Monday, February 25, 2013
Pushkin's Bakery opened last week, serving baked goods that are both gluten-free and dairy-free. Dairy-free doesn't necessarily mean vegan, of course, but they do offer a few vegan options every day, with the glass bakery case clearly indicating which items are vegan.
I stopped in last Wednesday and bought one of every vegan item offered that day: a Vegan Chocolate Vanilla Cupcake, a Vegan Chocolate Banana Peanut Butter Cupcake, and a mini-loaf of Vegan Banana Bread. It's become very easy to find vegan cupcakes in Sacramento, but I don't think I'd had banana bread since I went vegan ten-and-a-half years ago. I know, I know -- there are probably lots of good recipes out there and I could have made my own, but I just don't bake much. So it was the banana bread at Pushkin's Bakery that really made my day. In fact, I liked it so much that I went back the next day to buy two more mini-loafs. While I was at it, I bought two mini-loafs of the zucchini bread they offered that day, which was also very good.
Pushkin's Bakery is located at 1820 29th Street, between R and S, and their phone number is 916-376-7752. Their webpage address is www.pushkinsbakery.com, and their Facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/PushkinsBakery?fref=ts. Their hours are listed as Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. However, if you follow them on Twitter, you'll receive tweets on the days that they open early.
Monday, February 18, 2013
I had a really good lunch last week at LowBrau, a sausage and beer restaurant that opened in Midtown at the end of last year. It would never have occurred to me that they would have anything there that I could eat, but I checked them out anyhow and was pleasantly surprised. Not only do they offer vegan items, but they have them clearly marked on their menu.
LowBrau has three different vegan sausages: chipotle, Italian, and smoked apple sage. You also have a choice of bread, either a sweet roll or a pretzel roll, both of which are vegan. You can add two toppings to your sausage at no additional charge. The vegan toppings on LowBrau's menu are sauerkraut, fresh-herbed onions, caramelized onions, hot peppers (a mix of jalapeños and peperoncini), or sweet peppers. The sandwich I ordered, which is pictured above, was a smoked apple sage sausage on a sweet roll, topped with sauerkraut and hot peppers. Delicious! Next time, I'm going to have my sausage on the pretzel roll, which is baked fresh by Freeport Bakery.
LowBrau offers a couple of vegan salads too: a mixed green salad and a roasted potato salad. They also have a vegan Bavarian Pretzel from Freeport Bakery. But you'll want to avoid the fries, which are cooked in duck fat.
I'm not a beer drinker, but their extensive beer menu looked pretty impressive. They also serve wine, and a few cocktails made with schnapps.
LowBrau is located on the corner of 20th and K at 1050 20th Street, in the space previously occupied by Lounge on 20, and their phone number is 916-706-2636. Their website address is http://www.lowbrausacramento.com/, and their Facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/LowBrauSacramento. They are open daily from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 a.m.
Monday, February 11, 2013
Seasons 52 finally opened two weeks ago at Arden Fair Mall in the space previously occupied by Fresh Choice. I was pretty excited about this because I knew Seasons 52 offered various alternative menus, including a vegan menu. So my son and I headed over there for a late lunch/early dinner last week.
The interior of Seasons 52 is beautiful and very sophisticated, with separate areas for the bar and the dining room. No trace of Fresh Choice remains, and it's hard to believe this gorgeous restaurant is located in a shopping mall. The staff was friendly, and our server was very knowledgeable and attentive.
We decided to start with the Double Hummus and Crisp Sea Salt Lavosh appetizer. The picture below doesn't do it justice, since I forgot to take out my camera until after we'd already dug into this appetizer. The two types of hummus were a minted edamame and a roasted red pepper. Both were very good, but I especially liked the flavor of the roasted red pepper hummus.
I had a tough time deciding which of the four vegan entrees to order, but I finally settled on the Cedar Plank Roasted Tofu, which consisted of little slabs of seasoned tofu, roasted and served on small cedar squares. I had a choice of vegetable and starch side dishes, so I chose roasted asparagus, cremini mushrooms, and roasted red potatoes. It was a delicious, healthy, and satisfying meal. The Seasons 52 menu changes seasonally, and the restaurant prides itself on its low-calorie menu selections.
All of the desserts at Seasons 52 are tiny, only as much as can fit into a shot glass. The only vegan dessert is fresh fruit, and it was just what I needed to top off my meal.
Seasons 52 is a national chain, but their only Northern California restaurant is the one in Sacramento, located within Arden Fair Mall at 1689 Arden Way, Suite 1065. Their telephone number is 916-922-5252, and their website address is http://www.seasons52.com/locations/?restaurantid=4534. 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 11:00 p.m.
Monday, February 4, 2013
UPDATE: HAMBURGER PATTIES HAS CLOSED
Sometimes, only a burger will do. That's how I was feeling last week, so my husband and I went to lunch at Hamburger Patties. While nothing on the menu there is specifically vegan, there are several items that can easily be made vegan by leaving off the non-vegan ingredients.
The vegan Boca Burger can be substituted for a meat patty in any of their burger dishes. I just went with the standard Boca Burger on their vegetarian menu and asked them to leave off the thousand island dressing and serve the burger on toasted sourdough. The burger comes with fries, cole slaw, or Caribbean rice, all of which are problematic for vegans. The rice is made with chicken stock, the cole slaw includes mayonnaise, and the restaurant uses the same oil for the fries that they use for their non-vegan fried foods. At the time I was there, however, the server said the only items that had been fried in the oil so far that day were fries and onion rings, so I decided to have the fries. The server told me that they could have substituted a small green salad instead of the other side dishes. If you decide to go with that option, you'll want to make sure they don't put cheese on the green salad.
Our server was very knowledgeable about how to adapt Hamburger Patties' menu options for vegans, so I assume they see their fair share of vegans at the restaurant. I think the next time I go, I'll try the Big Valley Burger, with fresh pineapple, sautéed mushrooms, and teriyaki sauce (hold the cheddar cheese). Yum!
Hamburger Patties is located at 1630 J Street, and their phone number is 916-441-4340. Their website address is http://hamburger-patties.com/, and their Facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Hamburger-Patties/125672124114151?fref=ts. The restaurant is open Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.; Monday from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.; Tuesday through Thursday from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.; Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.; and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.