Saj, and a Change of Direction

Hello All!

This will be my last post on this blog.  I’m going to merge this blog into my other, Renaissance Woman.  Why?  Several reasons.

Reason One: I may be a little OCD.  I started two blogs to keep my interests separate but, since the whole point of Renaissance Woman was I did NOT have to have a theme, I don’t see why I can’t do vegan posts on that blog.

Reason Two: I’ve talked a little about my car accident and its aftereffects on Renaissance Woman.  As I went vegan to try to regain heath, strength, and energy, merging the blogs will allow me to tie my diet to living as a disabled person.  I had no intention of doing this, much less talking about being disabled, when I started Vegan Wayfarer but I feel more comfortable doing so now.

Reason Three:  As work on my manuscript ramps up, I have less time to devote to two blogs.  I’m a sporadic poster anyway so might as well post to one blog as I am seized by inspiration.

Reason Four:  I’m seeking to simplify my life.  Donating stuff I don’t need, dialing back my book buying (though I feel a bit like Mel Gibson’s character from Conspiracy Theory-I get shaky if a few weeks have passed and I haven’t bought a book.  Any book, not just Catcher in the Rye.)  One blog will be much easier to manage.  I might even become a regular in my posts.

So, four reasons really-I don’t know if that counts as several.  Fair Warning: Renaissance Woman is theme-less.  I post about history, thoughts about writing, random things that catch my fancy, my poetry, and now vegan recipes and awesome restaurants.  I do hope all of you will consider following me at my other site: my undying gratitude goes to all of you who already do.

And now, read on about Saj Mediterranean Grill!

A few weeks ago, I filled in for my work counterpart.  This resulted in a looooonnnnng day and, by lunchtime, I was ready for a break.  Away from the building and my desk, somewhere that served good food.  Saj Mediterranean Grill is a fairly new arrival to the neighborhood.  It’s a toss up as to whether Mediterranean or Mexican food is my favorite (hummus or tacos?!) so I was looking forward to trying Saj out: when the opportunity came, I jumped at it.

The first thing I noticed is, Saj is busy.  The line stretched almost to the door.  A good sign when considering the quality of the food, not such a good sign when I’m on a clock and have an hour for lunch, including drive time.  I took deep breaths and maintained my equilibrium.  I’d take my food back with me if necessary.  I spent my line time perusing the menu, reading about the meaning of “Saj”, and wondering if the garlic aioli could possibly be dairy free.  The menu offers a wide array of if-not-vegan-easily-made-so options including wraps, salad, and pizzas.  A sign on the wall told me “Saj” is the flatbread baked on a domed or flat griddle called a Saj, and the garlic aioli is made with mayo.

There is a handy chart at the register that lists the sauces and their ingredients.  As neither the garlic aioli nor the tahini were dairy free, I decided on zaatar sauce.  I’d also spent my time in the line watching food go in and out of the large oven, placed so you can watch everything that happens with your food.  Saj’s website doesn’t lie: their ingredients are fresh.  By the time I’d reached the register, I’d decided on a wrap made with the wheat saj (flat bread) and, once I’d decided on a sauce, filled my wrap with spicy hummus, basmati rice, falafel, kalamata olives (one of my favorite things), and sauteed peppers and onions.

When my wrap arrived, the flatbread reminded me a bit of a crepe.  A little thicker but it did resemble a pancake rather than what I usually expected from flatbreads like pita or naan.  It was a bit sweet as well, though that was a good contrast to the salty ingredients I’d chosen.

My wrap wasn’t too salty, although I love salt so perhaps any future orders should contain more fresh vegetables.  I liked it though.  The briny tang of the kalamata olives did overwhelm the other flavors but please don’t consider that a complaint:  I appreciate that the staff didn’t skimp on the olives.  There was something pickled as a garnishment: the menu has pickled turnips as an option but the peppery bite-reminiscent of horseradish-made me wonder if the garnish wasn’t pickled daikon. The staff was busy so I didn’t ask but cleaned my plate of everything, wrap and garnish.  There were no leftovers to take back to work with me and I left the restaurant with ten minutes to spare.  Since my drive back was five, I made it back to work in plenty of time!

I purchased a beverage.  I usually don’t when I eat out as most commercial beverages contain too much sugar.  I did for this visit, as a special treat, and was glad I had done so.  I decided on an orange pomegranate San Pelligrino and the sweet/tart carbonation cut through the oil and salt of my meal.  I could have shared with a friend: there was too much sugar for me to finish the beverage but I was glad to have it while eating.  My entire meal came together to satisfy every section of my tastebuds and I’m looking forward to eating at Saj Mediterranean Grill again soon.

