Due to its proximity to Los Angeles, a short journey to the desert is always on the horizon for the most trivial or celebratory events. My first stop whenever I go to Vegas is always Ronald’s Donuts so I can stock up on donuts for the duration of the trip and to take back home. After Ronald’s, we decided to make another short drive in order to try Pura Vida. After passing through an industrial sector, I managed to spot Pura Vida on the opposite side of the street, overlooking vacant lots and surrounded by empty business. This sector is certainly an unlikely place to find delicious vegan food, but after searching through their website and a handful of Yelp reviews I knew we were going to be in good hands. It appears the menu on weekends is mostly focused on “Sweet” rather than “Savory”. Seeing as how we were in the mood for “Savory” we decided to forego the waffles and ask for some recommendations. Our server was very accommodating, along with Chef Myra, who personally came out to assist us and explain what she could make for us.
Spinach/Tofurky Sausage/Daiya QuesadillaTags: cake, field report, las vegas, quesadilla, wrap
One of my pet peeves when dining out is ordering an item that you could easily make at home. For this reason, I don’t think I have ever ordered a vegan quesadilla at a restaurant. However, I have to say this quesadilla was fantastic, easily better than any I have made at home. I could try to duplicate it, but I doubt it would be as delicious….
Situated on a quiet street next to a coffee shop in Southeast Portland, Hungry Tiger Too looks at first glance like any other neighborhood bar. However, in addition to the usual bar accoutrements of beer, fries and TVs, Hungry Tiger Too has a HUGE vegan menu, serving an array of awesome animal-free bar food morning, noon and night.
On our recent trip to PDX we grabbed a seat at the bar, ordered a beer and started to scan the vegan section of the menu. As usual in Portland, though, we were torn between so many amazing menu items that we over-ordered, somewhat and ended up spending way more time there than we expected to. Anywhere else, this would have been a problem, but Hungry Tiger Too is just so wonderful that we were delighted to eat and drink the afternoon away within its hallowed walls.
First up was the vegan quesadilla appetizer: a super rendition of the popular Mexican-influenced dish. Liberal helpings of tomatoes, onions, spinach, cilantro and vegan cheese filled up our vegan bellies in no time, so we were forced to have another beer while waiting to order our main dish.
Well, one beer became two, then three after we played some pinball and goofed around in the photo booth. Next up were main courses, the Montecore Burger, and Home Made Biscuits and Gravy.
Let’s get this out right now: The burgers on the menu are all based on the ubiquitous vegan Boca Burger, which at first had me thinking “WTF? I can make one of these at home!”. Well, I could (and I tried, see later) but it couldn’t be anywhere near this tasty. The Montecore was a fusion of zesty garlic, spicy jalapeno and an smooth sauteed mushroom/onion topping that was to die for.
Add in some fresh trimmings (tomato, lettuce and onions), and this was one hearty vegan burger. Throw in the included side of incredible vegan potato salad, and for only $8.75 you have one of the most delicious and best value meals I’ve ever eaten.
As we were already full after the quesadilla we ordered the Biscuits and Gravy as a kinda side for the burger (at only $4, how big could it possibly be?). Very big is the answer. Very tasty too.
Creamy vegan mushroom and sausage sauce, smothering two crispy and moist biscuits was a winning combination.
After another beer, and another, we were finally able to finish all the food, and stagger out of the bar to our hotel.
Later on in the evening, the reality of our experience hit us: We’d just enjoyed a great afternoon in a real bar with awesome beers and completely filling, decadent cruelty-free food.
I can tell you this: After buying and cooking a bunch of Boca Burgers from Coscto, I’ve never come close to approximating the taste of that awesome burger. If I lived in Portland, I’d probably visit Hungry Tiger Too at least once, or twice a day week.
Awesome bar, awesome staff, awesome beers, awesome food. DUUUH?! Vegans: Go there now.
Hungry Tiger Too
207 SE 12th Ave Portland, OR 97214
Tags: alcohol, bars, beer, beer, burger, oregon, pdx, portland, quesadilla
October 27th, 2009products
have you tried match premium meat alternatives yet? this stuff is insane.
recently match sent me some samples to try, and i used their very versatile “chicken” to whip up some vegan quesadillas.
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.
