with jalapenos and a lime.

    Soya bangers and mash with onion gravy. £6.95

    The traditionally English “bangers and mash” sincerely blew us away. Creamy, buttery mashed potatoes (probably the best I’ve had since becoming vegan) topped with three hearty VBites sausages and smothered in a rich, creamy onion gravy. I know my description sounds like something off a menu, but those adjectives are all highly accurate, I can assure you!

    Our only regret when we visited VBites is that we were on the south coast for just a few hours, and had to get back to London for the evening otherwise we would have tried far more things on the menu. On the way out there are fridges full of VBites food items (VBites is the brand formerly knows as Redwood Foods) so you can get many of the ingredients to take home and prepare. The bangers, cheezly, fake meats, burgers etc. are all available at the same prices you can pick them up in a supermarket.

    Oh, and talking of prices, VBites is remarkably inexpensive considering what you get. The portions are large, the prices are low and you’d usually expect to pay a heck of a lot more considering the beach location and standard of decor and service.

    Finally, there’s one more contrasting fact between our English version of a beach cafe and what exists in America: NO BEACH VIEW. Yeah, due to the crazy winds on English Channel there’s a large storm wall and built-up promenade between VBites and the sea.

    That’s not a bad thing, though, as our beaches are a lot less picturesque than the ones in Southern California. Just ask Holly Walsh who made this great video just a mile or two from VBites:

    I hate the seaside – Watch more Funny Videos

    Our friend Lex, at Vegan-LA/Vegan-Europe described VBites as “… like finding the gingerbread castle in a fairy tale. You’ll rub your eyes in disbelief.”. So true!

    Hove Lagoon, Kingsway, BN3 4LX
    01273 933757

    Tags: , , , ,
  • January 1st, 2010mr meanermore restaurants (not LA), NYC

    You can tell a classy lady just by looking at her, and the same is true of Manhattan’s Candle 79. Ensconced on a wide, tree-lined street in the affluent Upper East Side and surrounded by some of the world’s finest restaurants (and most expensive real estate), Candle 79 has incredibly sexy curb appeal and, like that classy lady, proves that beauty is not only skin deep but the real treasure is what lies within.

    On our recent visit, we were treated to some of the finest cuisine we’d ever experienced, in an atmosphere that rivals only Sublime in Fort Lauderdale (the East Coast’s only other vegan fine dining establishment). Probably because we reserved for 6pm and arrived a little early, we lucked out with a great table (actually, a large booth beside the cocktail bar).

    Our very attentive server ran over over the menu with us, explaining that the restaurant is entirely vegan, and if the menu said “cheese” or “ice cream” the ingredients were, in fact, vegan. Clearly, this explanation was somewhat reassuring! He then took our drink order, which was a reasonably priced bottle of organic Côtes du Rhône that arrived with a couple of small and complimentary appetizers of sliced zucchini, with a spicy vegetable-infused cream cheese combination atop. They were each gone in one scrumptious bite, and set a realistic expectation for the meal that was to come.

    It took us forever to decide what to order as everything on the menu looked astounding. In the end, we mixed up the flavors by going for a Mexican-style appetizer followed by American and Italian-style entrees.

    The appetizer was “Angel’s Nachos”, an incredible creation that tasted better than I remember vegetarian nachos being. Here in LA, we have a similar dish from Real Food Daily, which not only costs a few bucks more, but uses chips FROM A BAG (yes, the kind you’d get in a grocery store). Not at Candle 79, as these were freshly fried (one could taste the warm oil), and crunchy. Combined with the the vegetables and seitan created an amazing mouth texture, especially when mixed up with the layers of Daiya cheese, fresh guacamole, salsa and tofu sour cream. These are far and away the best vegan nachos we’d ever eaten, and are worth a trip to Candle 79 alone. Even if you have to walk all the way there from Downtown.

    Angel's Nachos: corn chips, cheddar and mozzarella, tomatoes, refried pinto beans, chili-grilled seitan, guacamole, salsa, tofu sour cream, romaine lettuce. $16

    Next up were the two entrees. We opted for the black-pepper grilled seitan, in honor of New York’s legendary prowess as the steak capital of the world. Oh, and this was amazing. I’d never had anything grilled with a balsamic base before, and this turned me on to a whole new avenue of taste. The texture of the seitan was very “grill-like”, with burned edges and a soft, succulent interior – rather like the descriptions I found online of high-end fillet steak.

