Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Solomon's Delicatessen





The long-awaited Solomon’s Delicatessen opened last week in downtown Sacramento. It is named after the founder of the iconic Tower Records, Russ Solomon, and it is housed in the space formerly occupied by Tower Records on K Street.



My husband Phil and I stopped in for lunch on Monday. I was happy to see a few vegan items clearly marked on the menu. The Vegan Portabella Reuben caught my eye – slices of smoked portobello mushroom, shredded vegan cheese, sauerkraut, and sauce, served on rye bread. I enjoyed the mix of flavors, and the horseradish in the sauce gave it a nice little kick. The sandwich was accompanied by bagel chips and a dill pickle spear.


I went back again the next day to try the remaining vegan items. I ordered a bowl of hearty mushroom barley soup, which was very flavorful and will be especially welcome in the fall and winter.



I also asked for an “Everything” bagel after confirming that all the bagels are vegan. The vegan schmear I ordered with it turned out to be an excellent vegan cream cheese.



Solomon’s Delicatessen is located at 730 K Street, and their phone number is 916-857-8200. Their website address is https://www.solomonsdelicatessen.com/, and their Facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/solomonsdelicatessen/?ref=br_rs. Currently, they are open daily from 6:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., but they are planning to be open for dinner beginning this Friday, July 12th.



There is also a Solomon’s Delicatessen in Davis at 500 First Street, Suite 9. Their phone number is 530-792-7015, and they are open Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Burger Patch


Long before Carl’s Jr. and Del Taco jumped on the Beyond Meat bandwagon, Sacramento area vegans were introduced to the Beyond Burger by the owners of Burger Patch, Phillip and Danea Horn. They held a one-day pop-up event two years ago to gauge local interest in their vegan fast food concept, and later opened a concession stand at the Golden 1 Center. They’ve been working hard the past two years to find a good location for a brick-and-mortar Burger Patch restaurant, and last Saturday, their dream came to fruition.



Burger Patch has been welcomed into the community with open arms. There have been lines out the door and down the block in the days since the restaurant opened near the corner of 23rd and K. I missed the grand opening Saturday, but stopped in for lunch yesterday, and there were probably fifteen or twenty people in front of me. The line moved quickly, though, and after I ordered, the food came out of the kitchen in a matter of minutes.



Everything served at Burger Patch is 100 percent plant-based, so you never have to worry about whether some animal product or another has accidentally found its way into your order. Most people in line yesterday seemed to be there for the delicious burgers, but since I’d had their burger before at the pop-up and at the Golden 1 Center, I opted to try their chick’n sandwich. “The Ranch” consists of grilled chick’n, hickory smoked strips, lettuce, and tomato, served on a toasted bun spread with a ranch sauce. It was really good, and I’ll definitely go back for another. I liked the fries too, listed on the menu as a “Shovel of Spuds.”



I also had a chocolate “Earth Quake Shake,” made from a blend of cashew, almond, soy, agave, and, of course, chocolate. It was fabulous!



Burger Patch is located at 2301 K Street, and their phone number is 916-750-4200. Their website address is https://www.theburgerpatch.com/, and their Facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/TheBurgerPatch/. The restaurant is open Sunday through Thursday from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Allora


I could swear that when Allora first opened in East Sacramento last year, I checked the menu and didn’t see anything vegan. Recently, however, I was reading the free Inside newspaper that’s delivered to my mailbox each month, and I found an article about the mother of the chef/owner. She had moved to Sacramento at her son’s request to care for the restaurant’s garden, and the article mentioned that she ate a mostly vegan diet. I figured that if his mom was mostly vegan, the chef must have added some plant-based items to the menu, so I checked again. Sure enough, there are several dishes for vegans at Allora.



I had dinner there with my husband Phil last night, and asked for the vegan menu. It lists vegetarian and vegan items, but the vegan dishes are specifically indicated. I began with grilled focaccia, which is spread with olive tapenade and then topped with a mix of local vegetables, including arugula, asparagus, carrot ribbons, mushrooms, pickled onions, and artichoke hearts. It was very good, and I especially enjoyed the olive tapenade.



For my entrée, I had a tough time choosing between the bucatini and the mushroom risotto, but finally opted for the pasta. The bucatini was tossed with a pea and tarragon pesto, carrots, and asparagus, then topped with a few arugula leaves. I thought it was the perfect spring dish.



Allora is a very stylish and well-appointed restaurant that would be perfect for date night or a special occasion. You should definitely check it out!



Allora is located at 5215 Folsom Boulevard, and their phone number is 916-538-6434. Their website address is https://allorasacramento.com/, and their Facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/allorasacramento/. The restaurant serves dinner only, and is open Sunday through Thursday from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Suzie Burger

I think one of the best things about the new plant-based burgers that are showing up in restaurants these days is that they've made it easier for restaurants that don't usually cater to vegans to offer something we can eat after all. Impossible Burgers are popping up everywhere, and even some fast food restaurants are getting into the act. Carl's Jr. recently began offering a Beyond Burger, which they are promoting heavily in television commercials.

