vegansaurus!

09/23/2013

Nationwide chain The Counter offers a VEGAN burger, and wants us to “veg out” with them in October!   »

Man everyone, I love knowing that national chains carry vegan food — let’s be real, we’re not always in the company of other vegans, vegetarians, even flexible eaters. It’s a relief for me when popular chains offer grub I can get down with and that an ominvore family member or friend will be satisfied with as well! 

Now, I had never heard of The Counter before they sent us an email about their new and improved vegan veggie burger, and how they plan on highlighting it as a menu item for National Vegetarian Month in October. Of course a week later I was listening to Jen Kirkman’s podcast “I Seem Fun”, where she mentioned going a Southern California branch of the restaurant, and I was like “OH YEAH, I’ve been asked to look into that place for the vegan blog I write for”. 

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So look into I have. I do love an exceptional vegan burger, and I always feel like I gotta make one at home to be satisfying! Unfortunately I can’t give a review of The Counter — have any of you tried them out? I’m super interested, and will be hitting them up next time I’m in the SF Peninsula or East Bay suburbs with my family. My family members will surely find a burgers they want to eat there, and I get to try something new! Everyone wins! 

I know you must be full of doubts, Vegasaurus readers, as you are intellegent and discerning vegans! You don’t want to get your vegan on just anywhere! You have guidelines, you have principles and you are TIRED OF LIMP VEGETABLE SANDWICHES. So here’s why I’m interested, straight from The Counter’s email to us: 

What’s so exceptional about The Counter’s Veggie Burger? Read on.         
The veggie burger is not just vegetarian – it’s vegan, too. 

Unlike the “veggie” burgers that most restaurants serve that try to taste like beef, the team specifically wanted a veggie burger that tasted like vegetables. With high-quality beef, turkey and grilled chicken on the menu, why have the veggie burger taste like meat, too?
The veggie burger accounts for roughly 10% of all “burgers” sold throughout the locations. 
The veggie burger is cooked on a different grill than the other burgers. 
The veggie burger was in development for about a month. The Counter had originally settled on a different veggie burger recipe than the one they opened the doors with back in 2003. The first version used spinach and potatoes as a base, and ultimately it was determined to be too starchy and taste too much like a potato pancake, so the recipe – using a variety of fresh vegetables - was reworked to its current version and was met with rave reviews.

I went to the work of bolding that statement about the burger being cooked on a different grill, as I know that’s really important to most of you! Anyway, for October, The Counter wants us herbivores to go “Veg Out” with them and try the two specialty sandwiches they are promoting. Both need a little adjustment, the honey dijon mustard on the burger and the basil on the sandwich. To tell you the truth, I’d go in just to build my own burger because that’s the best! I don’t want what everyone else is having! I want it adjusted to MY NEEDS! 

The two special “burger builds” on special next month include:

The Vegan Veggie Burger with grilled cucumber, roasted roma tomato, red onion, organic mixed greens, and honey Dijon on a wheat bun.

The Veggie Club with grilled zucchini, grilled carrots, roasted red peppers, sliced avocado, tomato, and basil pesto served on Texas Toast with a side of sweet potato fries.

Of course, as I mentioned before, you’ll have to make a couple minor adjustments when ordering these, or just order something different altogether. I’m super into them carrying sweet potato fries, that is FOR SURE. 

12/13/2012

Victory Burger opens in Oakland!  »

Victory Burger, the burger joint that Kickstarter built, is open! And it is damn good. DAMN GOOD. Since it’s steps from my front door, I’ve eaten there about 50 times and confirm that everything is extremely legit. Also, I CAN’T FIT INTO MY PANTS DONT LOOK AT ME. As soon as I’m done writing this, it’s off to the Y to exercise (for health! and also because I can’t afford to buy new clothes right now!) but first, let’s drool.