    Black Pepper & Balsamic Grilled Seitan: sautéed haricots verts, leeks, almonds, cornmeal crusted onion rings, celeriac purée. $23

    This, combined with green beans, and a celery mashed potato-style base, all drizzled with a tasty and tangy sauce was an incredible mash-up (no pun intended!) of taste. I would be remiss not to mention the onion rings, which were perfectly crunchy and had a cornmeal batter, making them rather interesting, and a perfect compliment to the tasty seitan.

    So, after paying vegan homage to NYC’s steak-house history we decided to move things up a notch and go for something Italian-style, as Italian food is usually better here than in Italy itself (go ahead, argue in the comments). Our Italian-style entree was a mixture of succulent vegetables (mainly wild mushrooms) and porcini crusted tofu sauteed up a treat in a smooth and slightly sweet red wine sauce with a layered cheese and root vegetable gratin, all on a bed of spinach, soaked in the red wine sauce.

    Porcini Crusted Tofu: sauteed spinach, root vegetable gratin, wild mushrooms, red wine sauce. $22

    Again, an amazing intersection of taste and textures with perfectly cooked ingredients coming together in just the right way. The layered cheese thing was out of this world – I wish I knew exactly what it is as I’d be most interested in trying to create it myself. Not that I could, but it’s nice to pretend.

    Finally, for desert, we continued the Italian theme with a warm cannoli, filled with vanilla cream and topped with chocolate chip ice cream. The server also bought us some complimentary home-made ice cream (see later for why we got it for free), which went down extremely well with the cannoli. I think one of the successes of a vegan desert is that it should not taste “vegan”, and none of this stuff did. The vanilla filling was like a heavy-cream and powdered sugar filling in a non-vegan cannoli, and the ice cream tasted just like, well, very nice ice cream you’d buy in an up-market ice cream parlor. The desert was amazing, and we were very full upon leaving the restaurant.

    Cannoli: vanilla cream filling, vanilla chocolate chip ice cream, chocolate drizzle. $12

    On this visit, the service was excellent, but being early the place was only starting to fill up as we left. We tried to visit Candle 79 a year or so before, waited 30 minutes for our table (even after our allotted reservation time was up), got the shittiest table in the place and finally walked out after another 20 minutes as nobody came to serve us. Also, even on this trip, we did find the staff a little snooty – I don’t think they appreciated my bright yellow bobble-hat I wore upon arriving out of the 20 degree cold. When we ordered dessert, the server asked if it was our first trip to Candle 79, and we recounted (politely) our experience the first time around. He apologized, and kindly gave us some free ice cream “for your inconvenience last time”. See told you they were a little snooty, but this gesture was much appreciated.

    Homemade Ice Cream & Sorbet Sampler: chef's daily selection. $9

    Also, our server neglected to tell us they had any specials, and I listened to several other customers getting a run-down of some amazing-sounding specials. Not that I’m really upset as I liked what we ordered, but it would have been nice to have the same choices as the other guests. Maybe he was just too much in shock about my bobble hat…?

    So, to sum up, if you’re lucky and you get a nice table and a good server you will have one of the finest vegan dining experiences possible. Yeah it’s was pricey (our bill came to just shy of $150 with tip), but, like a classy lady, Candle 79 really is worth every penny.

    Candle 79
    154 East 79th Street
    New York, NY 10021
    (212) 537-7179

    Tags: , , , , , ,
  • December 16th, 2009quarrygirlLA restaurants, veggie grill

    vegan daiya cheeseburger at veggie grill

    listen up!! the veggie grill has invented some amazing new daiya cheese-filled recipes, and they are testing them out starting today at the el segundo location to see how they are received. i couldn’t resist heading over there this afternoon and ordering all 3 new menu items. every single one was absolutely awesome, and i implore you to go taste for yourself.

    first i tried the vg cheeseburger (pictured above), which is basically the standard v burger slathered with gooey cheese. this meal contains two of my favorite vegan products ever, daiya and gardein, and it sure is a winning combo. if you like cheeseburgers (even if you aren’t vegan!), you will love this thing…it’s thick, juicy, and cheesy as can be.

