Monday, May 21, 2018

Golden Road Brewing




I had lunch a few days ago at Golden Road Brewing, which just opened in Midtown on May 10th. It's been panned by local beer aficionados because it's a corporate brewery owned by Budweiser in a city that prides itself on its many locally-brewed craft beers.


I wasn't there for the beer, however. I was there for the vegan food, and there was lots of it! The food menu lists several items that are either vegan or can be made vegan, including three kinds of tacos (fried avocado, drunken zucchini, and papas bravas), three salads (Caesar, Mexican chopped salad, and summer green salad), and five other items (asada fries, chips and guacamole, street corn, avocado fries, and buffalo cauliflower). 


I decided to make a lunch out of a couple of small plates -- the avocado fries and the buffalo cauliflower. The avocado fries consisted of an avocado cut into fourths, dipped in beer batter, and fried. They were served with a chipotle sauce that was good, but pretty spicy. The buffalo cauliflower was also dipped in a beer batter before being fried, then served with a vegan dill ranch sauce. It was really, really good!




Golden Road even offers a dessert that can be veganized -- the "Get up offa that brownie." It's a house-made beer brownie with chocolate sauce and a strawberry on top. Great way to top off my lunch!




Golden Road Brewing is located at 1830 L Street, and their phone number is 916-382-9445. It's one of four Golden Road locations throughout the state, so it doesn't have a website or Facebook page of its own. However, the company's website address is http://goldenroad.la/home, and their Facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/goldenroadbrew/. The Sacramento location is open Sunday through Wednesday from 11:00 a.m. to midnight, and Thursday through Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m.


Monday, May 14, 2018

Shabu Pub

This week's dining adventure was a visit to Shabu Pub, a hot pot restaurant in the Land Park neighborhood. It opened in 2016 in the space previously occupied by Blockbuster Video, but this was the first time I'd tried it.


Shabu is a style of cooking that involves dipping a variety of ingredients in a boiling broth, similar to a fondue. If you go to dinner at Shabu Pub, you would order a large pot of broth, which would be placed on a burner in the middle of your table. The pot has two sections, so if you're dining with a friend, you can have two different broths. The vegan options are either the miso or the kimchi broth. The server also mentioned a third vegan broth that isn't on the menu, which consisted of water, salt, onions, seaweed, and I don't know what all.


Then you choose the assortment of ingredients you want to cook in the broth. For vegans, there is a vegetable assortment. The specific vegetables may vary, but the server can probably tell you what's available. There's also an add-on menu, where you can choose specific vegetables or tofu for an additional cost.


That's what happens if you go for dinner. I, however, was there for lunch, when Shabu Pub offers a mini pot, an individual pot of broth that comes to the table with its own little burner and with the vegetable assortment already in the pot. I ordered the miso broth, and the vegetable assortment included tofu, udon noodles, cauliflower, zucchini, squash, asparagus, tomatoes, mushrooms, lotus root, green beans, cabbage, and probably a few other things I'm forgetting. It was quite a flavorful and satisfying lunch!




Shabu Pub is located at 4400 Freeport Boulevard, and their phone number is 916-736-1268. They don't seem to have a website, but their Facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/shabupubsacramento/. The restaurant is open for lunch Monday through Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., and for dinner Sunday through Wednesday from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. and Thursday through Saturday from 4:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Meet & Eat

I met my friend Deborah for lunch the other day at Meet & Eat in the Land Park neighborhood. I had eaten there before, and hadn't found it to be particularly vegan-friendly, but thought I'd give it another chance.


I asked about a few different dishes before deciding on the spicy veggie spaghetti, which is vegan if you order it without the Parmesan, and if you skip the garlic bread that would normally accompany it. The dish consisted of spaghetti tossed with a nice variety of vegetables and chili oil, then topped with avocado slices and raw pumpkin seeds. It was very good and I would order it again.




I went back for lunch a couple of days later with my husband Phil. This time, I ordered the Buddha Bar tacos, which are vegan if you get them without the feta cheese. They were also very good -- corn tortillas filled with roasted sweet potato, arugula, guacamole, pico de gallo, radishes, pumpkin seeds, and micro herbs.




I've found that Meet & Eat and its sister restaurant in Curtis Park, Café Dantorels, are very vegetarian-friendly, but it's not always easy to veganize their vegetarian dishes. One thing that sounded interesting on the Meet & Eat menu, for example, was a tofu burger. The menu didn't list any ingredients that sounded particularly problematic, but I thought I'd ask the server if it was vegan, just to be on the safe side. She checked with the kitchen and came back to tell me the onions, the barbecue sauce, and the bun weren't vegan. Similarly, I noticed one day recently that Café Dantorels was offering the Impossible Burger, but the mayo, cheese, and bun weren't vegan. I could live without the mayo and the cheese, but I sent a message asking why on earth they didn't have a vegan bun to go with their vegan burger. They responded that they didn't have the storage capacity to carry vegan bread, but I could always order the burger wrapped in a lettuce leaf. Umm, no.


The bottom line is that it's entirely possible to get a lovely vegan meal at both Meet & Eat and Café Dantorels, but you have to be very careful. Don't assume that a dish is vegan based on the menu description, and be prepared to ask questions.


Meet & Eat is located at 3445 Freeport Boulevard, and their phone number is 916-476-3082. Their website address is https://meetandeatsac.com/, and their Facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/meetneatsacramento/. The restaurant is open daily from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Monday, April 30, 2018

La Cosecha

A few days ago, I got a message from a fellow vegan asking if I'd ever checked out La Cosecha, the restaurant at downtown's Cesar Chavez Plaza. I had not, so I made a point of heading over there for lunch on Friday. Thanks for the suggestion, Kathryn!


