vegan restaurant review

All posts tagged vegan restaurant review

Mellow Mushroom – Delray Beach

Published February 13, 2011 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

Guess what?! The Delray Beach Mellow Mushroom now has Daiya cheese! In fact, the website says they now have it at all of their locations.

Now I’m not sure how long they’ve had it, but I finally remembered that I should call and find out. The last time I went there they had just started with the non-vegan gluten free crust, but they hadn’t gotten Daiya yet. I made sure to befriend them on facebook and let them know that I was interested though! : )

Regardless, I headed up last night on my way to go see Timb and ZOMBIES! ORGANIZE!! over at Propaganda.

Hummus and Veggies $6.99

Mega Veggie pizza (sans mushrooms & banana peppers, it comes with a LOT of toppings) 16″  $25.49

veganized with Daiya cheese and without the butter cheese topping on the crust.

The hummus was fine. Nothing crazy here. Though it did seem like it was maybe lower in fat because it was on the drier side versus a really creamy dip, so if that’s true, I’m happy ; ) but that’s just a guess.

The pizza was SUPER delicious. I love their crust. It’s very multigrainy sweet tasting. I believe it’s also what they make their pretzels out of. (Which are vegan if you order them plain.) They have tempeh as a topping, and a tempeh sandwich that you can veganize. The also have several kinds of tofu like jerk and terriyaki.

Not only was the pizza awesome, but Mondays they have specials on some of their 100 beer selections! : )

Darbster – WPB/Lake Worth, Fl

Published January 27, 2011 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

I am very pleased to tell you that I finally got up to Darbster. Although the address says West Palm Beach, it must really be on the very edge, toeing the line of Lake Worth, because it’s south of Forest Hill Blvd. Regardless, a yummy, and completely vegan experience!

Darbster is a sort of outdoors place. Even the inside seating is really a walled and covered outdoor patio. The temperature outside had dropped to around 66 by the time we got there, so it was nice that there was a table left inside. (In fact, shortly after we were sat, the last table outside came in, and they closed the sliding glass doors.) They have both air conditioners and heaters scattered throughout that they must use for more extreme weather shifts. There are a couple of high tops and seating around the bar as well. Speaking of the bar, they have beer and wine, this Organic Peak Pomegranate Ale ($6) was pretty tasty.

I was immediately thrilled to see that they had onion rings, and started with this side as an appetizer. Months after going vegan, I was saddened when I it dawned on me that most onion rings are dipped in egg along with that batter. Ditto for eggplant parm. So I ordered them gleefully.

Onion rings…  with a sandwich $2.50 or $2.95 without

Darbster uses Daiya cheese and Gardein products for it’s meat substitutes. I’m glad they use Daiya, and I think most vegan places should, but we stayed away from the dishes that we thought were the ones I could easily make at home, like the philly cheese steak sandwich.

I was really anxious to try the rawvioli. I almost forgot to order it in all my vegan restaurant excitement, but grabbed the waitress shortly after placing our order. She wasn’t afraid to let us know that we were ordering a lot of food, and I assured her that I’d take whatever I couldn’t finish home!

This dish ended up being [essentially] a nice salad. The beet “pasta” had a nice crunch, and it was really tasty. The filling was yummy and the salad was nicely dressed. I’m not sure that this would fill me up as a meal on it’s own, so I’m glad I ordered the palm cake sandwich too.

Rawvioli Beet Pasta w/salad…  lunch $10/dinner $12

I had read a bunch of reviews online before the trip up, so I knew that everyone raves about the palm cakes. It’s funny, because for the last couple of years before I went vegan I had really wanted to try a crab cake, even though I never ate seafood. I’m pretty sure it’s because I kept seeing them on the food network : ) Well, anyway, I never did end up eating one, but apparently this pan fried heart of palm cake is it’s vegan stand in. It was super delicious (didn’t taste anything like seafood!), and served on a huge whole wheat bun. Then also had a palm cake ceasar salad as a special, and I know they sell them as appetizers at dinner time. (It actually came on a bigger plate with a little bit of lettuce, but I had to transfer it to a smaller plate because there were too many plates on the table!)

Palm Cake Sandwich with aioli and lettuce… $6.75
(it says and red potatoes on the on-line menu, but not so in person!)

One of the specials was gluten free eggplant lasagna. In fact, this was the last lunch special portion of the day, and according to the waitress, the envy of the other patrons. It was really good.

Gluten free Eggplant Lasagna… I don’t remember how much this was? $10 or $12?

At this point I was pretty full, and boxed up half of my palm cake sandwich for later; I wanted to save room for dessert! I ordered strawberry cheesecake. I had read reviews about their awesome carrot cake, but happened to be carrot caked out, and skipped it. Then I got nervous that I made the wrong choice. I didn’t want one of those vegan cheesecakes that tastes like tofu : P  Well, this cheesecake was SUPER delicious, didn’t have any tofu taste at all, and had a really good grahmmy, nutty crust. It was more of a multi berry cheesecake, and had a softer consistency than I expected. The piece was a generous size for sharing.

Gone in 2 minutes flat!

