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Hart's Mesa

  • Veg-friendly Veg-friendly
    ( 4 reviews )
Contact 360-878-8490
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903 Rogers St NW, Olympia, Washington, USA, 98502

Serves meat, vegan options available. Latin inspired Mexican restaurant in a historic location next to the Westside Olympia Food Co-op. Uses local produce. Reported you will find 2 labeled vegan items on menu before 4pm. Other times you might get dairy in your dish. Ask for tofu scramble, tacos with field roast chorizo or seasoned tofu, or a torta with sweet potato. Mixed reports on whether rice and bean are vegan or not, so ask! Open Mon-Tue 8:00am-4:00pm, Wed-Sat 8:00am-9:00pm, Sun 8:00am-2:00pm.

Category: Lacto, Ovo, Beer/Wine, Mexican, Spanish, Latin American, Non-veg

Reviews (4)

First Review by Raynevegan

Not Vegan. Period. - Edit

Okay, so I came here six months ago with my bestfriend. I live 1/2 mile a way and was born and raised in Oly. The building has switched names, owners, and menus five or six times in the last fifteen to twenty years since I was born. When I learned they had vegan options, I was like "hell yeah!" And so my bestfriend invited me to lunch there. We walked in, sat at the booth so I could watch them cook my food, and ordered their Vegan Burrito. I LOVE BURRITOS! I told them I was vegan and had them confirm everything I had ordered was truly and honestly vegan. They said "yes". I asked them to change their gloves before handling my food. They did, but watching them handle ground meat inches from my food made me cringe. I had to use the bathroom while they were making the burrito and when I came back my food was ready. It was delicious, a little too greasy, but I was satisfied.
Okay, so now let's move on to the part where it's not vegan. I didn't order anything that day that needed to be put on the grill...but when my mom wanted to go there and I said I would go again, I ordered the Vegan Benedict, or I was going to, but when I asked if they cooked the stuff on the same grill I could clearly see them cooking bacon on, they said they did. "Wait...are you telling me you cook my tofu on the grill, OVER THERE, with the sizzling bacon juice still on it?" The woman server looked at me and said "well, yes...but we wipe it off." And she was right, they wiped it off quickly, leaving behind bits of charred meat and a trail of still sizzling grease. "I think I won't order anything."
I left my mom waiting for her food, went to the co-op next door, bought a bag of vegan bread, came back and ate bread while my mom was eating her omelette and potatoes.
The ingredients may be vegan, but if they grill it on top of bacon bits and grease, it's not vegan. You might as well just put lard in my food.

Pros: Seating, Right next to the co-op, Did I mention the place next door has vegan food?^

Cons: Staff are not knowledgeable about vegan ideology, Grills vegan ingredients in meat juice, Staff won't change their gloves unless you ask


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Bad service, overpriced. - Edit

The only reason I'm giving this place 2 stars was that the food did taste good. Otherwise, I will never go back to this place. The service was slow, and it took almost an hour to get our food. Which, was an extremely small portion. So not only did it take almost an hour to get such a small dish, each dish was about $15, way too much. By far the worst thing I experienced while being there though, was that while we waited for our food, about 4 of the employees came stomping through the dining area carrying a giant pig carcass. They carried the body outside and laid it on the ground before throwing it onto the grill which was located outside in the front lawn, right in front of the entrance. Then, while the pig was cooking, the 'chefs' or owners stood by the pig while drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes. They neglected to wash their hands before touching the pig again either. This was overall horrible experience and I will never go back.


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Excellent Vegan Mexican Food - Edit

UPDATE:

After exchanging a few messages with the owner, I decided I would give it another try. It is definitely worth noting that he was responsive and interested in recovering our experience. He offered a comp meal for a return visit but we did not accept the offer and just returned several months later to try again. We have since been back twice. We are SO GLAD that we gave it another try!

The menu has changed and there is a specific section full of amazing vegan meals. The tofu scramble is incredible. Not the standard turmeric-to-make-it-yellow soggy scramble you get at most places that don't know what they're doing. The tofu was cooked to perfection and the flavors were outstanding. We brought friends with us one of the times and we have ordered almost everything from the vegan section at this point. They have all been amazing. The chickpea burrito is HUGE and the tofu tacos are everything you want. I promise. I'm so glad to have vegan mexican food in Olympia and I am reassured that the kitchen and waitstaff knows what they are doing.

The vegan dishes the chef has put together are a must have. I felt like I was getting authentic SoCal mexican food. Also, make sure you try their homemade hot sauce. It's much different than anything you'll find in stores. Excellent all the way around. This is our new favorite place and it's AMAZING that they open at 8AM for breakfast.


Was really excited to see reviews that the vegan food here was excellent. The Happy Cow app even said that the rice and beans were vegan. We were one of three tables dining with a waiter that was constantly on the phone or outside talking to someone or sitting at one of the three tables chatting with his friends or coworkers. We were told we could sit anywhere, we sat at one of the many empty tables only to be told that it was dirty and the waiter brushed all the crumbs onto the floor while we were sitting at it. Still, the service is not something I would have been bothered enough by to leave a review. Misleading vegans (or anyone with special diet requirements - allergies or otherwise) is very upsetting.

There are two items marked vegan that are only served until 4PM. I asked if they were the only things that could be ordered or if any item on the menu could be "veganized" since they had a choice of tofu or soyrizo. The waiter assured us that anything could be made vegan. I ordered one of the two items that was labeled vegan, my husband ordered a sopas platter and asked for it to be made vegan. He was sure to specify that he meant no dairy - no cheese, no sour cream. When his plate came, there was a huge dollop of cream on top. He asked what it was and this was when the waiter realized that his plate was also covered in cheese. FYI to anyone with allergies, this is one of those restaurants that just whisks your plate away and tries their best to remove whatever allergen they have covered your food in instead of remaking it. The plate returned with traces of cheese along the edges.

After eating our meal and having to wait a very long time for our waiter to stop having a conversation outside and take our payment, we learned that the rice on the sopas platter was not vegan - the rice and beans is not vegan. After this experience, I wouldn't trust anything else on the menu either whether they say it's vegan or not. I've since learned that this building is a revolving door of eateries, I'm guessing with the management and knowledge of food items that we experienced on our first and only visit there, Hart's Mesa will be short lived as well.

Pros: The guac and pico was fresh and tasty, This place really knows how to cook tofu. EXCELLE, Separate vegan section of the menu. No need to mo


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limited vegan options, unknowledgeable staff - Edit

Very mediocre food. I ordered the sweet potato fajitas vegan and they were brought to me with cheese and sour cream. The sweet potatoes were just ok, i could do much better at home. Some of the worst guacamole I've ever had. The waitress told us the rice and beans aren't vegan, friends of ours were told by other waitstaff they are. I m not going to go back to pace that doesn't know what's in its food.


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