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Not a healthy beverage choice but it was tasty

 

Burger Free at a Burger Joint

I checked my archives and couldn’t find when/if I’d ever posted about Red Robin.  It’s not a place I eat at a great deal but I remember it was one of the first eateries I visited soon after making the switch to veganism.  I remember researching what options were vegan and I remember utilizing a build-your-own burger option.  I checked Red Robin’s website and couldn’t find it but I did choose what I wanted veggie burger, bun, and condiment-wise, printed it, and handed it to the waitress.  If I remember correctly, Red Robin’s veggie burger isn’t bad.

I re-visited Red Robin last week.  It was a gorgeous day and my step-father had a gift card so, after a walk at the reservoir, off we went.  I was already primed for a veggie burger and fries when I noticed a new option in the appetizer section of Red Robin’s menu.  My local Red Robin was offering guacamole, salsa, and tortilla chips.  Burger forgotten, I placed my order.

There are not words to express how much I enjoy guacamole.  When paired with salsa and crispy, salty, tortilla chips?  I’m willing to walk the reservoir a second time, if necessary.  It probably was necessary because the waitress told me the guacamole was bottomless.  Yep, she said bottomless and I did find it necessary to eat a second helping.  In order to feel good about my level of protein, I ordered a side dish of the southwestern black beans to accompany my guacamole goodness and tucked in.

This was delicious.  There wasn’t room in either dish to mix the guacamole, salsa, and beans together so I’d take a bite of one and then the other.  I had plenty of chips: one order covered two helpings of the guac and one of the beans.

Black Beans 2

Guacamole is, perhaps, difficult to get wrong, but Red Robin doesn’t miss the mark.  It wasn’t too salty and neither were the tortilla chips which meant the entire meal didn’t overwhelm.  The salsa and guacamole come in the same ramekin topped with jalapeno slices which aren’t too hot.  I would have said they could have used a touch more heat but my family was chortling at me as I began to turn red so, apparently, the meal was spicy enough.  I enjoyed it and it’s nice having a non-burger option at what is definitely a burger joint.

I can’t find the guacamole, salsa, and chips on Red Robin’s online menu so this option might be location specific.  Going to Red Robin?  I found this handy guide online.

Free Food at Fire Bowl

My blogging is finally paying off.  I was recently awarded a free entrée at Fire Bowl Cafe.  Of course, anyone following Fire Bowl Cafe’s Twitter or Facebook accounts were entitled to the same free entrée but, hey, free is free and a girl can dream.

Fire Bowl was promoting its new Lemongrass Green Bean Stir Fry entrée and all I had to do to claim mine was show the Direct Message I received via Twitter to my location’s manager.  Well, I don’t have a smart phone so figuring out how to show the message was a bit difficult.  I finally printed the photo but couldn’t figure out how to get the verbiage so took my black and white photo (I printed it at work) to the restaurant in hopes that mentioning it did indeed come from my Twitter account would be enough.  If not, I’m partial to the Thai Red Curry so the trip wasn’t going to be a total loss.  Fortunately, the manager knew what promotion I was talking about and I got my free entrée.  I may still upgrade my obsolete tech but the need is not yet pressing.

I ordered my stir fry with the fried tofu and added an order of the Soft Thai Summer Rolls because they’re delicious and you can have extra peanut dipping sauce of you ask.  Then, lunch and dinner in hand, (I get enough food for two meals) I headed home.  I was ravenous by the time I walked through my front door so divided my meal neatly in half and tucked in.

And now, to answer Fire Bowl Cafe’s question.  Did I like it?  Answer, yes.  I don’t know if it will take the place of the red curry but I did like it.  I knew I was going to when I popped the lid off the to-go container and inhaled.

The flavors blended well.  I sometimes find meals made with lemongrass a bit bitter but not this entrée: no one flavor overpowered another.  The dish was also perfect spicy, for me anyway.  I like hot food but not when the spice makes it impossible to taste anything else, or too painful to eat at all.  The level of spice in this dish added a pleasant tingle to the tongue while still allowing me to taste the sauce.

The green beans were a bit odd at first.  I tend to cook mine softer at home and these reminded me of asparagus in texture not taste.  After a few bites, I found I liked the crunch in what was otherwise a soft meal: tofu and rice.  Would I eat it again?  Well yes but, again, if I’m heading out there and paying for a meal, I prefer the red curry.  Would I recommend it?  Absolutely.  As a vegan, I wouldn’t eat it with the chicken or beef so can’t contrast those for you but try the tofu: the manager said the dish was the best with the tofu and I found no reason to disagree.

