Posts Tagged ‘Dining Out’

Burger UP Marathon Burger is Not Vegan

September 8th, 2012

Burger Up Marathoon Burger Vegan Vegetarian Black Bean Quinoa

A little disconcerting news to those who are looking for a vegan veggie burger in Nashville, it has been brought to my attention by employees of the restaurant that the black bean and quinoa burger lauded by many at Burger UP, otherwise known as the Marathon Burger is NOT vegan or vegetarian. One of the ingredients used is their made-in-house ketchup which contains standard Worcestershire sauce that has anchovies. This Worcestershire sauce is also used in the ketchup they serve to dip those fries in it as well. The ketchup isn’t just served on top of the Marathon Burger, it is IN the burger so asking to leave it off it isn’t so simple.  Though the Marathon Burger is not listed as vegan or vegetarian on their menu many have inquired about it and told it is while it has garnered many reviews in local publications as suitable for vegans and vegetarians without any correction. Adding egg is a common move by restaurants when making veggie burgers and vegans know to ask about that in advance but adding a non-vegetarian ingredient such as standard Worcestershire just makes no sense whatsoever as you’ve just relegated the burger to the same as your animal meat sandwiches without so much as a mention to this on the menu. Listing those ingredients on the menu would go a long way.

 

Hopefully, we can urge Burger Up to make a change.

 

UPDATE: I’ve been told that the Marathon Burger also has panko bread crumbs which, in this case, contain egg. While those would be vegetarian they are of course not vegan.

UPDATE: Speaking with the owner lends the news that Burger Up is working to revise their Marathon Burger recipe with a vegetarian Worcestershire sauce. This is great news.

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Portland, Oregon: Off The Griddle

October 25th, 2011

Off The Griddle - Portland, Oregon

After going through all of the notes I made on our trip to Portland and all of the food pictures I took, as well as the non-food pictures, I’ve come to realize that I could be writing a post a day. I don’t have the time to write a post a day and that would have me wriiting about Portland up until my next Portland trip. I’m not going to do that so I’m going to touch on a few of the highlights of the food portion of our trip and maybe a conglomeration post with a few tidbits of what’s left over with the pictures that are left.

I am a veggie burger lover. I will make one at home on occasion and always skip the frozen ones opting for fresh. If you’re looking locally in Nashville for a decent one in a restaurant you could always go with J. Alexander’s which makes a pretty good one.  However, in Portland I encountered the best veggie burger I’ve ever had in a restaurant. For lunch one day we searched out Off The Griddle, a small food cart on the corner of SE 50th and SE Division. Serving nothing but veggie burgers, both vegan and vegetarian choices, you knew they had to have it down and would serve up a killer burger. No disappointments. All of Off The Griddle’s burgers are mostly organic, homemade and served on Dave’s Killer Bread. Dave’s Killer Bread is another anomaly of amazing food goodness but I’ll try to give you more on that later. The cart is also solar-powered. Solar-powered, homemade, mostly organic and vegan. How can you possibly beat that? Make the best veggie burger you’ll ever eat.

We ordered the Smoky Bleu Burger, topped with tempeh bacon, spinach, onion and a vegan bleu cheese sauce that was so close to bleu cheese that it had me questioning it’s vegan authenticity. Our second choice was the daily special, a Pumpkin Curry Falafel Burger. This one had the usual inclusions, tomatoes, onions, lettuce and sweet pickles but also a great tasting curry coconut tahini sauce that made the burger perfect. Both burgers were, of course, vegan and had great texture. They weren’t mushy and didn’t fall apart. These could be the perfect vegan veggie burgers.

 

Off The Griddle - Smoky Bleu Burger

Smokey Bleu Burger

 

Off The Griddle - Pumpkin Curry Falafel Burger

Pumpkin Curry Falafel Burger

 

There’s ample seating available in the food cart pod so you don’t have to search our a place to sit on the street or walk with your food. These tasty burgers are prepared fresh to order so grab a seat and wait for the most amazing veggie burger you’ll ever encounter.

If I could get to Off The Griddle right now I would. If I could have the veggie burger perfection that I found at Off The Griddle right now I would. However, that would be a 2,351 mile trip and I don’t have enough time during lunch to get there and back. Next trip to Portland, though, it’s on!