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.Tags: daiya, fake cheese, fake meat, match, mexican, quesadilla, what you sick people come here for
today, we bring you a special report on red velvet cafe in las vegas, a casual restaurant with a very vegan-friendly menu. you may remember that recently one of our secret quarrygirl.com operatives relocated to sin city, and sent us an in-depth undercover report on the breaking news that whole foods in las vegas was offering vegan pizza with daiya cheese. well now, our secret operative is back with another vegan vegas discovery…proving once again that there is much more than just ronald’s donuts to eat in the desert. over the weekend, our operative teamed up with another agent and ate the hell out of red velvet cafe, and they sent us a write-up and pictures to prove it.
here is some of the vital information we gathered from their report:
-the server was super nice, helpful and answered or found the answer to our million questions. seeing that it was his 3rd day, i would have told myself to fuck off. he said everything was able to be made vegan besides the caprese salad, but that it could be made vegetarian.
-appetizer: avocado strips. they were pressed in a panini press, crispy shell and such gooey cheese, i was convinced it was daiya.
-at this point i was asking so many questions that the owner came over and said their vegan cheese was made from scratch. he did note that they used the same ingredients as daiya, but the texture, taste and feel was identical…it was too on point.
-lunch item #1: the buffalo chicken wrap. this was 100% hands down the best wrap i have ever had anywhere, PERIOD!
-the sauce was ranch and buffalo mixed, tangy and spicy at the same time. the chicken chunks where huge and the sandwich left my mustache and hands so messy, i needed a wet wipe. LMFL
-lunch item #2: tuna salad. so good as well. it was made with faux meat and not tofu so it had texture and it wasn’t overpowered with too much mayo, it was perfect.
dessert: face off between red velvet cupcake and chocolate chip cupcake. both operatives agreed, the red velvet won the challenge. super creamy sweet frosting and moist cake. a staple.
other fun things:
-there were 2 big flat screen tv’s, unfortunately they were playing sports.
-magazines everywhere (as can see pictured below, secret operative #2 is reading the fall fashion issue of vogue).
-as we were leaving someone was picking up a huge vegan cake… bday possibly.
-if red velvet served beer or were BYOB it would be heaven.
—–over and out—-
a very special thanks to our secret operatives who took the time to eat and document all this food.
so there you have it. a very glowing report of red velvet cafe from our field agents in las vegas. in fact, i even got a phone call from our operative immediately after he ate there, and he said red velvet was the best food he’d had during his entire stay in vegas, AND was better than most of the vegan food available in los angeles. that’s a bold statement, and a strong endorsement if i ever heard one.
i can’t wait to get to vegas and check this place out.
red velvet cafe
7875 W. Sahara Ave.
Suite 103 / 104
Las Vegas, NV 89117
Mon-Sat. 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.Tags: cupcakes, las vegas, quesadilla, tuna, vegan cheese, wrap
one of the things i miss most since becoming vegan is mexican food. even though it’s getting easier to find places that refrain from sneaking chicken stock and lard into just about everything, i’ve still been looking for somewhere to re-create that greasy, cheesy, mexican goodness that i miss from when i was a vegetarian. well guess, what….i found it! mama’s hot tamales cafe, located right at the southern border of macarthur park, is serving up the best vegan mexican food in los angeles, melty vegan cheese and all.
for a while, vegans in the know have raved about mama’s hot tamales’ animal-free options. for ages, the restaurant has been serving up tofu alternatives to tortas and burritos, vegan tamales, tostadas, appetizers and salads. but recently, as i learned in the quarrygirl forums, mama’s started carrying daiya vegan cheese…so now practically any menu item containing dairy can be veganized. OH MY WURD, this is such a breakthrough. things like quesadillas and enchiladas, that have been off limits to vegans forever, are now available at mama’s. and really amazing versions of these foods as well. if you don’t already know how earth-shatteringly good daiya is, you should.
we hit up mama’s hot tamales cafe over the weekend and went all out with our order. i wanted to try as much cheesy stuff as possible, plus get a tamale of course, because that’s mama’s most famous dish! we started with the mini quesadilla appetizer, and added mushrooms and spinach to it as well. the vegan version came with the choice of cheddar or white daiya cheese, and we went with cheddar.
