Friday, November 7, 2008

High Noon Cafe, Jackson, Miss

What a little find! I was driving by when I realized the Rainbow COOP was the home to the High Noon Cafe. I was thinking about skipping lunch but I'm glad I didn't. "What the hell?" is a frequent saying of mine before I eat a meal when I'm not hungry and thinking I'd only order the house burger and eat half I ended up chowing down on the whole thing. I did leave some of the potato salad though it was good enough to finish.

The Beet Tofu burger was excellent. Nice seasonings, good flavor and excellent texture. It was just a good mouthfeel of burger, bun, rice cheese, mushrooms and onions with sun dried tomato aioli.

The surprise in the potato salad was the fresh celery, what a nice mouth crunch and flavor although I did play around with a tad more salt and, (how nice), cayenne pepper which is a stable on every table.

My hunger level aside, I think the menu is a bit limited. Salads we can get anywhere and a few variations on a burger are still, well, variations on a burger. I'd like to see more on a menu that a carnivore can recognize, like other sandwiches, etc and a variety of bowls with variations using tempeh, tofu and other analogs. It is what it is and what it is is good.

I'd say eat here even if there were other vegan restaurants in the area, but there aren't ... so eat here.

In addition to a lovely waitress who's name I am sorry I don't recall, I did spend a few enjoyable minutes talking with Brad who offered me the recipe. Good vibes.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Poor Poor Wichita

From it's beginnings as a home of the buffalo, staple of the Indian diet, this city has moved nary an inch toward a better culinary ... or should I say dietary experience.

Last night it was late and the choice was between Denny's and I hop. Ihop won but not by much and at least they have those make believe it's healthy because it's a tad healthier than anything else we cook Grain and Nuts pancakes. (or whatever they're called).

There is not a single (according to Happy Cow, my bible when on the road), vegetarian restaurant here.

I ended up at a Thai restaurant called strangely enough Bangkok on S. Rock Road, in a tiny strip mall. It was about 2 stores wide and had maybe 10 diners. I start to worry.

Not to worry, there's a whole page with a Vegetarian Menu on it, from appetizers, (yes I started to worry when on page 1 of the menu I see chicken and pork in the egg rolls and spring rolls...yikes!), but when you point to a vegetarian menu and the english/thai language is suspect, (as I suspect anytime I'm trying to make sure the rice or the entree isn't cooked with chicken stock whether it is a mainstream mexican, chinese, etc etc etc.), I find there is a sense of relief.

The Veg Egg Rolls looked standard and tasted standard and I was happy dipping them in the hot vinegar they were served with.

I had the Spicy Tofu and the Curried Fried Rice. Both were delicous. I'd love to see an all vegetarian restaurant here but I'd eat here again.

The food plus a Jasmine Tea, (in a bag), came out to $18. At this price I should shovel tons of this food on trucks and sell it in NYC for twice as much.


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Sublime Fort Lauderdale

I have eaten at Sublime several times and have never been disappointed. It's another of my few Meccas.

I took some stuff to go but ate an order of the sliders at the bar while I waited. I won't comment on the to go stuff because I think food should be judged when it hits the table and to go boxes never do anything justice.

The seitan/gardein sliders are the closest thing to hamburgers I have come across. they are tastey and have an incredible hamburger-ish consistency. Grilled flavor comes from how they're cooked ... on a grill. The vegan cheese and sauce on the small slider buns add to the overall combination of flavors that make this an incredible experience.

My only criticism is that at $12 for four and my penchant for eating them while sucking down a beer I could conceivably have to take out a second mortgage just to pay for a tailgate party. Seriously, they're pricey but great. I'd love to see 6 on a plate but when you get great food who doesn't want more?

Thanks Nanci.

Friday, August 29, 2008

City o' City Denver

City o' city is a great dark wooded beer drinking pizza place. I fell in love with the Buffalo Wings. My first bite and there was this delicious Buffalo Sauce slathered piece of seitan with a ... what?! CRUNCH?!

The vegan ranch made this the best ever wings.

