Hello, Easter dinner! Someone got a fancy vegan dish at Bar Agricole! It had asparagus, spinach, English peas, cauliflower, Tokyo turnips, and nasturtiums, and it was delicious. And later, for dessert, they brought a fruit place with brûléed grapefruit, kumquats, and almonds. We attacked it before I could remember to get my phone out.
Obviously I am biased; my brother works at Bar Agricole, and if I didn’t have nice things to say about it, I would be a pretty terrible sister. Bias aside, they’re all so lovely, and they took such good care of us, and the food is to die. TO DIE. As are the cocktails (if you don’t have a daiquiri you are basically punishing yourself). Spring is a wonderful time for bright green vegetables, and at Agricole, they make their veggies sing.
I have been waiting FOREVER for this. My adorable vegetarian brother (25 and single, ladies) has worked at Bar Agricole for about six months, and since he started he’s encouraged me to come over and have a meal. Four years older in body and four decades older in spirit, I always crankily declined, until last weekend, when I found myself unable to resist the siren song of clear skies, 70 degrees, and Sunday brunch.
Colin made a reservation for us (three omnivores and me), and noted that one of the party was vegan. When we arrived, he made me an espresso—they didn’t have any nondairy milk, which was surprising!—and later sent us out mimosas. I had already ordered a daquiri, so by the time this gorgeous plate arrived I was wide awake and tipsy.
Our server consulted with the chef about what to feed me, as nothing on Bar Agricole’s lovely menu was vegan (except most of the drinks, hooray). This is what he made: Giant beans, silky spinach, perfectly braised (I think) radishes, warm avocado, delicate leeks. You guys, I detest leeks, and I thoroughly enjoyed this meal. Every bite! It was salty and hearty and perfectly cooked, holy moly. I’ve never eaten a better radish.
Bar Agricole, you guys! Nothing’s explicitly vegan, but they will totally accommodate you, given warning—like any good restaurant—plus their drinks are scrumptious, and the coffee is local and excellent. I highly recommend it.
Source: a long-overdue review! »
This is a review in several disjointed parts due to several factors, such as: many of us wanted to review it; and the person who called dibs really dropped the ball. But finally we consolidate the opinions of three Vegansauri. Enjoy!
Source claims to be “a multi-dimensional dining experience,” but I can’t verify that because I was adrift in a delicious lagoon of faux meat and cheese the entire time I was there. Also, how cute is it that the meat analogs are named after the noises the real animals make? Answer: SUPER-CUTE.
The waitstaff was really welcoming and eager to explain everything on the menu; everything can be made vegan! Music to my ears. The owner I met is super-friendly and possibly a bit overzealous, but WHO CARES because the food is delicious. While the friendly, sexy cashier (he totally was) explains the food to you, you can gaze into the mouth of the DRAGON’S FACE OVEN, in which Source makes all its pita, bread, and pizza crusts from scratch. No small feat.
Disappointingly (for me!) Source doesn’t not serve alcoholic beverages. What they do serve are kombucha-like elixirs made with a fermented substance called Jun. They are made with raw honey, which may or may not jive with you. They also serve raw yerba mate lemonades mixed with strawberry, blueberry, or straight-up lemon! My dining companion ordered the strawberry lemonade and OMG! It tasted like a strawberry daiquiri. So delicious, I was able to forgive the absence of rum.
I also noticed that my water glass kept refilling, as if by magic. Good service here, folks!
Let’s run down some of the food. After struggling to choose a dish on the extremely extensive menu, I went with an avocado oink bits burger, with the homemade cashew-based vegan mozzarella. I couldn’t believe my taste buds. I haven’t eaten a burger in over four years, and this is what I remember it tasting like. Their version is hearty, and even kind of has the look of a burger, thanks to the beets. But not in a gross way, I swear! This isn’t a Boca Burger-like substitution; it’s just, I don’t know, meaty. It’s obviously made with vegetables, yet has that grilled, burger-y taste. My omnivorous dining companion completely agreed: I wasn’t just being a crazy I-haven’t-eaten-meat-in-so-long-these-tofu-dogs-taste-like-the-real-thing-right vegan.