    vegan mac and cheese at veggie grill

    since the vg cheeseburger comes with a side, i ordered it with the new vegan mac and cheese. again, this stuff was made with daiya and it was really fucking good! i don’t know what veggie grill did to it, but this daiya was creamier than any i’ve ever tasted. i’m so used to having it chopped up and melted in little shreds, but in this it was completely smooth. plus, i think it had some jalapenos mixed in to give it a little kick. yum!

    vegan nachos at veggie grill

    lastly, i got an order of the nachos…and before you ask, no i did NOT eat all this at once!! i took most of it home and it’s in the fridge. the nachos were excellent, and are definitely my favorite of the new menu items. crisp tortilla chips covered in melty daiya and fully loaded with beans, salsa, guacamole, sour cream and cilantro….all for under 5 bucks!

    please take my advice and get out to the veggie grill el segundo location NOW. and if you can’t go now, be sure to go ASAP. the chick working the counter told me they are only trying out these menu items, and won’t keep them around if they don’t do well. i can tell you, they are amazing….so let’s make them do well.

    veggie grill
    plaza el segundo
    720 Allied Way
    El Segundo, CA 90245
    11am to 10pm

    oh and be sure to follow veggie grill on twitter to hear about stuff like this, that’s where they made an announcement about all the new menu items.

    Tags: , , , ,
  • June 3rd, 2009quarrygirllondon, more restaurants (not LA)

    of all the places i’ve dined in london, pogo cafe is definitely one of my favorites. the small co-operative acts as a hub for activism, a book trader, and one of the city’s few 100% vegan restaurants. there are a couple dining tables in the place as well as comfy couches, computer stations, and coffee tables covered with anti-government literature. all this stuff is really rad, but the best thing about pogo cafe is of course the delicious food. i’m talking really good, cheap vegan fare served in huge portions.

    punk burger: served with cheeze, mayo, rasher, tomato and lettuce in a bun. with potato wedges and a salad. £4.95

    punk burger: served with cheeze, mayo, rasher, tomato and lettuce in a bun. with potato wedges and a salad. £4.95

    when fellow vegan blogger melisser of the urban housewife heard i was going to london, she insisted i visit pogo cafe. after finding it on the map, i was put off by how far away it was (i had to take the tube plus a 45 minute bus ride to get there), and showed up with my husband not expecting much. however when the giant portions of appetizing food arrived, we knew pogo cafe was a winner, and our lunch there ended up being one of the best on our entire trip.

    my husband ordered a punk burger, which was hearty and tasty beyond belief. the thick vegan patty came topped with cheezly, mayo, vegetables, and a meatless “rasher,” or bacon as they call it here in america. he upgraded his burger to the meal option, which means they served it with a huge pile of spicy potato wedges and side of leafy greens. clocking in at under £6, this thing was a deal and an awful lot of food.

    nacho plate: organic corn & sesame tortilla chips, with homemade salsa, guacamole, sour "cream" & melted cheeze. (GF) £3.90

    nacho plate: organic corn & sesame tortilla chips, with homemade salsa, guacamole, sour "cream" & melted cheeze. (GF) £3.90

    i ordered the nacho plate, which was an impressive mound of chips topped with fresh salsa, guacamole, vegan sour cream and melted cheezly. i was so excited when my plate arrived and it was covered in cheezly, one of my favorite vegan cheeses that is almost impossible to come by in the states. it had an amazing rich cheese flavor, and it actually melted. i seriously think this is the best plate of nachos i’ve ever had in my life, and it was only £3.90! how is it that a couple of DIY kids in a tiny kitchen can make me a lunch this amazing, but fully staffed restaurants in fancy facilities can’t turn out something half this good?


    one thing to note about pogo cafe, although it is awesome in almost every way, is that some of the staff can be snobby cunts. you see, my husband is english, and i’m american and we both placed our orders out loud. the minute i placed mine, the dude taking them turned to his fellow co-worker and started bad mouthing americans and barack obama. it’s like he was being intentionally rude and shit talking the (soon to be at that time) president, in hopes to offend me. whatever douche, i don’t care if obama is too conservative for you, i just want some fucking nachos. phew, rant over.

    all rude staff aside (and just one dude was rude, mind you, the rest of the staff were lovely), pogo cafe serves such good food you would be a fool not to eat there when in london. i didn’t get a chance to try their desserts, but i hear they are amazing as well. i can’t wait to return to pogo cafe again, i will definitely stop by there on my next trip across the pond.


    pogo cafe
    76 Clarence Road
    London E5 8HB
    020 8533 1214
    Wed-Sat. 12:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
    Sun. 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.

