Gobi Aloo Broccoli Pizza from Vegan Richa! Aloo Gobi is only my most favorite thing in the world and as I’m a human being, of course I like pizza. Basically, I want this so hard!
Guys, I found the best unexpectedly awesome restaurant this week! It’s in Colorado, so I know most of don’t give a shit, but I want everyone in Colorado to come here and make sure it stays open forever. Plus, it’s in a strip mall in the suburbs, so we can have a universal discussion about that.
The place is called Krishna Kafe, and it’s in possibly the most run-down shopping center I’ve been to (the pothole-to-pavement ratio in the driveway to the parking lot is off the charts), about 15 minutes outside of Boulder in a hit-and-run town called Lafayette. According to my friend who just moved there, it’s where all the people who can’t afford to live in Boulder live, so it kind of makes sense that there’s a big immigrant community, and that some of those immigrants might open restaurants, and that those restaurants might be orgasmically good.
The place serves chaat-style street food, and in my opinion is approximately 7.5 times better than Vik’s Chaat Corner in Berkeley. My vegan husband and I showed up with our gluten-free friend, and the owner had his wife come out to talk to us and help us order. She was really knowledgeable and accommodating, and suggested dishes we all could eat.
I’m usually really opinionated about my food, but I honestly couldn’t choose which of the three I liked more—they were are richly spiced without being mouth-burning, had an interesting blend of textures, and just SO GOOD. The Indian grocery next door is just an extra perk, too. And it’s cheap!
If you live on the Front Range, make a trip here. For reals. If you ever come to Colorado for skiing and hiking and stuff, and want cheap food and don’t mind wandering out of your way, also come here.
What are you favorite amazing restaurants in random run-down strip malls?
Vegan Indian food pop-up in the Mission on Wednesday! »
Dude, this sounds amazing. The folks at Kasa are making it happen, deliciously. It’s only $20, the menu is HUGE, and reports from last week’s dinner were that it was off the chain. Maybe not that wording exactly but I’m too lazy to look up the emails. SO! Go this week and support them making it all vegan and maybe we’ll see more vegan nights! They are randomly doing this one vegan because the demand was so high last week, so let’s support them!
Now, here is a picture of Dhokla, a chickpea flour sponge cake drizzled with tamarind sauce. You’ll be eating it on Wednesday, and you will be very happy!
See you there! Er, but first, call 415-690-8512 for reservations or email email@example.com for reservations!
[picture from Food Stories!]
Saffron Grill: new vegan menu! »
We here at Vegansaurus pretty much love the hell out of any restaurant that
buckles to vegan terrorism listens to their vegan customers and throw us a, uh, bone. Accordingly, we are happy to announce that San Francisco’s Saffron Grill has added a brand spanking new, all-vegan menu to their existing offerings.
Saffron Grill is North Indian cuisine, folks—that means flatbread, saag, and chickpeas galore! I grabbed the ol’ ball-and-chain and a couple friends and hit up SG on a Wednesday night, and the first thing I’d like to say is DO NOT TAKE THE 5 FULTON BUS. We attempted to do this, and it passed us right by, meaning we walked from Van Ness to Divisadero and were tired and hangry by the time we got there. Good thing, then, our friends were waiting, and our server kept the crispy papadums with chutney coming while we decided on food. Padpadums, in case you weren’t raised by a dad whose zest for Indian cuisine both informed and traumatized your formative years, are wafer-thin dry lentil pancake thingies that get kind of crispy and a little bit bubbly when heated up. They’re like Indian corn chips, but made out of lentils and served with chutney, not salsa. Anyway, they’re great, and they’re vegan, so eat them.
For food, husband and I split a plate of samosas (awesome) and pakoras (also awesome). The samosas were great and not of the too-spicy variety that I sometimes stumble upon and then curse vigorously. There is nothing worse than a too-spicy samosa whose samosa guts you have to scrape out and then eat the greasy, crispy shell alone. Thankfully, these samosas were not of that variety. The pakoras were flavorful and not too oily, which is nice in a pakora. The chutney they came with was also nice—flavorful and not too sweet. I think it was mango, but I was too overcome with white-girl shame to ask.
Entrees were saag aloo (for me) and some kind of chickpea dish (for him), accompanied by flatbread. Saffron Grill has whole-wheat flatbread, which is nice. It’s not huge and crazy like some of the naan I’m used to, but it’s good stuff, and I think my body likes the one-meal break from white flour. One other nice thing about the SG is that they’ll alter the spice levels for you, so if you’re a wimpy Canadian WASP, like me, they will make your food with baby spices, and it still tastes good. If you’re a spice-fiend, I have it on good authority they will do you up right as well.