Walk up and order the best veggie burger you'll ever eat. The special the day we visited was the Pumpkin Curry Falafel Burger. Whatever it is the day you visit it's sure to be delicious.

 

Off The Griddle Menu - Portland, Oregon

Vegan and vegetarian veggie burger choices galore. Time to get your veggie burger eats on!

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Portland, Oregon: Voodoo Doughnuts

October 19th, 2011

Voodoo Doughnuts Sign

So many restaurants in Portland and so little time for a vegan foodie. Sweets always top the list.

If you are driving down 3rd Avenue and see a line wrapped around a building then most likely you are driving past Voodoo Doughnuts. It seems Nashville likes to form a line for pancakes and Portland for doughnuts.

Although Voodoo Doughnuts is not completely vegan they do have a good selection of vegan doughnuts. Choices range from the glazed fried, devil’s food sprinkled to raspberry jelly filled and maple cream filled. Prices range from $1.25 to $1.95 each.  We made four different visits to Voodoo Doughnuts and tried different choices each time. Our selections were cotton candy sprinkled, maple frosted maple filled, chocolate frosted cream filled, devil’s food sprinkled and the signature Voodoo Doll, a voodoo doll shaped doughnut that is chocolate frosted and raspberry jelly filled complete with a pretzel pin for  sticking. All of the doughnuts were good though nothing absolutely spectacular.  It’s clearly a novelty sell apparent by the not-so-subtle double entendres that litter the signage in the shop. Buy a dozen, or in this case 13 and they will come in a nice pink box emblazoned with what must be Voodoo Doughnut’s signature: “Good things come in pink boxes.” Of course, if you feel the need to go for the not subtle at all route choose the Cock and Balls doughnut, a chocolate covered doughnut shaped like, well… You can even buy a pair of frilly panties printed with “The Magic Is In The Hole” or, as before, “Good Things Come In Pink Boxes”.

Voodoo Doughnuts Menu

Voodoo Doughnuts Menu (click to enlarge)

Voodoo Doughnuts Vegan Menu

Voodoo Doughnuts Vegan Menu (click to enlarge)

I won’t say I didn’t enjoy Voodoo Doughnuts. It’s nice to grab a jelly filled in the morning and walk half a block to Stumptown to enjoy it with a fresh cup of great coffee but after a couple doughnuts, vegan or not, you quickly realize that you’re just eating a doughnut. However, if you love a vegan doughnut, don’t have the chance to bake or fry up your own, and crave some vegan sweetness then Voodoo Doughnuts is your place.

Voodoo Doughnuts Vegan Doughnuts

Vegan Doughnuts!

 

Voodoo Doughnuts Vegan Doughnuts

More vegan doughnuts.

 

Voodoo Doughnuts Vegan Doughnuts

Even more vegan doughnuts!

 

Voodoo Doughnuts Vegan Doughnuts

Still more vegan doughnuts.

Voodoo Doughnuts Vegan Maple Filled

Voodoo Doughnuts Vegan Maple Filled

 

Voodoo Doughnuts Vegan Cotton Candy Doughnut

Voodoo Doughnuts Vegan Cotton Candy Doughnut

 

Voodoo Doughnuts Vegan Devil's Food With Sprinkles

Voodoo Doughnuts Vegan Devil's Food With Sprinkles

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A Vegan Foodie’s Journey: Portland Day 0.5

October 13th, 2011

If you are a regular reader of this site then you are aware how much we enjoy traveling. Couple that with our love of food and you’ll find some great vacations we’ve taken. This fall we decided to take off to Portland in search of what makes the city receive the nickname “Vegan Mecca”.  Our journey has just begun and we’ve only been here for an evening after arriving mid-afternoon. We have one dinner down and it wasn’t easy deciding where to go. With so many choices making the decision comes down to what places might be the ones you definitely don’t want to miss. After tossing a few choices around we decided upon Vita Cafe. The menu looked very appetizing and had selections that were sure to be filling. After a day flying and spending nearly four hours in McCarran Airport, the most unhealthy airport for food choices in the US, healthy and filling were top priority.