In checking the Impossible Foods website the other day to see which Sacramento restaurants are serving Impossible "meat," I was interested to see that Suzie Burger now offers an Impossible Burger. Back when 33rd Street Bistro and Wildwood Kitchen, which are owned by the same people who own Suzie Burger, first began serving the Impossible Burger, I sent a message to Suzie Burger asking if they had plans to do the same. At the time, they did not because the product was too expensive for their menu. But they're offering it now!


I stopped by Suzie Burger with my husband Phil for lunch the other day. The Impossible Burger doesn't show up on the restaurant's online menu or on the menu posted behind the counter. But it's advertised on a sign by the cash register, shown with nonvegan items like thousand island dressing and what appears to be cheddar or American cheese. But if you tell them you want it vegan-style, they'll substitute vegan mayo and get this -- vegan cheese -- for the nonvegan items.


I gave it a try and it was excellent! Most restaurants in town that do serve the Impossible Burger don't take the extra step of offering vegan cheese, so it was a real treat to have that option. I also like the fact that Suzie Burger is basically a fast food restaurant, so I can pick up my burger and be eating in the comfort of my own home a few minutes later.

Suzie Burger is located at 2820 P Street, and their phone number is 916-455-3500. The website address is https://www.suzieburger.com/, and their Facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/suzieburgersac/?epa=SEARCH_BOX. The restaurant is open Sunday through Tuesday from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., and Wednesday through Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

La Venadita




La Venadita has been serving Mexican food in the Oak Park neighborhood for a few years now. Until recently, though, I'd never been there because their menu didn't appear to be very vegan-friendly. That has changed, however, with the addition of an Impossible meat option to a couple of the restaurant's menu items.

I was at La Venadita yesterday for lunch with my husband Phil. I thought about getting the Impossible tacos, but since I was really hungry, I opted for a burrito. It was filled with Impossible meat, black beans, rice, tomatoes, avocado salsa, and cilantro, and I made sure to have them omit the cheese. It was really good, and I will happily go back to La Venadita in the future.




La Venadita is located at 3501 Third Avenue, and their phone number is 916-400-4676. Their website address is http://www.lavenaditasac.com/, and their Facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/lavenaditasac/. The restaurant is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.


Friday, February 15, 2019

T H A I at Sacramento: The House of Authentic Ingredients

A new restaurant opened in East Sacramento recently. The House of Authentic Ingredients has the convenient acronym of  T H A I, which is the type of cuisine served there.

My friend Deborah and I had lunch at T H A I earlier this week. I was happy to see several vegan or veganizable items on the menu. Since I have a weakness for fried food, I started with an appetizer of paupia, crispy spring rolls served with sweet and sour sauce. Those tasty little rolls were a great start to my meal. 


I wanted a noodle dish for my entrée, so I ordered the pad kee mao, wide rice noodles stir-fried with bell pepper, green beans, onions, kaffir leaf, basil, Thai chili, and my choice of protein -- tofu, of course. It was delicious.


The menu has a (V) next to many items, but I think that basically means the item can be made vegan, not that it's necessarily vegan already. To be on the safe side, you should let your server know that you are vegan and don't want any non-vegan ingredients in your food.

T H A I is located at 4701 H Street, and their phone number is 916-942-9008. Their website address is http://www.thaiatsac.com, and their Facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/thaiatsac/. The restaurant is open Sunday through Thursday from 11:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.


Monday, February 11, 2019

Westside

I don't know how I missed hearing about the opening of Westside, the new café by Identity Coffees, a couple of months ago. But as soon as I saw a picture of their vegan waffle on an Instagram post by Conscious Creamery, I was there.

Westside is a bright and spacious coffee house in West Sacramento. They serve breakfast items, sandwiches, salads, and bagels, in addition to coffee, tea, beer, wine, and other assorted drinks. And did I mention they have vegan waffles? I'm sure you can guess what I ordered when I stopped by today. Their waffle batter is vegan, but you'll need to ask for vegan butter. Other vegan toppings include maple syrup or strawberry preserves. I don't remember the last time I'd had a waffle, and this one was every bit as good as I had hoped it would be.


The menu at Westside clearly marks the items that are vegan or can be made vegan, including avocado toast, bagel and spread, hummus bagel, and mixed green salad. They have a sandwich on the menu called "The Herbivore," that looks like it should be vegan, but isn't marked as such. I asked the woman at the counter, however, and she confirmed that it is vegan.

Westside is located at 289 Third Street in West Sacramento, and their phone number is 916-465-0272. They don't appear to have their own webpage yet, but their Facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/identitycoffeesswestside/. Westside is open daily from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.