Graham's Grille is for Vegans Too!
Posted on 03 / 05 / 2012
Being vegan in Taos is no easy thing. Most of the time we cook at home, because New Mexico in general tends to be pretty... meaty. But there are a few bright spots for vegans and vegetarians on the Taos restaurant scene, and Graham's Grille is one of them.
While they do serve plenty of meat and dairy, many menu items are clearly marked as vegetarian (V), vegan (VGN), or gluten free (GF). Vegetarians who eat cheese have considerably more to choose from that vegans do, but the staff and kitchen are more than happy to veganize dishes where possible. Often it's as simple as leaving off the cheese, or substituting tofu for meat.
We ducked in for lunch recently, on a windy, snowy day, and were instantly cheered by the modern, inviting atmosphere, and hot pots of Mighty Leaf tea, which we poured into the most perfectly elegant handle-free cups ever, made by LunaGarcia.com.
Graham's is open seven days a week, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The lunch menu consists of Starters, Small Plates, Soups, Salads, Sandwiches, New Mexican Specialties, and Burgers. We started with the Mediterranean Vegetable Saganaki ($6.50), which is a small cast iron skillet filled with artichoke hearts, tomatoes, red bell peppers, capers, kalamata olives, and spinach in a wonderful garlic-y sauce. It comes with whole wheat pita, and we had them hold the feta. It was rich and delicious, and we almost asked for more pita to sop up the sauce.
Admittedly, vegan options are not as numerous as we'd like, but both the Asian Chicken Wrap ($6.75) and the Asian Chicken Salad (small $9, large $13) were easy to veganize by subbing tofu for the chicken, so that's what we did. They're basically the same dish, but the salad gives you more veggies, while the wrap provides the comfort of a nice soft flour tortilla. Both are a crunchy blend of fresh cabbage, carrots, celery, and orange slices (real, not canned), with salty-sweet candied peanuts, tofu, and a nice teriyaki-style sauce. We liked both, but decided the salad was our favorite, simply because we prefer veggies to bread most of the time.
When you open the menu at Graham's, dessert is the first thing listed. Smart people! We splurged on a house-made mixed berry sorbet, which was the perfect finish to a delightful lunch.
Also of note: Bottles of Cholula and Pickapeppa sauces are on each table, which discerning Taoseños find very important, but we found no need for on any of the perfectly seasoned dishes we tried. The prices are very rea
vegan options, comfortable, casual setting, better than average service