It was a really nice experience, and I’m glad that Darbster seems to have established itself permanently. It’s a much better option than overpriced Sublime in Fort Lauderdale, both in price and in flavor. This will definitely be a place that I’ll enjoy much in the future. Darbster is open for lunch and dinner Wednesday through Saturday (but open Valentine’s Day Monday) and brunch and dinner on Sunday. They are dog friendly, and accept credit cards too!

Angelica Kitchen NYC, a review

Published August 21, 2010 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

i went to angelica kitchen once while i was living in new york, and was so pleased to be able to return. it’s a macrobiotic restaurant near union square and they have a good variety of appetizers, soups, salads, entrees, baked goods and desserts, as well as daily specials.

we started with the  Curried Cashew Spread ($4.75) An intriguing live blend of raw cashews, sprouted chickpeas, freshly ground curry powder & unpasteurized miso. Accompanied by crisp crudités. this was really good, and i’d like to try to recreate it at home.

and the Saturday’s Norimaki Sesame tofu, pattypan squash, broccoli, daikon, carrots, seasoned brown rice & walnut pesto. (6 Pieces $8.00/9 Pieces $11.50)


despite my trying to order something different this time, i couldn’t resist ordering what i had back in february… the Sam or I Sandwich Herbed baked tofu layered with marinated hiziki & arame, crisp grated daikon, ruby kraut, a smear of mellow sesame spread & lettuce. Served on choice of mixed grain or spelt bread. ($8.75) or get Half a sandwich with simple salad or cup of soup & kukicha tea. ($9.50) i highly recommend this sandwich : )


kassidy got the Three Bean Chili Piquant chili made with homemade seitan, kidney and pinto beans & lentils; slowly simmered with sun-dried tomatoes and a blend of chiles; topped with lime-jalapeño tofu sour cream. Served with fluffy Southern style cornbread & cucumber-red onion salsa. (wee $9.00 grand $11.50, wee pictured) kassidy enjoyed it and i had also had also tried this previously. they’re very generous with that amazing cornbread!

we also ordered a peach cobbler pie, not pictured, but it wasn’t all that great. overall it just lacked flavor.

Angelica Kitchen is located in manhattan, near union square at 300 East 12th street, 212-228-2909, open daily from 11:30am to 10:30pm.

wild ginger – bedford ave, brooklyn

Published April 18, 2010 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

my neighbor kassidy had been dying to take me to wild ginger, and finally friday i was able to meet up for a delicious “pan asian vegan” meal, and some pinot noir (actually, a lot.) we had a really lovely dinner. just one complaint… but i’ll get to that after the food!

Starters:


Pan-fried vegetable dumplings: these were really yum & so was the dipping sauce.

B-B-Q ribs: awesome! i had my eye on this item right away, and it tasted like christmas.

Scallion pancakes with home-made mango salsa. greasy, but incredibly good. the salsa helped freshen it up.

Miso soup: kassidy’s pre-dinner soup. she seemed to enjoy it.

Ginger salads: colorful ginger dressing topped salad. i love ginger dressing! i need to learn how to make it.

Entrees:


Sweet citrus soy protein: kassidy’s dish. super savory, and beefy like, over a bed of delicious kale and almonds.  it was very, very good. the brown rice that it came with had pine nuts mixed in.

Sweet & sour soy protein: i LOVED my dish. i used to love sweet & sour chicken, and this had the exact light batter coating of the original. SO, so, so delicious! really, i’m sad i will not get to eat this dish again. or at least for a long while.

Dessert: by dessert we were so full on food and wine! we didn’t even finish, a shame.

Pumpkin cheesecake: creamy, but with a little sour aftertaste. i thought it could’ve been more pumpkin-y.

Chocolate peanut butter soy ice cream: not as good as simply decadent’s, but still yummy and light.

Overall thoughts:

the food was excellent, dessert ok, and the service was fine… that is until the waiter stood behind kassidy until we were done with the check.

VERY RUDE about hovering over you as soon as the check hits the table. he even went so far as to count out the tip as soon as we handed it to him, in front of us, and show it to the other server for approval! i don’t know if they have trouble with the hipster crowd, and are therefore suspicious, or what. regardless, it’s an off-putting ending to an otherwise wonderful meal. apparently this is something you can count on happening at this establishment. kassidy said this has happened every time she has dined there, and she has even witnessed them reprimanding a guest. she has sworn to not come back in the past, but the food is just too delicious.

final thoughts: well-priced, yummy food with serving sizes that are generous without being overwhelming. they take credit cards too.

Candle Cafe – NYC, Upper East Side

Published April 11, 2010 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

After checking out many different, pricey restaurants, I settled on candle cafe for tonight’s dinner. Candle Cafe is by the same owners as Candle 79, only slightly less expensive, and more casual and with a similar menu.

We got there about 7:30pm and our wait was 30-45 minutes, which I think is pretty reasonable for a Saturday night, anywhere. It’s a fairly small place, so it’s understandable.

Bar:

We were able to grab a stool at the bar, and the bartender was friendly, and let us know we could also dine there, but we wanted to wait for a table. The bar had wine, beer and juices. J ordered a beer while we waited. After a while, we also ordered some focaccia bread, and sure enough, our table opened right as the bread arrived.

