Monday, February 1, 2016

My Sister's Cafe

I was happy this past week to visit a café where I could not only eat a delicious vegan lunch, but support a good cause at the same time. My Sister's Café opened on Capitol Mall a couple of years ago to support the work of My Sister's House, which helps Asian and Pacific Islander survivors of domestic violence.


I found the café in the breezeway of the 455 Capitol Mall building and was happy to see a vegan soup on the specials board. The winter vegetable white bean soup was chock full of vegetable goodness -- kale, tomatoes, white beans, zucchini, carrots, and vegetable broth. I should have ordered a whole bowl full, instead of just a cup!




I debated whether to order the banh mi sandwich or the banh mi salad, finally settling on the salad. I ordered a half salad, but it was more than enough food, consisting of Romaine, tofu, cucumber, cabbage, jalapeños, pickled carrots and daikon, cilantro, and balsamic vinaigrette. If you decide you'd like to try the banh mi sandwich, I was told that the baguette is vegan.




My Sister's Café is located at 455 Capitol Mall, and their phone number is 916-475-1864. Their website address is http://www.mysisterscafe.org/, and their Facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/mysisterscafe/timeline?ref=page_internal. The café is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Culinerdy Cruzer Food Truck



I've been wanting to check out the Culinerdy Cruzer food truck for awhile now, but never seem to be in the same vicinity. My husband Phil and I finally caught up with the truck this weekend at Track 7 Brewing Co. near Curtis Park. I sent a tweet ahead of time to make sure there would be a vegan option, and here's the response I got back: "@PamGiarrizzo we always have vegan options!! And not just boring old stuff either!"


The vegan offering on the menu when we got to Track 7 was the Arty & Tom, a panini-style sandwich filled with a mixture of artichoke hearts, fire-roasted tomatoes, slaw, balsamic glaze, and red pepper hummus. It was a great blend of flavors and definitely not "boring old stuff"! I had a choice of sides to go with it, and I probably should have asked for the flash-fried Brussels sprouts, but I just couldn't turn down the fries.




Culinerdy Cruzer's Chef Keith Breedlove was recently featured on Fox 40 explaining how to make vegan and gluten-free burgers. Check out the video here.


More information about the Culinerdy Cruzer food truck is available on their website at http://www.nerdytruck.com/, or by following them on Facebook or Twitter.


Monday, January 18, 2016

VEG

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season, filled with friends, family, and lots of vegan treats!


During my holiday break from blogging, a new vegetarian/vegan restaurant opened in Midtown. The owners of the very vegan-friendly Thai Basil restaurant have transformed the Level Up Lounge upstairs from Thai Basil into VEG, a restaurant serving all vegetarian and vegan dishes.


I stopped by twice last week to see what was being cooked up at VEG. During my first visit, I tried the samosas, small turnovers filled with curried potatoes, peas, and carrots. The pastry was flaky and the filling was delicious. I expect to enjoy many more samosas during future visits!




I also ordered the curry bowl, which is available in either individual or family size. Believe it or not, this enormous plate of tasty curried vegetables and brown rice was the individual portion! The cuisine at VEG is described on their Facebook page as being "Ayurveda-inspired," and this dish, with its variety of flavors and colors, is a good example of the chef's culinary approach.




The next time I visited VEG, I decided to try a breakfast item, so I ordered the VEG cakes, made with lentil flour and served with a thick persimmon sauce. I had seasonal fruit added for an extra cost, so my cakes were topped with beautiful persimmon chunks and blueberries. This hearty dish, consisting of two cakes, is also gluten-free.




VEG is currently in the soft opening stage, so the hours and menu may change. The menu is not available online yet, but the vegan items currently offered include fried tofu (definitely trying that on my next visit!), soup, salad, and tofu scramble, in addition to the dishes described above.


VEG is located at 2431 J Street, second floor, and their phone number is 916-448-8768. They don't have a website yet, but their Facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/vegcafemidtown/?fref=ts&ref=br_tf. Currently, the restaurant is open Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. The restaurant is closed on Monday.


Monday, December 14, 2015

Cheesecake Factory

As I mentioned last weekend, I'm on a holiday break and my blog posts will be sporadic until about mid-January. But I discovered a vegan addition to the menu at the Cheesecake Factory, and for those of you who are spending a lot of time at Arden Fair Mall or the Roseville Galleria this time of year, I thought you might want to know about it.


The Cheesecake Factory has always been an easy enough place to find something to eat, but only if you asked for various ingredients to be omitted from whatever you ordered. I had emailed them several years ago to ask about vegan menu items, but all they said was to talk to the server about any dietary restrictions and that several of their dishes could be modified.


So I was surprised when I leafed through the menu last week and actually found a dish called the Vegan Cobb Salad. It was enormous, as are most of the menu offerings at the Cheesecake Factory, and it consisted of roasted beets, quinoa, green beans, avocado, cucumber, garbanzo beans, sunflower seeds, tomatoes, and lettuce, served with the house vinaigrette. It was just as fresh and tasty as it looks in the picture below. If you're looking for it on the menu, it's listed in the Super Foods section.




My friend Cathryne ordered Evelyn's Favorite Pasta, which is vegan if you ask for the gluten-free pasta. The pasta is tossed with broccoli, oven-dried tomato, roasted eggplant, peppers, artichoke, Kalamata olives, garlic, and pine nuts. I've had this dish before, and it's delicious.




The Cheesecake Factory is a national chain. In the Sacramento area, they have restaurants at Market Square at Arden Fair and at the Roseville Galleria. For more information about locations, hours of operation, or menu items, visit their website at www.thecheesecakefactory.com or their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/thecheesecakefactory.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Sacramento Vegan is taking a holiday break

Blog posts will be sporadic until about mid-January. However, I will post occasional updates on my Sacramento Vegan Facebook page. Happy holidays to you and your family!

Monday, November 30, 2015

The Porch Restaurant and Bar

Every October for the past few years, I've visited the Porch Restaurant and Bar at least once during the month, and sometimes two or three times. I've always enjoyed my meal, but I've never gone to the restaurant during any month other than October. Why? Because that's when the Sacramento Vegan Chef Challenge takes place, and until now, that's been the only time when I could reasonably expect to find vegan options on the menu.


Following last month's Sacramento Vegan Chef Challenge, however, the Porch's Chef Jon Clemons made a decision to offer vegan menu options year-round, which explains why my husband Phil and I had dinner there last night. The menu at the Porch changes daily, so the dishes I describe below may not be available when you go. Vegan items are available for brunch, lunch, and dinner, and they are clearly marked on the menu, which is updated on the Porch's website daily.


For starters, I ordered a plate of sweet potato fries, served with house-made ketchup. Very tasty!




The vegan entrée was Blackened Grit Cakes, which were served with curried butternut squash and yellow split pea purée, spinach, and apple-pecan and onion relish. These delicious cakes were crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, and the squash and split pea purée was the perfect accompaniment.




The Porch's vegan desserts are always delicious, and the one on last night's menu was no exception. It was a wonderful slice of creamy pumpkin pie to round out my Thanksgiving weekend.




The Porch Restaurant and Bar is located at 1815 K Street, and their phone number is 916-444-2423. Their website address is http://www.theporchrestaurantandbar.com/, and their Facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/ThePorchRestaurant/. The restaurant is open for brunch Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.; for lunch Tuesday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.; and for dinner Monday from 5:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Friday from 5:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., Saturday from 4:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., and Sunday from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

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 http://www.capitolgarage.com/, and their Facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/capGarage/?fref=ts. The Vegan Tuesday menu is available every Tuesday from 4:00 p.m. until close.