Surprise: Bender’s in San Francisco serves top-notch vegan bar food! »
How could you guys not tell me how delicious the vegan food is at Bender’s? Or maybe you did and I wasn’t listening? No matter, I’m disappointed in everyone all the same.
It was Allan of Mission Mission’s urging that I go and try the vegan menu there, and he’s not even a vegan! Though I was not expecting too much, I ended up so stoked with my seitan taco I went again the next week! Melissa of Food and Loathing was in town, and I was like “GIRL, after you eat at Source, we have to go to Bender’s!” So I rallied the vegan troops, including the platonic love of my life, Sarah M. Smart.
Let’s feast our eyes, shall we? I’m sorry about the flash—taking pictures in dark bars never goes very well.
Yes, those are tater tots and vegan ranch in the background!
The seitan Philly cheesesteak might be my new favorite sandwich in the city! I was never a Philly cheesesteak fan when I ate meat, so I usually shy away from these bad boys. Bender’s, you’ve stolen my heart and tested everything I thought I knew.
Sarah got the fried pickles and OMG that ranch is blinding!
Let’s not forget the seitan taco; this baby started it all! It is HUGE in real life, and scrumptious.
I totally forgive you for not letting me in on Bender’s vegan menu. I see how you would want to keep it to yourself, but now the world shall know it’s greatness! I think it’s really actually my fault because I just could not keep up with what was going on in that kitchen. Sorry about the misplaced blame there, friends.
[Bender’s signage photo via Facebook; taco photo by Britney Roque.]
Weird Fish is delicious; forget anything else you may have heard! »
Recently, you may recall that I said some unflattering things about San Francisco’s Weird Fish. I may have said these things, even though I hadn’t eaten there in over a year and a half, since it became Dante’s Weird Fish. I may have posed the questions “Is there any reason to go to Weird Fish these days? Are any vegans enjoying themselves there?” I’m back to clear the air: The answers are yes! YES ON BOTH ACCOUNTS.
Last week, my friend Robert was in town, visiting from Chicago. Seeing as how he gets to eat at Native Foods and the Handlebar anytime he wants, I wanted to bring him to what I though might be the S.F. equivalent. And I selfishly wanted to try their fish and chips, and what better excuse to gorge on a basket of fried food than having a visitor in town?
It was awesome. We ordered almost every vegan thing on the menu! And we loved all of it—it was a fried food frenzy! Hey, sometimes you gotta treat yourself (even if on the same night you have your three roommates plus three house-guests with only one bathroom in the apartment, whatevs).
We didn’t actually try the Buffalo Girls, which is what started my snark-fest in the first place, but we did eat EVERYTHING else. I’m officially Team Weird Fish! The seitan fish and sweet potato chips were better than ever! The fried pickles were delectable, juicy spears, and the yam and spinach taco was colorful and tasty! We were so stoked, Robert wanted to go back before he left.
Tender, perfectly battered seitan “fish” atop sweet potato fries.
Fried pickle spears—my favorite!
Spinach and yam taco, topped with guacamole and pumpkin seeds!
Guest post: Eating vegan in Mexico City: Tacos Hola (El Güero), Azul Condesa, and Nirvana Vegetariano in Condesa-Roma! »
Welcome to Vegansaurus’ weeklong guest series on eating vegan in Mexico City! All content by Rika of Vegan Miam!
I spent all of April in Mexico City (Distrito Federal), the capital of Mexico and the largest city in North America. Mexico City is divided into colonias (neighborhoods). In this series, I’ll guide you through a few of the colonias I explored, and some of the beautiful, delicious vegan food I ate.
All the neighborhoods are unique in their own ways; you just have to decide want you want to do, and eat. Tip: If you don’t speak Spanish, have some phrases prepared about to your dietary preferences. Many people speak some English, but there’s no guarantee.
Condesa-Roma was my favorite neighborhood in Mexico City; it reminded me of Berlin and Portland, Ore. If you are traveling on a budget, I would recommend staying in Condesa-Roma, where you can also enjoy food and architecture at the same time.
One taqueria in Condesa offers delicious, vegan-friendly, slow-cooked tacos: It is officially known as Tacos Hola, or El Güero, and has been open since 1968. It is located on the corner of Amsterdam and Michoacán. Vegan fillings offered include guacamole (so creamy and good!), acelgas (braised chard), nopales (cactus), and arroz (rice). Add condiments like pickled vegetables (onions, peppers, jalapeños), salsa verde (very spicy pureed raw habañero), salsa roja (medium-hot), and lime wedges.
My first time at Tacos Hola I had tacos with acelgas, nopales, and guacamole (15 pesos, approximately $1.12 US). The second time I added rice to make a perfect vegan taco. The addition of pickled vegetables turned out to be delectable, along with the heat from the jalapeños. I couldn’t taste the nopales very much, but I could taste the creamy guacamole and braised chard very well.
My partner got nopales and arroz, and added the spicy pickled vegetables and medium-spicy salsa roja. If you really want a spicy salsa, go for the green one!
At Azul Condesa, I ordered a vegan-friendly dish from their seasonal mango menu: guacamole with chunks of fresh mango, served with tortilla chips.
My partner ordered organic hibiscus flower enchiladas, served with light tomato and smoky chipotle sauces. Make sure to ask for it without cheese (“sin queso”)!
