All Reviews by happy veggie
428 W Greens Rd, Houston, USA
Wonderful People, Good Food
Unique. This is in a small strip mall close to the airport (IAH). It's not exactly a vitamin/health store. It's a juice shop offering a large selection of organic juices. They have a very limited menu, but the few items are scrumptuous...and vegan. The veggie chicken salad sandwich was dreamy, as was the meatless meatloaf sandwich. They offer gumbo a couple times a week, but much too spicey for me. Seating if very limited, but pull on up to the juice bar. The following should not be a turnoff: They are very Christian. They proselytize. There's jazzy and rocky Christian music always playing, and there's a little Jesus or Mary in about every corner. This did not turn me off. They are about the nicest people I've ever met (Tom, the manager). They bless you at every corner. They are also missionaries. I am assuming that the worker or two there are down and out people that their church is trying to help. Very commendable. Vegetarian, at its heart, is the promotion of spirit and life. Too many vegetarian restaurants are self-righteous and reek of negativity. Not here.
1901 E Cesar Chavez, Austin, USA
Mr. Natural Rocks
We live in Dallas, but come to Austin just to eat here (maybe twice a year). We've been coming to this restaurant for over 10 years. It's our favorite vegetarian restaurant anywhere. We've traveled far and wide, eaten at thousands of restaurants, but none are better. We don't indulge in all the vitamins and supplements, and some of their food can't be all that good for you (lots of fried soy products), but everything tastes divine and everything is affordable. They also have some healthful food, like great salads and exotic juices. The only con that I can think of is limited parking and that none of the locals, most of which are Mexican, are patrons. Most people who frequent here are college students or professors.
3439 SE Belmont St, Portland, USA
We had the vegan corn dog bucket, stir fried veggies, a bowl of fruit, vegan nachos, and a huge spinach salad. Everything was quite good (except maybe for the fake cheese on the corn chips). Service was slow and spotty because the young man behind the counter was alone (don't know how big the kitchen staff was). The place is not dirty, but like many of these veggie places, the people who run it and its customers are grundgy and unkept. They don't look or act like wait people at Macaroni Grill. So, on the surface, places like this don't entice those who are not part of the counterculture. But if you're an animal rights loving person, this place was ideal. And even if you're not, but have an open mind, you might still learn to love this restaurant.
1700 S Catalina Ave, Redondo Beach, USA
Green Temple Rocks
The trip by itself may be worth it. The beach in Catalina was beautiful...when you can see it. We spotted a public area and stayed there for about an hour. After we had our fill of the ocean air, we went looking for Green Temple, we found it ensconced in a forest of condos and chic beauty shops and streets lined with palm trees manicured to the exact height and shape.
The restaurant is mostly an outdoor courtyard sectioned here and there with a small water fountain in the middle. That's correct, it is all outdoors, but it's very nicely covered. You do not feel cramped at all, but I imagine that the place will only sit about 40 people. Take a sweater or sweatshirt. The sea breeze can be brisk. The place reminded me of the courtyard of Kalachandji's, the vegetarian Hare Krishna restaurant in Dallas.
The "decor", what little there is of it, touches upon Indian themes, which makes me suspect that the owner, clearly British, is steeped in Eastern philosophy. His website talks about organic farming, sustainability, and helping local farmers. I love this "big picture" take. Many vegetarians, like me, are ethical vegetarians. We do it to promote animal rights and environmental sustainability. And, thus, we seek out vegetarian cuisine. But many restaurants that offer vegetarian food are not of like mind or spirt. They may be offshoots of a big corporations or they offer their foods with an attitude.
This place exudes peace.
Once we had a table, the service was wonderful (our waiter, a former surfer, was patient, polite, and smiling) and the food came in quick succession.
We dined here three nights in a row and each night the food was dreamy. There was a different house special each night, and we sample a couple. I would have to rank the following as our favorites: the enchiladas (My mom is Mexican, and I can't even approximate the sauce), the salads (all were generous and fresh, even the Sproutada), the burgers (homemade and with the consistency of a thick, moist cooky and with the slight taste of nuts), and dessert (a heavenly thick macademia nut cake/pie with chocolate and coconut topping). There is a ubiquitous tofu sauce that comes with just about everything. My wife and I liked it, but not our daughter.