Finally, the people who own/staff this place are fucking seriously nice. They decided to create the vegan menu after a few people asked them about it, which is awesome. They’re also really friendly, and I know I felt right at home, and I bet you would too.
The only downside to the Saffron Grill is that it’s a little pricey (as down as I am with the menu and the food, $3 for rice is still a bit rich for my blood). However, I’m still happy to support the businesses that support me and my stomach, so head over the the Saffron Grill; just don’t take the 5 Fulton, and if you do, don’t say I didn’t warn you!
Vegansaurus NYC: Rice! »
Rice! Generic name, yummy food! I’m obsessed! It’s not all vegan but there are many vegan options. There are three locations, one in Manhattan and two in Brooklyn. One of the Brooklyn locations happens to be in DUMBO, four blocks from my school. I moved here a little over a month ago and I’ve been to Rice like 80 times already. That’s how I roll! I find something I like and I stick with it! Until I overdo it and get completely tired of it. It’s a system.
For the most part, it’s all rice bowls (there’s a few salads but salads are for nancies!). They have different options like lentil stew or ratatouille and then you get to pick what kind of rice you want! Hence the name. They have like 8 kinds of rice. I always get the brown rice but one day I will get the crazy purple rice, mark my words! It’s a dollar or so more but it’s purple! The color of royalty! It’s the king’s rice! I think it’s actually called black rice but I promise it’s purple.
UPDATE: The tofu satay is NOT vegan! It’s got fish in it! GROSS!
I’ve tried a number of things there but I’ve finally settled on the tofu satay. It’s super! That’s a picture of it above—I took it myself! BEFORE I started eating! Because I’m a pro. I’ve also tried the lentil stew but it was a little bland. The Thai coconut curry is good but I’m obsessed with peanuts and that’s what the satay sauce tastes like. Now the other thing you HAVE to get is an order of the edamame* hummus. OMG IT’S AMAZING. Like, I could eat bowls of it. I wasn’t sure if it was vegan but they assured me it was, bread and all. It’s not that hummus-y; I can’t quite put my finger on what it tastes like but it’s super-delicious.
So if you get a chance, I say definitely try rice. And if you go to the DUMBO one, I’ll probably be there so you should say, “Hey Megan Rascal!” and maybe, “You look lovely today!” because that’s a nice thing to say and completely true.
*Once again spellcheck, I say screw you! Edamame is a word.
Green Coriander! Guest Review from Natalie of Bike Basket Pies! »
I am horrible at reviewing things. I deleted my Yelp account for a reason. I like food, in fact, I like most food I eat, and I am generally not a snob about the food I eat, except for some things (I’m not naming names so don’t ask. OKAY YOU TWISTED MY ARM American cheese, ketchup, and milk).
Plus I’m not an expert on Indian food (see likes and dislikes above). But I can tell you about what I ate and how much I liked it!
Green Coriander is a new-ish business set on getting you healthy Indian food that you can get via take-out in the Mission (15th and Guerrero Streets) or delivered via TCB bike courier Mondays through Thursdays. Her menu is updated on Sundays and every day has a veggie options and most of the vegetarian dishes are vegan (they even mark them with a lovely green “V”! Score!).
Last week, I shared the cabbage with shredded coconut and it was delicious. Rob [Ed.: Natalie’s friend, she ate lunch with him and maybe one day they’ll get married! I really want this girl to get married to a nice boy! If you’re interested, holler! At ME! Not at Natalie, she can’t be trusted to court her own beaux. You can read that as in you’ll most likely have to have sex with me to get to Natalie I AM KIDDING, GOD/DON’T BE SO UPTIGHT] and I got a serving, plus a huge thing of rice, lentils, and two rotis (thin flatbread, like an Indian tortilla). The cabbage was delicious—the shredded coconut imparted an almost chocolaty taste to it, earthy and fresh. There are whole dried chilies in it, which I would not recommend eating but hey, maybe you like a little extra heat (the dish wasn’t spicy itself, but it could be with a bite of one of those!). The lentils were floral and were broken down to a nice, almost creamy, consistency. The rice is f’ing tasty, I could eat that stuff without anything else, but Rob and I could not pinpoint what the spice was.
All of the food Green Coriander offers is healthy and they are working with Kristin Hoppe (of Food Therapy—best nutritionist in the Bay Area 2009!) to ensure the food they offer is good for you & well-balanced. I gotta say, I am sort of over really greasy Indian food. Sure it hits the spot sometimes, but it’s nice to be able to get those flavors without all the goddamn oil and stomachaches afterwards. So I’m totally recommending Green Coriander. Plus, DELIVERY which I haven’t actually used, but I have gotten stuff delivered, to me and for my own business, but those same bike couriers so I know they’re reliable and legit. Order by noon for delivery or pickup the same day from Monday through Thursday. And Paawan, who runs the business, is super sweet (Disclaimer: I met her prior to her starting Green Coriander).