We took our time looking over the menu and after Mrs. Nashveggie decided on the very inviting ‘Chicken’ Fried Steak I saw the specials board and BBQ Platter written on it in big chalk letters. BBQ Tempeh with homemade BBQ sauce, white beans, kale and corn sounded perfect for a filling dinner. The kid ordered from the kid’s menu and we discovered that all kid’s entrees were only $1 with a regular entree. Cheap dinner for a picky kid. Can’t beat that. She picked the Mac & Vegan Cheese being the macaroni lover she is.

The BBQ Platter was extremely tasty and so much food. The sauce was a sweet smoky sauce but not spicy. A little unique tasting. Veggies were fresh. Just what I wanted. The “Chicken” Fried Steak was a large slab of tempeh breaded served over a large pile of mashed potatoes and covered with almond gravy. Also, a very good and very filling platter of food. The kid’s mac and cheese was a bowl full of macaroni covered in a slightly spicy cheese mixture of nutritional yeast and earth balance. She loved it. Nearly the same I make for her at home.

Driving around on our first evening it was clear to see why Portland is considered the Vegan’s Paradise. There vegan are vegan restaurants everywhere. These next week is going to be a busy one. I might gain a few pounds.

These pictures aren’t the best. I didn’t have my new camera with me at dinner. The pictures I post from now on will be much better.

Vita Cafe - Portland

A dim view of the interior of Vita Cafe.

Specials - Vita Cafe

The Special! BBQ Platter

"Chicken" Fried Steak

Vita Cafe - "Chicken" Fried Steak

 

Vita Cafe - BBQ Platter

Vita Cafe - BBQ Platter

 

Vita Cafe - Kid's Vegan Mac & "Cheese"

Vita Cafe - Kid's Vegan Mac & "Cheese"

 

Vegan Red Velvet Cake from Sweetpea Bakery

Vegan Red Velvet Cake from Sweetpea Bakery

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Vegan in Coolsprings – Brixx: Wood Fired Pizza

August 31st, 2011

A new vegan option has cropped up in the Coolsprings area. Brixx:Wood Fired Pizza has opened on McEwen Drive next to Whole Foods and behind Bricktops.  I managed to get a pre-opening invite to enjoy dinner while they practiced their daily motions thanks to Coolsprings.com.

The website and menu clearly states many of their items can be made vegan and that they offer vegan cheese as a substitute for regular cheese at no extra charge which is uncommon as there is typically an extra cost for this which most restaurants adopt. Brixx uses Follow Your Heart mozzarella (UPDATE: Brixx is now using Daiya mozzarella as their vegan cheese option)so you’ll be getting a quality vegan cheese and it’s truly vegan so no worries about whether it contains casein.

Our complimentary dinner included one appetizer, a salad, two pizzas, a sandwich and a pasta dish.

Brixx Menu Vegan

We chose the Wood Fired Pita Chips and Three Dips as our appetizer.  It was served on a large plate with three small scoops of hummus: black bean hummus, roasted red pepper hummus and traditional hummus. The hummus was served on a bed of greens and topped with roasted red peppers and cumin. Pita triangles, the equivalent of about three pitas, that had been toasted in the pizza oven were served around the perimeter of the plate. The hummus was very thick which made dipping a bit hard but flavorful and at $5.95 was a good appetizer though I would like a little more hummus. I didn’t get to eat much of this one as the kid really enjoyed it and decided to take it for her own. That’s a positive vote for the hummus.

Brixx Salad - No Cheese

Our salad was a modified Brixx Salad. We modified this one by simply leaving off the goat cheese. The salad is a spring mix topped with croutons and pistachios and served with a balsamic vinaigrette. It’s served with a large piece of focaccia which looked to have cheese toasted onto it so we just ignored the bread. I’ll be sure to inquire next time about it as it did look very inviting sitting on the edge of the plate. Another $5.95 selection and worth it. I would consider it a big salad. It’s enough to share if you’re having an entree as well.