Here’s the menu; you can see the incredible amount of tasty vegan food up on it. Two different types of vegan sandwiches (a curried burger YUM or an arepa filled with marinated tofu, plantains, avocado, and an addictive slaw!), coconut ice cream milkshakes (with add-ins! I’ve had peanut butter-chocolate, chocolate-banana, and strawberry-balsamic!), and tasty-ass deep-fried pickled veggies and fries with AVOCADO MAYO. It’s seriously the best place for your vegan burger and fries fix in town. It’s a classy-ass diner and I’m in love.

Now, some pictures:

WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?! Victory Burger is on Alcatraz at San Pablo, right next to Actual Cafe, and is open Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Hopefully their hours will expand but they’re a brand-new baby restaurant so give these fools some time, OK?

11/21/2012

It’s the Thanksgiving Burger! If you’re doing Thanksgiving for a small group (or just you, NO SHAME! Also: LUCKY), this easy to make burger will give you all the deliciousness of a full fatty Thanksgiving meal without tons of work and cleanup. IT’S SO NICE YOU’LL EAT IT TWICE. Maybe three times. And then watch TV all day and enjoy being the fattest and laziest and happiest.
Happy Thanksgiving!!!

It’s the Thanksgiving Burger! If you’re doing Thanksgiving for a small group (or just you, NO SHAME! Also: LUCKY), this easy to make burger will give you all the deliciousness of a full fatty Thanksgiving meal without tons of work and cleanup. IT’S SO NICE YOU’LL EAT IT TWICE. Maybe three times. And then watch TV all day and enjoy being the fattest and laziest and happiest.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

08/15/2012

Restaurant review: Fairfield’s Vegan Paradice is exactly what you want, suburban vegans!  »

Solano County is a million times greater now, thanks to Kimberly and Gerald Brown’s delightful cafe, Vegan Paradice. It’s in downtown Fairfield, which I didn’t know was so adorable. Faithful reader Allison tipped us off to it a couple months ago, but it’s only open Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and I have three jobs, so when am I free? But I made it this week for lunch, because I am dedicated to you, suburban vegans. Also it’s hot as all get-out and I wanted soft-serve.


My ma ordered the all veggie sandwich ($6.95), with lettuce, tomato, red onions, olives, sprouts, and tons of avocado, on sprouted whole wheat bread with mayo, ketchup, and housemade cucumber relish and must-have sauce. It was so full the avocado fell out in great green pieces, covered in that tangy sauce.


I got the terrific tofu burger ($7.75), with lettuce, tomato, grilled red onion, and sprouts, with the same ketchup, mayo, and housemade must-have sauce and cucumber relish on a sprouted whole wheat bun. It really was terrific! Gerald compared it to a Wildwood tofu patty; it’s housemade, with diced vegetables (including kale!) and cooked to a crispy outside and a sort of scrambley-textured inside. So good, dripping with sauces and that relish, just tremendous.

We were both pretty full, but because we were there for Vegansaurus, I insisted we order the soft-serve as well. It comes in vanilla, carob, and swirl; obviously we ordered swirl, though I was dubious about the carob.


But I was wrong! It was delicious! They make it with a combination of soy and coconut milks, and it’s sweet and creamy, just as soft-serve should be, with a slightly salty finish that makes the flavor more complex than your standard soft-serve. I think. I haven’t had soft-serve yogurt since 2008, and soft-serve ice cream since 2005. Bless you, vegan geniuses, for bringing us the technical and culinary triumph that is vegan soft-serve. This is a small cup ($3.75), by the way, and it’s huge and we couldn’t finish them.

You can read more about Vegan Paradice in this article in the Fairfield Daily Republic; it’s been open all summer, and they are working on expanding their menu and staff—right now it’s just the Browns. They make a lot of their stuff in-house, including almond roca and caramel for the soft-serve. ALMOND ROCA AND CARAMEL FOR THE SOFT-SERVE.

If you live anywhere near Fairfield, or drive past it on your commute, you have got to stop in at Vegan Paradice. It’s going to be hot through September; come for the soft-serve, stay for the burgers. They have vegan meat-and-cheese combinations we didn’t even try! I’ll definitely be back the next time their hours and my time off coincide. Suburban vegans in Northern California finally have a cafe! Let’s help it flourish.

