All Reviews by groovyvegan
237 N First St, Ashland, USA
A vegan can get a decent meal here.
I've been to the Ashland Co-op at least 4 times, and have enjoyed the salad bar here each time. Every item is organic except the sprouts and croutons, and it's $7.50/lb., as compared to nearby Grilla Bites organic salad bar at $8.49/lb. In addition to the usual salad bar fixin's, I also enjoy their garbanzo bean salad. And there are several vegan dressings from which to choose. There were two chili's by the salad bar today (12/20/07), a meat and a vegan. They also have burritos by the salad bar, with a vegan option.
The hot foods section typically has a variety of vegan dishes, each labeled, along with the ingredients listed. Today I had the quinoa loaf which wasn't bad, but wasn't terrific either. One of the other dishes was a sweet potato dish. Along the hot foods bar, they served dolmas which were quite good. I noticed a raw sprout salad today also, which I didn't try.
They also serve smoothies and raw juices. The apple juice in the smoothies is bottled, but if you want a raw apple juiced instead, you can pay a little more for that option.
The deli area also has pre-made sandwiches (few of which were vegan), a variety of baked goods (some of which were vegan), and a delicious packaged vegan chocolate tofu mousse. I highly recommend the mousse! There are also some raw nut-based mousse's there which are quite high in calories, but good as well. (Pumpkin, chocolate, and I've also seen that type of mousse in chocolate mint, but I'm not sure if the Ashland co-op carries the chocolate mint.)
The indoor seating area gets quite crowded at meal times, and there's a lot of competition to find a table. When you find a table, it's b/c you grabbed one where someone just got up, so you have to clean it yourself. In nice/warm weather, there are places to eat outside, so it's not as hard to find a seat.
Overall, it's a good place for a vegan to get a meal. Although I always enjoy my meals better from the salad bar than the hot foods bar.
1800 Willamette St, Eugene, USA
Delicious food at a vegan-friendly franchise.
Cafe Yumm, a franchaise established in 1995, is a very vegan-friendly omni restaurant, with plenty of delicious vegan items from which to choose. All items have the ingredients listed on the menu, and they will customize orders (leaving off cheese, sour cream, etc.) I had the ginger-garlic veggie burger which was delicious. To give you and idea of how vegan-friendly they are, the description reads, "Our own veggie burger (unbelievably vegan, contains peanuts), GingerAisian slaw, lettuce and tomato served on a whole wheat bun (w/w bun contains honey, order on sourdough for totally vegan)." And BTW, there's no shortage of vegan condiments to put on the burger--they even offer Vegenaise, and their original Yumm sauce is vegan as well.
My omni partner enjoyed his tempeh reuben, which would have been vegan except it had Swiss cheese.
Vegan items on the menu include some of the Yumm bowls, various combinations of rice, beans, vegetables, sauces, and other ingredients. Unfortunately, I haven't had one myself yet, but a good friend who is vegan tells me they're quite good. Also one can order tofu or tempeh skewers, vegan salads. Some of the daily selection soups may be began as well.
I was surprised to see they offer vegan ginger spice cookies as a regular dessert item. These are made with organic oat flour and are wheat free.
I was there at lunch time on a week day, and there were about 6 people ahead of me in line. This place is quite popular with the locals, so be prepared to wait a good 20 minutes or so for your order if you order a sandwich at prime time. The Yumm bowls are a few minutes quicker.
My only complaints were minor: that the balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing was quite boring, and the person who took my order neglected to leave off the tomatoes.
Next time I'm in Eugene (or Springfield or Bend), I will definitely be eating at Cafe Yumm again!
4757 12th Ave NE, Seattle, USA
I visit this place every time I'm in Seattle. :-)
Since my last visit to Seattle a year ago, I was pleasantly surprised by Chaco Canyon's expansion in space and menu at their new location. And they continue to be 95% organic and 100% vegan, with the most raw options I've seen on any Seattle menu. The staff is quite friendly and helpful.
