vegetable diaries

Posts Tagged ‘gluten-free-friendly’

thank you, gracias madre

Posted by vegetablediaries on January 23, 2010

Gracias Madre

organic vegan mexican cuisine. what on earth could possibly be better? well, maybe a Babycakes donut for dessert, but i’m going to stay focused on my lunch here. the owner’s of Cafe Gratitude have recently opened Gracias Madre in san francisco and they seem to be doing quite well. they still offer community seating but there is no “question of the day.”  hooray! there is also bar seating available if you’re feeling shy, need to eat alone or drink (they serve alcohol).

guacamole con tostadas at Gracias Madre

for lunch i tried the enchiladas con mole poblano, which is mole enchiladas topped with mushrooms and cheese, served with sauteed greens and beans. it’s fantastic and i highly recommend it if you need something tasty and filling. i also ordered the guacamole con tostadas, which was great, too. the guacamole is a good size portion for two people, however the tostadas were beyond crunchy. if they could be just a bit less hard i think it would save on my teeth, but it’s still worth ordering.

enchiladas con mole poblano at Gracias Madre

i didn’t get to try any of the desserts because i was so full, but next time i go i will try something. the coconut-lime cheesecake sounds heavenly.

you can’t go wrong at Gracias Madre and it’s such a delight to have fresh, organic, VEGAN, mexican food in the bay area!

Gracias Madre
2211 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
415-683-1346
www.gracias-madre.com

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

ajanta on my brain

Posted by vegetablediaries on January 14, 2010

bheh, khumbi aur matar (lotus root) at Ajanta

if you are in berkeley (solano avenue to be exact) and are in need of unique and delicious indian food for cheap (lunch=cheap, dinner=moderate), then i highly recommend eating at Ajanta. i’ve been to many indian restaurants and none of them can compare to Ajanta’s varied menu and awesome preparation of regional dishes. although they are not a vegan restaurant there are usually a few vegan lunch specials from which to choose. your lunch will include yummy aromatic rice (brown rice is an option for a little more money), kala chana (black chickpeas), or saag (pureed spinach). Ajanta’s menu changes weekly, so there are always new and interesting things to try. some things stay on the menu depending on season and popularity (i think), so if you fall in love with their sambhar like i did, then rest assured it’s been on the menu for a couple of months now… and hopefully they will keep it on! i’m also quite fond of the bheh, khumbi aur matar (lotus root, shiitake mushrooms, and peas cooked with caramelized onions, ginger, garlic and spices). however i think my favourite is their hyderabadi baingan baghare (organic eggplant slices sauteed and cooked in a sauce made with onions, sesame seeds, tamarind, coconut powder, cashew paste, ginger, garlic, and spices). i don’t have a photo but take my words that you MUST order the baingan baghare if you see it on the menu. it is so rich and the eggplants are like tender little gems that explode in your mouth.

i’ve visited Ajanta for dinner, too but nothing can beat the fantastically cheap and filling lunch specials ($10 or less!).

brown rice & kala chana at Ajanta

i love the caramelized onions on the rice…

sambhar with vegetables at Ajanta

the sambhar is a south indian dish and includes toor dal (lentils) cooked with spices, tamarind eggplant, okra, carrots and potatoes. i didn’t mention this yet but Ajanta is prepared to serve your food spicy HOT if you so desire. i ordered the sambhar “hot” but for the other dishes i recommend ordering them “medium” if you’re not used to the heat. if you like the heat then by all means you should go for HOT!

lobhia aur khumbi (curried black eye peas) at Ajanta

Ajanta
1888 Solano Ave.
Berkeley, CA 94707
510-526-4373
www.ajantarestaurant.com

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

a millennium moment- mm mmm mmmmm

Posted by vegetablediaries on January 13, 2010

pumpkin curry at Millennium

hi. i love Millennium! here are some more photos from a recent visit.

my pumpkin curry was supreme! i was shocked by the huge portion.. look at all that forbidden black rice. i actually couldn’t finish it!

brussel sprouts at Millennium

i was really impressed with these sprouts! they were so flavourful and were complimented by little bites of smokey tofu cubes. millennium’s b-sprouts were the inspiration for my brussel sprouts.

cajun style tempeh at Millennium

this was my chum’s dinner..

pear crisp with rosemary ice cream at Millennium

oh joy! i was so stuffed from my pumpkin curry that i really had a heck of time knocking back my pear crisp. but i did. YUM!