05/18/2011

That’s the chicken fried tempeh from Greenburgers in SF. Why is it so hard to take a good savory food photo? It’s like they always come out looking like a big pile of garbage or a big pile of throw-up. If you have any tips, let me know! Please note: the tips should be for dining in low-lighting and using the iPhone’s camera. I know, it’s an ideal situation.
Anyway, trust that everything on that plate tasted DELICIOUS. Perfectly cooked tempeh coated in crispy-fried deliciousness, served with amazing asparagus (yay spring!) and your choice of fries or sweet potato fries. It comes with mashed potatoes normally but those aren’t vegan. YET!* It was exceptionally tasty. ALSO: Greenburgers JUST debuted a vegan sloppy joe (!!!), so I’ll be back very soon to try.
All in all, definitely give Greenburgers a shot, and let me know what you think! It’s definitely the cleanest/nicest place on this block of the Haight, and a totally acceptable place to bring your fancy parents or fancy friends who don’t like a side of Hep C with their food. Prudes! And I only say that because I know someone that actually happened to. And her name is Natasha Lyonne. And it also involved lots of drugs and possible sex with a parking meter. No matter, still love that bitch! I don’t know where this review is going but imma stop it right here. GOODNIGHT, SIR!
*Greenburgers! Earth Balance and coconut creamer make excellent mashed potatoes!

That’s the chicken fried tempeh from Greenburgers in SF. Why is it so hard to take a good savory food photo? It’s like they always come out looking like a big pile of garbage or a big pile of throw-up. If you have any tips, let me know! Please note: the tips should be for dining in low-lighting and using the iPhone’s camera. I know, it’s an ideal situation.

Anyway, trust that everything on that plate tasted DELICIOUS. Perfectly cooked tempeh coated in crispy-fried deliciousness, served with amazing asparagus (yay spring!) and your choice of fries or sweet potato fries. It comes with mashed potatoes normally but those aren’t vegan. YET!* It was exceptionally tasty. ALSO: Greenburgers JUST debuted a vegan sloppy joe (!!!), so I’ll be back very soon to try.

All in all, definitely give Greenburgers a shot, and let me know what you think! It’s definitely the cleanest/nicest place on this block of the Haight, and a totally acceptable place to bring your fancy parents or fancy friends who don’t like a side of Hep C with their food. Prudes! And I only say that because I know someone that actually happened to. And her name is Natasha Lyonne. And it also involved lots of drugs and possible sex with a parking meter. No matter, still love that bitch! I don’t know where this review is going but imma stop it right here. GOODNIGHT, SIR!

*Greenburgers! Earth Balance and coconut creamer make excellent mashed potatoes!

03/30/2011

Seven best Bay Area veggie burgers & Mission Burger’s vegan burger recipe! BURGERS!  »

Obviously I’m trying to optimize SEO for anyone searching for “burger” and when I do things, I go big or go home! So usually I just go home but today: GOOGLE BETTER WATCH ITS BACK.

Anyway! I wrote some stuff up for SFoodie, first being (WHAT I BELIEVE TO BE) the seven best veggie burgers in the Bay Area. Next: a cobbled-together recipe for the dearly departed Mission Vegan Burger. I got the recipe from the nice dudes at Mission Street Food, and then tried to scale it down because that shit was originally for 70 patties and lord knows I can EAT but 70? Touché, Mission Street Food dudes. Touché. Oooh, perhaps we sell them at the next SF Vegan Bakesale?? We just need an industrial deep fryer. You got one? Wanna be my boyfriend?* Please note: if you have one and bring it to the sale, I WILL steal it. OMG, I’ll be deep-frying errrthang in site. You’ll be like, “Laura, where did you go?” and I’ll be all, “Oh sorry, I was just deep-frying my face!” Except I’ll probably be deep-frying a candy bar because ew, health code violation!

Please forgive me, it’s been a rough day. Take us away, picture of the Plant Burger (which may or may be on the list)!
photo from Ed U. on Yelp via SFoodie!

*Sorry, Jonas! I’m sure you understand, you’d do the same to me. It’s either leave or be left, baby!

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