Posts Tagged ‘Road Trip’

Road Trip Review: Denver’s Vegan Van

July 14th, 2013

Denver Vegan Van

 

We love to travel and it has been awhile since I’ve made a travel post. Our last trip was to Colorado just last week. It has been 3 years since visiting one of our favorite places and in that time the vegan options have become plentiful. It is always great to visit somewhere you can easily dine out without worrying if your veggies have meat sprinkled in them.

We were excited to discover that Denver now has its own food truck. Food trucks are booming in some areas and languishing in some. I still believe it is a food fad but I’ll still partake of one when I find it. We did happen upon Denver’s Vegan Van while making a visit to Nooch, which happens to be a full vegan market.

The Vegan Van has a short menu as a food truck should.  Selections were limited to sandwiches and wraps with their version of vegan ‘wings’ made buffalo or hoisin style. Nothing very mind-blowing or extravagant to be found. Just a few simple things. Simple is good.

Denver Vegan Van Menu

 

Denver Vegan Van - Planet Rock

The Planet Rock - A tofu sandwich with buffalo sauce and topped with creamy cole slaw. While the sauce was very good it didn't do much for the seemingly unmarinated tofu underneath. It did not "rock", as the name implies.

 

I went for a Planet Rock. This was a standard buffalo sauced tofu sandwich topped with a creamy slaw. The flavor of the sauce was OK, there were 3 pieces of, unfortunately, unmarinated tofu on the sandwich and the slaw had a good flavor. Mrs. Nashveggie and Miss Nashveggie each had the Super Freak, an Italian-style veggie burger with bruschetta. The burger was covered in a mix of green and yellow peppers. I’m not really sure what was Italian about the burger. One might expect some basil or oregano. Perhaps some marinara-sauce topping if even taking the easy way out. There was no bruschetta to be found, the bun was just a bun. There was no toasting, garlic, oil or anything else typically used as bruschetta topping. The patty had a rather bland flavor and the greens and peppers lent more flavor to the sandwich than the patty did. While none of the sandwiches were absolutely stand-out even more of a let down was paying $7-$9 per sandwich and getting nothing more than stale popcorn as a side. Even plain potato  chips would have been a better offering than a handful of popcorn that was mostly unpopped kernels.

Denver Vegan Van - Super Freak

The Super Freak - I'm not sure what about this sandwich supports its name. Described as "Italian-style" nothing about it gave it the flavor.

 

I really believe that Denver can support a vegan food truck and I hope on our next visit to the area the Vegan Van is still riding.  I also hope in that time they have made significant improvements. They have plenty of room to make them.

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Cololrado – Day 3

October 2nd, 2008

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Our third day in the place we are supposed to be living.   The public transportation system in Denver is great, hybrid buses, cable cars and bike lanes on nearly every major road.  Traffic during the morning and afternoon rush isn’t very bad and I am sure it is because of that transportation system.   This day, after spending the first part of the day an event that energized and motivated me in ways I never thought possible, we went back to Watercourse Foods.   After that delicious goods we had the day before it was an easy pick.   This time I opted for the Reuben with sweet potato homefries and onion rings, Elizabeth had the Eggplant Parmesan mashed potatoes and onion rings and our daughter had the Vegan Buckwheat Pancake (she loves breakfast foods).   The Reuben was prepared with chopped portobello mushrooms, red cabbage slaw and vegan Russian dressing.  Being a connoisseur of Reubens, this one was excellent and the portobello is a very good alternative to the many Reubens I have had made with tofu.  Elizabeth didn’t like her Eggplant Parmesan as much as The  Grinder which she had the day before, she said the breading was not crisp enough.   The huge buckwheat pancake our daughter had didn’t last long, nor did the berries and banana it was served with.   Watercourse Foods is the best vegan restaurant we have visited to this point.

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 Vegan Reuben

Following munchies we drove  to Colorado Springs and walked around Garden Of The Gods, a place we go to every time we visit the area.  Our daughter loved climbing on the rocks and it is a very nice quiet place to walk.   After we made a stop at Pikes Perk coffee.  The coffee beans they use have always been the best I have ever had.   It’s has been about 6 months since I have had any substantial caffeine so I had a decaf double mocha.  Before leaving I picked up a bag of the espresso roast, I will probably get back on the coffee binge as the cooler weather starts and I might as well start back with the best I can find.