Aside from the chips and salsa or guacamole (which is vegan if you have them leave off the cotija), there was only one vegan option on the lunch menu, but it was a good one -- tacos de papa. This plate comes with three tacos, corn tortillas filled with Yukon potatoes, poblano sofrito, pickled onion, and radish. There is a non-vegan version of these tacos, so make sure to let the staff know that you want your tacos made vegan. They were really good, and even better when I added in a little of the salsa and guacamole that I ordered with my chips!



La Cosecha has a couple of other vegan items listed on their brunch and dinner menus. For brunch, they offer tostada de Cosecha, two tostadas topped with beans, avocado, habanero salsa, jicama slaw, pickled onions, and tomatoes. In addition to the tacos de papa, the dinner menu also offers enchiladas de calabacita, three enchiladas filled with sautéed squash, zucchini, and corn.


La Cosecha is located at 917 Ninth Street, and their phone number is 916-970-5354. Their website address is http://lacosechasacramento.com/, and their Facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/La-Cosecha-Sacramento-170337176671609/. The restaurant is open Monday through Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Thursday and Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Oblivion Comics & Coffee

I don't read comics, and coffee has never been my beverage of choice. So why on earth did I make not one but two trips to Oblivion Comics & Coffee this past week? Well, I went for the toast!


As I was scrolling through my Instagram feed last Sunday, I saw that someone (thanks, April!) had posted pictures of some yummy-looking vegan items from Oblivion. So I drove downtown Monday to see what they had. In addition to all the coffee drinks you would expect from a place with "coffee" in its name, they had a menu full of specialty toast items, almost all of which are or can be made vegan. They use bread from my favorite local bread baker, Grateful Bread, and instead of butter, they use Smart Balance Original buttery spread.


Then they add other spreads and toppings. I couldn't resist the Winter Is Coming toast, consisting of French bread, buttery spread, cream cheese (yes, they have a vegan cream cheese option), crushed Oreo cookies, and chocolate syrup. Toast has never tasted so good! Other sweet toast options include cinnamon sugar, sprinkles, peanut butter with strawberry and blackberry preserves, and cream cheese with preserves. The only toast that can't be made vegan is the one that has Nutella on it. And if toast isn't your thing, they also carry a selection of Sugar Plum Vegan baked goods.




I went back Friday, hoping to try the avocado toast, but they were out of avocado. My next choice was called (I believe) the Rip & Dip -- toasted sourdough with buttery spread, garlic salt, and a choice of hummus or marinara sauce for dipping. They were also out of hummus, so I ordered it with the marinara sauce. Very tasty!




Even though I'm not a coffee drinker, I thought I should get a coffee so I could include the picture in this post. I ordered a latte with almond milk (they also have soy milk, both for an extra charge). I thought the Wonder Woman logo on top was a nice touch.



And I even bought a comic book!



Oblivion Comics & Coffee is located at 1020 11th Street, Suite 100, and their phone number is 916-329-8839. Their website address is http://oblivioncomics.com/, and their Facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/oblivioncomics/. The café part of the store is open Sunday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.



Monday, April 16, 2018

Camellia Coffee Roasters

Camellia Coffee Roasters opened recently in the space at the WAL Public Market on R Street formerly occupied by Metro Kitchen + Drinkery. I'm not much of a coffee drinker, but I had heard they might have vegan options, so I drove over on the weekend to check it out.


There were three vegan muffins in the glass case at the counter, as well as a few non-vegan pastries. I wasn't really in the mood for a muffin, so I asked if they had any other vegan menu items. I was told they could make me a coconut yogurt parfait, which sounded perfect. In addition to the coconut yogurt, it had granola, agave, and mixed berries. It was an excellent mid-morning treat.



I also ordered a latte with coconut milk. Their other non-dairy milk option is almond milk. There is an extra cost for the non-dairy milks.



Camellia Coffee Roasters is located at 1104 R Street. I was unable to find a phone number for them, but their website address is https://camelliacoffeeroasters.com/ and their Facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/camelliacoffeeroasters/. They are open daily from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.


Monday, April 9, 2018

Canon

My husband Phil and I celebrated our anniversary this past week by having dinner at one of the hottest new restaurants in town, Canon. This East Sacramento eatery has been popular since the day it opened, so I made sure to get a reservation a couple of weeks ahead of time.


The dinner menu, which changes seasonally, currently has four vegan small plates. I chose three of them to try. The first was the pickled vegetable plate, consisting of house-pickled cauliflower, carrots, cucumbers, and onions. They were served on a bed of crushed ice, which I thought was a nice touch. This dish looked much prettier when it arrived at the table, but I started to serve myself before I took the picture, and then had to try to put everything back where it was.




Next, I had the citrus salad, which was my favorite dish of the three. It had orange and grapefruit slices, thin strips of sweet potato, and generous portions of avocado, which were coated in red quinoa and then fried. The salad was dressed with a green curry emulsion.




My last dish was the roasted carrots, which were served in a West African peanut sauce with crispy kale, onions, cilantro, and peanuts. I liked the creamy peanut sauce, which really enhanced the flavor of the carrots.




The one vegan dish I didn't try was the charred broccoli di ciccio, with kimchi vinaigrette. Next time...


Canon is located at 1719 34th Street, and their phone number is 916-469-2433. Their website address is https://canoneastsac.com/, and their Facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/canoneastsac/. Canon is open for dinner Tuesday through Thursday from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., Friday from 4:00 p.m. to midnight, and Saturday from 5:30 p.m. to midnight. They are also open for brunch Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., but their brunch menu doesn't list any vegan options.