Their food quality runs across the board, with some delicious items, some mediocre, and at least one, really really bad. The most delicious items I've had there are: the pesto melt (featuring pesto and vegan mozzerella cheese), Egytian red lentil soup, the blue green blast smoothie (bananas, blueberries, apple juice and Greens+ powder), and the Really Really Green Smoothie (greens, banana and apple blended in a Vitamix). I find the Thai Peanut bowl okay, which is raw spinach and steamed bok choy over rice with housemade peanut sauce and spicy chutney. A couple items to avoid are: the grilled vegan cheese sandwich, which is the worst vegan cheese sandwich I've ever had. (Seems to be made with a rubbery processed cheese). Also, I found their classic smoothie which includes strawberries and bananas to be mediocre. (It would be much improved with live nut milk and dates.) On previous visits more than a year ago, I was not very impressed with any of the raw offerings I had tried, except the live pizza.
One thing that surprises me is that given that the menu is about half raw, there is only one house salad. In other words, there is no choice of salad dressing other than the house dressing, an apple garlic dressing. It's not bad, but it's not great either. I'd like to see more choices of salad dressings and a vegan caesar salad as well.
In general, I consider this place mid-priced compared to the other veg restaurants in Seattle. However, their dessert portions are insultingly tiny compared to what they charge. They charged close to $6 for what I would consider to be a half piece of pumpkin pie. (The pie was delicious though.)
Also, some of their items are not fresh. I had their special Thanksgiving dinner here on a Friday, and on Sunday and Monday, they were still selling plates of leftovers. Packaged dessert items don't always have pull dates.
Chaco Canyon has some excellent items--you have to know what to order. But they have a long way to go to improve.
4225 Market St, Riverside, USA
Only one vegan option, but it was good.
Clark's Nutritional Center has a deli with a handful of tables. I only found one vegan meal, a vegetarian sandwich with a variety of vegetables, vegan soy cheese, and veganaise on toasted bread. It was a tasty sandwich, but I was disappointed in the lack of vegan options. I also asked them to veganize their strawberry banana smoothie: oat milk base, no yogurt or honey, but what I got was something rather tasteless. At least they use organic fruit in the smoothie.
4768 SE Division St, Portland, USA
Delicious, organic and vegan. :-)
I've been to Bayleaf several times, and every item I've eaten was quite good, except for the squash soup which was ridiculously bland and devoid of flavor. The two best dishes I've had there are the seaweed salad and the dong po tofu (stir-fried green pepper, basil, and fried tofu in black bean sauce). I had broccoli substituted for the green pepper in the dong po tofu. I've also enjoyed the mu shui vegetables. My partner enjoyed one of the specials, the red curry, but that was too spicy for my liking. The vegetable dumpling appetizer was good, but very doughy.
Some other things about Bay Leaf:
* Portion sizes are noticeably smaller than a typical Chinese restaurant, particularly lunch portions, yet prices are comparable to a typical Chinese restaurant. At first glance it appears the value is not as good as a typical Chinese restaurant, but the woman running the place told me the food is organic.
* All but one menu item is vegan.
* Service time was quicker than typical for a Chinese restaurant.
* They have their own parking lot.
* Wait staff is competent and not flakey.
Bottom line is that food and service are reliably good, and I look forward to eating there again.
20955 Stevens Creek Blvd, Cupertino, USA
A Bay Area Favorite
I am delighted to find Cafe Gratitude in the South Bay. I love being able to come here and not deal with the parking hassles in San Francisco, the large communal tables, and the extremely slow flakey service there.
I've been to this Cafe Gratitude several times and have found the staff friendly and helpful. Here's my thoughts on some of the food:
* I am Trusting - This delicious tamale with black beans and cole slaw is one of my favorites so far. A friend loved it also as well as a woman at another table.
* I am Graceful - This Indian Biryani of rice and/or quinoa, seasonal vegetables, and cashews in a coconut curry sauce is their best selling entree. I can see why. Delicious to both the palate and the eye.
* Caesar Salad - Delicious but skimpy with the dressing. The best totally raw Caesar salad I've had is at the Living Light Culinary School cafe in Fort Bragg, CA. This one is second.
*I am Magnificent - Raw chocolate mousse. The name does not lie--absolutely magnificent! The best vegan chocolate mousse I've ever had, and I've had a lot.
