Eat This/Eat Here!
Here are some of the dishes I've made or the places where food has gone into my face.
Mostly vegan, all good. Go there, eat this, report back.
When you're in Philly head to Zahav. The atmosphere is warm and the hummus is life changing. Dipping into that bowl of love is the stuff of dreams.
Driving along the California coast and heading off the beaten path led me to Cafe Capistrano in Half Moon Bay, where I discovered bean filled, cabbage and pickled onion topped Yucatán panuchos.
BEET BOX BAKERY
ELISA'S HOUSE OF PIES AND RESTAURANT
When I noticed that Elisa's House of Pies and Restauranthad a vegetarian section of the menu, I had to try it out. And I am so glad I did. Did I mention there were over 10 kinds of pies? Because, yeah, there were...
THE PHOENIX GARDEN VEGETARIAN RESTAURANT
THE BUTCHER'S SON
Thanks to Google Maps, I found The Phoenix Garden Vegetarian Restaurant in Richmond VA. A menu packed with noodles, banh mi, mock meat, and very very vegan-friendly, helped me fuel up for more travels.
My family was just as impressed as I was when we dug into sandwiches and sides aplenty at The Butcher's Son in Berkeley CA. The omnivores couldn't believe their taste buds! The vegetarians had no problem with sharing and this vegan was..well I tried EVERYTHING! Reuben, "Tuna" Salad, Pulled "Pork", Grilled "Cheese", Fried "Mozzarella" and on and on...
Providence struck at a cheap hotel near the Baltimore Airport when I found Afghani food right next door. Maiwand Kabob had just what I wanted/needed. This take-out plate stuffed to the rafters with beans, greens, and other assorted fabulousness barely made it back to the hotel room. And yes, I ate it all, including the Naan. Because it was good and I wanted to.
Oh Mee, oh my! Curry Mee, that is, found in a lovely Malaysian restaurant in Philadelphia, PA called Penang (after the food-obsessed island of the same name). And with every dreamy bite of noodles in that luscious curry broth, I was brought right back to my travels through Malaysia.
When I found out that Basta in Boulder CO served a sauce only pizza, I was smitten. Once I also tried their roasted vegetable salad I was in love. They feed omnivores too, so everyone can tuck into legit wood-fired Neopolitan pizza without having to share... I don't!
My good friend, and former guest, Chris Huang told me to try out Flower Pepper for legit Chinese food in Boulder CO. And believe you me, that man is not wrong. I ate my vegan face off, and the veg and omnivore family and friends who have gone there with me have done the same. Spicy, lovely and now a favorite.
When 70 mph winds kept me off the road to CO from Las Vegas, I found vegan food in the unlikeliest of places. And yes, this is a bean, avocado, red and green salsa and rice filled burrito from Beaver Taco's in Beaver, UT. Why wouldn't it be?
My Montreal Birthday Dinner at LOV made me believe that this "mostly vegan" can once again savor a bagel with "lox", here made from smoked tomato! Local suppliers, eco-responsible, and a home cooked menu, Superb!
FRESH HARVEST CAFE
A Google Maps vegan road food search brought up this gem in Taos, NM. I am well known for my falafel and baba ganoush love, and El Gamal did not disappoint! That pita though...
ALI BABA GRILL
BETHLYN'S GLOBAL FUSION
There are times when vegan menu items keep the omnivores happy too. Ali Baba Grill in Colorado has just such a menu: hummus, babaganoush, falafel, ful medames (beans transported to a whole other level) and toum (garlic paste so wonderfully pungent and delicious that you all have to have it)!
Vegan Banh Mi is starting to be a favorite sandwich of mine (sorry tempeh Reuben). Bethlyns Global Fusion in Bend, OR is a food truck with a fantastic version. I mean, look at that fried tofu cutlet! Dreamy!
VEG ON THE EDGE
When you find a place that is not only vegan but kosher, halal, and gluten free you share that find (even if you don't want to share what's on your plate). Veg on the Edge in Santa Cruz CA is that good. Share or don't, but go there, eat, and report back....
Pho Hut in Bakersfield, CA had a perfect example of a vegan pho noodle bowl. I Google searched and found this hidden gem when I was flying through on a road trip. Perfecto!
SHIZEN VEGAN SUSHI BAR & IZAKAYA
SANCHO'S GUNBARREL MEXICAN
I don't give a wasabi-filled @#$% if folks don't think that vegan sushi is a thing. It is. Look at that eggplant with torched saikyo miso from Shizen Vegan Sushi Bar & Izakaya in San Francisco. This dish blew any expectations I had out of the water. And I will be back to try more. I promise you.
Taco Tuesday just got a whole lot easier! Over at Boulder, CO based Sancho's Gunbarrel Mexican, the veggie-vegan options abound. I tell you this through tears, as the habanero salsa is searingly delicious!
