Monday, August 31, 2015

Pieology



Recently, the Sacramento Bee's restaurant critic published a review of Pieology, a pizza restaurant that opened in midtown late last year. While I didn't read the whole review, I did check the sidebar to see if the restaurant was vegetarian-friendly. When I saw the answer was "yes" and that Pieology offered vegan mozzarella, I decided to go check it out.


First, though, I sent a tweet to the Pieology headquarters (it's a national chain) to ask whether its pizza crust is vegan. The tweet I got back indicated that their gluten-free crust is vegan. I checked the allergen information on their website and didn't see any reason why their other crusts wouldn't be vegan as well, so I tweeted again to ask about that. Unfortunately, they haven't gotten back to me yet to explain what ingredient or ingredients make their other crusts non-vegan.


My friend Davida and I headed to Pieology a couple days later. We both ordered the gluten-free crust. I chose the olive oil drizzle for my sauce, and Davida ordered the red sauce. We both asked for Daiya vegan cheese, and then chose our toppings: mushrooms, black olives, banana peppers, artichokes, and pineapple for me; Kalamata olives, bell peppers, banana peppers, and artichokes for Davida.






The pizzas are prepared for the oven right in front of you. If you ask, the person preparing your pizza will change their plastic gloves to help prevent getting whatever other ingredients they've been working with on your pizza. The pizza comes out of the oven in a matter of minutes, so this is a pretty quick lunch option for those of you who work in the downtown or midtown area. The gluten-free crust was a little sweet for my taste, but the pizza was fine otherwise.


Pieology's Sacramento location is at 1020 16th Street, and their phone number is 916-447-1695. Their website address is http://www.pieology.com/, and their Facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pieology-Pizzeria-Sacramento/735844629803188. They are open Monday through Thursday from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Broderick Midtown



I guess I haven't been on L Street much lately. Big changes are happening in the 1800 block, and until recently, the only one I knew about was that Wahoo's Fish Tacos had closed a few months ago. Last week, Chris Jarosz opened Broderick Midtown in that space, after having closed his Capital Dime restaurant across the street.


The menu at Broderick Midtown is the same as the menu at Broderick Roadhouse in West Sacramento. That menu used to have lots of vegan options, but pretty much the only one now is the veggie burger. I assume there wasn't enough demand to justify all the vegan items. Too bad -- I really liked the No Egg Salad Sandwich they used to serve at Broderick Roadhouse.


Anyhow, I had lunch last week at Broderick Midtown and ordered the Old School Burger, substituting a veggie patty for the beef, leaving off the cheese, and adding avocado for an extra charge. I'm not usually a big fan of veggie burgers, but this one was pretty good -- nice and crispy on the outside without being all gooey on the inside. It was served with fries, but soup or a house salad are also options.




Broderick Midtown is located at 1820 L Street, and their phone number is 916-469-9720. They don't appear to have a website yet, but their Facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/BroderickMidtown. When I called to ask about their hours, I was told that the kitchen is open weekdays from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., and on weekends from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., but a post on their Facebook page says they open at 11:00 a.m. daily and go until after midnight. If you're wanting to eat very close to those opening or closing times, you might want to call and make sure the kitchen is open.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Broadway Coffee



Broadway Coffee opened last month in Oak Park, and there are at least two reasons this should make local vegans happy. First, they don't charge extra for soy or almond milk in their coffee drinks. Second, they have a nice selection of Sassy Oh vegan baked goods for sale.


Those of you who frequent the Oak Park Farmers Market are probably already familiar with Sassy Oh's popular products. With the opening of Broadway Coffee, however, you no longer have to wait until Saturday to get your Sassy Oh fix.


I stopped in at Broadway Coffee last week for latte with almond milk, made with Temple coffee. There were a few different Sassy Oh muffins and cookies to choose from. I decided to order a couple of things I hadn't tried before -- the peanut butter and jelly muffin and the banana nut muffin. Both were excellent!






I went back a few days later and got a yummy chocolate chip lavender cookie. I'm happy to have a new coffeehouse offering vegan options so close to where I live.




Broadway Coffee is located at 3200 Broadway, and their phone number is 916-594-9058. Their website address is http://www.broadwaycoffeecompany.com/, and their Facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/broadwaycoffeesacramento?fref=ts. They are open Monday through Friday from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Road Trip! San Diego

My husband Phil and I spent a few days in San Diego last week. I've found that the toughest time to be a vegan is when I'm traveling with a non-vegan, since we have to go from restaurant to restaurant at meal time, looking through menus until I finally find a place that has something I can eat. That something often turns out to be pretty basic -- spaghetti with tomato sauce, a salad with the non-vegan ingredients omitted, or a veggie burger. This trip was no exception, but I did find a few interesting vegan options.


We ended up having a lovely Persian lunch in the Gaslamp Quarter, purely by luck. We had been walking along 5th Avenue, looking at the posted menus at every restaurant along the way. We found a restaurant with a couple of items I thought I could veganize, so we asked for a table. It was a warm day and we were looking forward to sitting inside where we assumed there would be air-conditioning. There was not, and it was just as hot inside as out. This made the menu seem even less appealing, and we were trying to think of a polite way to excuse ourselves and continue with our restaurant search. At that moment, one of the servers came over and told all the diners in the vicinity to get away from the windows because of an incident that was developing across the street. We looked outside, and sure enough, the street was full of police cars, and several officers had their shotguns trained on someone inside the bar across the way. We stayed long enough to watch them bring out a hand-cuffed guy in shorts and flip flops who had apparently been brandishing a gun. As soon as we were given the all-clear and told we could go back to our tables, Phil and I slipped out and continued our quest for a restaurant with vegan options for me.