N.Y. Dosas: Street Food For The Vegans »
And now, a dispatch from Vegansaurus NYC!
So you really like Indian food, but you don’t want to give your money to places that also serve flesh. And those places that serve flesh aren’t all that good anyways because they use way too much grease and you hate having to specify no raita. And you really like street food, but there’s never really any vegan food.
So, what do do? Lucky for you: there is dedicated vegan Indian food AND it’s in a cart. So you can get some authentic New York City street food without the guilt because, well, N.Y. Dosas is honestly the best fucking food I have ever had in my entire life. The guy running it is a dedicated vegan out by the park six days a week, rain or shine, to provide everyone with some sweet-ass vegan dosas. He also has some lentil-based crepe for all of our gluten-free brethren and sistren. Plus, check out that awesome ‘stache! Clearly all of the hipsters just stole his facial hair aesthetic.
N.Y. Dosas has no website (it’s STREET, remember?!), but here are the details, should you find yourself in New York:
W. 4th Street at Sullivan Street, New York, NY 10014
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closed Sunday.
Ananda Fuara is now serving vegan neatloaf! Finally, I can go all neatloaf on your vegetarian asses!
Review: Basu’s Homestyle Indian Cuisine (IS THE BOMB!) »
Basu’s graciously sent us some of their make-it-yourself Homestyle Indian Cuisine to check out, presumably because every vegan blog south of San Luis Obispo has already had the chance. This is probably because they are an adorable family startup company based in the L.A. area and distributing regionally, but I am still immediately resentful of Southern California having anything desirable or good because I am a cynical, humorless Northern California native. Anyway you can already buy Basu’s at the Whole Foods stores down there. (What is up with Whole Foods in Southern California & Nevada having SUCH BETTER vegan selections than ours??)
As an Indian-food-loving single person (or, a not-single person who lives in a different apartment than her boyfriend and spends three nights a week over there so consequently grocery shops *less* than a single person), I already eat a lot of pre-prepared Indian food, in the form of takeout and vacuum-packs from Tasty Bite and the like. Because I sit down to depressing Trader Joe’s Punjab Choley for one and plain rice on a fairly regular basis, I feel entitled to the sense of totally unmitigated euphoria that comes flying out into the kitchen when you open a packet of Basu’s cheerily-labeled “Vindaloo Sauce with Basil - Vegan.” Warning:this sauce smells amazing. While I was eating it at work the next day, my coworker (a real actual Indian person) was all, “That smells amazing!”
Now, it’s packaged as sauce alone, and you add your own vegetables and proteins (unless you’re just taking a bath in it—ain’t no shame, it smells amazing!) I thought, after an initial botched attempt at adding some Tofurky sausage (don’t do that) that this Vindaloo works best with baby red potatoes and firm tofu cut like paneer cubes (it does—do that instead!) Also, some cauliflower would probably be nice, but my neighborhood market was out of it.
First, I boiled the potatoes until soft, then drained them and cooled them a bit while I cut up the tofu. Then I melted some Earth Balance in a saute pan, and threw in generous amounts of powdered cumin and tarragon. I know tarragon isn’t very Indian, I just really like it. Then I threw in the tofu and (quartered) potatoes to stir fry until brown and crusty with delicious spices. When everything was nicely browned, I threw it in a pot with the Vindaloo sauce to simmer for about 15 minutes on low heat. At this point, my house smelled (you guessed it!) amazing.*
The Vindaloo dish was fast and easy, and makes for a comforting, nutritious and really delicious meal. But, the thing that really ele
vates Basu’s above the other DIY Indian foods is pairing the curry with Basu’s own Saffron Rice and Tamarind Chutney. The rice is unbelievably flavorful, in a way that would be difficult for me to replicate at home. It’s got a delightful buttery taste, offset by some kind of curried carrot (?) that really goes the extra mile in transforming your pathetic Ikea couch-and-coffee-table dining set into a charming neighborhood Indian restaurant. The chutney is dark and syrupy, and drizzled over the curry/rice combo, it’s just the perfect thing.
In sum, that was my totally savory experience with the Basu’s Homestyle Indian Food, a really good company and makers of the best DIY Indian meals. If only I could go to my local Whole Foods and get more. Sad Face.
*I should make it clear as I overemphasize how amazing it SMELLS, that I do not mean to underemphasize how amazing it TASTES, which is AMAZING. Like, the tastiest thing to come out of my kitchen in a long time, vegan or non.