I really tried to like it but just couldn't...
Posted on 09 / 08 / 2012
The owner behind the counter is really friendly and tries to help you with your selections when you are undecided which is great.
The location is convenient with good parking.
The place is kept reasonably clean for a fast food shop.
But the food... I just can't offer much good to say, and I've eaten there 4 or 5 times to try to give them a chance.
The best thing I've had there was a side order of bbq beans. These were canned baked beans with a lot of vegan bacon bits added. If you grew up eating Big John beans n' fixins in a can you'll like these.
But the worst item? I can't pick a worst, they were all so bad. I tried the meatball sub - great fresh bread covered in acidic tomato paste sauce and flour and water tasting meatballs (not seitan but breadcrumb mush). The bbq ribs (seitan) sauce wasn't bad but the ribs were some kind of tough rubbery yet mealy seitan mixture. I'm a seitan freak, and this was inedible, like chewing slices of ground up doormats held together with wallpaper paste. The meatloaf was soft like the meatballs, probably the same recipe, just terrible and devoid of flavor or texture worth a second fork-full.
The fried chicken sandwich was passable, mostly because of the fresh bun, otherwise just a frozen gardein breast. The sweet potato tater tots are ok and they give a generous serving, but this is a frozen item and could be done at home just as well.
The desserts, I dont know if the folks raving about them are shills or have never tasted a good vegan dessert. Donut - like they used no yeast - dry, rubbery, with a glob of shortening/cocoa/sugar for frosting, instead of a glaze of chocolate frosting. Whoopie pies- two muffin top type cookies filled with same greasy shortening frosting, the cookies weren't even worth eating by themselves. Krispy treats, how do you ruin those? Somehow they do!
The prices are like Real Food Daily or Veggie Grill, but seem outrageous once you discover you can't eat the huge portion of ruined ingredients in front of you.
Sorry, I really wanted to like you LBVE, I even tried to give some helpful suggestions but got nothing except defensive anger from the female cook/owner/baker and polite rebuke that this was an East Coast style Italian deli sandwich shop from the nice owner guy behind the counter.
Unless they have a rich uncle or completely change their recipes, they will be out of business in 3 years.
I recommend the owners go eat at places like RFD, Stuff I Eat, MCafe, & copy them.
Vegan, Long Beach, Parking
Food is terrible, Won't take suggestions, Prices, recipes