Monday, November 23, 2015

Vegan Tuesdays at Capitol Garage

Sometimes, I feel like I've gotten into a rut, eating the same vegan dishes at the same restaurants over and over again. That's one reason I was happy to find out about Capitol Garage's Vegan Tuesdays. A special menu of plant-based options is offered every Tuesday, in addition to the wonderful vegan dishes that are available on Capitol Garage's regular menu and their happy hour menu.

I visited Capitol Garage last Tuesday. The Vegan Tuesday menu listed a radish salad, tomato bisque, and a tofu torta. I ordered the torta, slices of salsa-seared tofu, avocado, and black bean spread on a focaccia bun. This delicious sandwich came with a huge serving of fries.

As you can probably imagine, I couldn't eat another thing after that, but I didn't want to leave without getting dessert to go. The only vegan dessert available was a banana chocolate mocha cake, which sounded pretty great to me. I shared this enormous slice of cake with my husband later that night, and we both loved it.

Capitol Garage is located at 1500 K Street, and their phone number is 916-444-3633. Their website address is, and their Facebook page can be found at The Vegan Tuesday menu is available every Tuesday from 4:00 p.m. until close.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Conscious Creamery

If you're like me, you probably thought your gelato-eating days were over when you decided to go vegan. Fortunately, that's about to change.

Conscious Creamery has been offering free tastes of their dairy-free gelato at events around town. Saturday night, my husband Phil and I sampled a couple of different flavors at a Second Saturday reception outside of Midtown Aquatics. Andrea and Kevin of Conscious Creamery had a cart with six different flavors available.

Back in the days when I ate gelato, one of my favorite flavors was stracciatella, vanilla mixed with chocolate flakes. I was delighted that stracciatella was one of the choices offered by Conscious Creamery, and even more delighted about the mouth-watering taste and creamy consistency.

Phil opted for the dark chocolate gelato, which was very rich and quite delicious.

Conscious Creamery's gelatos contain no dairy products, eggs, soy, refined oils, fillers, artificial stabilizers, or artificial flavors or colors. The gelato is made in small batches, and organic, fair trade, and local ingredients are used whenever possible. Currently, this wonderful product is available only at special events, but after the first of the year, Conscious Creamery's owners hope to be able to start their own pop-ups.

For more information about Conscious Creamery, or to find out where they'll be offering samples next, check their website at or their Facebook page at

Monday, November 9, 2015


As I've mentioned before, a time or two or ten, I'm not a coffee drinker. Tea is my hot beverage of choice. But when I heard about a new coffee restaurant serving foods prepared by local vegans, I had to check it out.

The Pachamama Coffee Cooperative sells coffee grown by five different cooperatives representing family farmers in Peru, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Ethiopia, and Mexico. Their U.S. headquarters is in midtown Sacramento, where they sell coffee wholesale or through their retail shops in Davis and East Sacramento.

The East Sacramento location opened just a couple of weeks ago at 36th and J. When I walked in, the first two things I noticed were the bakery case selling Sugar Plum Vegan donuts and muffins on the counter next to the cash register, and the refrigerated case across from the cash register filled with quinoa burgers, tostadas, enchiladas, and other healthy raw vegan dishes from the Green Boheme. Clearly, vegans are welcome at Pachamama!

I ordered an addictive Super Plum Vegan Samoa donut and a latte with almond milk. Pachamama offers both soy milk and almond milk at no extra charge. I'm happy to report that the latte had a very smooth taste, with none of the bitterness I associate with coffee. I actually rather enjoyed it!

The East Sacramento Pachamama is located at 3644 J Street, and their phone number is 916-476-4385. The Davis Pachamama is located at 521 First Street, and their phone number is 530-746-2172. Both locations are open daily from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. More information about Pachamama Coffee Cooperative can be found on their website at

Friday, October 30, 2015

Sacramento Vegan Chef Challenge 2015 -- Lou's Sushi

The Sacramento Vegan Chef Challenge ends tomorrow, which means I'm running out of time to visit all the participating restaurants. I didn't want the challenge to end without a visit to Lou's Sushi, though, so I had lunch there today.

