Monday, October 12, 2015

Vegan on the Monterey Peninsula

I took a break from the Sacramento Vegan Chef Challenge this weekend so my husband Phil and I could spend a couple of days in beautiful Monterey. The weather was perfect, and we had a great time.

While I had a few "make-do" meals while I was there -- unbuttered sourdough toast with jam for breakfast, and pasta without the cheese for dinner -- I also had a few good vegan meals. In case you find yourself on the Monterey Peninsula any time soon, here are some suggestions.

One of my favorite sandwich chains is Ike's Love and Sandwiches. Their menu offers a whole vegetarian sandwich section, most of which can be made vegan. Alas, they don't have a Sacramento location, but they do have one in Monterey. I ordered the Sally Ride, made with vegan turkey, Daiya vegan cheese (provolone, I believe), avocado, and a vegan "dirty sauce." I had mine on a sourdough roll, and it was served warm. It was a great way to begin our weekend getaway! Ike's is located at 570 Munras Avenue, and their phone number is 831-643-0900. The restaurant is open daily from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Their vegetarian menu can be found at this link:

Another great find, just blocks away from Cannery Row, was Hula Island Grill, which also offers a vegetarian section on their menu. Most of these items can be made vegan, and the ones that are vegan without the need for modification are clearly marked on the menu. I ordered the macadamia nut encrusted tofu, which came with rice and mango-papaya sauce. Normally, it also comes with slaw, but since the slaw contains mayonnaise, I got fries instead. The tofu and mango-papaya sauce were excellent, and I will definitely visit this restaurant again the next time I'm in the area. Hula Island Grill is located at 622 Lighthouse Avenue, and their phone number is 831-655-4852. They also have locations in Santa Cruz and in Phoenix, Arizona. The restaurant is open Sunday from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Monday from 4:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Their vegetarian menu can be found at this link:!mvegetarian/c18j7.

We also drove into lovely Carmel by the Sea for a few hours. We had decided to eat lunch at Basil Seasonal Dining because they had a vegan entrée on their menu, but they were temporarily closed due to plumbing difficulties. Just steps away, we found Carmel Belle, which offered an open-faced avocado sandwich, which was just as simple and elegant as it sounds. A slice of Il Fornaio sourdough bread was sprinkled with olive oil and salt, then I asked that a layer of tomato slices be added, and avocado slices topped it off. It was a reminder that good food can stand on its own, without a lot of fancy sauces or seasonings. Carmel Belle is located at Doud Craft Studios on San Carlos between Ocean and 7th, and their phone number is 831-624-1600. The restaurant is open Monday and Tuesday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Wednesday through Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

And now, back to checking out all the great Sacramento Vegan Chef Challenge items at our local restaurants!


Gina Guillotine said...

Oh, my GOSH! We LOVE to eat at Ike's! We became acquainted with them last year in Santa Rosa. We liked it so much, we ate there two days in a row.

We were just in Monterey in August, and we ate in some junky Mexican food place near the aquarium. Had I but KNOWN! Oh, we would have absolutely eaten at Ike's again.

We used our smart phones to try and find vegetarian food, but for some reason, neither Siri nor the regular old internet offered anything remotely good, so we just stayed near where we already were.

filing this away for future reference. So good to know. Ike's is the BOMB.

I don't know if you have gluten sensitivities in your household or not, but their gluten free sandwich rolls are divine. some of the best ever, and Ike's is SUPER great about making sure to change gloves and things like that if someone is terribly, terribly Celiac.

Pam said...

I was excited to find Ike's in Monterey too, Gina. I really wish they'd open one in Sacramento!