Millennium
580 Geary Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
415-345-3900
www.millenniumrestaurant.com

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

vegan in ventura: mary’s secret garden

Posted by vegetablediaries on December 27, 2009

raw apple pie: Mary's Secret Garden

while i was in ventura i had the lucky opportunity to visit Mary’s Secret Garden for lunch. oh my, what a fine dining surprise! i didn’t know what to expect because i didn’t read any of the reviews online, and all i knew was that it was ALL vegan and filled with awesomeness. first off, this place is pretty tiny. we had lunch around noon and didn’t have to wait for a table, however i think you should probably make a reservation just in case.

fresh thai spring rolls: Mary's Secret Garden

the food! wow, what a great menu.. everything is organic and there are cooked and raw food plates available, with lots of gluten-free options (gf is clearly marked on the menu). when our server first came over to greet us he said “Mary recommends you try the fresh thai spring rolls as an appetizer..” okay, i thought this was really endearing because i don’t usually hear what the owner suggests.. it seemed quaint to me and i like that. so, we did order the fresh thai spring rolls and they were amazing! i loved the spicy peanut sauce so much that i ate it by itself when the spring rolls were all finished.

middle east platter: Mary's Secret Garden

for the main course i ordered the middle east platter, which included syrian falafel with tahini sauce, hummus, tabouli, grilled pita bread and kalamata olives (i’m not fond of olives, but there were only two on my plate, so no biggie). everything was delicious and quite filling. my friend ordered the thai yellow curry stew, which was also so tasty! there were stewed kabocha squash, carrots, potatoes, red onions, ginger and basil leaves in a creamy curried coconut sauce; served over brown rice, with your choice of protein (shrymp, tofu or chycken). then they topped the hell out of it with fresh cilantro (my favourite!). i really am excited to go back because there are so many wonderful things to try, including a bazillion shakes!

thai yellow curry with tofu: Mary's Secret Garden

and now for dessert.. i ordered the raw chocolate hazelnut pie ala mode: rich chocolate coconut and hazelnut filling topped with chopped hazelnuts and chocolate ganache and served with homemade raw vanilla bean ice cream. i didn’t even finish it (which is a very very rare thing) because it was so insanely rich!

raw chocolate hazelnut pie: Mary's Secret Garden

my friend ordered the raw apple pie: layered, thinly sliced and well spiced apples, over a pecan date crust, topped with a sweet cashew cream and raspberry sauce. both of these desserts are lookers, but i think the apple pie would win the beauty contest!

raw apple pie: Mary's Secret Garden

after writing about my lunch, i want to go back NOW!

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, vegan | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

sacred chow part two

Posted by vegetablediaries on November 18, 2009

sacred chow tapas

i know i already did a post about Sacred Chow, which you can find here, but i recently visited NYC and had the lovely opportunity to eat more hardcore vegan organicness. i think this was probably one of the best Sacred Chow experiences I have had (and I have had many!). my friend and i ordered three tapas each and i loved the way they served it to us in tiers.

i ordered the curried steamed broccoli, cilantro hummus, and indonesian roasted tempeh. my friend ordered the orange blackstrap BBQ seitan, grilled western tofu, and sliced ginger soba noodles with spicy peanut sauce. everything was delicious. i usually don’t rave about hummus because it is so ubiquitous and so easy to make, but wow (!), the hummus is rave worthy and i would definitely order it again. i’m especially fond of the indonesian tempeh.

Sacred Chow also has desserts but my lunch stuffed me to the gills in a very good way. thank you, Sacred Chow!

