vegetable diaries

Archive for March, 2010

burgers, tiramisu, and lots more: a mary’s secret garden adventure

Posted by vegetablediaries on March 6, 2010

tiramisu from Mary's Secret Garden

you can never ever ever go wrong with Mary’s Secret Garden! although i’ve only eaten there a few times, every time has been such a pleasure. you can find my older post on Mary’s here.  i think this is probably my favourite vegan restaurant in southern california. i think i want to tell everyone i know to eat there. i think i’m going to start talking about my dinner now.

we started off with a small order of the fresh thai spring rolls. mmm, you have to order these! julienned carrots and cucumbers, basil leaves, smoked tofu and lettuce all wrapped up in rice paper, and served with a spicy peanut sauce. these are probably some of the best fresh spring rolls i’ve ever tasted (note: i’ve had many many fresh spring rolls!).

the secret burger--mary style at Mary's Secret Garden

for dinner i ordered the thai yellow curry stew, which included stewed kabocha squash, carrots, potatoes, red onions, ginger and basil leaves in a creamy curried coconut sauce. they offer a choice of protein and i went with the tofu. again, i think this thai yellow curry is seriously one of the best i’ve tried! it was seasoned to perfection and topped with lots of fresh cilantro, which i love! my only complaint, if you even call it that, is that it tends to cool down right away. they served it steaming hot but after a few minutes it tended to cool off. but that didn’t keep me from enjoying it. i actually could only finish half of it because it was so big, but i just ate it for lunch today and it was still so delicious!

my friend ordered the secret burger–mary style. oh my lord. i’m not a fan of burgers but this thing was tremendous! we are talking homemade secret sauce, grilled soy patty, melted cheeze (which i’m not a fond of, but it really tastes like cheese), lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, red onions, and tempeh “bakin.” i think when you order it “mary style” it includes extra sauce, pickles, avocado, and tempeh. it was crazy delicious! it also comes with a good size salad.. it was a caesar salad and off the charts good!

raw cherry ice cream at Mary's Secret Garden

we were both pretty full from dinner but the desserts sounded too heavenly to resist. the cake of the day was tiramisu, and it was the best tiramisu ever! i was expecting it to be heavy and espresso-ish but quite the contrary! it was light and fluffy and had notes of cinnamon, almond and vanilla. it’s not always available but if you see the tiramisu on the menu you must try it! we also tried the raw ice cream du jour, which was cherry almond chocolate something something. it was very yummy, too. the cherry flavor was so rich, and they drizzled chocolate sauce over the top and added slivered almonds for good measure. oh man, what a meal. thank you, Mary’s Secret Garden!

i went back the following day with my not so vegan-friendly mom. we both ordered the burgers (i got mine sans the cheeze) and they were just as tasty as ever. the side salad was mixed greens with a really lovely vinaigrette dressing. my mom was really impressed and wants to go back for more. although my last couple of meals weren’t gluten-free, Mary’s is very gluten-free-friendly and they also have many raw options. everything is clearly marked on their menu.

their menu isn’t posted on their website so here it is for you to see:

mary’s secret garden menu

Mary’s Secret Garden
100 South Fir Street
Ventura, CA 93001
805-641-FOOD
www.maryssecretgarden.com

Posted in gluten-free-friendly, los angeles, raw, thai, vegan, vegan ice cream | Tagged: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

my appetite and the east bay: a compendium

Posted by vegetablediaries on March 2, 2010

the moderate meal at Manzanita

today i will cover three wonderful east bay eateries: Manzanita Restaurant, Vik’s Chaat Corner, and Cafe Colucci. all of them are very affordable and delicious and will summon you from far away (i write this from southern california)!

you can find my older post on Manzanita here, and as i mentioned before i find the grain at Manzanita to be a little on the mushy side. so when my friend and i had lunch we ordered our moderate meals without the grain and it was just as excellent as ever! we also didn’t waste any food. i don’t have a photo of the soup but i think it was a miso vegetable and bean soup. it was probably one of the best soups i’ve had at Manzanita.. it was hearty and loaded with veggies. the entree included split peas, dinosaur kale with some sort of dill dressing that was outstanding, steamed broccoli, cauliflower and carrots with a tahini dressing (i think), and a mixed green salad and beet dressing. i really enjoyed everything and it was also nice to sit outside in their sunny patio.

dosa from Vik's Chaat Corner

later that afternoon we headed to Vik’s Chaat Corner to snack on some dosa. by the way, Vik’s recently moved to a new location… don’t worry, it’s nearby to their old location. the new space is airy and huge! it seems like it will accommodate crowds better then their old place. when we visited it was a weekday around 3pm, so it was calm and their menu was limited. i recommend going on a weekend (although it will be crazy crowded) where they offer more menu items. the vegetable dosa is so tasty and only available on the weekends! the idlis, which are like little steamed rice & lentil cakes are also so yummy. i could drink the sambar and coconut chutney! oh, how i miss Vik’s!

veggie combo from Cafe Colucci

and last but not least, i give to you Cafe Colucci! i’ve had somewhat of a love/hate relationship with Colucci’s and lately i seem to be loving them. when i first tried them years ago i thought their food was really good, although my favourite ethiopian restaurant lives in the city of angels– Meals By Genet. anyways, i’ve had my share of not liking Colucci’s for various reasons from service to food quality, but lately they seem to be consistently really really good. i usually tend to visit them during lunch, because the veggie combo is so cheap at only $10! i always end up leaving so incredibly stuffed!

veggie combo from Cafe Colucci

Manzanita Restaurant
4001 Linden Street
Oakland, CA 94608
510-985-8386
www.manzanitarestaurant.com

Vik’s Chaat Corner
2390 4th Street
Berkeley, CA 94710
510-644-4432
www.vikschaatcorner.com

Cafe Colucci
6427 Telegraph Ave.
Oakland, CA 94609
510-601-7999
www.cafecolucci.com

Posted in ethiopian, gluten-free-friendly, indian, sf bay area, vegan, vegan-friendly | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.