too expensive for that not so tasty food
too expensive for that not so tasty food
First off, this is certainly not the only restaurant in town that offers a separate veggie menu. They may have the widest selection, but I always prefer quality over quantity. And that's the thing—food here was middling at best, and it could turn out very wrong depending on what you order.
We ordered the lentil croquettes and soy-wheat kibbeh for starters (thinking back, why getting two things so similar is completely beyond me). The croquettes were edible, nothing to write home about, but I strongly suspected that they might have slipped a regular meat kibbeh into our order. The one I had reeked of meat, tasted horrible, and even had some pink bits in it that resembled ground beef; the one my partner had smelled and looked neutral. I didn't confront them at the time as I already ate it, so I'm just going to give them the benefit of the doubt here. For entrée, I got the paella because it appeared to be the safest option. Again, it was just alright, a tad too sweet. Portion was huge if that's your thing. My partner got a crêpe—basically a half-folded, stuffed tortilla smothered in tomato sauce—that, according to him, was pretty awful. I could see the execution was sloppy; it looked to me like something that came out of a college dorm kitchen. The tomato sauce tasted like straight up canned sauce with no depth or seasoning whatsoever.
On top of the poor food quality, the atmosphere felt dead. Wait staff acted inexplicably formal and a little uneasy. I could tell they were trying very hard, but it just didn't work. Only saving grace was the clean and classy-ish setting—as long as you don't sit on the chair that is. The seat was too soft and low, and the table mat was so rough that it kept digging into my arms.
I can't help but think that their only selling point is the seemingly extensive veggie options and that they're open for dinner. I bet most people that come here are veg*ns or have one in the party. Seriously, you will find plenty of other restaurants willing to cater to us. All you need to do is look around and ask. If you for some odd reason really want to try this place out, don't order anything else other than the paella. You've been warned.
We chose this place for my friend's birthday dinner and did not regret it! When we mentioned we're vegetarian and vegan, the waiter gave us the vegetarian menu and told us which dishes were vegan. I ordered the vegetarian paella and my friend the quinoa risotto and both were amazing. Yes, it's a tad pricey but the amazing service and classy decor made up for it!
When you wait an hour for a burger, on a Sunday afternoon when there are 9 people in the restaurant, you wonder what on earth they are doing. And despite the pleasantish decor the food was very very ordinary. And they got the order wrong, and made only a half-assed attempt to fix it. Would never eat there again under any circumstances.
Make sure you ask for the veggie menu! This beautiful restaurant is very accommodating to vegans and has many vegan options. They have tofu 'cheeze' that is used in their vegan lasagne (three different varieties!) and the seitan is delicious. Vegans will be spoilt for choice!
We think it's not entirely fair to compare Girasoles with Anacardos: both cater for a completely different crowd. At Anacardos you can spend a pleasant time in a nice atmosphere, maybe even sip a glass of wine if you feel like it. We found the starters to be quite yummy and the juices are excellent. Maybe some of the salads are a bit boring (the bulk is iceberg) and we enjoyed some of the main dishes more than others. But hey, we're in South America...
If you're not in the need to fill your tummy on a budget it's well worth a visit.
Shame to write a negative review of a place that has a dedicated vegetarian menu, but I thought the food was bland, boring and misrepresentative ... as well as expensive.
I had a souffle starter which turned out to be just scrambled tofu on spinach - nothing like a souffle.
Then I had Seitan Brava - again, tasted nothing like seitan, just a plate of some horrid and soft-textured mock meat in tomato sauce.
Bill for 2 came to ~ P 100k (USD 50). I could have had 5 meals for that price from nearby Girasoles!
To recap some of the other reviews:
-Yes, this is one of the only Vegetarian places from my tour of Colombia that serves dinner as well as lunch (and the only place in Colombia that I've seen TVP or Tofu so far!)
- the place has a nice classy ambiance including a couple seats in a courtyard.
- one review mentioned that the place does not have air conditioning. They DO have air conditioning in the main restaurant... Just not in the court yard.
