Monday, May 22, 2017

Selland's Market-Café

Selland's Market-Café opened a new location on Broadway recently. I waited several weeks to check it out, hoping that the newness would wear off and the lines of people waiting to order would start to die down. I should have known better -- Selland's in East Sacramento has been a local favorite for a long time, and it appears that Selland's on Broadway will follow the same pattern.


I visited Selland's on Broadway twice last week. I checked the menu online ahead of time to make sure there were vegan options, and I found a separate vegetarian menu. While there aren't any hot dishes or desserts that are vegan, there is a very nice selection of vegan salads.


During both visits, I ordered a salad trio. For the first one, I chose the roasted beet, roasted cauliflower and chickpea, and Asian noodle salads. The beet salad consisted of beets, chard, red cabbage, green onion, sunflower seeds, and a maple-sherry vinaigrette. The cauliflower and chickpea salad included arugula, and was tossed with a lemon-tahini dressing. In addition to the noodles, red bell pepper, carrots, green onion, cilantro, and a peanut dressing made up the Asian noodle salad. All three salads were excellent, which made it hard for me to order something different the next time I visited.




However, I wanted to be able to show you a more complete picture of Selland's vegan options, so I did order a couple of different salads for my next visit. I stuck with the Asian noodle salad, but I added the seasonal fruit salad and the roasted broccoli and red pepper salad, which was tossed with olive oil, garlic, and lemon.



I notice that, in addition to these vegan side salads, there is also a vegan super greens signature salad, consisting of spinach, kale, chard, roasted beets, red cabbage, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and maple-sherry vinaigrette.


Selland's Market-Café is located at 915 Broadway, and their phone number is 916-732-3390. Their website address is http://www.sellands.com/, and their Facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/sellandsmarketcafe/. The restaurant is open Monday through Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Palladio LUXE Cinema

I've been wanting to try out one of the new movie theaters that offers reclining seats. I also needed to find a restaurant to write about for this week's blog post. So it occurred to me, why not combine the two?

Which is how my husband Phil and I came to find ourselves sitting in comfy recliners at the Palladio LUXE Cinema in Folsom this weekend, watching the techno thriller The Circle while eating food brought to our seats for us by the helpful servers.

I had checked the menu ahead of time, and while there wasn't anything vegan, there were a couple of things that appeared veganizable. I confirmed with the staff that the food was made on the premises, as opposed to being pre-packaged and then microwaved. That made it easy to simply request that the non-vegan ingredients be omitted.

I ordered the portobello and eggplant sandwich, a very hearty sandwich served on focaccia. I asked that the Havarti cheese be left off, and told the server that if the garlic sauce included any non-vegan ingredients, it should be omitted too. I never heard whether the garlic sauce was left off or not, but the sandwich was very good.


None of the desserts on the menu were vegan. Fortunately, the movie candy options included Red Vines!


The Palladio LUXE Cinema is located at 400 Palladio Parkway in Folsom, and their phone number is 916-693-6433. Their menu, show times, and other information is available on their website at http://www.cinemawest.com/location?house_id=43199.





Monday, April 24, 2017

Cafe Connection Caribbean Cuisine

My husband Phil and I joined millions of people around the world on Saturday for the March for Science. The Sacramento march took us from Southside Park to the State Capitol, at which time I discovered that I had worked up quite an appetite. So we went and checked out Café Connection Caribbean Cuisine on L Street, across the street from the Capitol.


I was happy to see several items on the menu that appeared to be vegan or easily capable of being made vegan. Both the chickpea salad and the curry veggie salad looked as though they were probably vegan without having to make any alterations, and the only thing that would likely need to be changed in the chickpea wrap was to omit the ranch dressing. Since the restaurant was packed with other marchers, I didn't want to take the time to ask a lot of questions, so I ordered the one thing on the menu that was actually listed as vegan -- the vegetable curry plate. It turned out to be a very tasty dish, consisting of carrots, green beans, chickpeas, and peas in a spicy curry sauce, served over a bed of brown rice and beans. A side of mixed greens was served as well.




Café Connection Caribbean Cuisine is located at 1007 L Street, and their phone number is 916-447-8855. Their website address is http://www.cafeconnectionsacramento.com/, and their Facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/cafeconnectioncaribbeancuisine/. According to their website, they're open Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The website also says the restaurant is closed on Saturday and Sunday, but they were definitely open this past Saturday. I'll try to check with them within the next day or two to find out what their Saturday hours are, and I'll post the update here.