*Chocolate mint pie - This looks delicious, but is basically a creamy minty dessert with a small amount of chocolate. Not worth the calories IMO, unless you're really into mint.
* I am Cool minty chocolate shake - I was expecting a chocolate mint shake--a chocolate base with mint flavoring. Instead I got the opposite--a mint drink with gritty cacao nibs that clog up the straw but impart little chocolate flavor to the drink. Not worth the calories unless you're seriously into mint. Note - they only serve large sizes of drinks at this Cafe Gratitude, and this shake is almost $10.
* Lemon Meringue Pie - It looks beautiful, but has a dense texture and tastes a bit lemon, but nothing like a lemon meringue pie. Not worth the calories.
I'm not thrilled about all their offerings, but there's enough delicious food here for me to highly recommend this restaurant. One of my favorites in the Bay Area.
47 N Main St, Ashland, USA
Excellent vegan-friendly salad bar
I had a much better experience at the Grilla Bites in Ashland, than in Medford, OR. The folks here got my sandwich order right the first time. And I had a delicious veggie grilla sandwich, with vegan cheese substituted for the mozzarella. The sandwich was huge, like a previous reviewer said, half a sandwich is about equivalent to 3/4 of a sandwich.
Also, everything at the salad bar and soup area was labeled so I could see what was vegan and what was not, without having to ask a lot of questions. I was very impressed by the delicious organic vegan salad bar with several vegan dressing choices, including Annie's Goddess dressing and vegan Caesar. (IMO, the Goddess dressing is significantly better than their vegan Caesar.) The salad bar costs $8.45 a pound.
There are various vegan or easily veganizable items to choose from on the menu, including tofu grilla sandwiches (organic, BBQ, and curry), and a tempeh burger.
They also offer 5 organic smoothies and several fresh organic raw juices.
As at the Medford location, I did observe workers were not wearing gloves when handling food, but here I did observe one using a handwash sink. Also, like the Medford location, I recommend better labeling on the menu, for example telling whether the veggie burger is vegan. (A staff member told me they don't make their own veggie burger, so I assume it's packaged.)
I enjoyed my salad bar and veggie grilla sandwich here, and hope to eat here again when I'm in the neighborhood. Service was quick and efficient at 4:45 pm with few other diners in the restaurant.
923 C St, San Rafael, USA
Fresh, organic, delicious, vegan food!
Radiance Cuisine is a unique, high quality, mom and pop restaurant located in "The Open Secret" new age bookstore. With the except of one dessert (which has a vegan version discussed below), the food is vegan, gluten-free, organic, and fresh and locally sourced. Every day that they're open, they serve a soup, a salad, a grain, and a vegetable dish. One can order a large Radiance Plate with all four of these items, a Small Radiance plate with all four of these items in smaller quantity, or a large or small Yogi Bowl (all these items except the salad). Or these items can be ordered ala carte. The large Radiance Plate IMO is huge, and most people other than large, hungry guys or teenage boys, will probably do best with the small Radiance Plate.
My husband and I had the Radiance Plates twice, and both times they were delicious! The combination of excellent cooking with quality ingredients is outstanding. One night our soup (yellow lentil dal vegetable) was out of this world, one of the best soups I've ever eaten. The salad dressings are restaurant-made as well--both nights delicious--one of them lemon tahini. One night the grain was brown rice and the other, quinoa with cashew, each served with a tasty fresh vegetable stew with a yellow curry sauce. My husband ordered the optional spicy hot, fresh, chutney with his meals, and enjoyed that quite a bit.
The reason this restaurant is technically considered "vegetarian" and not "vegan" is that one of the two dessert selections, the choco-laddu has a version made with butter, however, there is also a vegan version. The description of choco-laddu on the menu makes it difficult to visualize. The vegan one looks, feels, and tastes like piece of peanut-butter fudge, that is sweet, but not too sweet. Except that there's no peanut-butter in the dessert--the "peanut butter" taste comes from garbanzo flour. My husband and I both loved this unique dessert! Also, we enjoyed the coconut tapioca pudding dessert topped with fresh organic strawberries from the farmers' market. I would have preferred it a bit thicker, but it was delicious none-the-less.
