I had read about this vegan restaurant on happycow and decided to give it a try. Here's my Souley Vegan review.
On our way to San Francisco today, my friend and I stopped in to eat a late lunch. This place is a few blocks from Jack London Square, we parked on the street (metered). Around the corner appears to be Oakland's fruit and vegetable wholesale markets, which had all closed by the late afternoon hours. A few more blocks over from Souley Vegan is Encuentro Wine Bar which I will write about separately.
Didn't know what to expect and was surprised to see a spacious interior with 2 different seating areas: dining are in front plus bar and table seating in the back. On this day the counter displayed a large range of vegan baked goods, from cinnamon rolls to cookies to cupcakes and large cakes. Our friendly hostess told us that the baker comes in the morning to bake the goods in the onsite kitchen.
The overall feel of the restaurant is slightly old school, a bit dim but with character. The menu is fairly concise with choices in some hot foods, sandwiches, and their signature gumbo and sample platter.
We opted for the platter for 2 to share, at $20, which comprised a bit of everything: the Southern fried tofu, smoked and saucey sweet BBQ tofu, cold potato salad, dark greens, mashed yam, mac n cheese, lentils, and cornbread on top. This food was totally filling and delicious.
The Southern fried tofu was not like anything I've had before. It looked like a large crusted donut (without any hole in the middle) and tasted like a savory battered donut, too, except this with a thick piece of soft tofu inside. It was soooo yummy and without greasy. Wow.
The other stuff on the sample platter were delicious, too. The mac n cheese with soft and yummy with a garlicky cheezy sauce. Yum.
The drinks menu was extensive and colorful with all sorts of cocktails and alcohol, but we opted for a strawberry ginger juice.
If you like soul food, definitely try the samples platter. Next time I return, I'd like to try the gumbo.
one of a kind southern fried tofu