Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Palomino Bar, quiet, peaceful and great vegan bar food in Milwaukee

I've been to The Palomino Bar a few times and it is one of my favorite places to go to while on the road.  It's only a few minutes, (like maybe 7), from where we park at MKE airport.  It's in a quiet residential neighborhood a block from the water.  It's got a environment that just cries out for a beer during the summer months but of course we were on duty so couldn't.

The Palomino Bar should actually be called The Palomino Restaurant.  I think it would be packed.  

I went with another carnivore pilot, (who I found out later had cut his animal consumption in half due to training for a tri and who also tasted my food.  His comment was that the seitan consistency took a bit of getting used to which makes sense as it's not anything he's eaten before.  Overall his impression was of a place he'd go back to and he didn't order the vegan food ... this to all of you who regularly dine in "mixed" company.)

I will tell you that you must love fried food if you're going to eat here.  This is not haute-cusine but wonderful, caloric, tasty comfort bar food.

Buffalo sauce is spot on.  Vegan ranch has a nice mild flavor.  The onion rings, holy shnikees Batman, I could strap a bucket of those around my neck and never come up for air.  I mean, how often do you FIND ANYTHING that is fried and dipped in an eggless vegan batter???  And these onion (straws really) had the perfect crunch and salt and slathered in ketchup ... dear god if we gave these to everyone the human race would have no time to procreate.

I did find the Faux Jus just a bit on the dry-ish side but man when I put the vegan mushroom gravy on it it just sang a different song.  Not that the bread was dry or the seitan was dry but it's like eating a sandwich that needs a sip of soda after to make its mouth-feel right.  When I added the gravy, the "jus," it just popped.  So my suggestion is to serve it with the gravy.

Oh you wanted food pics?  Start with a picture of a swan cloud.  How can your day be bad if you see this?  (Well, hint ... don't fly through it!)

I didn't say you couldn't get closer to it though.

OK, here's the food.  And did I mention that the fries are perfect.  They are cooked perfectly soft and yet have a meaty hearty consistency that really works nicely with the bits of skin you chew on when you put a few in your mouth at the same time.  You know what I mean?  And and and there are also bits of really crispy fries.  (The way my mom loved.)

The wings come with both seitan and tofu.  It's one of the better ways to eat tofu imho but for my calories I'd go with a whole plate of the seitan.  I don't know if they sell it but I just am not a big huge fan of tofu to begin with.

Tofu wings and Seitan wings, onion rings in back.

Faux Jus is served on a small hero roll.  Mac and Cheese poking out of the background.

The vegan mac and cheese is pretty good.  I got it as a side and don't think I'd want to eat it as a whole meal although it is available.  I love the consistency of it and to me, the decadence of eating white pasta is sort of a secret pleasure, and with a dash of salt was a perfect side to the samich.

Last but not least I ended up in Dupage, IL.  In the Target I happen upon a few freezer cases of Vegetarian, (boo), and Vegan (YaY), options.  Way to go Target.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Limited Choices in West Palm Beach

I thought better of not posting after the meal at E. R. Bradley's since there seem to be so few vegan options in West Palm Beach. Therefore, no photos were taken except for these two of the open air venue.
There are a few smoothie options on the menu and mine was unaltered with apple, spinach, kale and pineapple. My salad was spinach, (my waitress mistook 'sub spinach for the gorgonzola' on the mixed greens salad and it came as 100% spinach), and I subbed the dijon vinaigrette for the red wine vinaigrette dressing. The dressing was as nice as any I had and the spinach was adorned by a quartered plum tomato, red onions, and cukes.  I noticed little white spots in the dressing and even though I queried the waitress and got a thumbs up, I later asked again.  Jackie the hostess came back and said they were small bits of garlic or onion, definitely no cheese or dairy in the dressing.  

Later I asked about the veggie burgers and buns and Jackie checked with the kitchen and both were vegan items.  Cool.

E.R. Bradley's is an option to try when dining with a carnivore and you want a view of some water.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Eros Cafe and After Athens, Rutherford backup

I and 2 other pilots schlepped out to Rutherford for dinner, my mouth watering at the prospect of a seitan parmigiana hero/sub/grinder.  It was not to be as Rutherford Pancake House is only open for dinner Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night.

The people do protest your withholding of vegan food 4 nights a week dear Sirs.

Across the street is a very nice looking Greek restaurant.  I have to admit we were like Roadrunner, beeping with our heads furtively darting from side to side, since the only other suggestion was the Subway at the corner.  This being said my camera instincts were a bit off.  I have no pics of the outside or the inside.

Eros Cafe and After Athens seems to be split into 2 venus although I couldn't tell where, (or if), they actually are divided.  The website shows a full service dining room which I guess is After Athens but we sat in the more casual coffee shop area.  There are low tables with comfortable looking couches in the rear of a table lined restaurant and outside is a smoking section and parking lot.  By the back of another building is another outside dining area.  We wanted to sit outside but that is where the smoking section is located, (they also have hookahs available and something else I had never seen but I'll post it when I remember what it was and can find a link.  Some other smoking device apparently), and the cigarette smoke wasn't exactly inviting to us.  I also smelled a faint whiff from the dumpster.  I guess if you smoke you don't smell things as well.  Well, you don't.  I also wasn't thrilled about eating overlooking a parking lot and we ended up sitting back inside.

It's not a very vegan friendly place, (there is no SOY milk available at the coffee bar, hello 2012!), but there were a few things I saw on the menu that I thought might work.  All would be a "hold the cheese" order and all would have to be further examined for egg in the pasta, cheese in the marinara, (there isn't any), and other such qualifiers.

I opted for the personal margarita pizza, add onions, roasted peppers, mushrooms and every vegetable they had.  I have to tell you that eating a cheese-less pizza held little anticipation for me.  Why?  Can't everyone get Daiya?  The bottom line was that this was much better than I thought!  The mushrooms were marinated in a balsamic and the flavor of the roasted veggies rocked!  I wasn't at all disappointed in this dish.  I wouldn't seek it out again but it wasn't nearly as boring as I had imagined.  Actually the opposite.  Still, if I'm going to eat pizza ... Whole Foods in Maywood, New Jersey has pizza made with Daiya.  On another day at Whole Foods they had a Daiya and sautéed spinach pie.  So there are options creeping into the world every day.  They're not blasting this stuff from the rooftops but they are discoverable by us vegans.

So my meal in Rutherford wasn't my Seitan Parmigiana but it certainly did an admirable job as an understudy.