Monday, June 27, 2016

The Wienery

Every so often, I get a craving for a hot dog. It used to be that whenever that occurred, I would head over to Capitol Dawg and order up one of their Veggie Dawgs. Alas, Capitol Dawg closed a few years ago. Since that option is no longer available to me, I'm always on the lookout to see who else is offering vegan hot dogs.

This past week, my search led me to the Wienery in East Sacramento to try The Vegetarian. This is a Tofurky Kielbasa that you can substitute for a regular hot dog in any of the Wienery's menu items. I decided to go with the Kraut Dog, which meant that my Tofurky Kielbasa was topped with mustard and sauerkraut. It was a pretty tasty lunch!

The chili the Wienery uses for its chili dogs is vegan, in case you'd like to give that a try sometime. Also, a sign hanging up behind the counter listed a spinach salad that sounded delicious. It's vegan if you leave off the walnuts, which are coated with something that involves egg.

The Wienery is located at 715 56th Street, and the phone number is 916-455-0497. Their website address is, and their Facebook page can be found at The restaurant is open Monday through Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Espresso Metro

Recently, I read that Espresso Metro in Land Park was celebrating its 28th anniversary. That made me realize that I'd never checked to see if any vegan options were offered there. So I remedied that situation last week when I stopped in for lunch.

Espresso Metro actually has a few vegan options. They don't have a printed menu listing all the choices, so I checked out what was in the refrigerated case near the cash register and followed up with questions to the staff. I ended up getting the vegan panini, which consisted of sourdough bread spread with hummus and filled with zucchini, mushrooms, peppers, onions, carrots, sunflower seeds, and I don't remember what all, toasted panini-style. It was tasty, and the hummus had a nice flavor.

Other vegan options included a wrap and a quinoa Greek salad. There were two soups listed on the chalkboard that were probably vegan too: gazpacho and vegetable soup. For you coffee drinkers, soy, almond, or coconut milk are available.

Espresso Metro is located at 2104 11th Avenue, and their phone number is 916-444-6130. They don't seem to have a website, but their Facebook page can be found at The restaurant is open Monday through Saturday from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., and Sunday from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Formoli's Bistro

Desperately looking for a place to blog about this past weekend, I clicked through the menus of dozens of restaurants to see if any of them had begun offering vegan options that I didn't know about. I was just about to give up when I found this welcome listing on the Formoli's Bistro menu: Seasonal Vegan Board. I promptly called the restaurant and made a dinner reservation.

This dish turned out to be a veritable farmer's market of perfectly sautéed vegetables. Potatoes, kale, asparagus, peppers, mushrooms, carrots, radishes, onions, garlic, and beans shared the board with chickpea puree, cilantro coulis, and a spicy red sauce that may have been harissa sauce. It was a beautifully-prepared and satisfying meal, and I would definitely order it again. Since it relies on seasonal produce, the vegetables will probably change from one visit to the next. Although it's listed only on the restaurant's dinner menu, the server thought they could probably serve it at lunchtime too, upon request.

What I love about this approach is that it doesn't require the kitchen to stock any special ingredients just for vegans. For all the chefs out there who think that in order to provide vegan menu options, you must have a separate supply of tofu, non-dairy cheese, or other items you don't use for anything else, please give some thought to creating a vegan entrée out of the same grains and produce you use for your side dishes.

Formoli's Bistro is located at 3839 J Street, and their phone number is 916-448-5699. Their website address is, and their Facebook page can be found at The restaurant is open for lunch Tuesday through Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and for dinner Tuesday through Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 5:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., and Sunday from 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Coconut's Fish Cafe

Coconut's Fish Café, a popular Maui-based restaurant chain, opened recently in midtown. When I checked their menu, I saw that veggie patties were an option in several of their dishes, so I sent them a Facebook message asking whether their veggie patties are vegan. They are!

I had lunch there twice last week. The first time, I ordered the Taco Mountain rice bowl, a bed of brown rice topped with tomato salsa, diced tomatoes, mango salsa, and veggie patty pieces. It was tasty and filling, and I liked the flavor of the veggie patty. Be sure to order it without the cheese and coleslaw.

I ordered the Super Green Salad for my next lunch, consisting of kale, spinach, chard, Romaine, macadamia nuts, red bell pepper, and mango. I asked for a veggie patty to be added to the salad (for an extra cost), and that's when I discovered that the veggie patty also comes in a teriyaki flavor, so I gave that a try. At least two of the dressing choices were vegan -- pineapple vinaigrette and Dijon vinaigrette. I decided the pineapple vinaigrette would be the better choice with the teriyaki patty. It turned out to be a really good salad, and I loved the teriyaki patty.

Coconut's Fish Café is located at 1420 16th Street in the space formerly occupied by Noodles & Company, and their phone number is 916-440-0449. Their website address is, and their Facebook page can be found at The restaurant is open daily from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.