all i can say about this appetizer is, it’s one of the tastiest, most convincing cheese dishes i’ve had since becoming vegan. the daiya was gooey, melty, and perfectly oily with a real authentic cheddar flavor. it mixed up just great with the spinach leaves and tiny mushrooms, all pressed into a slightly crunchy cooked tortilla. mexican perfection, i’m telling you.
for my main dish, i got something that haunts most vegans’ dreams: cheese enchiladas. i never thought i’d be able to eat a cheese enchilada again, that actually tasted decent, like it was filled with real cheese. well this did.
three soft corn tortillas wrapped around huge clumps of daiya and topped off with even more melted cheese. again, i chose cheddar for this because it seemed more authentic, but if you like daiya white cheese you can get that in your enchiladas as well. these enchiladas were nothing short of wonderful. this may be the best use of daiya i’ve had yet, mama’s got it spot on, just melty enough with just the right amount of cheese. if you hit up mama’s hot tamales, be sure to order these enchiladas no matter what…words can’t describe how much they rocked my world.
at a mere seven bucks, these enchiladas were a steal. not only was the portion size large, but they also came with a huge mound of rice and a spinach salad. not just a dinky side salad, but a full on plate of spinach leaves and vegetables with guacamole dressing. amazing.
my husband ordered the vegan version of the tofu burrito, with a blend of cheddar and white melted daiya on top.
the thing was absolutely massive and stuffed with beans, rice, and huge chunks of tofu. unlike normal burritos with soft little squares of tofu, the tofu in this one was marinated nicely and cut into large strips. it had so much flavor and really worked as a filling. again, the daiya cheese in and on top of the burrito was absolutely incredible. no complaints about this dish at all.
lastly we shared a black bean and herb tamale, which was a great deal at just $2.50.
the fluffy corn mass came wrapped in a banana leaf and contained a thick mixture of black beans and leafy herbs. the masa dough was so insanely light and fluffy, if you like tamales, you will love the way mama makes them. there were plenty of other vegan options to choose from, and the menu rotates daily. i can’t wait to try some of her other flavors.
in addition to having amazing vegan food and low prices, the staff at mama’s is extremely friendly as well. as we walked in, mama introduced herself and went over the menu with us in a way that showed she really cared. every server that brought something to our table was courteous and engaging. they all seemed like great, genuinely nice people.
mama’s hot tamales cafe isn’t in a great part of town, but they are only open during the day and they have parking, so don’t let the shady factor stop you from going there. once you walk through mama’s doors, you are in a warm, clean, welcoming environment full of smiles and awesome vegan food.
so make plans to go to mama’s hot tamales cafe ASAP. the fact that they have daiya isn’t printed yet on the physical menu, but be sure to ask for it and mama will take care of you. i can’t stress enough that this is the BEST MEXICAN FOOD i’ve had since becoming vegan. don’t miss out on it.
and a special shout out to lucysnowe from the forums for reminding me to check this place out. 🙂
mama’s hot tamales cafeTags: burrito, daiya, enchiladas, macarthur park, mexican, quesadilla, tamale
2124 W 7th St
Los Angeles, CA 90057-4001
open 7 days 11:00am-3:30pm
UPDATED! turns out the vegan cheese at this place IS vegan, although i was skeptical. scroll to the near end of the post, update is in bold.
lemme tell ya about a lunch gone wrong with a very happy ending. a few days ago, me and my homie, vegan chef/blogger extraordinaire jennshaggy, made a pilgrimage to the mid-city chili factory earle’z grill which is believed to have tons of vegan options. we lined up when we got there, super hungry and high off all the positive vegan-friendly yelp reviews…very ready to be impressed. unfortunately when we got to the front of the queue, the cashier told us that the only vegan thing on the menu was “vegan cake”. all the veggie dogs and burgers were possibly vegan in their own right, but the buns contained dairy. fuck. we bailed and drove back down crenshaw racking our brains for a new place to eat. luckily, jennshaggy is like a an encyclopedia of all things vegan, so she tapped into her super computer brain and lead us to sky’s gourmet tacos on pico.
sky’s gourmet tacos is a small sit-down mexican restaurant with an extensive vegetarian menu that can be made vegan upon request. dude, right down to fake meat and soy cheese, sky’s gourmet tacos has got it going on. the woman there seemed pretty knowledgeable as well; before we even asked she assured us that the soy cheese was vegan and i heard her instruct the kitchen to cook our food on “the vegetarian grill”. awesome. we ordered a ton of food and shared it, and everything was completely off the hook.