We chose two pizzas, the Artichoke which is served with a basil pesto instead of red sauce. We asked our server if the pesto contained cheese and she quickly ran back to the kitchen to ask. She returned to tell us it did and we substituted red sauce instead. Substituting seems to be welcome at Brixx and didn’t throw any confusion into the process so have at it if need be. The Artichoke pizza is topped with artichokes, roasted red peppers and sun-dried tomatoes. This pizza could be named the 80’s pizza. Anything with sun-dried tomatoes belongs in the 80’s. Not that I’m complaining about sun-dried tomatoes, I love them. Then again I love the 80’s, so there. Of course, we also substituted the mozzarella for Follow Your Heart cheese. Our second pizza was the Wood-Roasted Vegetable. This was more of a typical veggie pizza with mushrooms I couldn’t tell which type exactly, broccoli, bell peppers and onion. Substituting Follow Your Heart cheese this was also a very good pizza but I think I pick the Artichoke pizza as my favorite of the two. I just really like artichokes on a pizza and then there’s that 80’s thing. The kid got her own kid-sized pizza with red sauce and vegan cheese. She devoured the entire pizza, a good mark as this kid is a very picky eater.

Wood-Roasted Vegetable Pizza with Follow Your Heart Mozzarella

Wood-Roasted Vegetable Pizza with Follow Your Heart Mozzarella

All of Brixx’s pizzas are on a thin, crisp crust and baked in a wood oven. The crust is available in original white flour or whole wheat and both contain nothing animal-derived right down to the turbinado sugar used. These are 100% vegan pizzas when ordered with Follow Your Heart vegan cheese. Brixx also serves pizzas with a gluten-free crust option at a $2 upcharge giving the gluten-challenged a pizza beacon that some may have missed for some time. Prices for the pizzas range from $8.95 to $11.95 though a pizza without all of the animal accoutrements will be in the $8.95-$9.95 range.   These are 10-inch pizzas, six slices per pizza and with a good dose of toppings.  Another note to keep in mind, after 10pm all pizzas and appetizers are 2-for-1.  Get your late-night munchies on!

Artichoke Pizza with Follow Your Heart vegan cheese

Artichoke Pizza with Follow Your Heart vegan cheese

Brixx Kid's Pizza - Vegan Cheese Pizza

The Kid's pizza selection: A Vegan Cheese Pizza

We also ordered a Wild Mushroom Wrap. I expected the typical wrap: fillings in a run-of-the-mill tortilla. I don’t know why I expected that but that’s the typical wrap these days. That’s not what we got. We were served a mix of portobello, shitake and white mushrooms, spinach and Follow Your Heart cheese wrapped in a slightly toasted pizza crust. One of the franchisees came to our table and explained that they put the pizza crust in the oven for two minutes and then wrap the fillings in it. This is a great wrap.  The pizza crust made this wrap superb not to mention the fresh, tasty fillings. If you’re ordering this as a vegan be sure to leave off the sun-dried tomato (80’s) aioli and substitute the Gorgonzola cheese. $7.95 for the Wild Mushroom Wrap.  All sandwiches and wraps are served with a choice of pasta salad, bean salad, fresh fruit or chips.

Brixx Wild Mushroom Wrap with Follow Your Heart cheese and no sun-dried tomato aioli

Brixx Wild Mushroom Wrap with Follow Your Heart cheese and no sun-dried tomato aioli

Brixx Wild Mushroom Wrap with Follow Your Heart cheese and no sun-dried tomato aioli

Brixx Wild Mushroom Wrap with Follow Your Heart cheese and no sun-dried tomato aioli

We didn’t get a pasta as we were already feeling like pigs.  There are vegan options on the pasta menu and whole wheat pastas are available as well.

Brixx also has a wide range of beers on tap including Abita Root Beer for the sugar-fiends. With the 2-for-1 pizza deal and array of brews look for Brixx to be busy late nights and with the delicious food they should keep a good crowd at all other times. I’m proud to have a new vegan option in Coolsprings.

 

UPDATE: Brixx now uses Daiya mozzarella as their vegan cheese option.

 

(Brixx also has a location in Hendersonville at 300 North Indian Lake Boulevard.)

Brixx: Wood Fired Pizza
1550 West McEwen Drive Suite 10
Franklin, Tennessee 37067
(615) 771-7797

Hours: Monday – Saturday 11am-1am, Sunday 11am-11pm

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