UPDATE: I called the restaurant, and they said their hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.






Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Which Wich

I was driving down 16th Street the other day and noticed that a new restaurant, Which Wich, had opened between K and J streets. I looked it up online and discovered that it's an international sandwich chain. More to the point, the word "vegan" appeared right on their home page, so it was clear that a visit was in order.


Walking in the door, I saw a row of racks on the wall with bags for the various types of sandwiches available. I grabbed the one that said "Vegetarian" across the top, took a marking pen out of the container on the counter, and began to fill out my order form.




The two sandwiches actually listed on the menu as vegan are the avocado and the black bean patty. I decided to keep it simple and ordered the avocado. I checked off the applicable boxes on the order form to indicate what type of sandwich, bread, vegetables, etc., I wanted, and then I took it to the cashier. I always worry that something will be included that I don't want, so I made sure to tell the cashier I was vegan. His response was to write "Vegan!!" at the top of my order form so the kitchen staff wouldn't miss it.



My sandwich, served on a warm wheat roll, was ready in just a few minutes. I'm already planning what I'll order the next time I go!



Which Wich is located at 1020 16th Street, and their phone number is 916-680-9424. The Which Wich website address is http://www.whichwich.com/, and the Sacramento location's Facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/Which-Wich-860648264037390/. The restaurant is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Road trip! Lemonade in Walnut Creek

A few days after returning from my trip to Colombia, I drove to the Bay Area for lunch with my parents. A new restaurant had recently opened in Walnut Creek, so we decided to check it out.




Lemonade is a California restaurant chain serving a "vegetable-centric menu" cafeteria-style. According to their website, their menu "draws from a variety of global influences and changes with the seasons several times per year."

Five vegan salads were listed on the menu: red quinoa & Fuji apple, avocado & cherry tomatoes, snap peas & edamame, Tuscan kale & kumquats, and curried cauliflower. They are served in small portions for $2.95 each, so I ordered three different ones. The red quinoa & Fuji apple salad was mixed with arugula, sunflower seeds, and miso vinaigrette, and was surprisingly filling. The curried cauliflower, with golden raisins and almonds, was listed as a chef's favorite. My favorite, though, was the simple avocado & cherry tomatoes, served with pine nuts and a lime cilantro vinaigrette.



Lemonade in Walnut Creek is located at 1348 Broadway Plaza, and their phone number is 925-231-0066. The restaurant is open daily from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Information about all the Lemonade locations is available on their website at http://www.lemonadela.com/, or on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/LemonadeLA.



Sunday, March 19, 2017

Sacramento Vegan is on the road

Blogging will resume in early April, but there may be occasional updates before then on the Sacramento Vegan Facebook page at https://m.facebook.com/Sacramento-Vegan-156965251048946/.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Kasbah Revisited

When I blogged about Kasbah Lounge in midtown a few years ago, it was owned by the same family that owned the restaurant next door, Tapa the World. A vegan menu had been compiled from the menus of both restaurants, and you could order items from Kasbah even if you were eating at Tapa the World, and vice versa.


Since then, Kasbah Lounge has been bought by two former Kasbah employees and is now run separately from Tapa the World. So my husband Phil and I stopped in for dinner at Kasbah over the weekend to see if I could still find something vegan to eat.


I'm happy to report that putting together a vegan meal was easy. The only thing actually listed on the menu as vegan is the harira soup, but there are some vegetarian items that can easily be made vegan. But since the harira was vegan, I started with that. It's a flavorful lentil soup delicately seasoned with cinnamon and other spices. It was topped with fried onions and served with pita triangles. Delicious!




I followed the soup with the mezza platter, an assortment of Middle Eastern appetizers that I ate as my entrée. The platter included hummus, olives, falafel, tabbouleh, baba ghanoush, tomatoes, pickled vegetables, and tahini sauce. Normally, it includes yogurt and feta cheese, but I asked that those items be omitted from my platter.




I didn't order it, but another option you may want to consider is the vegetable kabob. I asked recently on Kasbah's Facebook page if the kabob was vegan, and here's the response I received: "Sub the yogurt for baba ganoush and the rice (cooked in veg broth but has butter) for coriander roasted sweet potatoes and voila it's vegan!" I'll give that a try next time I visit.