Now the pizza. Am I a New York Pizza snob? I don't think so. I eat just about anything that is put in front of me. The pizza I ordered was like a meat lovers with veggie sausage, pepperoni and bacon. It was a very non distinctive pizza and I couldn't, unless I took a slice of this or a crumble of that identify a particular taste. Perhaps it was my overloading the pie thinking that this might be the gateway to meatless nirvana but it just fell a little short. The crust wasn't anything to write home about either. It wasn't bad at all, just sort of nondescript.

Still, I'd have to vote for another chance if I find myself in Denver. (It wasn't to go to the convention, other work brought me there). Next time I'd just do say, sausage and peppers to see if the flavors stood out a bit better.

I'd rather have a mediocre attempt at mock meat on a pizza by an establishment that was TRYING then a better quality pie at any pizzeria where throwing some veggies on top of a pie is thought to satisfy the vegetarian world. It doesn't. Get off your butt and try to make something good, not something you can merely call "vegetarian".

Now I didn't get to read the label but the Oogave Cola was a pleasant surprise. I'd like to give that a few more tastes and hopefully I'll be able to cross paths with this product again.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Curly's NYC

Ah, what took me so long to get here? We ordered the BBQ Tempeh Ribs, Cuban Sandwich and Chicken parm.

The ribs were good although some would say the sauce was thick and gooey. I like thick and gooey and sweet. The texture was good although I think tempeh is never as stringy and rib like as ribs are. Still good.

The cuban sandwich brought me back to Key West. All that was missing was cuban coffee. And more. In both dishes we thought it would be beneficial to have a bit more protein...not in a supersize way but it looked like 4 pieces of protein in each half sandwich and about as much on the chicken parm dinner as one small cutlet.

Neither one of us left hungry but come for the flavors.

The texture of the cuban sandwich was great, a nice hearty bite but the chicken parm we both thought was a bit on the chewy side.

We had 2 waters and 1 glass of wine between us, one app, one sandwich and one entree and with a tip it came out to just under 42 dollars. A bit steep for lunch but very satisfying. I look forward to trying many other items on the Curly's menu.


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Millenium San Francisco

One of my favorite restaurants in the whole wide world, possibly the universe. Vegan, pricey, complex and delicious.

So I find myself in San Francisco and for 3 days have been looking forward to my Millenium meal. My travel partner isn't veg or vegan so I sit with him as he eats in the Chinese and Vietnamese Restaurant across the street. To be sociable I order the Vietnamese Spring Rolls which were certainly adequate although the peanut sauce I found to be a bit bland. Nothing that some hoisin, hot chili oil and was it Sambal perhaps, couldn't fix right up.

Off to Millennium where my bud ordered a cup of coffee to keep me company. I started with the Sesame crusted oyster mushrooms. Delicious taste and seasoned perfectly with a nice bit of crunch. Perhaps it's my lack of experience with oyster mushrooms but I thought they were a tad bit chewy...not as I remembered from my last visit a year ago but still great.

The entree I ordered was the Mediterranean Roulade even though it was panned by the bartender as having a taste that disagreed with him and he didn't like the brick bread. I ordered it anyway deciding to forego the peach Grilled Tempeh in a Habenero Peach BBQ sauce. One day I'll have enough to order 5 dishes but today wasn't one of them. I prefer Seitan to Tempeh and my only criticism of the dish was that I would have preferred a ton more of the seitan and that I hadn't finished my bread and had some to sop up the sauce with ... and ... not that we're giving out 5 points for plating but there is some thought put into that by the kitchen and was just a bit peeved when the waiter put it down on the bar a bit too hard and half the roulade fell over.
A minor point I know but we're not slinging hash here.

I would have liked the Bloody Mary but it wasn't on the menu for some reason. That is something I remember from my last visit. I ordered the Tequila Sunrise which was made with pomegranate juice and I found it was a bit tart when paired with the romescoe sauce. Maybe I just missed the Grenadine.

Go and eat here.


Monday, August 4, 2008

Tommy's in Cleveland

So why am I reviewing a place in Cleveland Heights of all places? Because it's another one of those vegan/vegetarian/carnivore combination restaurants that I think is the wave of the future...and I was there.