Not only was my entrée free but the to-go container came in handy.  The box for my old colored pencils was beginning to disintegrate and I couldn’t find anything at home to re-purpose.  After a good scrub, the to-go container for my Lemongrass Green Bean Stir Fry was perfect.  Thanks, Fire Bowl Cafe!

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The thoroughly cleaned to-go container is handy for my colored pencils.

 

 

 

 

 

I Had A Craving…

I’ve had some strange cravings since becoming vegan.  Strange for me, anyway.  I never thought I’d have a taste for tofu or seitan.  Such cravings have happened but, more often than not, I want Asian food.  Recently, I wanted spring rolls but not the crispy ones; the big ones with noodles and veggies shoved inside rice paper and served with peanut sauce.  I can make a tasty peanut sauce but I haven’t yet perfected the art of wrapping those rolls.  Instead of attempting to make them myself, I took to the internet and began searching for a restaurant in my area that served them.

I found several restaurants that served them but none I could order.  I found rolls that contained shrimp, some that contained chicken, some that contained both shrimp and chicken.  The only vegetarian ones I found were at a Thai place I frequent but even those contained eggs.  The only place I found that served meat and egg free soft Thai rolls was Fire Bowl Cafe.  Fire Bowl isn’t a place that convenient for me to get to but, I had a craving, and I made the time.  I made a meal of it and created my own bowl with brown rice, vegetables, tofu, and Thai Red Curry sauce.  My cost came in at just over ten dollars and I received enough food to make two meals.

Meal
Tofu Bowl with Thai Red Curry Sauce

The rolls were everything I wanted-I got extra peanut dipping sauce-but the basil in them was pungent.

Rolls with Sauce
Fire Bowl Cafe’s Thai Rolls with Peanut Sauce

I’ve got to pick up rice papers from my local grocery and learn to make the rolls myself.  Until then, I did find that Vitamin Cottage sells the same soft Thai rolls; completely vegan.  They come with plum sauce instead of peanut sauce but I’m not opposed to trying them.  They’ll do in a pinch until I master the recipe for Vietnamese Salad Wraps I found in my Great Gluten-Free Vegan Eats From Around the World cookbook by Allyson Kramer.  That, and master the rolling of the rice papers.

 

Feeling The Modern Love

While I was across state lines being introduced to the newest member of our family, I was able to stay with a woman I’ve been friends with for decades.  Not only did she offer up her guestroom but in true long-term friend fashion, made reservations for us at Modern Love.  This gesture was especially loving as my friend is not a vegan and regards some of the vegan substitutions *cough seitan cough* with a wary eye.  It was a perfect evening for me: I got to go to a completely vegan restaurant and my friend drove me.  Good food and no effort on my part other than hauling myself into the passenger seat.

I am still unused to going to vegan restaurants and tend to get overwhelmed when I can order anything on the menu.  I wanted Mac n’ Shews, Seitan Buffalo Wings, the Hummus Plate-a little of everything-but could neither afford nor eat that much.  My friend had one of her work friends join us and the three of us decided to get different things and sample.  I ordered the Seitan Buffalo Wings and Tortilla Soup as my contributions to the feeding frenzy.

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I Can Have Whatever I Want!

My fellow diners ordered the Roasted Garlic Hummus and the Citrus Beet Salad.  An extremely nice Server brought all of our food at the same time and the three of us tucked in.

Get the Hummus plate.  Ours came with rosemary flatbread that was utterly incredible.  If we’d eaten nothing else, we’d have been satisfied.  Fortunately, everything else was just as tasty.

I’d never had Seitan Wings before.  Seitan is something I’ve had to develop a taste for although taste isn’t the problem; it’s texture.  I’ve tried making my own seitan twice and it’s been inedible both times.  I’ve yet to get the texture right.  Modern Love does not have that problem: their wings were perfectly firm and the flavor just right.  With the seitan triangles breaded and coated in spicy buffalo sauce…well, I couldn’t ask for anything more.

Except the Tortilla Soup.  I should have thought ahead and not purchased two spicy items but I’m not complaining.  The soup was a great hit, even with my skeptical non-vegan friend.  I had a great deal of soup left over-the Seitan Wings were filling enough-and I put the leftovers in my friend’s fridge, confident she’d enjoy them.