The only issues I see with this restaurant have to do with variety, as the food quality is outstanding. For example, with only one main dish served, if someone has a food allergy that appears in one of these dishes (for example, tomatoes) and it happens to appear in one of four meal components, then one will have to make due with an ala carte "meal" that might
514 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica, USA
Food ranges from excellent to bad
In a restaurant where all the food is vegan and organic, I would think I'd have a lot of choices of delicious entrees. Unfortunately, every time I vary from the same 3 items, my meal is mediocre. I recommend the TV dinner, the Salsbury Seitan, and the Nachos. The TV dinner and Salsbury Seitan both come with vegan mashed potatoes which aren't bad. Occasionally there's a good special. Their desserts are hit or miss. I highly recommend their chocolate pudding, and when they have it, peach pie, made with fresh peaches. The banana pie is also pretty good. My omni partner and I find their carob mint cookies about 50% tasty, and 50% boring.
Definitely stay away from the BBQ tofu chop. It's mostly recooked frozen vegetables with cold barely BBQ'd tofu on top. Also, while I usually love cornbread, theres is the worst I've ever had: tasteless wet mixture containing a lot of rice. The hemp bread is good though. Caesar salad is so-so.
The wait staff is friendly and helpful. However, there's one waiter who doesn't write down orders, who often messes up something in the order.
Be advised that this place gets quite noisy when crowded, particularly upstairs. We find it so unpleasant, that we will only sit downstairs or get carryout. Also, there's a single one-seater restroom, and there's often a line.
Link to their menu: http://www.realfood.com/menu.htm
9 E Patrick St, Frederick, USA
Delicious Organic Ethiopian Food
My omni husband and I greatly enjoyed our vegan lunch of the vegetarian combo for two. We have had Ethiopian food at about 7 Ethiopian restaurants around the U.S. and consider this one to be one of the 3 best for flavor. Service was average speed.
I found the portion sizes to be the smallest I'd consider acceptable--anything less I'd consider skimpy. The man there who appeared to be the owner told us that vegetables we were eating were organic. Also, there were asterisks on the menu indicating that the legume dishes we ordered were organic.
Normally I would consider our Ethiopian meal to be exorbitantly priced. It cost $16.50 for the first person and $14.00 for an additional person. With one beverage for my husband, it cost over $30.00 for lunch. However, I can see the use of organic ingredients justifying the higher cost of this lunch + smallest acceptable portion size. Still, I was a bit uncomfortable with the prices.
Another thing I liked about this restaurant is that unlike two Ethiopian restaurants I tried in Silver Spring, MD, this one didn't burn incense during the meal. The overpowering incense that some Ethiopian restaurants burn ruins the dining experience for my asthmatic husband and me.
I plan to come back to this restaurant several times a year.
Rua do Cais do Sodre 16, Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal
Excellent, but could use more vegan offerings.
We arrived here at 11:45 am on a Monday and were pleasantly surprised to find out they were already open and we didn't have to wait around 15 minutes. They were out of vegan pizza (that is if you skip the goat cheese), and the vegan offerings were basically green salad, cous cous salad, or a platter with hummus, tapanade and guacamole (skip the goat cheese) with bread and a bit of salad. I opted for the green salad, which turned out to be large enough for a meal: fresh field greens, a homemade olive oil and lemon vinaigrette, with beets, potatoes, tomatoes (I had these left off) apples and strawberries. My salad was simple, but very tasty with everything fresh, perfectly cooked potatoes and excellent flavor balance. The menu says all salad comes with bread, but they forgot and I had to ask for it. The homemade whole grain bread could not have been better!
My friend ordered the hummus, tapanade and guacamole platter and said everything on his plate was excellent and could not have been better. His hummus was so delicious, I helped myself to half of it, and spread it on my bread. Heavenly!
The guy running this place is from Scotland, so English speakers will have no problems here. The staff was quite friendly and helpful.
I would like to have seen more vegan offerings, but the vegan offerings we had were excellent. They also have a vegan cake topped with strawberries, but I was too full to order it.
They sell bottled water here, but do not provide it free.
P.S. No visit to this place is complete without checking out the bathroom floor. I won't spoil the surprise, but the bathroom is a must visit!