Oh, I guess you want to to know what that big event was earlier in the day.

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Colorado – Day 2

September 30th, 2008

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Our second day involved doing many things around Denver.  One of those was lunch at Watercourse Foods.  After my bad experience at VG Burgers I knew it could only get better, and it did.  After we found our destination we grabbed a to-go menu just to check out our choices before committing ourselves as we usually do when trying a restaurant for the first time.   Too many choices, but how many are vegan?  Then I saw the line at the bottom, “All Items Can Be Made Vegan.”  Perfect!

After being seated we started looking over the menu, our daughter had her own kid’s menu and since breakfast was available until 5pm she wanted the kid’s BBFT (Banana Bread French Toast).   After looking for a bit I settled on the Po Boy with sides of onion rings and mashed potatoes and gravy, with a bit of help from our server Eryn, and Elizabeth had The Grinder, shaved seitan, grilled onions and peppers on french bread served with au jus and sides of broccoli and fries.   We were soon served plates piled with food.  My daughter’s french toast was two thick slices of banana bread french toast served with maple syrup, berries and banana slices.  Her love of berries is deep, those went quick.   My po poy was a deep fried hunk of diced portobello topped with slaw on a bun, peel-on mashed potatoes and brown gravy and four huge onion rings.   Elizabeth’s sandwich was piled with shaved seitan, she had second thoughts on the brocolli after seeing my onion rings.

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Banana Bread French Toast

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The Grinder

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Portobello Po Boy

After lunch Eryn asked if we cared for dessert, we usually have to give a no to this but she told us all were vegan!   Splurge!  She brought out a tray with six or so selections but the Tiramisu was an easy choice as we have not had it since going vegan.  It was topped with shaved chocolate and after asking I found they used a tofutti mixture to replace the marscapone.  I didn’t taste much in the way of rum but I believe it was there.  Overall, delicious.

Our sandwiches were $10 each including sides and the kid’s menu selections ar $3.50 each.  Desserts are $6 bringing our total to about $30 plus tax.   A much better eat than VG Burgers and at less cost.  Definitely a must-visit-again.

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Interesting sign at the Butterfly Pavilion.

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Colorado – Day 1

September 28th, 2008

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Short Post:

We began our first trip in 5 years to Colorado on Friday morning and arrived yesterday.   We had planned on spending our first day in Boulder and our lunch was at VG Burgers.  I had been looking forward to VG Burgers since finding out about the place and the idea of burgers, chili-cheese fries and milkshakes (all vegan!) was exciting to a foodie.   After finding our hotel  and getting the day of multi-state driving washed off we headed out.  Being hungry VG Burgers would be the first stop.  A small diner-ish place it looked perfect for finding good vegan eats.  I had a 1/4 pound veggie burger, chili-cheese fries and an agave-sweetened root beer.  My wife had the tempeh BBQ burger, large fries and the agave-sweetened cola and my daughter the nuggets and small fries.  I think my expectations were too high or this place just doesn’t cut it.  The microwaved patties were placed onto cold buns.  I make a better veggie burger at home and to top it off the veggie burger selections are Amy’s patties.  The nuggets are Boca, same you buy at the store in the frozen section and the fries, while  baked, just seemed not fully cooked.  I will give the agave-sweetened drinks good points but not enough to warrant a return trip.  VG Burgers in Boulder would rank as some of the worst vegan food I have encountered and at the price, $36 for the three of us, it can’t get much worse.  Burgers are $6 each and small fries are $3, far too pricey considering they are serving the same thing I can buy at a grocery store.

Afterwards, we visited Pearl Street Mall and walked around for a few hours.  Our last visit didn’t give up the time to see most of Boulder.   We went to Savory Spice Shop where we bought some Black Onyx Dutch Cocoa for making cupcakes and fake-hostess cakes.  They were having a grand opening and giving out free beer and wine, so a beer I had.

Next up: Denver and Watercourse Bakery

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