We all three were stuffed after sampling each other’s meals and yet it was a first visit to Modern Love for each of us; how could we refuse dessert?  We three talked it over and thought we’d have enough room if we split something.  We decided on the ice cream sundae.

Modern Love’s ice cream sundae is a scoop of vanilla dairy free ice cream, a scoop of chocolate, salted maple caramel, candied peanuts, coconut whip, and a cherry.  Due to allergies at the table, we left off the coconut whip but didn’t miss it.  Dessert at Modern Love is well worth indulging in.

I don’t often make it back to Omaha, NE but Modern Love is definitely one of my go to places for future visits.  There are many more scrumptious sounding items on the menu I have got to try.

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Out On The Highway

I am a Great Aunt!

I am not speaking of how wonderful an Aunt I am, though I am fantastic.  The “Great”, in this case, speaks of age.  My niece has had a baby.  Since some cuddling of the newborn was in order, my family and I headed out on another road trip.  We were leaving after I got off work, so dinner along the interstate was going to be a necessity.

Nebraska is undeniably beef country.  There is no shortage of places where one can get a steak or hamburger.  Fortunately for the traveling vegan, Nebraska also has several Asian and Mexican restaurants.  My step-father doesn’t care for Asian food so a Mexican restaurant was the only option.  My mother and I logged on to Trip Advisor and set to searching for an eatery in the Ogallala, NE area.  For this road trip, we decided on Mi Ranchito.

The restaurant is about what you’d expect regarding vegan option.  There are vegetarian fajitas, a guacamole tostada, and bean burritos.  The menu has a little green ‘v’ next to the bean burrito which indicates a vegetarian choice but I don’t know if that means the beans are made without lard.  The burrito does come with cheese and the photo on the menu shows the side beans covered with cheese.  Fortunately, the helpful staff is willing to leave the cheese off.  Same with any sour cream.

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The only complaint I have about my meal is how salty I found the rice.  I can’t say whether or not the rice was inordinately salty or if my focusing on raw foods in my daily diet has made me more sensitive to the salt content in prepared food.  I couldn’t eat it.  I have no complaints about the bean burrito itself.  It was filling, tasty, and void of dairy products.

I have no complaints about the staff.  Everyone was friendly and willing to make changes for me.  I didn’t have to specifically ask for the cheese to be left off the side of beans.  I asked for “no cheese” and no cheese was what I got: both in the burrito on for the side.  The chips were free, crispy,  and not too salty and served to scoop up my side of beans.  My water glass was always full.

If you find yourself driving down I80 in Nebraska, you’re feeling peckish and in need of a vegan meal, try Mi Ranchito.  You can’t miss it.  Just look for the glowing cactus.

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It was too dark for me to get the details of the sign.

 

Call Me Mellow Mushroom

I know, Donovan is cringing.

Anywho…

The day my friend flew into town she met up with another friend of hers in the airport.  The two of them were flying in and out on the same flights and it made sense for my mother and I to give both of them a lift to the airport.  The last day of my friend’s visit found us on the 16th Street Mall, meeting up with her friend and looking for a place to eat.

I’d planned on eating at Native Foods.  I knew there was a location on the 16th Street Mall.  What I did not know was that particular location was permanently closed.  The four of us were left standing on the Mall at a loss as to where to go next.  Fortunately, my friend’s friend had heard of Mellow Mushroom, had heard it served good pizza, and was supposed to be good place for vegans and non-vegans alike.  My friend pulled out her trusty smartphone and Google maps told us where to go.

The Mellow Mushroom suggestion saved the day.  There was chicken wings, pizza, and decadent desserts for the non-vegans and more than one option for me.  Tofu and Tempeh were both offered on the menu; something that’s so rare I had to take a photograph, although I had a hard time with the overhead lights.  🙂

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I’ll be going back to try both the Tofu and the Tempeh

I didn’t think I was hungry enough to do justice to either of those meals and ordered the pita sandwiches instead.  Mellow Mushroom gives good value for a dollar: I expected one pita sandwich and ended up with two.  I tried, I really did, but couldn’t eat them both.

I can’t say enough good things about Mellow Mushroom.  My sandwiches were perfect.  The hummus was creamy and was a perfect balance of tahini, garlic, and chickpeas.  No one ingredient overpowered another.  It wasn’t too rich nor too salty nor mixed with any exotic ingredient.  Just good, plain, hummus.  The lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers were fresh, crisp, and juicy, and the sprouts tasted clean.  Anyone who has had bad sprouts knows what I’m talking about.  I’ve had experiences where the sprouts taste like they haven’t been washed or else they’ve been washed but weren’t thoroughly rinsed.  Both are disgusting.

