Review: Hard Knox Cafe!  »

I’m all super-bummed that Souley Vegan is closed. Like, really fucking bummed. It was the only place in the Bay Area where a vegan could go for some delicious Soul Food. In observance of their closing, I will review a lesser Soul Food restaurant that can fill your need for Southern fried goodness—KINDA SORTA. Hard Knox Cafe is a meaty-meat Soul Food restaurant with two locations, one in Dog Patch and the other in the Outer Richmond. They have a few vegan items on the menu: the red beans and rice, black-eyed peas and rice, French fries, string beans, and the side salad are all vegan and all very tasty. They have an outstanding veggie burger that they make there with fresh veggies and it’s vegan. I mean, it has nothing on the mac n’ cheese or mashed potatoes of Souley Vegan. OR THE YAMS. The yams. I’d write those yams a sonnet. They tasted like Christmas. Or what I imagine Christmas tastes like in a family whose mother didn’t cancel Christmas every other year because she was having a psychotic breakdown. Alas, some things are better meant for therapy than they are for Vegansaurus. Lucky you, I don’t distinguish between the two so hey: I had a difficult childhood.


If you are a vegetarian or vegan or prefer to not die of animal-fat heart attack then you can get a big-ass plate of three vegan sides for only $7! Combine that with a jug of fruit punch (I usually have Diet Coke but whatever, I am not from the dirty dirty) and maybe some white sandwich bread and you, sir, have yourself a meal deal cheaper than Mickey D’s! And you’re not supporting the devil, you are supporting an adorable Vietnamese-owned Soul Food restaurant! That is not as good as Souley Vegan but it’s ALL WE HAVE. Ugh. So depressed.

ONE SUGGESTION FOR HOW THEY COULD BE MORE AWESOME: add a vegan po’ boy to the menu. Yes. Excellent idea.

[photos via yelp]


Review: The Front Porch!  »

The Front Porch has got to be the cutest restaurant I’ve ever been in. It’s like a puppy wrapped in a kitten and then sauteed in baby koala oil and served on a blanket of rainbows to a family of Care Bears. In addition to being the cutest, It has a down-home sorta sexy feel to it and you always leave kinda wanting to do it with whoever you came with. So don’t bring an ex-boyfriend you really want to have sex with again to this place because you will end up making a huge mistake. Or having a lot of fun. I guess that depends on your personal code of ethics and how much you hate yourself. Either way, mazel tov! What!

This place is always packed so be prepared to wait on their delightful front porch with one of their amazing, inventive cocktails or some delicious wine in a box (!!!). However, if you get there before 7 p.m., you might not have to wait. I’d say 6:45 is the perfect time to arrive because everyone else is coming at 7. If you do that, you won’t have to wait for a primo booth right in the front room. Sweet!

There are lots of vegetarian and vegan items on the menu and the wait staff is knowledgeable about what things are made with what. They always have a vegan special of the day, which might be a coconut okra stew or a sweet potato medley. Most of the time it is very delicious, except this one time when it was THE FUNK and we sent it back and the waitress took it off the bill and brought us about nine orders of their amazing thick-cut French fries with homemade ketchup as a replacement. Man, their fries are RIDICULOUS. A must-try. Must try nine orders. You also must get a side of the plantain fries if they’re on the menu along with the black bean soup with avocado. The sides are always changing but they make sure to have plenty of vegan-friendly options. If the coconut rice and beans are available, try them. If you’re not into the vegan special, you can easily make a dinner of the sides. A delicious dinner. That and their awesome cocktails and wine-in-a-box selection; this place is the shit.

One complaint: no vegan desserts. This has been known to SEND ME OVER THE EDGE in the past but this last time, the waitress did offer to bring me out the pickled pears sans ice cream. I was a little enticed but decided to head up the hill to Maggie Mudd instead. Hey! Million-dollar Idea: OFFER DELICIOUS MAGGIE MUDD VEGAN ICE CREAM AS AN OPTION! Because it’s not like they are making their own ice cream (it’s Mitchell’s!) and they are already serving lots of vegan options, so it would totally help draw in a larger vegan crowd. I mean, if they want our hot (read: fat) asses in there then they are going to have to put out (read: give me my soy cream, assholes!!!)

So, in conclusion, eat here on a date with someone you want to have sex with. Or just with a friend. Who you want to have sex with. Maybe not your brother or sister. Unless you are from Kentucky. Then whatever, that’s God’s Country, who am I to judge??

[photos via yelp]

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