Kasbah Lounge is located at 2115 J Street, and their phone number is 916-442-4388. Their website address is http://www.kasbahlounge.com/, and their Facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/kasbah916/. The restaurant is open Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 5:00 p.m. till midnight, and Friday and Saturday from 5:00 p.m. until 2:00 a.m.





Monday, March 6, 2017

Mesa Mercado

I finally got around to driving to Carmichael the other day to check out the new Milagro Centre, which opened last summer. Several different restaurants are housed there, but the one I was there to try was Mesa Mercado.




Unlike most Mexican restaurants, Mesa Mercado doesn't provide complimentary chips and salsa when you're seated. Instead, they bring out a refreshing dish of mango bites, sprinkled with chili powder. I thought that was a nice change from chips, which often fill me up before I even receive my entrée. Of course, if you'd like chips, you can order the chips and salsa trio or the chips and guacamole appetizer.




There were a couple of entrées that appeared to be either vegan or veganizable, such as one of the salads and the veggie tacos, but the dish I chose was the caldo de cosecha, a big bowl of hearty vegetable soup. Filled with broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, squash, carrots, peppers, and I don't know what all, and served with crispy mini tortillas, it was a tasty and satisfying meal.



Mesa Mercado is located inside the Milagro Centre at 6241 Fair Oaks Boulevard in Carmichael, and the phone number is 916-283-4081. Their website address is http://mesamercado.com/, and their Facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/Mesa-Mercado-1495372880732521/. The restaurant is open Sunday from noon to 8:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday from noon to 9:00 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from noon to 10:00 p.m.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Chocolate Fish

As I've mentioned before, I don't spend much time in the local coffeehouses because I don't drink coffee. Once I find out that a coffeehouse has started offering vegan baked goods, though, it suddenly appears on my radar.


That's what happened over the weekend when I saw on social media that Conscious Creamery's vegan donuts are now being offered at Chocolate Fish Coffee Roasters. I've been a big fan of Conscious Creamery's vegan gelato for a long time, and I was thrilled when they started making vegan baked goods as well. So I took a drive over to Chocolate Fish in East Sacramento yesterday morning to  get my Conscious Creamery fix.


Sure enough, there was a glass cake plate on display with two kinds of Conscious Creamery donuts. I bought one of each for a deliciously sweet breakfast.



For those of you who go to coffeehouses for the coffee, Chocolate Fish offers two different non-dairy milk substitutes -- soy and almond.




Chocolate Fish has two different locations, both serving Conscious Creamery donuts. The location I visited is at 4749 Folsom Boulevard. It's open daily from 6:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The other location is at 3rd and Q Street, and it's open Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Their phone number is 916-451-5181, and their website address is http://www.chocolatefishcoffee.com/.



Monday, February 20, 2017

Bangkok Garden Thai Cuisine

A couple of weeks ago, my friend Greta and I tried to go to lunch at Tuk Tuk in Natomas, but we were surprised to discover that the restaurant had closed. Fortunately, Greta knew of another Thai restaurant just a short drive away, Bangkok Garden.


The first thing I noticed on Bangkok Garden's menu was the notation at the bottom of each page that read, "Vegan options available. Ask your server." The dish I wanted was the eggplant plate, so I made sure to order it with no fish sauce and with tofu added. It was a delicious combination of eggplant, tofu, bell pepper, and basil sautéed in coconut milk and chili paste.




I was in the area again a few days ago, so I stopped in for lunch. This time, I decided to try one of their curries. I asked the server if the curries contained fish sauce, and she said they did, but could be made without it. So I ordered the green curry with tofu added, a tasty mixture of bell pepper, bamboo shoots, green beans, zucchini, carrots, cabbage, tofu, and basil in a green curry coconut milk sauce.




Bangkok Garden is located at 3230 Arena Boulevard and their phone number is 916-263-9600. Their website address is http://www.bangkok-gardenthaicuisine.com/Blank.html and their Facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/bangkokgardenthaicuisine/. The restaurant is open for lunch daily from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and for dinner Sunday 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.



Monday, February 6, 2017

Barnes & Noble Kitchen

Two of my very favorite things to do are to look for new vegan food and to shop for books. So you can imagine my delight when I found out that a new Barnes & Noble bookstore had opened in Folsom late last year, and it had a restaurant right there in the store.

My friend Michele and I drove up to Folsom last week to check it out. The café was hidden behind a coffee bar that we saw as soon as we walked in the door.

The menu wasn't extensive, but it had a few items that were either vegan or easily veganizable. Michele and I ordered the guacamole and chips appetizer to share. The guacamole was full of nice, big chunks of avocado, and it had enough spice to give it a little kick.



