My husband Phil and I had a wonderful dinner over the weekend at the Porch Restaurant and Bar, a restaurant that I never expected to be able to visit. I've checked the Porch's online menu several times since it opened last year, and it always appeared to me that the menu was the exact opposite of vegan. So I was pleasantly surprised when I heard that the Porch had been added to the line-up for this year's Sacramento Vegan Chef Challenge.
Chef Jon Clemons' special vegan menu includes an appetizer, an entrée, and two desserts. The appetizer is Rice and Avocado Fritters, served over mixed greens with carrots, cucumbers, and fresh pineapple, and accompanied by a spicy pineapple and sweet tea glaze. I wasn't sure what to expect, but the fritters turned out to be breaded and deep-fried balls of rice with avocado centers. They were delicious, and they were even better dipped in the spicy pineapple and sweet tea glaze. The fritters were so good that even my non-vegan husband was impressed.
The Skillet Blackened Potato Cake entrée was also quite good. It was served with Creole mustard, sautéed organic green beans and garlic, and a corn and tomato relish. I probably didn't do this dish justice, though, as I was already anticipating my dessert.
The first dessert listed on the Porch's vegan menu is the Date Bar, with oat streusel topping, vegan coconut ice cream, and cinnamon bourbon sauce. It sounds wonderful, but I knew I could only eat one dessert. So I ordered the Banana Waffle, served with vegan whipped cream, fresh berries, vegan coconut ice cream, and cinnamon bourbon sauce. Really, there are no words to describe how fabulous it was! I shared it with Phil, and he said he'd go to the restaurant again specifically for that dessert. I can't recommend it highly enough.
The Porch is located at 1815 K Street, and the phone number is 916-444-2423. Their website address is http://www.theporchsacramento.com/index.html and their Facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/#!/ThePorchRestaurant?fref=ts. The restaurant is open Monday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Friday from 11:30 a.m. until midnight, Saturday from 9:00 a.m. until midnight, and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. The special vegan menu will be available only until the end of October, although if enough people take advantage of it and let the staff know they appreciate it, maybe we can convince the chef to include vegan items on his menu the rest of the year too.