509 Clematis St, West Palm Beach, USA
Some of the best raw food I've ever had!
The Raw Kitchen doesn't have a huge selection, for example, only 2 desserts, but everything we tried was not only delcious, but a feast for the eyes. The raw Phad Thai was one of the best Phad Thai's I've ever had--ribbon zucchini noodles beautifully simulating pasta, a tangy almond sauce, bits of almond, and toothpick-sized pieces of red and yellow bell pepper adding color. My other favorite dish was the "Banana Obsession" dessert, a scoop of banana ice cream topped with a dollop of chocolate mousse and candied pecans. My omnivorous friend enjoyed his tremendously too.
Other items I tried were the spinach mushroom pizza (tasty and garlicly, but the Phad Thai was better) and the cheese course--delicious. My husband also enjoyed the gazpacho.
My only complaint about the place is the price: a lunch for 3 people of the items mentioned above set us back nearly $100 before the tip. (And that's with the lunch-sized portion of Phad Thai which was $14 instead of $19. These prices however are typical for gourmet raw food. Christopher's Kitchen in Palm Beach Gardens, for example, is comparibly priced.
But re. the food, I have no complaints, other than I'd like to see more choices on the menu, for example, more than 2 desserts.
Parking was street/metered, but we had no problem finding a space right in front at 11:45 am on a Monday in April. The waiter had excellent people skills, but seemed a bit confused, for example, he wasn't sure where the lunch menus were, and had to go back to the kitchen to ask questions about the food. I had the impression it was his first day on the job. But I think within a few weeks, he'll be up to speed.
2433 St Paul St, Baltimore, USA
I used to love Yabba Pot, but unfortunately they are out of business. They did not renew their lease, and an Italian restaurant is going into that location. (The owner of the Italian restaurant says they will have vegan options.) I found this out when I tried to go to Yabba Pot today (10/17/11), only to find no Yabba Pot sign, and construction going on inside the building. I filled out the form on Happy Cow to let them know. But meanwhile, I posted here to save folks the trouble of trying to go there.
34 W Philadelphia St, York, USA
Not 100% vegetarian, but veg*n-friendly
I visited Under One Sun 6-15-11. One of their specials was "Nitrate-free Bacon"--meat. I asked our server about this, and she explained that while they are otherwise a vegetarian restaurant, they occasionally sell meat items. Hence it is not accurate to label them as a "vegetarian" restaurant. They tell me though that the grill is always vegetarian.
My husband and I found our lunches were delicious as well as reasonably priced. I had the "Apple A Day" sandwich of grilled rice-based vegan cheese and gala apple slices on multi-grain bread. Vegans, note that the default cheese for this sandwich is cheddar and the default bread contains honey, so be sure to specify that you want this sandwich vegan. The sandwich was supposed to come with spinach on it, but they were out of spinach. Our server offered to try to find some spinach for us at the market, but I was hungry and told her not to bother.
My husband had the stir fry of fresh seasonal vegetables. They added lots of hot sauce because he loves hot sauce, and he loved this. (Note - hot sauce is completely optional!)
We were sitting next to a regular who loves the food here and recommended many items.
Other items I tried: the "Painted Pineapple" smoothie--"sweet ripened pineapple w/a medley of berries and OJ." I had our server add some bananas to this. This smoothie was good, but not spectacular. Also, they use an Oster blender so consequently was a bit less smooth than those made with a high power blender such as Vitamix. I had a gluten-free chocolate muffin which was small (about Â½ cupcake sized), cost $2.75, and was dense and fallen in appearance, and just okay. I loved the raw apple pie though!
Overall, I like this place quite a bit--delicious, reasonably-priced lunches, friendly helpful staff and customers, and would not hesitate to come here again. My gripe is that they sell bacon, yet are labeled as a "vegetarian" restaurant. They are very veg*n-friendly, however, and there is no meat on the menu.
Note that they are in the Central Market, and parking is metered outside.
4250 Capitola Rd, Capitola, USA
Consistently Delicious :-)
Dharma's has a large selection of food choices, about 95% of which are already vegan or an be made vegan upon request. Their food is not gourmet, but consistently delicious home/deli-style cooking. I've eaten here more times than I can count, and never had anything that was less than 3 stars on a 5 star scale. Most items are 4 or 5 stars. A worker there told me 95% of ingredients are organic.
