Monthly Archives: August 2010

We Haven’t Been Cooking

Kaylie and I haven’t been cooking as much as usual lately, which is why we’re low on recipe posts… we’ve been going out to eat far too often, 50% because Kaylie now works at a vegan-friendly restaurant where she eats for free and I hang out because I have nothing better to do, and 50% because we’re just too damn busy going out to spend evenings at home. Hopefully this will change with the new semester!

Next weekend we’re planning a trip to Seattle. Let us know of your favourite vegan-friendly Seattle restaurants in the comments, if you can? I’ve been to Pizza Pi so many times already!

Vancouver Vegan & Vegetarian Restaurant Review: Bandidas Taqueria

The Ronny Russell @ Bandidas in Vancouver
SweetOnVeg Photo

Bandidas is nearly perfect. I could list my few and far between complaints first but that would hardly be fair!

The food at Bandidas is always great and you get a lot for what you pay for. The prices are reasonable. I never feel ripped off and I always feel full and satisfied. They can veganize just about everything, which I totally appreciate. It seems like everyone I bring here loves it.

They have a few default-vegan items, like the Ronny Russell, just in case you’re not into faux cheese. They recently switched to Daiya, which means vegan nachos, cheesy baked burritos and enchiladas, and cheese-covered tofu scramble breakfasts.

Tuesdays their tequila lemonade is only $4. It’s basically a cheap margarita and it’s damn delicious, plus it’s served in a mason jar. How charming! The daily specials are nice too. I always give myself an internal high five when the Camillo tacos are on special. They’re breaded spicy walnuts – delicious. Their tortilla soup is delightful. Their nachos are big wide plates of delicious, and are my second favourite vegan nachos in town. They are certainly better than the Naam’s.

Brunch at Bandidas is too good for words. One complaint is that most of the menu items are the same ingredients organized differently, but they all taste good. I usually just order the “breakfast” made vegan because it’s the cheapest, but when I feel like splurging I get a veganized Hicks Benny.

Endless coffee. Cute servers. There used to be a girl working there who fairly regularly screwed up orders and brought us things non-vegan, but I haven’t seen her in some time, and haven’t had a problem with the veganity of my food since she last served my table. Still, be on your toes and make sure that the server knows you want your item vegan!

They also have delicious brownies that are vegan. A vegan dessert option is rare and delightful, so if you happen to have space left in your digestive system after that burrito, I recommend the brownies.

Vegan Vancouver: Budgie’s Burritos Restaurant Review

Budgie's!
Paul Galipeau photo

Budgies Burritos is a vegetarian burrito joint on Kingsway near where it splits off from Main Street, at about 8th Avenue. It expanded a couple of years ago and now offers a downstairs area with tables; recently they got licensed and are now selling alcohol as well. They offer burritos (my favourite), tacos, chips, and some other items too – but I always, always get the burrito.

When you order a burrito vegan at Budgies, they sub fresh, delicious guacamole for the normal cheese and sour cream. Having accidentally ordered a non-vegan burrito, I can say that they are better vegan.The freshness of the guacamole really makes a difference.

My favourite burrito is the Jame-Dog. It’s garlic potatoes and it’s delicious. The chipotle tofu is just marinated chunks of tofu and it tastes like… tofu. It’s firm tofu with a good texture, but I wish it were fried or roasted. The Tofurky burrito contains Tofurky sausage, which I’m not a personal fan of, but if Tofurky rocks your boat then I bet this is a great burrito. They also added a ground round burrito to their menu that I haven’t tried.

If you want a truly delicious burrito, here is what I always order:

10″ Vegan Jame-Dog on whole wheat with refried beans and mix salsa (all three).

I definitely think that they should have breakfast burritos, of course with a tofu scramble option. And if they were to crumble their chipotle tofu, marinate it in the same sauce, and then panfry it a bit, it’d be about ten million times better. Still, this is a reliably cheap and delicious place to get a burrito that will fill you up and give you the energy you need to continue being a vegan warrior. For $7, you just can’t beat the amount of food that comes in one of those.

