Monday, July 29, 2013

Bodhi Bowl

After seeing numerous mentions of this restaurant from vegan friends on Facebook, I finally took the hint a couple of weeks ago and went to Bodhi Bowl in South Sacramento for lunch. The cuisine at Bodhi Bowl is vegetarian Vietnamese, and almost all of the dishes served there are vegan. According to their website, "Bodhi" is a Sanskrit word meaning "awakened" or "enlightened," and you'll find that most of the dishes have names evoking that sentiment.

I ordered the Awakening Rolls appetizer, crispy spring rolls with a sweet and spicy dipping sauce. What can I say? I'm a sucker for anything deep-fried, and it's always a treat to order fried food in a restaurant where I don't have to worry about what else may have been fried in the same oil. While all of the appetizers at Bodhi Bowl are vegan, there are two you'll want to avoid because the dipping sauces served with them are not vegan: the Mandala Pate and the Six Perfections.

For my main course, I had the Seven Treasures, a stir-fry of tofu, bell pepper, celery, and pineapple, served over rice. It was tasty and the vegetables were very fresh, but I could have done with a bit less celery.

Bodhi Bowl is located at 6511 Savings Place, Suite 100, near the corner of Stockton Boulevard and 65th Street. Their phone number is 916-428-4160, and their website address is They also have a Facebook page, which can be found at The restaurant is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m., and they are closed on Mondays.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Bamiyan Afghan Restaurant


Until a few days ago, I had never tried Afghan cuisine. I'd intended for some time to make the drive to Citrus Heights to check out Bamiyan Afghan Restaurant, but since that's off the beaten path for me, I kept putting off my visit to the restaurant.

Fortunately, my friend Deborah decided that she'd like to see what Afghan cuisine tasted like too, so we made a lunch date and drove up there last week. What a wonderful decision that turned out to be!

We ordered a Samosa appetizer to start, little fried turnovers filled with potatoes and peas and served with a cilantro chutney sauce. We dug in before I remembered to take out my camera, so although the picture below shows only two samosas, the order came with four. They were crispy and delicious and I could gladly have eaten all four of them myself.

For my main course, I ordered the Vegetarian Dinner pictured at the top of the page, consisting of brown rice, okra, sweet and spicy pumpkin puree, and eggplant. Every part of this meal was good, but the pumpkin puree and the okra were outstanding. I always thought I didn't like okra, since in my experience, it was usually overcooked and kind of slimy. The okra at Bamiyan, however, was fresh and crisp and not even remotely slimy.

Deborah ordered the Vegetarian Platter. It also included the eggplant and pumpkin puree, but instead of the okra and rice, it had spinach and potatoes. I think the only thing that could have made my Vegetarian Dinner any better would have been a helping of the potatoes that were in Deborah's Vegetarian Platter!

Our meal came with bread and a pomegranate dipping sauce. However, be forewarned that the dipping sauce includes honey.

Bamiyan Afghan Restaurant is located at 7622 Greenback Lane in Citrus Heights. Their phone number is 916-725-6009, and their website address is The restaurant is open for lunch Monday through Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and for dinner Monday 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. Bamiyan Afghan Restaurant also has a location in El Dorado Hills.

Monday, July 15, 2013


My husband and I had lunch at zpizza in Roseville over the weekend. I had seen the restaurant listed online and noticed that they were very vegan-friendly, so I had to check it out.

One of their pizzas is actually called the Berkeley Vegan, so that's the one I decided to try. It was a thin-crust pizza with marinara sauce, Daiya vegan cheese, Gardein veggie burger crumbles, zucchini, tomatoes, mushrooms, and bell pepper. It normally comes with red onions as well, but I ordered mine without the onions. I don't always like fake meat, but I thought the veggie burger crumbles were a nice addition. I really enjoyed this pizza.

The zpizza website has a frequently-asked questions page about their vegan options, which includes a list of the ingredients found in their meat and cheese substitutes. I love a restaurant that takes the guesswork out of ordering a vegan meal! I think the next time I visit, I'll try the Mediterranean Plate without the feta, which would consist of hummus, Greek olives, roasted peppers, cucumber slices, and zbread (pizza dough brushed with olive oil and salt, then baked until crispy).

zpizza is a national restaurant chain, but their only location in the Sacramento area is the one in Roseville/Granite Bay, located at 3984 Douglas Boulevard, Suite 140. Their phone number is 916-876-9797, and their website address is The restaurant is open Monday through Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Road Trip! Maria Maria in Walnut Creek

My family gathered for lunch at Maria Maria in Walnut Creek yesterday. One of the restaurant's main claims to fame is its affiliation with guitarist extraordinaire Carlos Santana who, unfortunately, has never been at the restaurant any time that I've been there. Hope springs eternal, however.

The cuisine at Maria Maria is Mexican, and the menu is very meat-centric. In fact, aside from the chips, salsa, and guacamole, vegan options seem to be limited to salads with all the non-vegan ingredients omitted. I chose the Mexican Chopped Salad (without the cotija cheese), which consisted of chopped Romaine, black beans, cherry tomatoes, jicama, corn, radish, roasted peppers, and avocado, with an agave-lime vinaigrette. It was tasty and very fresh.

Other salad options that looked promising were the Spinach & Mango Salad (without the queso fresco) or the Maria Maria Mixed Green Salad, which includes grilled pineapple and doesn't appear to have any non-vegan ingredients.

Maria Maria is located at 1470 North Broadway in Walnut Creek, and their phone number is 925-946-1010. The restaurant's website address is, and their Facebook page can be found at They are open Monday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. There is also a Maria Maria in Danville.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Vegan Food is Everywhere

I've found that it's easy enough to be a vegan when I'm at home. I know which local restaurants offer food I can eat, and if I don't want to go out, I can always cook up something in my kitchen.

It's more difficult to be a vegan when I'm on vacation, however. I'm the only vegan in my family, so in unfamiliar cities, we find ourselves wandering from restaurant to restaurant, looking at the menus and trying to determine if there's anything I can eat. In many, but not all, U.S. cities, I can go online ahead of time and identify restaurants that have vegan options, but that's much harder to do if we're traveling abroad.

It occurred to me a couple of years ago that I couldn't possibly be the only traveler searching for vegan-friendly restaurants, which is why I decided to create this blog. I thought that, at a minimum, I could help fellow vegans who might be looking for something to eat in Sacramento or anywhere else I happened to visit. I assume Sacramento Vegan is serving its purpose since, according to my blog statistics, people have read it in 108 different countries. But my real hope was that other vegans might be inspired to write similar blogs about the restaurants in their cities.

Unfortunately, I didn't know of a platform where people could record that information. Just the other day, however, I discovered the Vegan Food is Everywhere website, which invites people to share information about the vegan dishes they've tried in restaurants all around the globe. It's very easy to use. After you register on the website, you input the name and address of the restaurant where you've found a vegan menu option that you like. Then you'll add information about the dish, and a picture if you have one. You can also leave comments. That's all there is to it.

The Vegan Food is Everywhere website is still fairly new, so there are large swaths of the globe with no restaurant listings. The reason I'm using today's blog post to promote this website is mostly selfish -- I expect to travel to South America later this year, and so far, only two South American restaurants have been posted on the website. So to everyone from South America who reads my Sacramento Vegan blog, I'm begging you to post information at Vegan Food is Everywhere about the vegan options in your countries.

Finally, I want to offer my sincere thanks to the creators of Vegan Food is Everywhere. You're performing a great service for your fellow vegans worldwide!