the veggie taco comes with the choice of vegan soyrizo-type meat or tofu. we went with the tofu and it was absolutely incredible. it was covered in delicious seasonings that turned it bright orange and gave it a very spicy flavor. the thing that took this taco over the edge though, was the hot sauce. sky has their own mild salsa that we couldn’t get enough of…even though the food was covered in it, we kept going to the counter and requesting more. so damn good!
we also ordered the veggie torta which was filled with chopped up and seasoned vegan meat along with beans, salsa, vegetables and soy cheese. this sandwich was a lot different from the amazing vegan torta at pure luck, but every bit as good. the bread was really soft and bendable, kind of like a huge store-bought hamburger bun, and it was cooked and covered in delicious orange spices (you really can’t pick this thing up without getting it all over you). the vegan meat inside was incredibly tasty–huge chunks of soy protein oozing with mexican flavor. packed with so many fresh vegetables and juicy beans, the torta is definitely a bit messy, but so worth the cleanup.
the veggie burrito caught us a bit off guard because it wasn’t wrapped. check out the picture below…doesn’t it look like a massive taco?? it was prepared just like the taco as well. it had basically the same stuff in it, except i ordered it with vegan meat instead of tofu, and it came in flour instead of corn tortillas. i definitely liked it, but i prefer a more traditional burrito experience.
lastly we got the veggie quesadilla with vegan cheese which was basically melted soy cheese sandwiched between two huge tortillas, then covered with beans, vegan meat, and more un-melted cheese. it was so massive, we didn’t even make it through half of it.
the vegan soy cheese didn’t taste like follow your heart, which kind of raised our suspicions but it definitely didn’t stretch like most soy cheese that contains dairy. it was strange. check out the picture below, it didn’t quite melt but it sure tried. although the texture wasn’t quite right, the taste melted was really good, which made us even more suspicious. after reading the post on sick of lettuce about vegan restaurants selling non-vegan cheese, i’m thinking we should treat all fake cheese as suspect. so although the lady at the restaurant told us this cheese was vegan, and she was very knowledgeable and even cooked the food on separate grills, you may want to avoid this soy cheese because i can’t tell you what brand it is. i don’t think i would order this again in the future, although it was really good. what do you think? should all “vegan” cheese be avoided if you don’t know the brand? where do the other vegans stand on this?
UPDATE: the vegan cheese is vegan! after reading this post, the resourceful vegyogini took it upon herself to email sky’s gourmet tacos directly and find out what brand of vegan cheese they use. it turns out they use follow your heart…maybe i just didn’t recognize it because it was coated in flour? it all makes sense now, considering the soy cheese didn’t quite melt. phew, the vegan cheese appears to be safe so go for it!
so there you have it, an great mexican restaurant with a huge vegetarian menu that can be veganized…what more do you require? the food is damn good as well. i think i will be spending many a lunch at sky’s gourmet tacos in days to come. and for you vegan cheese skeptics, just order everything without the cheese. the burritos, tacos and tortas would be just as tasty without it. get your vegan asses over to sky’s gourmet tacos. you will not regret it. and special thanks to jennshaggy for remembering this place, she turned our lunch fail into a lunch win.
sky’s gourmet tacos
5408 West Pico Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA. 90019
P.S. stay away from earle’z grill and don’t believe people when they tell you about all the great vegan options. it just ain’t true.Tags: burrito, mexican food, mid-city, pico, quesadilla, taco, torta
UPDATE: since this post, the vegan spot has CLOSED. a new vegetarian cafe has taken its place. this is very sad news indeed. there is no more vegan spot…but i will leave the original post up below for those of you who want to reminisce.
apparently, the legendary vegan spot on sunset is up for sale. for fucking SALE. that’s right, the restaurant is listed with the price of a whoppin’ $75K on none other than the trusted real estate source craigslist.org. you heard me right. craigslist. the place you’d normally go to sell your old TV, find a roommate, or get some hot m4w/ww4m/t4mw action is now the same site you can hit up to buy your fave vegan restaurant. ahhhhh…the wonderous internet.