The Vegan Project and Sejuiced Cafe – Vancouver Vegan Love

Our new internet friends over at The Vegan Project reposted one of our recipes (my chicken salad – and yes – I have some in the fridge right now, sounds great to me). They’re three Vancouver vegans who I’ve never met, which I find really strange… but hopefully we will. We don’t seem to know enough vegans!

Speaking of Vancouver vegan, I brought Kaylie to Sejuiced on West 4th in Kitsilano yesterday and she, picky picky foodie Kaylie, really liked it! It’s healthy, delicious vegetarian food and smoothies. Hard to go wrong. I wish I’d had stomach-room for that vegan Nanaimo bar.


Carrot Coconut Soup and Veggie Burger Wrap from Sejuiced

New Mexicans Relocate to Bay Area, Bring Food With Them

Kaylie’s overjoyed that New Mexican green chile will be available in San Francisco – probably because anyone worth their salt who grew up in New Mexico moves to SF. I can think of an overflowing handful of New Mexicans I know there myself – including Kaylie’s little brother. If you haven’t boarded the green chile train yet, I recommend it. As a non-New Mexican, I have certainly grown to love it, and I know you will too. Plus, then you’ll have it in your kitchen for our recipes.

Hatch green chile
Carlos del Vaca photo

Tofu Scrambles and Vegan Breakfasts and Brunches in Vancouver, BC

breakfast 3

Just in time for you to make a weekend brunch date..
This is the hopefully definitive list of tofu scrambles available in Vancouver, BC. If you know of any that we haven’t included, please let us know and we’ll sample them and add them to the list as soon as possible.

West Side

Kitsilano

The Naam – West 4th Ave and MacDonald
The Naam offers a tofu scramble as well as Daiya and some other delicious breakfast options like a tempeh benny-type thing with miso gravy. You can sub tofu in most of the breakfast foods, but beware that your food will probably have been baked beside something with cheese. They also forget to bring tofu instead of eggs every once in a while, too. It is a flavourful tofu scram, which is nice.

Sophie’s Cosmic Cafe – West 4th and Arbutus
Sophie’s is a long-line type of breakfast diner that offers a tofu scramble. I haven’t had it, but I did sub tofu in the huevos rancheros, which I wouldn’t suggest. It was another case of floppy, medium-firm, unflavoured tofu covered in a sauce that was originally designed to go with more flavourful non-vegan foods.

Sejuiced – West 4th and Cypress
I have never managed to make it to Sejuiced early enough to eat their tofu scramble. They stop serving it at 11am or so and I live across town… but I’ve heard good things and everything else I’ve eaten at this little vegetarian place has been fantastic.

Cafe Zen – Yew St and York Ave
Passable tofu scramble in a cute diner-style restaurant that’s very popular for brunch. They offer bottomless coffee and tonnes of different brunch options for omnis and vegetarians as well.

East Side

Roundel Cafe – East Hastings St and Nanaimo St
This is definitely one of the best tofu scrambles in the city and it’s a great place to bring your omnivorous friends too – they have a breakfast special every morning and they’re always very creative. This place is awesome. Their tofu scramble is to die for. They also have a veggie burger that’s simply perfect.

Perch – Powell St and Commercial Drive
Perch offers an all-day flavourful baked tofu scramble with mushrooms, tomatoes, and spinach, topped with Daiya, invented by Vegan Mischief’s very own Kaylie (who works there). They also do an all-vegan brunch menu on Saturdays. Note: not open Sundays (yet).

Commercial Drive

Cafe Deux Soleils – Commercial Drive and East 5th Avenue
This is one of my favourite tofu scrams in the city. It’s a great hangover breakfast. It’s a teriyaki-flavoured scramble with big chunks of medium-firm tofu, peppers, zucchini, and mushrooms, served with delicious potatoes. They also include toast but the bread isn’t vegan and they will butter it unless asked not to. Get French bread instead if you want toast. Their veggie sausage is delicious, too.

Cafe Du Soleil – Commercial Drive and Kitchener St
This is not the same place as the other Cafe! It’s much smaller and posher. Their tofu scramble is delicious, full of veg, and served with great potatoes and English muffin. When I went there they knew not to butter the English muffin, but you might want to mention that just in case.