    Tags: , , , , , , , ,
  • March 13th, 2009quarrygirlbirmingham, more restaurants (not LA)

    of all the incredible restaurants we visited on our recent trip to england, the warehouse cafe in birmingham stood out as one of the best. the warehouse cafe is an entirely vegetarian co-op with a bookstore on the bottom floor and a kick-ass veg restaurant upstairs. they have a passion for the environment and serve up meatless meals containing local and sustainable ingredients that taste bloody brilliant—their vegan junk food and pub fare is completely unmatched. we went for the nachos, burgers, chips and pies…no room for salad. the guilty vegan pleasures at warehouse tasted so amazing…melty cheese and buttery crusts like i haven’t experienced since i was a teenager. wowee!

    nachos grande (vegan): organic hand fried tortilla chips, jalapeno chillies, melted mature cheddar, and salsa. £3.95

    nachos grande (vegan): organic hand fried tortilla chips, jalapeno chillies, melted mature cheddar, and salsa. £3.95

    to start, we ordered the vegan nachos, which were nothing short of incredible. the homemade chips were sinfully greasy and thick…not to mention the melty and creepily convincing cheese. total guilty pleasure x 1000.

    organic vegan burger special with garlic and mushrooms.

    organic vegan burger special with garlic and mushrooms.

    the husband ordered the burger special, which was also above and beyond. a thick vegan patty with soy vegan cheese, sauteed vegetables, and chunky homemade fries made this dish one not to miss. we ordered it off the specials board, but the burger is available on the normal menu, it just normally doesn’t come with the mushrooms.

    warehouse cafe special: leek pie served with garden peas and chips.

    warehouse cafe special: leek pie served with garden peas and chips.

    lastly, i again ordered off the specials menu and went for the leek pie. holy mother, this shit was traditional pub food done just right but veganized…right down to the rich, greasy crust and huge steaming chips.


    the insides were prepared absolutely perfectly…i’m talking really succulent mushrooms in a moist but crispy-on-the-edges buttery crust and creamy beer-flavored sauce. everything we tried from warehouse’s menu was waaaaaay beyond delicious.

    in addition to serving up excellent, traditional, and entirely vegetarian/vegan-friendly food, warehouse cafe was charming in the fact that it was run by a shared co-op which includes an environmentally-conscious bookstore located below the restaurant, and all the staff rotate and share ownership. literature on making our world a better place is scattered everywhere…in the dining hall, in the bookshop, and even in the bathroom (where there are 3 different ways to dry your hands, and pamphlets on each method explaining its effects on the environment).

    the warehouse cafe is a little hole-in-the-wall that caught me off guard with its sweetness, its consciousness, and its ridiculously tasty vegan food. i will return to this place every single chance i have, because it’s so fucking special. if you find yourself in the uk, it’s totally worth taking a trip to birmingham to visit this place.

    warehouse cafe birmingham

    warehouse cafe birmingham

    the warehouse cafe
    54-57 Allison Street
    Birmingham B5 5TH
    0121 633 0261
    Monday to Saturday
    11 a.m. til 10 p.m. (last food orders at 9 p.m.)
    11 a.m. til 6 p.m. (last food orders at 5.00 p.m.)

    Tags: , , , ,
  • February 7th, 2009quarrygirldoomie's, LA restaurants

    if you are a vegan in los angeles, you may already be aware of the depressing fact that doomie’s home cookin’ (one of our favorite restaurants ever) has closed its doors. they are currently looking for a new place to set up shop, but for now doomie’s is no more. you still have one last chance to eat doomie’s food though, you can head over to silver lake tomorrow and pay ten bucks for an epic all-you-can-eat vegan feast.

    2 flavors of doomie's vegan mac n cheese!