I don't usually go to sushi restaurants because, frankly, I'm not a sushi fan. Fortunately, the vegan menu at Lou's includes several non-sushi dishes.

I started with the elegant tofu and grilled asparagus salad, served with miso dressing. The asparagus was grilled to perfection, crisp but not raw, and the dressing gave just the right flavor to the silky tofu cubes. And what a beautiful presentation!

I also ordered the portabella katsu, which made me very happy. I haven't had any type of katsu since I went vegan more than thirteen years ago, and I used to really like it, so I was thrilled to see a vegan katsu on the menu at Lou's. In this particular dish, the portobello mushroom cap was grilled rather than fried, then breaded and sliced. It was served with a sweet sauce that was just right for this dish.

For those of you who do like sushi, Lou's is offering six different vegan rolls, including the popular OMFG roll they had on their Sacramento Vegan Chef Challenge menu last year. Better head on over there before the challenge ends!

Lou's Sushi is located at 2801 P Street, and their phone number is 916-451-4700. Their website address is, and their Facebook page can be found at The restaurant is open Tuesday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., Saturday from 3:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., and Sunday from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Sacramento Vegan Chef Challenge 2015 -- Baagan

October is always a busy month for me, and last week was even more hectic than usual. Unfortunately, that meant I was able to visit only one of the restaurants participating in the Sacramento Vegan Chef Challenge. On the bright side, that restaurant was a good one -- Baagan, which is all vegan all the time.

I hadn't been to Baagan since they moved into their new location, so I turned on my GPS and headed to Rocklin. There are so many good things on Baagan's regular menu that I was momentarily distracted, but I finally remembered why I was there and ordered one of everything on their Sacramento Vegan Chef Challenge menu.

Their entrée is a plate of two cauliflower tacos, roasted cauliflower served with a spicy mix of onions and peppers, then topped with shredded cabbage and an avocado drizzle. Very tasty!

Along with the tacos, I ordered the green chile sweet potato side dish. The spicy green chiles provided a surprising and flavorful contrast to the creamy sweet potatoes.

Dessert was a soft chewy brownie, drizzled with salted caramel sauce. Delicious!

Baagan is located at 2620 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 1, in Rocklin, and their phone number is 916-824-1688. Their website address is, and their Facebook page can be found at The restaurant is open Monday through Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Sacramento Vegan Chef Challenge 2015 -- Evan's Kitchen

Chef Evan Elsberry at Evan's Kitchen has been participating in the annual Sacramento Vegan Chef Challenge for many years. In fact, he has embraced the challenge with such enthusiasm that he offers tasty vegan options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner year-round.

My husband Phil and I had dinner at Evan's Kitchen Saturday night so I could check out this year's Sacramento Vegan Chef Challenge menu items. There was a nice selection of appetizers, soups, salads, entrées, and desserts to choose from. Since I always love the soups at Evan's, I started my meal with a cup of split pea and rutabaga soup, garnished with vegan sour cream and a beautiful star anise. The soup had an excellent flavor and left me wondering whether I should have ordered a bowl, rather than just a cup.

For my entrée, I ordered the crispy tofu and sticky orange stir fry. This colorful dish had a nice mix of textures and flavors, from the crunch of the tofu to the tang of the orange sauce. Very nice!

This gorgeous strawberry salad was my dessert. It consisted of a scoop of strawberry-red wine sorbet surrounded by raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries. It was the perfect ending to a wonderful meal!

Evan's Kitchen is located in the 57th Street Antique Mall at 855 57th Street, and their phone number is 916-452-3896. Their website address is, and their Facebook page can be found at Vegan options are available all day long, with breakfast served Tuesday through Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., lunch served Tuesday through Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and on Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and dinner served Tuesday through Saturday from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.