The cheese was so tasty, I wanted double the amount. The avocado and oink bits were a little lacking, but the burger was so delicious and MIND-BLOWING, I totally forgot what I had ordered and therefore didn’t even notice the other parts of my burger were shoved sparingly in the back of the pita. This is saying a lot, because I usually don’t forget things like avocado and vegan bacon.
More food: Buffalo cluck: spicy and saucy. Baked VEGAN spinach artichoke fondue: really on-point with the flavor, but the texture was chunkier than I would have liked.
Fries: super-interesting salt and sauce choices (rosemary salt with spicy BBQ ketchup? Hell yes). Bahn mi pita: Similar to the oink bits burger, the veggies and sauce had slipped to the bottom of the pita and broke the back of it, turning it into more of a salad; also, I wasn’t crazy about the chewier texture of the quack, but then again, I’ve never had real duck, so maybe it’s spot-on. Kraut bow-wow: Most food is made in-house, but the bow-wows are Field Roast apple sage sausages. Fine by me!
Philly cheese moo: OH MAN this is yummy, but I could stand a little more strength of flavor in the “cheese.” House salad: comes piled super-high on a tiny plate, really full-featured with a tangy dressing. Country shepherd’s pie: too brothy and bland, would not order again.
Cluck parm: This is the king of all sandwiches. It’s just so “cheesy” and tomatoey and crusty and GOOD. Get it, girl.
On to the desserts! Twinkees: YUM! Nothing like the Twinkies you remember, no: much richer, softer, and sweeter. It’s like angel food cake with canned icing, so good. Cupcakes: dependent on availability, but it was a pretty good, standard vegan chocolate-raspberry cupcake.
Those are the vegan desserts at Source. Just trust that they are all fucking amazing. Vegan snowballs! Devil dogs! Twinkies! Peanut butter and jelly sandwich cookies! MAGIC! LIGHTS! Please note that any names that might infringe on Hostess territory have been changed to something more adorable and less sue-able.
Man, screw our petty copyright laws except for when they benefit me and my soon to be patented, “deepfryolatoricecreammakercookiedoughfactory.” IF YOU STEAL THAT MAY GOD HAVE MERCY ON YOUR SOUL BECAUSE NOBODY ELSE WILL! (Or something else that Tommy Lee Jones has said in a movie.) (I don’t know, I’m so very very tired.)
Also! A full review of Source to come (we love) and ALSO: anyone ever been to Greece (Athens, Santorini, Crete, specifically) or Russia (Moscow, specifically)? WHAT’S GOOD TO EAT OR DO THERE? Holler at me PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE I LOVE YOU AND THANK YOU AND GOOD NIGHT.
Zpizza opens in SF! Plus free pizza on Friday! »
Yo! Remember back in 2009 when we were all OMG ZPIZZA IS OPENING THIS YEAR, and then it hella didn’t open? I don’t either! Anyway, they’re now officially open in SoMa and having a grand opening event with FREE PIZZA (!!!) this Friday, Mar. 25, between 11 a.m. and noon and 5 and 6 p.m. If there’s one thing I like more than free pizza, it’s NOTHING.
Zpizza serves Daiya cheese and lots of vegan toppings, and they deliver in San Francisco. I’ve only heard good things about their pizza and quarrygirl really loves it, so I’m super excited to eat eat EAT! Let’s DO IT UP, San Francisco!
[Zpizza’s “Berkeley Vegan” pic via quarrygirl!]
Source: New SF veg restaurant opens today! »
And Vi’s got the scoop over on Bay Area Bites. We’re intrigued by this somewhat insane concept, and plan on checking it out soon. We do know that all the desserts are vegan because they’re from Wholesome Bakery. Aaaand, that’s about all we know. Oh, except the menu pretty much has every type of food ever on it, and they employ something called “color therapy.” Let’s do this, you wacky hippies.
Reports coming soon, and let us know if you check it out!