Not my experience at Mellow Mushroom.  As we were driving directly to the airport, I didn’t take my leftovers with me and it was difficult to walk away from the food.  I’ve got to go back to Mellow Mushroom and try the other vegan options, but I have a feeling I’ll be ordering the hummus pita sandwiches again.

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Another Restaurant Makes the Favorite List

 

There Will Be Beans

My friend’s visit from Wyoming was followed by another friend’s visit from Nebraska.  She has the book where she can collect stamps from all the National Parks and so we decided on a trip to Rocky Mountain National Park.  We checked out Bear Lake and then, having never seen a waterfall before, my friend wanted to do the hike to Alberta Falls.  A hiking lover, I was game.

My hiking pace isn’t too fast and my friend was having some trouble with the lack of air in Colorado so the hike I anticipated taking an hour took two.  Even with our car snacks, we were starving after our visit to the Falls.  My family is used to my vegan lifestyle by now and Mexican Restaurants top the list of food choices.  My Mom had seen a restaurant when we’d first entered Estes Park and as my non-vegan friend said she was okay with cheesy-beany, we went in search and found Peppers.

Peppers is a bit difficult to get into: my family and I had to drive into the Safeway parking lot and come at it from the other side.  The restaurant looks unassuming and I didn’t know what to expect.  Fast food can be iffy but I knew that, at least, I would find beans.

Peppers was a pleasant surprise.  If you’ve been in a Qdoba or Chipotle, you’ll be familiar with the set-up.  There’s a bar filled with fresh ingredients and you can go down the line and choose what you want.  I ordered the Veggie Burrito from the menu and asked for the cheese and sour cream to be left off.  Peppers was the first restaurant that allowed me to have an extra at no charge because I was leaving off cheese and sour cream.  I chose the mango salsa and I highly recommend it.

My burrito was so large it had to be double wrapped and eaten with a knife and fork.  I wasn’t sure how I felt about sweet potato in my burrito but Peppers has made me a convert.  The sweet is off set with the slightly smoky rice and spicy salsa.  I could choose very hot, medium hot, or mild and medium hot was plenty for me.

I ordered chips and salsa as well, having no idea the burrito was going to be as large as it was.  The chips were lightly salted and the order came with two choices of salsa.  I chose another small tub of the medium hot and thought I’d try the corn salsa.  The corn was sweet and a perfect texture: no mushy salsa at Peppers.

 

I was able to recommend Peppers as I left the restaurant.  A family was crossing the parking lot as mine left and they called to us, asking what we thought.  I tell you the same thing I told them: Peppers is excellent.  If you find yourself in Estes Park, CO, stop in.  If you try the margaritas, let me know what you think.

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I liked the peacock wall hanging

 

The Yak and the Yeti

My family and I have a tradition of going out to dinner for birthdays.  When mine rolled around, I wanted to try The Yak and the Yeti  and my family agreed to go.  Then, the week of  my birthday, I broke a tooth and my birthday dinner was postponed.

I’ll spare you a description of my howls of agony, stemming both from the torment of the dentist’s chair as well as the cost of a crown, and leave you with a piece of advice:  do not assume that, because an olive has been stuffed with a pepper and almond, that its pit has been removed.  Such an assumption will lead you into error.  An expensive error.  Especially if you have an encounter with an un-popped corn kernel the next day.  But I digress.

At last, tonight, my family and I finally made our visit.  I perused the menu before going and was pleased to see this restaurant strives to be vegan friendly.  There are notes next to items on the menu that say they can be made vegan on request.  Forewarned and forearmed, we headed off.

The Yak and the Yeti is, by far, the most vegan friendly non-vegan restaurant I’ve been to in Colorado.  I didn’t have to ask about menu items.  The restaurant has a page in the menu called “The Yak and the Yeti Vegan Items” so there’s no need to search out what’s vegetarian/vegan in the midst of all the chicken and fish items.  Once I’d told the waitress I was vegan, any information I needed was forthcoming.  I ordered a Vegetable Biryani and was asked if the dates and nuts were a problem.  I didn’t immediately understand and said I didn’t have a problem with nuts and the waitress then explained to me that the topping was cooked in butter.  I thanked her and she graciously left them off.