    2 flavors of doomie's vegan mac n cheese!

    doomie’s is throwing two parties this weekend, both all-you-can-eat buffets to get rid of their perishable food, and to remind the vegan community what a kick ass restaurant they were. i attended the shindig today in south gate, and it was fucking amazing. i implore you to go check them out on the eastside tomorrow, this could be your last chance to eat the genius vegan food that is doomie’s.

    doomie's home cookin', squatting in the m-vision graphics warehouse in south gate.

    doomie's home cookin', squatting in the m-vision graphics warehouse in south gate.

    we drove all the way from hollywood to get our doomie’s fix and arrived in south gate at around 3:30pm. by the time we got there, the place was already buzzin’ with vegan hipsters carrying patch-covered backpacks and strange old hippie types with animal rights slogans printed on their t-shirts. there was a box for payment, ten bucks a head, sitting on the table and everyone was on the honor system to kick down some cash and hopefully a donation towards the reopening fund. doomie was standing behind a long table, cooking dish after dish, adding more and more food to the buffet table as people lined up pile their plates high with vegan goodness.

    the doomie crew serving it up!

    the doomie crew serving it up!

    hungry vegans!

    hungry vegans!

    everything on the table was flat-out delicious, and even as we were leaving, doomie was cooking up more recipes. i looked around the warehouse and almost everyone was holding an empty plate, patting their stuffed bellies, and still eyeing up the trays of food. people who had never tried doomie’s found a reason to be depressed like the rest of us; the food is just so fucking good, and it’s a shame it won’t be available anymore.

    spicy gumbo, herbed macaroni and cheese, delicious pot roast

    spicy gumbo, herbed macaroni and cheese, delicious pot roast

    the husband and i tried to sample a bit of everything, and i think we left about ten pounds heavier. pictured above are the spicy seafood gumbo, a new type of herbed mac n cheese, as well as a hearty pot roast. all of it was very tasty, but the pot roast was out of this world. seriously, the fake meat was all thick and succulent, the gravy was rich and salty, and the vegetables were chunky and and soft. pot roast may sound kind of standard or boring, but this was some of the best food i’ve ever eaten. and i’ve eaten a lot of food, man!

    i also finally got to try doomie’s standard mac n cheese, and OMFG i LOVED it!

    mac n cheese with salad.

    mac n cheese with salad.

    this was some of the best vegan mac i’ve ever had. this could take the pepsi challenge with any other vegan mac n cheese shit, any day of the fuckin’ week. what the hell does doomie put in his cheese sauce? it was so thick and creamy, and tasted like REAL cheese in a really creepy and exciting way. i could have eaten like 5 helpings…but with all that food there, i had pace myself. the salad was also damn good.

    doomie's burger, piled high with bacon and slathered with cheese.

    doomie's burger, piled high with bacon and slathered with cheese.

    in between cooking amazing mac n cheese and quite possibly the best pot roast ever, doomie was taking special burger orders as well. the husband and i split a cheesy bacon burger and it was INSANE. they had chili burgers as well, but we skipped those because of the mess factor. regardless, our burger was awesome—from the perfectly grilled patty, to the crispy rashers of bacon, to the runny cheese sauce. i am so glad we got to try it. the crowd was super pleased as well, everyone i saw with burgers shoved in their mouths were chewing and smiling at the same time.

    frito pie! fritos smothered with chili and cheese.

    frito pie! fritos smothered with chili and cheese.

    lastly, we helped ourselves to a serving of frito pie. it was basically chili cheese nachos with fritos instead of tortilla chips. talk about guilty pleasure. i don’t even want to think of what went into this dish…all i know is that it didn’t contain any dead animal body parts, and it tasted incredible. again, the cheese sauce was killer…it tasted just like that sketchy but tasty runny stuff that comes out of a pump and covers nachos at the movie theater or the baseball stadium. sinfully authentic vegan food. i love it.

    that’s it. i tried, but i couldn’t eat anymore. as we were leaving, doomie was well into cooking some mashed potatoes and asked someone, “hey, where are the pie crusts?” we took that as our cue to run for the door. dude, too much good food! and whatever the heck involved mashed potatoes and pie crusts, well, i’m sure that was great too.

    so go, go, go, GO to silver lake tomorrow and eat what doomie has to offer. who knows, this may be your last chance. i can tell you, you will definitely get your ten bucks worth and probably eat some of the best vegan food you’ve ever tried. go there, eat lots, and tip well. you and doomie both deserve it.