We found it a couple of doors down at Sadaf, a Persian restaurant with a sign advertising vegetarian and vegan options posted outside above their menu. The restaurant was lovely and cool, and my only dilemma was figuring out which of several dishes to try. I finally chose the pomegranate stew, mostly because I'd never heard of such a dish. First, though, the server brought out a bowl of delicious lentil and barley soup that came with the lunch. Theoretically, it was too hot a day for soup, but that didn't stop me from eating every bite.




The pomegranate stew was pretty much just pomegranate sauce simmered with chopped walnuts, served with basmati and saffron rice. It had a nice tart flavor, and I enjoyed having an entree that was totally unique from anything I'd tasted before.




More information about Sadaf can be found on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sadaf-Restaurant/177876288897175?fref=ts.


Another good restaurant in the Gaslamp Quarter is Cafe Sevilla, where we had dinner one night. As you might expect, the cuisine there is Spanish, with lots of tapas and paella. They have a vegetarian menu, which had a few vegan options. I ordered the wonderful grilled vegetable paella, which was full of asparagus, bell peppers, artichoke hearts, green beans, peas, and I don't remember what else. I couldn't resist the Kalamata olive bread on the menu, but was too full to eat most of it, so I took it back to the hotel with me and had it for breakfast the next morning.




Cafe Sevilla was a really fun restaurant, with live music and a festive atmosphere. For more information, check out their website at http://cafesevilla.com/san-diego-2/.


We walked to Seaport Village another night for Mexican food at Puesto. Tacos are their specialty, and there were three different vegetarian taco selections on the menu. Only one could be made vegan, however, by leaving off the cheese, and that was the potato soy chorizo veg taco. I ordered three of them and they were tasty, but very spicy because of the chipotle sauce. The other two vegetarian tacos contain butter, so they can't be veganized.




Puesto has two locations -- one at Seaport Village and one in La Jolla. More information is available on their website at http://www.eatpuesto.com/.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Metro Kitchen + Drinkery



For a street that didn't used to have much going for it, R Street has certainly turned into a happening place. Several months ago, artists camped out overnight to apply for space in the new Warehouse Artists Lofts at 11th and R, and now a new public market has opened on the ground floor of that building.


I stopped in for lunch last week at Metro Kitchen + Drinkery, a new cafe inside the WAL Public Market. The cafe is run by the owners of the Metro Juice Company, who sell their juices at local farmers markets. The menu at the cafe is a work in progress and many of the items will change weekly, so what I had for lunch may not be on the menu when you visit Metro Kitchen + Drinkery. But if my experience was any indication, you ought to be able to find something vegan and delicious.


Since there were three salads on the menu that were vegan or looked as though they could easily be made vegan, I ordered the Three Salad Plate. The quinoa salad, with carrots, bell pepper, and other vegetables, is usually topped with feta crumbles, so I asked that those be omitted. I also asked that the cheese be left off the baby beet salad. The corn salad, with bell pepper and red onion, is vegan as it is, so no changes were necessary. This wonderful dish turned out to be the perfect combination of textures and flavors for a summer salad trio.




I should probably have ordered one of Metro's cold-pressed juices to drink with my salads, but I couldn't resist the lemon kombucha on tap. Next time, I'll try the juice.




For dessert, Metro Kitchen + Drinkery offers a selection of sweets from Sugar Plum Vegan. I topped off my lunch with one of Sugar Plum's excellent lemon lavender cupcakes.




Metro Kitchen + Drinkery is located in the WAL Public Market at 1104 R Street, and their phone number is 916-346-8319. Their website address is http://www.metrojuicecompany.com/, and their Facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/metrojuice/timeline. The cafe is currently open Tuesday through Thursday from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. They hope to begin serving breakfast and Sunday brunch soon.

Monday, July 20, 2015

The Hideaway Bar & Grill



The Hideaway Bar & Grill on Franklin Boulevard near Broadway is listed on Yelp under the "Dive Bar" category. To be clear, I'm looking at my dive bar days in the rear view mirror, and at quite a distance, for that matter. But in the interest of seeking out vegan food wherever I can find it so I can recommend it to you, my fellow vegans, I visited the Hideaway this weekend with my husband Phil.


I had already checked out the menu online, so I knew they offered a vegan sandwich, and that's what I ordered. The Vegan Harbor Sando is full of grilled vegetables -- zucchini, mushrooms, and bell peppers. The sandwich, served on toasted sourdough bread, also includes avocado, sundried tomatoes, carmelized onions, and olives. It comes with either fries or a side salad. I forgot to specify which side dish I wanted, so my plate came out with fries. I'm guessing, though, that the fries are cooked in the same oil as non-vegan items, so you may want to ask for a side salad.




There are several other items on the menu that appear as though they could probably be made vegan -- the Beet Off Salad without the feta cheese, for example, or the Crude Stud Veggie Sando, also without the feta. I was impressed by the variety of vegan or vegetarian menu items offered by the Hideaway's kitchen.


The Hideaway Bar & Grill is located at 2565 Franklin Boulevard, and their phone number is 916-455-1331. They don't appear to have a website, but their Facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/SactoHideaway?fref=ts. The kitchen is open Monday through Wednesday from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., Thursday and Friday from 4:00 p.m. to midnight, Saturday from noon to midnight, and Sunday from noon to 3:00 p.m. and from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.