We talk about it's lure in the latest episode, and if you don't know about Fried Dough, you don't know what you're missing. Head to the nearest county fair and dig into it's sweet, sweet doughy nonsense. Share or don't, you do you...
TOREY'S RESTAURANT AND BAR
I found myself at a laundromat in Owatonna, MN, as one does, and getting hungry. I trotted over to Torey's Restaurant and Bar and found just what I needed in their Salad Creation option. Requested their Black Bean and Vegetable Burger to top it and we were off to the salad races!
FARINE + FOUR
Oh Omaha, you know what I need. Avocado, beet hummus, watermelon radishes, pea sprouts on Danish rye TOAST! Thank you ever so much Farine + Four for making the prettiest damn avocado toast I've ever eaten. And it tasted as marvelous as it looked.
As I headed out of Missoula, my pal Marcy told me that I HAD to stop and get a "burrito on the bus" in Dillon, MT. That's the Fiesta Mexicana Bus, people. I asked for only vegetables, and I got a burrito stuffed with rice, peppers, onions, mushrooms, and flavor!
They have a sausage in practically every flavor at Ballyhoo in Buffalo NY. I was damn happy with the Reggie Veggie and my crew dug into their sausages, chili, mac-n-cheese, and gazpacho - they were not disappointed. Eat there, and I promise you will roll out the door full, happy, and knowing you'll be back!
Just because someone is vegan doesn't mean they eat only Buddha bowls, nuts, and berries. At Sputnik in Denver, veg and meatheads alike can dive into bar food. Like this glorious Buffalo Po' Bo', Mac N' Cheeze and... yeah, that's a Soul Bowl. But the rest of it is a gooey, fried, saucy mess!
EL SUPER BURRITO TAQUERIA
There are many reasons why El Super Burrito Taqueria is super duper for me. It's literally around the corner from my brother's place in San Francisco, has a humungoulous Vegetarian (vegan sans cheese and sour cream) Burrito, and their mascot is a masked, caped burro (of course...)
It's almost as easy to find vegan food in Portland, OR as it is to get a good cup of coffee. What I like about this bowl of cheezy goodness from Harlow is that it has kale, so that's healthy...right?
MOOSE CREEK CAFE
I've got a pal who's so allergic to dairy she has never, ever had cheese before! So I tossed her into the deep end at Piante Pizzeria in Breckenridge CO. She landed nicely in this gluten-free (she's also allergic to wheat, poor gal) White Pizza. She now thinks vegan cheese is a miracle and that Piante is a dairy-free wonderland!
Sure, at first it is only a Gardenburger. But when you toss on the grilled mushrooms, onions and green chilies you've got so much more. Thank you Moose Creek Cafe for filling me up as I drove through Walden, CO.
WEST SIDE BAZAAR
SANG KEE PEKING DUCK HOUSE
Since I was at the West Side Bazaar to interview some of the folks who work there, I just HAD to eat there. This is just a few of the many offerings from the food stalls. I've got to go back and try more!
I found Sang Kee Peking Duck House in Philly's Chinatown via GoogleMaps. After meeting her on a bench at a podcast convention, I invited Nadine O (above) to go with. Sadly, she had to work. Happily, I worked this hand-pulled noodle and vegetable soup into my face.
I do so love finding places to eat where omnivores enjoy the vegan food that is served. Shine Cafe in Morro Bay, CA was one such place. And yes, I had yet another tempeh Reuben because I can! This cozy vegan space is tucked next to a health food store that has been there for 40 years. That means eating healthy ain't a new idea.
Whenever I find myself in the vicinity of Golden, CO, I almost always stop at Amir Grill. Fattoush salad, ful madames with hummus and toum are my go tos. Go there, eat this!
It's not always a sure thing that a small town Asian restaurant will have tofu or any other veg-friendly fare. China Garden in Winnemucca, NV was a very sure thing. Their Country Style Tofu has great spices and plentiful vegetables, and was just what this road-weary vegan traveler needed. And there were leftovers, which is always a good thing.
I am always on the lookout for food that gets as close as possible to my vegan-leaning ways and tastes amazing. Himalayan Kitchen in Durango CO was one such place. I mean, just look at that Nepalese Daal Bhaat! Flavors, textures, spices, and naan. Perfect.
SMALL WORLD RESTAURANT
The places where everyone finds something delicious to eat are my favorite. Like Small World Restaurant in Napa, CA where there are enough falafel to share (if you are so inclined)!
That you can find the famous Garbage Plate in Rochester, NY comes as no surprise. That you can find a veganized version is! This plate of ridiculousness was brought to me by DogTown. And when I say they brought it, I mean they really really broughtit. Crazy, wonderful, messy... everything a garbage plate should be.