Sacred Chow
227 Sullivan St
(between 3rd St & Bleecker St)
New York, NY 10012
(212) 337-0863
www.sacredchow.com

 

Posted in gluten-free-friendly, new york city, vegan | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

sweet basil thai cuisine

Posted by vegetablediaries on August 17, 2009

sweet basil thai cuisine

sweet basil thai cuisine

sweet basil will knock your socks off with their thai spice. when i first ordered the lunch special (above) i ordered it “very spicy” and almost died. they do not mess around with their thai chilies, and if you like it spicy you are in luck. if you don’t need too much spice then go ahead and order it “not too spicy” and you will be quite pleased. i love spicy food but its nice to be able to control it… so, i usually just ask for the hot sauce if i want it to be more spicy.

i really enjoy sweet basil. the lunch specials are so affordable, delicious and filling.. and it’s located on solano avenue, with all of the nice shops and the xocolate bar is right across the street! for lunch i like to order the green curry with drunken tofu and brown rice combination. all for $9.50! i’ve also tried the basil eggplant, which is outstanding! the staff are very accommodating if you have any food sensitivities. enjoy!

Sweet Basil Thai Cuisine
1736 Solano Ave
(between Ensenada Ave & Tulare Ave)
Berkeley, CA 94707
(510) 527-8611

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

caracas arepa bar

Posted by vegetablediaries on August 16, 2009

caracas east village location

caracas east village location

ed: i haven’t been able to confirm with Caracas if they use milk in the arepa dough, however someone left a comment saying that there is milk in the dough. when i visited Caracas they told me that the arepa dough is vegan and i have eaten there on numerous occasions thinking that it my meal was dairy-free. i’m still going to keep this post up, but i can’t confirm whether or not Caracas is vegan-friendly. sorry, vegans!

intimate seating, hooray! although it can be difficult to get a table at Caracas it is definitely worth the wait. this teeny tiny venezuelan restaurant with locations in manhattan and brooklyn serve up homestyle arepas that will make you swoon! apreas are spongey little fried rounds made from corn flour. it’s similar to a pita pocket but the texture and taste are quite unique. most of the menu contains meat and/or dairy but i tried the la jardinera, which is an arepa filled with grilled eggplants, sun-dried tomatoes and caramelized onions, sans the cheese. i’ve also tried the mixed greens salad, which is huge and filling. the guacamole is good, too. the staff are very accommodating should you have any dietary restrictions.  i recommend getting one arepa and a salad, and if you’re really feeling hungry then get two. when they serve you your arepa your first instinct will be to devour it instantly, but be warned that these suckers are steaming hot! you’ll have to wait a few minutes before you can really get into it, but once you do you’ll be covered in arepas and just go with it. its such a fun and messy meal, quite comforting. don’t forget to try the secret hot sauce!

p.s. there is a take-out location next door if you are in a hurry and need an arepa fix.

Caracas Arepa Bar
93 1/2 E 7th St
New York, NY 10009
(212) 529-2314
www.caracasarepabar.com


Posted in gluten-free-friendly, new york city, venezuelan | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

razan organic kitchen

Posted by vegetablediaries on August 12, 2009

mediterranean platter from razan

mediterranean platter from razan

i had eaten at razan organic kitchen many times before i tried the mediterranean platter and was already in wow-mode, but after trying the mediterranean platter i was hooked! this is a great meal for lunch or dinner, however i prefer it for lunch because it holds me over all day long with no hunger pangs to speak of. it’s also very affordable! let me break this down for you: hummus, tabbouleh, falafel, dolmas, salad and tahini dressing, brown rice, whole wheat pita, and unlimited hot & mild salsas! i also love their egyptian and lebanese wraps. it’s so incredibly fresh at razan and there are numerous things to choose from: salads, wraps, burritos, and platters. the portions are giant size, so be prepared to eat it all, share, or take home. the owner is very nice and will smile at you more if you finish your meal.

Razan Organic Kitchen
2119 Kittredge St
(between Fulton St & Shattuck Ave)
Berkeley, CA 94704
(510) 486-0449
razanorganickitchen.com

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

 
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