Word of my veganism spread because, when a second waitress brought papadams and sauces, she already knew and told me which sauces contained dairy and which did not.  My family were fond of the yogurt sauce and mint chutney but I didn’t feel like I was missing out: the tamarind sauce is perfectly sweet/tart.  No vegan could ask for anything more, except maybe the spicy tomato sauce.

Sauce
Papadam Dipping Sauces

Fresh naan was brought to the table and my mother tucked in.  She’d chosen the buffet so had her food before my step-father and me and only ran into one option that was too spicy for her palate.  Spice is another way the staff of The Yak and Yeti strive to make their food available for everyone.  When placing the order, I got to decide how spicy I wanted my food.  The options are very mild, mild, medium, hot, very hot, and Indian hot.  I chose medium and it was perfect.

My Biryani had complex layers of flavor.  I expected saffron and curry but it was flavored with anise and pepper as well.  The spice doesn’t burn the tongue; rather it’s a heat that sneaks up.  I thought it was perfect but will admit I got rather flushed.  It’s the bane of very pale skinned people who love spicy food. 🙂  I don’t think I could go hotter: I’d probably explode.

Biryani
My Biryani

I ordered a vegan chai to accompany my food and have to say it was the best chai I’ve ever had.  I was asked if I wanted it made with coconut milk or soy.  I chose coconut milk and indulged in a drink so rich it served as dessert.

I can’t say enough good things about The Yak and the Yeti.  My entire family enjoyed everything they sampled and there are several other veg options I want to try.  The staff is incredibly friendly, helpful, and ready with answers before the questions are asked.

We were invited to tour the party rooms.  The large room was being set up for a party and I wanted to explore but felt a little odd touring someone else’s party so just poked around the edges.  If you are looking for a place to hold an event, consider The Yak and the Yeti.  The chandeliers in the main room are spectacular.  I’ll plan to go a little earlier next time and pay more attention to the party spaces.  I didn’t make it up to the upstairs room and am going to have to indulge my curiosity.

The Yak and the Yeti is going on my family’s favorite restaurant list.  We’re not big drinkers but the restaurant has its own line of craft beers made at the Arvada location.  One beer won’t hurt and I’ll bet it would go well with vegetable samosas.  We’ll definitely be going again.

 

What if I Don’t Like Mushrooms?

While I do think restaurants are improving, eating out as a vegan is still fraught with difficulty especially if you, like me, dislike mushrooms.  I’ve tried very hard to like mushrooms and have eaten various types cooked, raw, grilled, etc. and have come to the conclusion I dislike mushrooms and that fact is never going to change.  Since most vegetarian options at a restaurant are mushroom based, I find I’m putting a meal together from the side dishes even when there’s an option that can be easily veganized.

For example, Hacienda Colorado has few vegetarian options beyond their portobello fajitas.  If you like thick slices of portobello mushrooms, then these are for you.  If not, the mere attempt of eating them will make you green with…well let’s just say it won’t be envy.

I ran into the same problem at a recent on-the-fly stop at On the Border.  The vegetarian options was a spinach and mushroom enchilada; I only had to order it without the cheese.  Fortunately, I was able to purchase rice, black beans, grilled veggies (zucchini, yellow squash, and onions), and slices of avocado and make my own vegan bowl.  Doing so also made my meal a bit cheaper than ordering off the regular menu: a bonus, in my opinion.

My family’s favorite place to eat out is 3 Margaritas, not to be confused with Tres Margaritas.  I’ve blogged about 3 Margaritas before and my favorite item at this restaurant is the Garden Burrito.  It comes stuffed with grilled veggies, rice, whole beans, and yes, mushrooms; but I can pick those out.  They don’t go to waste: my mother loves mushrooms so I push them to the edge of my plate and she eats them.  The burrito is covered with fresh lettuce, cabbage, tomato, and a meatless chili sauce.  No sour cream and no cheese.  Oh, 3 Margaritas offers veggie enchiladas as well: the carrot puree is tasty but the enchiladas are filled with-you guessed it-mushrooms.  Ultimately, you can’t go wrong with the Garden Burrito and the margaritas aren’t bad either.

I wish I could tell you how the veggies and rice in the Garden Burrito are made.  Chicken stock?  Grilled with butter?  I sent a request for information through the contact form on the website but, as I never received a reply, I can’t be sure the Garden Burrito is unequivocally vegan.  I put it out to the vegan community-does anyone know?  If so, share with the rest of us!

Until then, I do the best I can when eating out and the Garden Burrito is both tasty and filling.  I usually make two meals out of it.  If you give it a try, let me know what you think.