Thursday, April 14, 2011

Veggie Grill Irvine, CA

After my debacle at Twisted Noodle I was jonesing for a meal I could enjoy.  I didn't want to worry about ingredients and I wanted something that tasted good.  I wanted a place where everyone else could enjoy the food too.  I also wanted something I couldn't get in NYC.  Native Foods is on my list but I have to go back there by myself.  A few years ago my family had a meal there and I was the only one, (a vegetarian at the time), who enjoyed it.  I think there were many reasons, and this isn't a negative review of Native Foods at all, but until I come back raving about it they're not willing to give it another go.

Since my mom is not as mobil as she used to I had to eliminate another favorite, The Wheel of Life in Irvine.

But they do like Veggie Grill!!  Well, everyone except my brother but, well, hey, ya know.

Portobello Burger slathered with grilled onions and salad.
My mom seemed to enjoy the Papa's Portobello Burger.  It was the only dish I didn't taste but it looked and smelled fantastic.

Burger with cheese.
The burger had a nice "meatiness" to it and the cheese just gave it that wonderful fatty gooiness that I miss.  It's a cross between cheese and a queso nacho sauce.

Chop Chop salad.
I don't do flips over salads in a vegan place but this was totally consumed by the carnivore who ordered it.

These are killer wings!
If I could only order one thing at Veggie Grill it would have to be the wings.  Basically it's a specially produced Gardein product that has an incredible mouthfeel.  It's got a crispy coating that carries a nice blend of spices and makes a great vessel for either dipping sauce if you don't happen to have a spoon or straw.  One is a ranch and the other BBQ.  Now there is a new product that I didn't see and didn't hear about until we were leaving.  It's a Chipotle wing.  Usually it's marinated but we got a cup of the sauce and just dipped.  It had a pleasant level of heat to it and I'd like to try an order to compare.  We went through 3 orders of wings at the table.  Now granted, one person wasn't hungry when we left to get the food but seemed to work up a good appetite for wings by the time we came back

My Carne Asada ... or very little of the carne and a lot of the table.
My Carne Asada was amazing.  It had a nice level of heat and earthy flavor.  The red onions gave the sandwich a bit of crunch.  I might have skipped the tomato because the whole thing is slathered in sauce and tends to be a bit drippy.  Fine for at home in in store dining but nothing I'd want to eat in the car (or plane).  The meat itself has that same Gardein meatiness.

All the breads were soft and had a nice touch of sweetness.  These are not crusty rolls or hero buns and I found them to be a good match for the contents which were also soft.  There was no burger squirt as sometimes happens with a soft burger and hard bun and you bite into the sandwich and the contents come squishing out the back.

This takeout meal was a perfect ending to a less than stellar culinary visit to California.

The Veggie Grill (Campus Drive) on Urbanspoon


Abby Bean said...

"burger squirt"!

Marty said...

burger squirt is someday going to end up in Wiki as a real thing. I wonder if they'll remember who coined it!?