Menu categories are Burgers & Dogs, Sandwiches, Mexican Naturals, Salads, Soups, Side Orders, Pasta, International Saute's, Breakfast, Beverages (over 30 choices), Desserts, and New Items. In addition, there are always specials on the board. I especially like their blueberry pancakes, pestoroni (pesto-vegan pepperoni) pizza (a special), bo thai saute, aloha burger, and any salad with tahini lemon dressing. Salad ingredients are always quite fresh. I'd give their soy mint chocolate shake 3 stars, and their Mexican corn bread about 3 1/2.
You wait in line, order at the counter, and pick up your meal when your name is called. At prime meal times, the line can be long. There are lots more seats than a typical vegetarian restaurant, and some outdoor seating where people often eat with their dogs along. Non-sandwich meals often cost in the $10 to $12, but portion sizes are HUGE. I can easily split meals here with my 6'5", 250 lb partner, and we both get plenty to eat. Order takers have never messed up my order.
I really don't have any complaints about this Dharmas. My suggestions are: add some raw foods items, expand the dessert menu to include some vegan chocolate mousse and fruit pies other than just apple, make the nacho's vegan, and expand the fresh juice options.
305 Dairy Rd, Kahului, USA
Not as vegan-friendly as the D2E cafes on Oahu
When I visit a $9.59 a pound salad bar, even in paradise, I expect the lettuce to be organic and to not have to pick thru browned pieces of lettuce to find pieces that look fresh. I also expect to have all salad dressings labelled on the bottle, so if someone puts a bottle of non-vegan dressing back into the wrong slot, I won't accidentally consume dairy. Unfortunately, this salad bar which is expensive even by Maui standards (Whole Foods, Manna in Paia, and Hawaiian Moons in Kihei are all more than a dollar less expensive), doesn't meet the above criteria.
This being said, a vegan CAN get a nice delicious meal here, both in the cold foods and hot foods section, however, there are far fewer vegan options than both Down to Earth Deli Cafe's I visited on Oahu. I'm lucky if 50% of the hot food items are vegan on a given day, whereas in Oahu, it was usually 75 to 80% vegan. Some of the vegan options I've enjoyed at this salad bar are curried chickpeas (cold section), curried vegetables with a phyllo dough topping (hot section), and "chicken" flavored tofu pieces.
Also, one can't go all the way around the cold food and hot food stations of the salad bar, which makes for a congested traffic pattern at peak times. I still enjoy eating here, but not as much as at Down to Earth in Oahu, and I certainly don't think I'm getting a bargain. Fortunately, unlike Manna in Paia, there is seating for the salad bar, both upstairs and outside.
21825 Sherman Way, Canoga Park, USA
Best for sandwiches, pancakes, shakes, and dessert
I think of FYH as a deli and vegan "IHOP." IMO, they excel at sandwiches, such as their club sandwich and reuben. However, I've generally found their entrees to generally be so-so including their curry "chicken" and wok stirfry. Their tacos aren't bad and my omni partner loves their spanikopita. Some of their holiday specials are good, but overall, their sandwiches are better than their entrees. I find their pizza mediocre.
I especially like coming their for breakfast and find their wheat-free blueberry pancakes excellent. Their smoothies are tasty, but unfortunately do not use organic fruit. Their chocolate mint shake is quite good and can be made vegan. My favorite FYH dessert is their peach tart.
Overall, I find the service friendly, helpful, and not flakey like I find in some veg restaurants. The menu is quite helpful and specifies which dishes can be made vegan. Link to menu: http://www.followyourheart.com/cafe_menu.php
4080 Paradise Rd, Las Vegas, USA
Don't bother if you're vegan.
Vegan options were few, so I had the rice and peas, brown dahl, and a cabbage dish. I found the brown dahl watery and over-salted, and the cabbage dish very greasy and way too hot. I kept having to drink water because my food was so spicy. Overall this restaurant has a nice ambiance (for example black galaxy granite in the floors and restrooms), but very mediocre food.