so why, then? why is a restaurant that makes the best vegan sandwiches in town, meals that everyone and their mom has been blogging about, up and selling themselves overnight? i don’t have the answer. all i know is we should all get over there and eat like 8 million sandwiches. pronto.
funny, i was just at the vegan spot last night, would you believe? and i was already half way through writing a post about how in just one week since my last glowing review, the portions and quality of the food have gotten even better (which i didn’t think was possible)! i tried some new stuff, tried some old stuff, and it was all better than anything i’d tried before.
starting with the new stuff. for those of you who love melty vegan cheese that tastes exactly like real cheese, i recommend the quesadilla. the vegan spot switches it up and makes their quesadilla with mozz instead of cheddar, which is a totally welcome change…especially combined with with red onion, spinach and mushrooms. absolutely divine.
i’ve had myself some pretty impressive vegan quesadillas, and this is by far the best. the vegan spot’s amazing ability to capture the essence of melting cheese doesn’t stop at just the sandwiches. they’ve got it nailed between a greasy tortilla as well. and all the vegetables in this thing were nothing less than scrumptious! i could have eaten like 8 quesadillas at least. fuck you, vegan spot…your food is too awesome for mortals.
not to be outdone, the vegan burger at the vegan spot is as good as any i’ve eaten before. it rivals m café, follow your heart and all our favorites as the best vegan burger in town. luscious, hearty, and most importantly homemade, this patty brought it. SO GOOD. i could eat like ten of these. oh, and for an extra buck you can add SOY CHEESE. mmmmmmmmmmmMMMMmmmelty and wonderful; beyond worth the $1.
this thing was off the chain. it seems like every single thing i order from the vegan spot menu is better than the thing i tried before, without fail. i would put this right up there with their other cheesy sandwiches.
oh, and did i mention, the same chef salad that i raved about last week has gotten even better?
it’s more (fake) meaty and much, much huger. you gotta check it out. i’m sure the other salads rock as well…i just can’t help but get this one every time. here is a pic of the latest version.
that salad launched me into a 6 hour food coma and the best sinking feeling of my life. well done. even more fantastic than last time.
if you haven’t tried the vegan spot, haul your ass over there as soon as you can. it’s quickly becoming my favorite restaurant, although i’ve never actually dined in and they don’t serve beer. what can i say, the food just speaks for itself. so good.
so, on a final note: anyone who has some money, click on the about page of this site and send me an email. i’m thinking that if enough of us get together, we can buy this awesome vegan restaurant and eat ourselves into oblivion.Tags: quesadilla, salad, veganmofo, veggie burger
this weekend after drinking way too many pints of premium cask ale at the newest and greatest bar in town, we decided to sober up by walking a few blocks and grabbing take-out from truly vegan (another one of the many vegan/thai restaurants with the word vegan in its name). it’s a good thing we opted to get our food to go, because the atmosphere inside truly vegan is kind of dank and depressing…especially for a saturday night. tiny tables with advertisements shoved underneath the glass line the dingy light pink walls and look out on a crappy stretch of hollywood boulevard. plus, the servers are really rude and snappy. anyways, don’t let that discourage you. the food is pretty damn good.
drinking good beer works up quite an appetite, so we decided to get a bunch of dishes and share them. it turned out to be a pretty stellar feast, starting with the quesadilla. one of the better vegan cheese experiences i’ve had dining out, it was perfectly melty and gooey. even after the drive home, it just needed a few seconds in the microwave to warm it up and give it the right texture.
next, we divided up an order of sushi. light, refreshing and crisp vegetables were the perfect compliment to the sinful quesadilla. this sushi was so freakin’ healthy, it didn’t even have rice in it!
lastly, we split the modest soy pepper steak wrap between us. it was alright, nothing to rave about or anything. at least it came with tahini!
personally, i’m not a fan of whatever sugary sauce they use to flavor the soy steak. it’s way too sweet. also, the wrap is pretty small and you only get like 4 little blobs of steak. a jip at 7 bucks, if you ask me.
overall, truly is pretty solid. definitely a good bet if you want some take-out in the area. the quesadilla and sushi were on point…i’d avoid the pepper steak wrap in the future. i wouldn’t recommend eating in from the looks of the place. i’d rather eat my truly food in front of the tv then crammed into their crummy establishment. i know that sounds harsh, but it’s true.Tags: quesadilla, sushi, wraps