SCARECROW GOLDEN PALE ALE – (England) Creamy balance of malt and hops. it was tasty and light, and came in a 17 oz bottle for $9, which I thought was well priced for the size.

Appetizers:

GRILLED FOCACCIA – Served with miso-tahini spread or drizzled with roasted garlic olive oil.

We got the garlic olive oil and honestly, focaccia it wasn’t, but it was delicious. What it reminded me of was the freshly grilled garlic bread you get at a cuban restaurant. OK, it was just like that, except on what looked like a ciabatta roll.

SEITAN CHIMICHURRI – Citrus herb marinated seitan skewers.

These were incredible, and honestly the thing the I wanted to try most on the menu. Being that they were cooked on a grill, they had a wonderful smoky, meaty flavor. The chimichurri sauce was SO delicious. I could have a meal centered around this offering very happily.

Salad:


GREEK SALAD – Romaine lettuce, cucumber, tomato, marinated chickpeas, bell peppers,red onions and olives with tofu feta. Served with a creamy herb vinaigrette.

Fantastic! I was very insistent on ordering this, and we were both really glad that we did. The marinated chickpeas were delicious, and so was the vinaigrette. The tofu didn’t taste like feta, but gave you the texture of it, still, yum! We only wished that the olives were pitted, to make eating them a little more elegant, but regardless, we polished off the whole thing!

Entrees:


PARADISE CASSEROLE – Layers of sweet potato, black beans and millet over steamed greens with country gravy.

I had a hard time deciding what to order, but I kept coming back to this one. Once I found out that the gravy didn’t have mushrooms, I was sure. It arrived a bit lukewarm, but the gravy was scalding hot, so after pouring it over top, it balanced out. It was served on a bed of tasty sautéed kale, which was also still hot. This was great! I wanted to eat the whole thing, but got full. So I have some leftovers for later : )

TUSCAN LASAGNA – Grilled zucchini, peppers and onions, tofu basil ricotta, tapioca cheese and seitan ragout topped with tomato sauce. Served with sautéed greens.

It was okay, not terrible, but not terrific. The tofu ricotta still tasted pretty bland. It also came on a bed of delicious kale.

We also got an order of fries (not pictured), which we shared. Nothing out of the ordinary here. The ketchup was awesome, apparently Muir Glen brand, according to our server.

Dessert:

Rice pudding!  : )

I’m not sure if they used brown rice or white, but this rice pudding was shockingly good! It came dusted with cinnamon, but the best part was the surprising very vanilla-y after taste. Clearly they use real vanilla bean in their pudding, as it was flecked with beans. It was great in conjunction with the vegan cappuccino.

Some of that night’s specials that also looked good [on other people’s plates] were: the taco salad (huge!), which I wanted but was trying to not order mexican food [for a change], and the fettuccine, which had mushrooms (i don’t eat mushrooms) but also lots of other yummies like capers.

The service was excellent, and all of the staff was friendly, helpful, and courteous. I would definitely return.

Pala Pizza, NYC

Published April 1, 2010 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

While we’re on the subject of daiya cheese & pizza, I might as well tell you about a delicious place: Pala Pizza they’re located in NYC, on 198 Allen St, in the lower east side.

What’s really cool about this place is, well, everything. The atmosphere is romantically lit, the street facing wall is garage style roll up door of windows, and they have bouquets of dried oregano on the table for you to use instead of a shaker. Then the dichotomy… half of the menu is entirely vegan, and the other half is regular food. They even have separate ovens & fryers for the vegan side. This would be an especially great place to go with meat eaters, so every one is happy. (like when my parents visit!)

note windows/door behind me (& ironically, domino's)

This was our one fancy meal since we’ve been in new york, and we tried to order a few things and indulge.

antipasti: zucca antipastobutternut squash, onions, green peas, raisins and basil.
Very tasty!

salad: mela – arugula, apples and daiya cheese.
Very good, a little bitter, but nice with the tart apples.

pizza: patatosa – shaved potatoes, zucchini, rosemary and daiya cheese.
Very good, though I would’ve liked marinara sauce too. I know, this isn’t that kind of pizza. The gooey cheese was wonderful with the potatoes. I dumped the rest of the salad on top too! : ) I liked the apples with it.

pasta: gnocchi – potato gnocchi, cherry tomato sauce, basil and daiya cheese.
This was not as big of a portion as we would have liked. I only got to sneak a bite or two. It was really good, especially the sauce.

We were thrilled that they had 2 vegan desert offerings! pumpkin cheesecake, served with whip “cream” and ice “cream and…

desert: chocolate chocolate chip cake served with vanilla ice “cream”.

The cake was sinful. Normally I would jump at pumpkin anything, but I was actually in a chocolate mood that night. SO DECADENT! I love that vegan chocolate things are usually dark chocolate. Mmmm! I had the leftover cake for breakfast the next morning : ) All in all, it was a great experience. (and convinced me further of my love for Daiya cheese.)  The service was excellent, highly recommend!

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