I was also disappointed as I had high expectations for a nice juicy philly cheese steak kind of sandwich. I got a seitan hero on what seemed to be white bread with thin squares of not very tasty seitan. I don't equate quantity with quality but I scraped all the seitan onto half the bread to make a semi decent sandwich. The cheese was, according to the waitress, Tofutti. It was covered with standard iceburg lettuce and hard tomatos.

Not very impressive at all.

The babaganoush was also rather bland and seemed to be mixed with mayo as it was very white. Pita...also chewy and not very tasty.

I appreciate the gesture Tommy but lets work on the execution.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Yummy Yummy Long Beach

I thank the management for putting up a vegetarian meat section on the menu and to me it's always better to have it than to not have it but the food last night was just your standard chinese fare.

The hot and sour soup was just ok and the vegetarian spring roll nothing to write home about being overly wrapped with thin dough, just over the line of being a tad too cooked and with your standard commercial filling. How hard are these things to make from scratch?

My brown rice was more crunchy than I undercooked.

I had one of my rare cravings for Sweet and Sour and ordered the pork. I knew it was coming but the sauce was middle of the road and although I brought it upon myself it was too sweet for my palate. I know, it's like saying the chocolate syrup is too sweet. Non the less, it was just your standard chinese, can get it anywhere sauce.

The pork I found to be non descript and a bit on the chewy side even bordering on tough.

Still, at the end of the day it wasn't an animal, satiated my hunger and allowed me not to sit with a bowl of steamed vegetables, although my waistline certainly could use that, and I did have a good time with my friends in a restaurant.

Yummy Yummy Restaurant(516) 897-9872
153 E Park Ave, Long Beach, NY 11561 (I couldn't find a website)

Does anyone know any other restaurants in the Long Beach, Island Park, Oceanside area that offer a vegetarian option?

Friday, August 1, 2008

What's this?

In a nutshell it's my putting out there good places to find a vegetarian option in a meat filled world. If there's a restaurant where I could bring my carni-omnivore friends and still leave a satisfied vegetarian I want to make sure I steer you there.

I want these things to remain on the menu as seeds for vegetarian sections and I want these establishments to remain in business.

Does anyone know what happened to the Vegi Diner on 14Th Street? I loved that place and it always seemed busy. Then one day...gone.

I want to avoid this happening to good places who put our needs above a plate of steamed veggies.

If you know of a non vegetarian mainstream eatery that makes an effort to cater to our needs, wants and desires please let me know and post it here so we can support it. I've found that in this day and age even the most diehard meat establishment considers it an indulgence to throw a Gardenburger on the menu. Whoo whoo. I'd rather eat the napkin. If someone thinks enough to try and send us out the door satisfied and satiated then I say give them kudos and repeat business.


Roast Pork

The bar b q roast pork at

Buddha Bodai Vegetarian Restaurant -
5 Mott St, New York - (212) 566-8388 and at

Buddha Bodai -
4296 Main St, Flushing - (718) 939-1188

is outstanding.

I was on my monthly, (actually whenever I get down to Chinatown) shopping trip usually stocking up at May Wah ( 213 Hester Street, New York, NY 10013 Tel: 212.334.4428 Fax: 212.334.4423 one block north of Canal St between Centre and Baxter St.

They have tons of chicken, pork, beef, etc., veggie substitutions and couldn't resist heading down Mott St. and picking up a quart. It's pricey at 12 bucks but it's so good. I use it for my fried rice and also heat up some bow (buns) and add this to whatever else might be inside.

I also ordered the sticky rice wrapped in banana leaves. They told me to steam for 10 minutes but it took closer to 20 to get the insides nice and hot. Sticky starchy sweet rice (duh, it's called that for a reason) and fake meat inside in a sweetish sauce.

It's an easy thing to stuff your face with. Not on the top rung of the culinary ladder but clearly over the line of good tasting and easy to eat.

On a sad note, I found out that the owner of May May, just 3 stores down from Mott St. on Pell St. retired and there is no one making those other vegetarian dumplings. Since it happened a year ago how much could I miss them right?

So that is why I put up addresses and phone numbers making it as easy as I can to patronize my favorite stores.

A few blocks up Hester Street used to be a huge Asian market called the Dynasty Market. Well, it's still there just about 1/4 of the size so this patronizing thing is serious.