Next, I ordered the chopped vegetable salad, which needed a couple of modifications. I asked the server to omit the feta cheese, and substitute apple cider vinaigrette for the green goddess dressing listed on the menu. What the menu didn't say is that half of a hard-boiled egg also comes with the salad, so if you order this dish, you'll want to ask them to leave off the egg. The salad itself was delicious and very colorful. I loved the vegetables the chef chose -- purple cauliflower, beets, green beans, broccoli, bell pepper, carrots, avocado, and greens, with pepitas tossed in for garnish.




Barnes & Noble Kitchen is located at 280 Palladio Parkway, Building 913, and their phone number is 916-984-4407. Their website address is http://barnesandnoblekitchen.com/, and their Facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/The-Kitchen-at-Barnes-Noble-1247165598670382/. The restaurant is open Sunday through Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.


Monday, January 30, 2017

Pushkin's Restaurant


I actually feel kind of silly blogging about Pushkin’s Restaurant since, judging from all the photos showing up in my Facebook newsfeed, it seems as though every vegan in town has already been there. But in case there are still a few people out there who haven’t heard, Pushkin’s Bakery opened a restaurant in midtown last month and it’s been a big hit with local vegans.




The menu at Pushkin’s Restaurant is 100 percent gluten-free, but they also offer a separate menu that’s all vegan. I had lunch there last week with my friend Cathy, and I had a terrible time trying to choose from among all the vegan options. I finally decided on the refreshing Green Gem Salad, with butter lettuce, grapefruit, avocado, radish, and a lemony vinaigrette. I had Portobello mushrooms added for an extra charge.




I really wanted to try the Coconut Parfait for dessert, but they were out of them. Instead, I checked out the baked goods in the display case and found three vegan options –double chocolate walnut cookies, chocolate chip muffins, and barracuda cupcakes. As you can see in the picture below, I opted for the fabulous barracuda cupcake.




Pushkin’s Restaurant is located at 1813 Capitol Avenue, and their phone number is 916-823-5520. Their website address is http://pushkinskitchen.com/, and their Facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/pushkinsrestaurant/. The restaurant is open Tuesday through Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Monday, January 23, 2017

The Press Bistro

An email came through the other day announcing that the Press Bistro is now serving lunch. I didn't think I cared, because my occasional review of the Press Bistro menu hasn't given me any indication that it's a particularly vegan-friendly restaurant. But I checked to see what they were offering on their new lunch menu.


I found a pasta dish that sounded promising, so I emailed the restaurant to see if the spaghetti was vegan if ordered without the ricotta. I received a very prompt response informing me that it was. With that in mind, I headed to the Press Bistro for lunch one rainy day this past week.


The pasta dish I ordered was spaghetti with tomato sauce, chile, Kalamata olives, and cauliflower. I loved this meal! For starters, cauliflower and Kalamata olives are two of my very favorite things, so to have them in the sauce was almost a guarantee that I would enjoy the dish. But the other thing the chef did perfectly was to use a light touch in ladling out the sauce. It seems like most restaurants these days bring me a sad little mound of noodles, swimming in an ocean of sauce. This dish had a perfect sauce-to-noodle ratio.


I know I sound like I'm gushing, but I haven't enjoyed a plate of pasta this much in years. I only wish it was on the restaurant's dinner menu too. And to all the friends I lunch with, this is probably the restaurant I'm going to suggest the next time we go out.




But what about dinner at the Press Bistro? Well, I'm glad you asked! When I received my response from the restaurant about the spaghetti, the email also said this: "We also always have our seasonal vegetable plate that is vegan."


Seasonal vegetable plate? I didn't recall seeing that on the menu, so I went back to the restaurant's website and checked again. Nope, no mention of this item at all, and I can't imagine why not. I guess it's just one of those secret menu items you have to know about. And now you know!


Now that I knew about it, however, my husband and I went to the Press Bistro over the weekend so I could check it out. It was a lovely dish, with roasted cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, greens, white beans, carrots, radishes, and I don't know what all. The ingredients will change frequently, depending on what vegetables are in season.




The Press Bistro is located at 1809 Capitol Avenue, and their phone number is 916-444-2566. Their website address is http://www.thepressbistro.com/, and their Facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/The-Press-Bistro-122363554473910/. The restaurant is open for lunch Tuesday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and for dinner Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and 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.