Monday, June 24, 2013

Jack's Urban Eats

Generally speaking, the menu at Jack's Urban Eats isn't very vegan-friendly. Roast meats, chicken strips, side dishes loaded with butter or cheese -- all the foods that make a vegan cringe.

So why do I find myself there at least once every few weeks? Because of their Create Your Salad menu option, that's why. This feature allows you to choose your greens (mixed greens, Romaine, or spinach), your salad dressing (although the only one that's vegan is the balsamic vinaigrette), and up to six different toppings. I ordered a half salad, which is only $1.00 cheaper than a full salad, but all you get for the extra dollar is additional greens, not more toppings.

In the salad pictured above, I had Romaine lettuce, balsamic vinaigrette, tomatoes, cucumbers, peas, beets, Kalamata olives, and pepperoncini. It's definitely one of my favorite salads! Other vegan toppings available at Jack's include broccoli, grilled mushrooms, kidney and garbanzo beans, carrots, corn, tofu, sun-dried cranberries, red bell pepper, celery, Fuji apples, jicama, fire-roasted red peppers, red onion, and sunflower seeds.

Jack's Urban Eats has multiple locations in the greater Sacramento area, including restaurants in Midtown, Arden-Arcade, Natomas, Gold River, Roseville, Folsom, and Davis. More information about their menu, hours, and locations is available on their website at

Monday, June 17, 2013

Road Trip! Plate in Malibu

I spent a few days last week in Malibu, where it's very easy to be vegan. One night, I decided to try Plate, a little restaurant down the street from my hotel serving "earthy California cuisine."

There were several vegan options on the dinner menu: Penne Al Arrabbiata, Quinoa Shell Primavera, Vegetable Napoleon, and a Garden Burger, in addition to several soups, salads, and appetizers that were either vegan or could easily be made vegan. I probably should have tried something unusual, like the Vegetable Napoleon or Quinoa Shell Primavera, but what sounded good to me at the time was a lunch item that's also available during dinner: Stir Fry Vegetables. This dish consists of seasonal vegetables and mushrooms stir fried in a ginger and garlic teriyaki sauce, then served over brown rice. For an extra cost, I had tofu added. While I wish that the seasonal vegetables had included something more interesting than onions, celery, carrots, cabbage, and bell pepper, the sauce was good and the dish was very tasty.

For dessert, I ordered the Madagascar Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, a vegan ice cream made from coconut and almond milk. It came with fresh berries, and it was delicious.

Plate is located at 22601 Pacific Coast Highway, #103, and their phone number is 310-317-6800. Their website address is, and their Facebook page can be found at The restaurant serves breakfast from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Monday through Friday and from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. They serve lunch daily from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and dinner from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Broderick Roadhouse

The 'Wich on Wheels has always been one of the more vegan-friendly mobile food trucks in Sacramento. So when I heard a few months ago that Wicked 'Wich had opened a brick and mortar restaurant, Broderick Roadhouse in West Sacramento, I was pretty excited about it.

But when I went online to check out the menu, I was disappointed to see that the only vegan option was a veggie burger, which is kind of a last resort menu item for me. However, since I seem to be running out of restaurants to blog about, I finally decided to give it a try.

When I got to the restaurant and looked at the actual menu, I was pleasantly surprised to see that they offered not only the veggie burger, but three other vegan options as well. In fact, I had a tough time deciding which one I wanted to try. So I ordered the No Egg Salad sandwich to eat while I was there, and I got The Cheesiest pasta to take home for my dinner.

I've had a hard time finding a good substitute for egg salad sandwich filling. Trader Joe's used to have a good one, but all the others I've tried have been disappointing. So I had my fingers crossed when the server at Broderick Roadhouse brought me my lunch. There was no need to worry -- it was really, really good. The menu describes it as locally sourced organic tofu, crumbled with chives, spices, mustard, and Tabasco, served with lettuce, tomato, and house vegan sauce inside of a whole wheat bun. The menu doesn't mention the chopped pickles, but I loved the flavor and crunch they added to the filling. As you can see from the picture above, my sandwich didn't come on a whole wheat bun, since they had apparently run out of them. But the server assured me the onion roll was vegan too.

I haven't had macaroni and cheese since I went vegan, so I couldn't wait to try The Cheesiest. It's described as pasta and scratch-made cheese sauce topped with bacon bits, all vegan and gluten-free. Since it was good reheated for my dinner, I'm sure it's even better fresh.

The other vegan item on the Broderick Roadhouse menu is the BBQ Tofu 'Wich, described on the menu as locally sourced organic tofu, marinated then baked, gluten-free BBQ sauce, hand cut fries, vinaigrette slaw, and fresh Italian bread. That's what I'm planning to order the next time I'm there. Actually, even their Veggie Burger sounds more interesting than most. It's a house-made vegan patty topped with lettuce, tomato, grilled onions, and veganaise. I see many more trips across the river in my future!

Broderick Roadhouse is located at 319 Sixth Street in West Sacramento, and their phone number is 916-372-2436. Their website address is, and their Facebook page can be found at The restaurant is open Sunday through Wednesday from 11:00 a.m. until midnight, and Thursday through Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Manaao Thai Cuisine

I'm running out of restaurants to blog about, so last month, I did what I always do when I find myself in this situation: I went looking for a Thai restaurant that I hadn't tried before. I love Thai restaurants because they almost always have several vegan options.

This time, I decided to check out Manaao Thai Cuisine in West Sacramento. It's located in a little strip mall across the freeway from the IKEA shopping center. Many of the dishes on the menu can be made vegan by adding vegetables or tofu instead of animal protein. However, the curry dishes contain fish sauce, so I stayed away from the curries.

I ordered the Pad Kee-Mow, or Drunken Noodle, since I really like the fat rice noodles that are used in this dish. The noodles were stir-fried with tofu, garlic, onions, and red bell pepper in a spicy garlic chili sauce. Along with the cup of vegetable soup that preceded the meal, this was a very satisfying lunch.

Manaao Thai Cuisine is located at 715 Harbor Point Place in West Sacramento, and their phone number is 916-373-1732. The restaurant's website address is, and their Facebook page can be found at They are open Monday through Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 9:30 p.m. The restaurant is closed on Saturdays.