    R.I.P. DOOMIE’S HOME COOKIN’ (at least for now). let’s hope doomie’s reopens again very soon. here’s to arguably the best restaurant ever to serve up affordable and tasty vegan food in los angeles. it’s an outright crime that they were only open for 3 short months.

    for all of you who want to reminisce, click here. and here.

    Tags: , , , , , , ,
  • January 5th, 2009quarrygirlLA restaurants, real food daily

    a couple of weeks ago, i had the pleasure of eating a much anticipated lunch with fellow vegan blogger, foodeater of to live and eat in la. we had been planning a meal of epic proportions for quite sometime and finally chose real food daily in west hollywood as the location for our feast. after all, it’s pretty fancy and very well-reviewed. plus, i never get a chance to go there because mr. meaner, my dining partner and the other half of this blog, fucking hates the place!

    since we considered the lunching of quarrygirl and foodeater a pretty special occasion, we decided to share a decadent appetizer to start, the better with cheddar nachos.

    better with cheddar nachos: Tortilla chips, melted cashew cheese, black beans, pico de gallo, guacamole, tofu sour cream. $11.75

    better with cheddar nachos: Tortilla chips, melted cashew cheese, black beans, pico de gallo, guacamole, tofu sour cream. $11.75

    i have heard a ton of good things about real food daily’s nachos, and i can add to the hype by saying they were very tasty. the plate was huge and overflowing with crispy chips, black beans and guacamole. we just about finished it all off between the two of us, and i seriously have no idea how we still had room for any entrees.


    although we ate them right up, i gotta say, somethings about the nachos were a let-down for me. the cashew cheese wasn’t anything like real cheese; it had no melty texture, it was more of a just a yellowish sauce. plus, we ordered jalapeno cheese, and while there was a slight hint of flavor, it really wasn’t spicy at all. while the cashew sauce wasn’t bad, i was just expecting something more thick and well…cheesy. similarly, the tofu sour cream was a little disappointing. it was drizzled over the top of the nachos, when i was wanting something more like a big blob of sour cream. the guacamole and black beans were perfect though, and the nachos were overall yummy, even if they weren’t what i expected. worth 12 bucks?…maybe.

    after piling half a ton of nachos down my gob, i decided to stick with the mexican theme and order some enchiladas.

    el bandito rojo: Corn enchiladas, seasoned tempeh, salsa roja, Spanish rice, black beans, pico de gallo, tofu sour cream, guacamole $13.95

    el bandito rojo: Corn enchiladas, seasoned tempeh, salsa roja, Spanish rice, black beans, pico de gallo, tofu sour cream, guacamole $13.95

    i love ordering mexican food whenever i can, because in most restaurants the stuff is riddled with chicken fat and lard. real food daily’s fine-dining take on the classic enchiladas was pretty decent. the soft corn tortillas were delicate, filled with all kinds of unusual vegetables, and slathered in a rich red sauce. again, the tofu sour cream was almost nonexistent and a little disappointing. the guacamole and the salsa were amazing, as was the light and healthy-tasting enchilada filling. i can’t even place what it consisted of, but i know it was a blend of RFD’s delicious crumbled tempeh and assorted vegetables including onions and chilis. although this was a million miles away from the old-school mex enchiladas i’m used to, it was still tasty in its own right. but honestly, not worth 14 bucks.

    the lovely foodeater went a completely different route with her entree, but i will let her tell you all about it when she does a write-up on her blog. going into this lunch, i definitely planned on getting some dessert, especially since my last birthday cake from RFD was so bloody delicious. unfortunately, though, we were so full after all the nachos and main courses that we just couldn’t stomach it. oh well, i guess that just gives me an excuse to go back.

    overall, the food i had on this visit to real food daily was very tasty. it wasn’t incredible or spectacular though, and not worth the insane prices. i sooooo don’t mind paying a lot if i am getting something really special, and RFD just didn’t quite deliver. plus, they sat us at a really crappy table next to the bathrooms and kitchen, and there was a huge distracting ruckus going down right on the other side of the wall. the service was great though, and the presentation was beautiful, so i will definitely be back to real food daily to give it another try.

    Tags: , , ,
  • « Older Entries