Anyone tried the vegan sushirito yet!? »
It’s a sushi burrito and San Francisco is going apeshit for it. Sushirito (yes, that’s the name) is only open during lunch and the line is HELLA long so none of our SOMA working affiliates have indulged. YET. There’s only one vegan options but it sounds to be the bomb: it’s called the Buddha Boy and it’s a tofu cutlet, miso eggplant, shiitake mushroom, Japanese gourd, avocado, shaved cabbage, daikon radish, green onion, and crumbled rice crisps. It’s all wrapped up in a large sheet of nori and you go crazy on it like you’re Anne Heche and it’s a big bottle of crazy. Did that make sense? I’m so very hungry.
Anyone tried it yet? Thoughts?
Here is a crappy photo from Yelp. I am so hungry on this cleanse that I will now spend the rest of the day slowly petting my screen.
Rumor-mongering about Source, the new veg restaurant coming to SF! »
There’s a new vegetarian restaurant, Source, which according to Inside Scoop SF is opening sometime in March. This is mighty exciting! It’s going to be “multi-dimensional dining” (??) and offers up a menu that’s so broad, it kinda boggles the mind. I mean, they’re serving everything from dosa to pizza to casseroles (???). I am hoping they can pull it off because I want to eat all of those things. At the same time. Seriously, this place looks fairly nuts.
Inside Scoop says:
The “modern, funky”[*] design will follow the New Age vibe as well. There will be 40-50 seats inside, plus another 30 on a heated patio. Air will be filtered and ionized. There will be a 8×10 foot water wall installation.[*] A special sound system will be in place and a light system will help create the mood via color therapy.[*]
Instead of a normal alcohol bar, there will be an iridescent elixir bar*, with things like euphoric elixirs,[*] calming elixirs[*] and energetic elixirs,[*] all served in cocktail glasses,[*] mixed with fresh pressed juices.
COLOR THERAPY. ELIXIRS. Is this a dare?? Bring it, Source!
I will reserve judgement but I think it goes without saying that this could be the greatest crazy place since PeeWee’s Playhouse (or, maybe Straw??).
Fuck it, I’m ready to don my gay apparel and swim in an insane sea of color therapy and filtered air and eat pizza and dosa together so let’s do this.
[Photo via Inside Scoop SF!]
CHEAP vegan Filipino food this Thursday at Tiangge sa SoMa! »
There’s gonna be tons of CHEAP vegan Filipino food this Thursday, December 2nd, at Bayanihan Community Center (1010 Mission St. at 6th Street) as part of ‘Tiangge sa SoMa’, a community-organized crafts fair/mini holiday bazaar featuring Pinoy and Pinay artisans! Delightful. The menu isn’t finalized yet, but they’re planning on Lugaw (Filipino congee), Pancit Palabok (Rice noodles with julienned vegetables, thick annatto sauce, and crunchy “chicharon” topping), Kalderata (Stewed seitan with carrots, potatoes, bell peppers in a spicy tomato-based sauce), Mongo (Stewed mung beans with spinach, okra, and squash), and Black Gulaman (Sweet drink with agar gelatin). YUM! It goes from 6 to 9 p.m. so be there! Or be shit out of luck in your quest for delicious cheap food!
BONUS: There’s also gonna be holiday shopping, festive music, and raffled giveaways on selected items throughout the night! I WILL SEE YOUR HOT ASSES THERE!
BREAKING: Escape from New York Pizza in the Mission HAS VEGAN CHEESE! »
Yo! Another SF pizza parlor serving up the good stuff with Daiya. That makes Amici’s (the review says they serve Cheezly but it’s Daiya now!), Patxi’s, and now Escape from New York Pizza on 22nd Street in the mission, all carrying vegan pizza made with Daiya! Delightful! We have confirmation that their crust is vegan, but we’re not sure if the other locations are serving it. Street team, where you at?! If you know, leave it in the comments and we’ll update the post. Further, you can get POTATOES on your pizza. I love potatoes on a pizza. That starch-on-starch goodness makes me very happy. We haven’t tried this one yet but we hear it’s amazing so everyone, order it tonight! And report back! Thank you much!
UPDATE 11/7/10: They’ve got Daiya at all five Escape from New York Pizza locations! Get on it!!
[image by Troy Holden on Flickr!]