CARAVAN MIDDLE EASTERN FOOD
Telluride, CO has a reputation for being a little weird. I adore the place. I've got friends who've lived there since forever and know all the best places to grab a bite to eat, like Caravan Middle Eastern Food. Their food truck shares patio space with a Mexican restaurant because it's Telluride and they don't have to do anything the way you think they should!
Although the place is tiny, the menu at Habenero Grill in Aztec, NM is massive! There is a burrito for every taste, mood and time of day. I could only eat half of the vegetable-packed Vegginator, which meant LEFTOVERS! Their salsa was fresh. Their beans were perfect. I was very very satisfied. Great, now I'm craving one. Road Trip!
SOUTH SIDE WALNUT CAFE
My veggie niece wasn't so sure she could eat anything at Meta Burger in Denver. Until I pointed out that every dang thing on their menu is plant-based, as in VEGAN! I got the Buffalo Chicken, she got the Classic Burger and we were both filled with veggie happiness. I have to get back to try one of their shakes! Who's with me?
When you find a neighborhood joint that has something for everyone, you hit that place up every time you are in town! The South Side Walnut Cafe, in Boulder CO, is just such a place. Look at that tofu scramble, side of home fries and vegan sausage...hearty vegan breakfast done right. And their other omnivore offerings will keep your family and friends just as happy.
THE AULD HOOSE
ARIANA KABOB CAFE
I had pinned The Auld Hoose in Edinburgh Scotland on my Google Map even before I left the US. I had to go because of the name, of course, and because they have a Vegan Full English Breakfast. Their vegan haggis stands in for traditional blood pudding, their beans were perfect and don't get me started on those hashbrowns!
I love a buffet because you get a chance to taste so many things... and it's all you can eat, of course. Ariana Kabob Cafe in Aurora, CO has an Afghani buffet and a proprietor who made our naan fresh. Did I mention the saag is ridiculously good? Go there, eat things, and be very very satisfied. I did!
EMILIE AND THE COOL KIDS
It's a comfort to know, as the weather heats up, that Malee Thai is in my Longmont, CO neighborhood. They have vegan options in their salads and house-made VEGAN ICE CREAM!!!! Hell yes....
It was 6 am in Reykjavik and I had a 10-hour layover ahead of me. Rather than waste time at the airport, I headed into town to wander. I stumbled upon the Emilie and the Cool Kids coffeeshop. A vegan scone and oatmilk with my tea and all was well... sigh...
WONG WAY VEG
That poutine you see up there? It's from the Wong Way Veg food truck. I don't know what witchcraft she uses to make that eggplant "bacon" but I want MORE! So damn good! And her fries stayed crispy in the gravy, which isn't so easy to do. Thank you, Chef Lisa Wong - you did it right!
I've been hitting up City, O'Cityin Denver for years. It has vegetarian and vegan food o'plenty. When my exec producer was in town we grabbed his oldest kid and headed over for power waffles, "chicken" and waffles (bourbon-brined chicken-fried cauliflower), and tempeh bacon hash. All good, but that cauliflower was O'SO GOOD!
GASTRONAUTS AT GRAVITY BREWING
I don't drink, yet I'm always eager to hit up a brewpub that has fantastic food like Gastronauts at Gravity Brewing. I had to share the crispy broccoli and cauliflower wings, though I'm not so sure I will in the future...TBD for sure!
ANJI PROBIOTIC KITCHEN
I usually know what to expect at the Longmont Farmer's Market here in Colorado. Anji Probiotic Kitchen, with their organic Southern Indian specialties defied all my expectations with their vegan masala dosa plates. The women running the show can feed me anytime!
Everything on the menu at Veggie Today in Concord CA is vegan, even these stellar drumsticks. I also had some Lemongrass "Beef", but the drummies were the showstopper!
TEMPLE OF SEITAN
The Temple of Seitan in London England understands that vegans like eating burgers. When I popped in they had just the kind I wanted. This daily special was one messy burger. Topped with macaroni and cheese, onion rings, and bbq sauce, it was perfect.
When Gurkhas moved from Gunbarrel a few years back I mourned the loss... until I found out they were just down the road in Longmont! Let the naan begin!
IL CASARO PIZZERIA AND MOZZARELLA BAR
Younger brother and I were wandering about in the North Beach neighborhood of San Francisco when we thought, "Italian Food sounds about right." Il Casaro Pizzeria and Mozzarella Bar was just that. This is the Marinara Pizza, with tomato sauce, basil, olives, oregano, olive oil and I asked for some broccoli rabe added, because, yeah, I'm that bitch.
LUU’S ASIAN CUSINE
SATO Ramen is right on Main Street in Buffalo, NY, just up from UB on Main St. Their fabulous curry ramen with fried tofu is a flavorful world away!
When it is hellaciously hot, I want to eat something that will keep me cool. Luu's Asian Cuisine in Longmont, CO had just the thing with this cool dry tofu that was oniony and just what I needed!