Sweet Cherubim – Commercial Drive and Napier St
This vegetarian restaurant does have a tofu scramble but I’ve never ordered it because there are so many other delicious things on the menu. Their veggie burger is one of the best I’ve ever had.

Bandidas Taqueria – Commercial Drive and East 12th Avenue
Bandidas is a Mexican-inspired vegetarian restaurant that can sub tofu (and butternut squash – a delicious mix) for eggs in most of their breakfast dishes. You can have a vegan benny – but it’s not a traditional benny. Corn muffins, salsa, red cabbage, and guacamole are staples at Bandidas. It’s a great breakfast joint, though, with bottomless coffee.

Theresa’s – Commercial Drive and Charles St
This little co-operatively owned and run joint on the Drive has mix and match breakfasts and a fun atmosphere. Unfortunately their tofu scramble resembles vomit in texture and appearance, and doesn’t have much flavour. I have found it difficult to finish on occasion, which, if you’ve ever eaten with me, should indicate to you how blah this tofu scram is.

Main Street

Rhizome Cafe – East Broadway and Scotia St
Rhizome is a queer- and family-friendly space that serves some truly delicious and ethical food. They are not a vegetarian restaurant but do have vegan and veg options. I love to support this little community cafe. There are four vegan breakfast options, including pancakes and a breakfast polenta, plus two tofu scrambles.

The Wallflower Modern Diner – Main St and East 8th Avenue
The Wallflower offers two tofu scrambles. One’s a hash and the other is a Mexican-style scramble with corn and black beans.

The Whip – East 6th and Main
I was terribly underwhelmed by this scramble. Tomatoes and mushrooms with unflavoured tofu. Maybe they used salt and pepper? It seems like omnivorous chefs think that vegans eat tofu for the pure unseasoned flavour of it. They did remember to serve our toast unbuttered and it does say “vegan” right on the menu.

Sunny Spot Cafe – Main St and East 10th Avenue
I would not recommend this place for breakfast. Their tofu scram is warm tofu flavoured with soy sauce and the potatoes are cooked on a very meaty grill. They do serve their tofu scram with rice, though, which is pretty cool.

The Foundation – Main St and East 7th Avenue
This isn’t technically breakfast because Foundation doesn’t open until noon, but if you’re a late riser, they have three scrambled (on spinach) tofu dishes on their lunch menu. Choose from pesto, peanut, and sweet (mango) – all delicious, though I’m partial to the p-nut. It’s a decent amount of food for a good price, too. If you are not a bee-gan, make sure to ask whether they use honey in their sauces, though I’m pretty sure the pesto scram at least is honey-free.

Downtown

Templeton Diner – Granville St and Helmcken St
This fifties diner is pretty much the only place to get a vegan breakfast when you’re on the downtown peninsula. Their tofu scramble is passable and they serve Yves veggie bacon if, for some reason, you like that stuff.

Central Bistro – Denman St and Nelson St
Central Bistro offers a pesto tofu scramble. For $11 it’s surprisingly bland. We did get excellent service, however. Watch out – their “West End Hipster Benny” replaces egg with tofu, but the tofu’s crust is held on with egg wash and there’s egg and dairy in the sauce. Not vegan!

Dim Sum

Whole Vegetarian Restaurant (formerly Bo Kong) – Main St and East 14th Avenue
Colloquially referred to as “Faux Kong”, this recently renamed Main Street institution offers vegan breakfast dim sum on weekends.

3G Restaurant – Cambie St and West 18th Avenue
This friendly vegan Chinese restaurant offers weekend dim sum.

Daiya in Canada is Still Hard to Get

Pssst… The Perch is now selling 5lb bags of shredded Daiya in both mozzarella and cheddar for $40 including tax – that’s cheaper than Karmavore, and there’s no trip to New Westminster required.

The Perch is located at Commercial Drive and Powell Street in Vancouver, BC – it’s the cafe in the ARC building. They also serve vegan and gluten-free food along with non-vegan and gluteny food, coffee, and alcoholic beverages. Kaylie is their new vegan chef (yay Kaylie!).

Here’s a Google map of the location.

NOTE: The Perch is open Monday – Friday from 9am to 9pm.