-they have a full page vegetarian menu as well as several pages of omnivorous options. (Be sure to check those pages too. I found a hummus and a salad on the main menu that I ordered )
I also thought the service was excellent. Very friendly / polite and the staff spoke some English.
The highlight of the meal was our juices. I ordered the Passion Fruit - Mango - Mint drink recommended by another reviewer. It was indeed fantastic! My husband ordered the Coconut Lemonade and that was even more amazing - lemonade and fluffy coconut cream - a drinkable lemon meringue pie!
We also shared the chickpea - eggplant - tahini dip which was very creamy and garlicky.
My meal was a mixed green salad and a crepe with tofu, pineapple, raisins, and celery in a curry sauce. It was the most unusual sounding item on the menu and it came out good! The other veg options include other crepes, pasta (a bolognese with TVP), and sandwiches (with veggie ham & tofu options)
Torre Luna was a great find. On our first day here we payed for an over priced salad at another restaurant whose owner informed us we would not find anything else Vegan here. Torre Lunes was a great surprise. I had the Paella which was the best I have had. The seasoning and textures were perfect with garbanzo beans, sliced almonds, and great seasoning. I'm not sure why other reviewers did not give this a this a higher review. There were a variety of Vegan dishes in a green section of the menu and the staff clearly understood "vegan." My partner who is not vegan loved his meal and suggested we go back. The staff was polite and pleasant. We will be back.
Updated from previous review on Friday July 05, 2013
Most veg-friendly places in Colombia are only open for lunch, so it was nice to find a place that was not only open for dinner, but had a really nice atmosphere (we were celebrating an anniversary). Their passion fruit / mango / mint juice was one of the best things we had in two weeks in Colombia. The paella was decent (kind of bland), the pesto pasta was pretty good (although really small), and the hummus and veggie kibbeh were both good by Colombian standards (where there isn't much Middle Eastern food).
The location shown on the map is incorrect. Its actual location is 10.42729, -75.54833 which is the east side of the street on Calle del Curato beteen Del Santismo and Stuart (or on Carrera 7 between Calle 38 and Calle 39 as shown on Google Maps).
See the photos section for the first panel of the veggie menu (they have more options but I took the photo when they were closed and the second page isn't in the front window).
It is nice to find a restaurant with a vegetarian menu section; there are not many in meat loving Cartagena :( ... I tried the tofu and vegetable dish which was oke. On another occasion I had their signature vegetarian paella which was very good. The staff is correct and a little formal. There is an outdoor seating area to the back of the restaurant.
The map showing the location on the Happy Cow website is not correct. To find Torre Luna: ask for directions to the Luxurious Santa Clara Hotel. When you stand in front of the main entrance of the hotel, you can see 'Plazuella de San Diego' in front of you. Walk to your right staying on the same side as the hotel. Go into the small street 'Calle Stuart'. Turn left into Calle del Curato. The restaurant is after 700m on your left.
There's not much for veggies in Cartagena so we were glad to find this option -- but overall the food was quite mediocre. This tends toward the 'fake meat' which is not my favorite at all.... and the vegetable choices and preparation are limited and on the boring side. Many of the dishes are also heavy on cheese.
really wonderful experience all around. they had english menus, and plenty of veggie options. i had the "steak" with potatoes and steamed veggies, hubby had veggie lasagna. both were made by two wonderful women in the kitchen who we could watch cook it! it took a bit of time but it was freshly prepared and really tasty. no need for AC the place is fine, breezy. had my 9 mo old daughter with us. no high chairs, but she just sat on our laps. she ate some as well! i give it two thumbs up.
We had been subsisting on fried food and subpar pasta until we found torre Luna with it's impressive variety of creative vegetarian dishes andd super friendly service. The atmosphere is lovely and romantic. We watched the moon above us as we dined. I had an excellent seitan dish and my girlfriend had the vegetarian paella. We would deifintely go back and highly recommend it to anyone else.
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