Monday, November 30, 2015

The Porch Restaurant and Bar

Every October for the past few years, I've visited the Porch Restaurant and Bar at least once during the month, and sometimes two or three times. I've always enjoyed my meal, but I've never gone to the restaurant during any month other than October. Why? Because that's when the Sacramento Vegan Chef Challenge takes place, and until now, that's been the only time when I could reasonably expect to find vegan options on the menu.

Following last month's Sacramento Vegan Chef Challenge, however, the Porch's Chef Jon Clemons made a decision to offer vegan menu options year-round, which explains why my husband Phil and I had dinner there last night. The menu at the Porch changes daily, so the dishes I describe below may not be available when you go. Vegan items are available for brunch, lunch, and dinner, and they are clearly marked on the menu, which is updated on the Porch's website daily.

For starters, I ordered a plate of sweet potato fries, served with house-made ketchup. Very tasty!

The vegan entrée was Blackened Grit Cakes, which were served with curried butternut squash and yellow split pea purée, spinach, and apple-pecan and onion relish. These delicious cakes were crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, and the squash and split pea purée was the perfect accompaniment.

The Porch's vegan desserts are always delicious, and the one on last night's menu was no exception. It was a wonderful slice of creamy pumpkin pie to round out my Thanksgiving weekend.

The Porch Restaurant and Bar is located at 1815 K Street, and their phone number is 916-444-2423. Their website address is, and their Facebook page can be found at The restaurant is open for brunch Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.; for lunch Tuesday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.; and for dinner Monday from 5:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Friday from 5:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., Saturday from 4:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., and Sunday from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Vegan Tuesdays at Capitol Garage

Sometimes, I feel like I've gotten into a rut, eating the same vegan dishes at the same restaurants over and over again. That's one reason I was happy to find out about Capitol Garage's Vegan Tuesdays. A special menu of plant-based options is offered every Tuesday, in addition to the wonderful vegan dishes that are available on Capitol Garage's regular menu and their happy hour menu.

I visited Capitol Garage last Tuesday. The Vegan Tuesday menu listed a radish salad, tomato bisque, and a tofu torta. I ordered the torta, slices of salsa-seared tofu, avocado, and black bean spread on a focaccia bun. This delicious sandwich came with a huge serving of fries.

As you can probably imagine, I couldn't eat another thing after that, but I didn't want to leave without getting dessert to go. The only vegan dessert available was a banana chocolate mocha cake, which sounded pretty great to me. I shared this enormous slice of cake with my husband later that night, and we both loved it.

Capitol Garage is located at 1500 K Street, and their phone number is 916-444-3633. Their website address is, and their Facebook page can be found at The Vegan Tuesday menu is available every Tuesday from 4:00 p.m. until close.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Conscious Creamery

If you're like me, you probably thought your gelato-eating days were over when you decided to go vegan. Fortunately, that's about to change.

Conscious Creamery has been offering free tastes of their dairy-free gelato at events around town. Saturday night, my husband Phil and I sampled a couple of different flavors at a Second Saturday reception outside of Midtown Aquatics. Andrea and Kevin of Conscious Creamery had a cart with six different flavors available.

Back in the days when I ate gelato, one of my favorite flavors was stracciatella, vanilla mixed with chocolate flakes. I was delighted that stracciatella was one of the choices offered by Conscious Creamery, and even more delighted about the mouth-watering taste and creamy consistency.

Phil opted for the dark chocolate gelato, which was very rich and quite delicious.

Conscious Creamery's gelatos contain no dairy products, eggs, soy, refined oils, fillers, artificial stabilizers, or artificial flavors or colors. The gelato is made in small batches, and organic, fair trade, and local ingredients are used whenever possible. Currently, this wonderful product is available only at special events, but after the first of the year, Conscious Creamery's owners hope to be able to start their own pop-ups.

For more information about Conscious Creamery, or to find out where they'll be offering samples next, check their website at or their Facebook page at

Monday, November 9, 2015


As I've mentioned before, a time or two or ten, I'm not a coffee drinker. Tea is my hot beverage of choice. But when I heard about a new coffee restaurant serving foods prepared by local vegans, I had to check it out.

The Pachamama Coffee Cooperative sells coffee grown by five different cooperatives representing family farmers in Peru, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Ethiopia, and Mexico. Their U.S. headquarters is in midtown Sacramento, where they sell coffee wholesale or through their retail shops in Davis and East Sacramento.

The East Sacramento location opened just a couple of weeks ago at 36th and J. When I walked in, the first two things I noticed were the bakery case selling Sugar Plum Vegan donuts and muffins on the counter next to the cash register, and the refrigerated case across from the cash register filled with quinoa burgers, tostadas, enchiladas, and other healthy raw vegan dishes from the Green Boheme. Clearly, vegans are welcome at Pachamama!

I ordered an addictive Super Plum Vegan Samoa donut and a latte with almond milk. Pachamama offers both soy milk and almond milk at no extra charge. I'm happy to report that the latte had a very smooth taste, with none of the bitterness I associate with coffee. I actually rather enjoyed it!

The East Sacramento Pachamama is located at 3644 J Street, and their phone number is 916-476-4385. The Davis Pachamama is located at 521 First Street, and their phone number is 530-746-2172. Both locations are open daily from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. More information about Pachamama Coffee Cooperative can be found on their website at