If you would like to try something different, such as a fusion of traditional Afro-Carribean and Mexican dishes incorporating a variety of tropical fruits, I would recommend the buffet at Nirvana Vegetariano. You can get lots of food for not much money (60 pesos, approximately $4.50 US).
The tamales are freshly made with grilled vegetables. They were really yummy! Best tamales ever! You’ll want to avoid the tamales a block of feta cheese on top, though.
Nirvana Vegetariano also offers fresh corn tortillas, rice, plantain and eggplants, vegan gyro-like meat with hint of pineapples, and much more to make your own tacos. I really like the plantain and eggplants; it tasted sweet and roasted, especially creamy. Everything was very delicious—I had no complaints!
Based both in Oregon and worldwide, Taiwanese vegan Rika has run an international and travel vegan blog since July 2011. She documents and photographs vegan cuisine, airports/lounges, groceries, products, and home cooking. She also spends her time abroad caring for and feeding feral cats and dogs. You can find her on Twitter and Pinterest. Check out all her posts for Vegansaurus!
There’s a vegan taco tricycle in the Mission? Alright! »
This is big-ish news for the vegan fatties of San Francisco. Via Tablehopper, which I will copy and paste below:
There’s also a cart from Portland that has now made its way to the 415, the ~TREATMACHINE~, which the owner tells me is “a made-from-scratch vegan taco moped food cart (it’s a trike).” Look for $2 vegan tacos, featuring handmade tortillas, avocado, mango, yam, plantain, homemade sauces, and black beans. Follow its whereabouts in the Mission on Twitter.
Sounds good! I’ll happily play Sloppy Seconds to Portland for a delicious vegan taco. It looks like TREATMachine is mainly selling it on the corner of 19th and Valencia streets, and you can find out their exact schedule via Twitter. And, uh, if you show up and they’re not there, you can get vegan tacos in about 15 places within a block, so no skin off your back. TACOS TACOS TACOS.
Here’s what the thing looks like, in case you’re wondering (or wandering the streets looking for it. I don’t know, ignore me.):
Restaurant review: Nick’s Tacos at Underdog, plus your weekend plans! »
Underdog is a sports bar that serves Nick’s Tacos, located in an area of San Francisco I like to refer to as the Mid Sunset. Not quite Outer, not quite Inner. Technically, what is 19th and Irving? I have no clue.
Nick believes in slow food, fast, which I guess I love. I don’t respect the Slow Food movement so much, as it tends to be super meat-heavy/hypocritical. Unless we are talking about cooking dinner in my apartment! My old roommate Vanessa said I am a great cook, but she can’t wait two hours to eat. What?! I like the flavors to meld—and I cook on low so I can check Facebook every two seconds.
I went to Underdog’s on a whim last year with two friends, as one of them knew the bartender and we NEEDED to make it for beer-and-taco happy hour. Taco happy hour, by the way, is only for ‘street-style’ meat tacos, but Nick’s is so inexpensive, you won’t stay too mad about that. Perhaps they will make the street tacos sans meat, I’ve never asked.
Drinking and tacos are two of my FAVORITE THINGS! I could tell I was gonna like the food as soon as our chips and salsa came. SO COLORFUL AND FRESH! I mean, really? In a bar? I was not expecting this.
That first time, I ordered the vegetarian tacos, which come Nick’s Way in a crispy corn tortilla wrapped in a soft flour tortilla. YES AND YES.
The second time I visited UnderNick’s, I had the taco salad. SO AMAZING. The best part is that it is a vegan entree, so I didn’t have to waste time asking for no cheese or sour cream and then stress out it’s going to come with those condiments anyway. Cilantro-lime vinaigrette? Done. Fresh tomatoes and delicious guacamole? Done. The best part, other than how it tastes, is that it doesn’t come in a heavy, fried tortilla shell, the part of the salad I always try to abstain from and then demolish in 30 seconds flat. Instead they decoratively top the salad with tortilla curls!
The first time I went to Underdog’s, my friend informed me of second Underdog up the street (different place of business completely). So after gorging on chips, salsa and tacos, I found room in my stomach for a vegan sausage dog with sauerkraut. And then went home and made seitan (while checking Facebook constantly).
Here’s your itinerary for this weekend (whenever your weekend is. Mine is Mondays and Tuesdays, holla!). Go to Ocean Beach, try to stay warm and work up an nice appetite/beer buzz on the sand, and as you are heading back to the city stop at Nick’s. Scarf down your food so that before your stomach can register it’s full, you can demolish a vegan sausage dog down the street. Sounds like a perfect day to me!
Underdog Sports Bar and Grill is located at 1824 Irving between 19th and 20th Avenues in the Sunset. It can get pretty bro-y on game days, so I’d avoid it at all costs then. Here’s the menu [.pdf]. [Ed.: I’ve heard that on Fridays during happy hour, they have $1 margaritas. Girrrrrrrl…]
San Franciscans Jenn and Heather spent Christmas in Barcelona this year! For lunch, they made garbanzo bean and chorizo tacos with fresh salsa and homemade tortillas—all of it from scratch! Felices fiestas to you two, too!
Taco Happy Hour oppression! »
Chances are if you live in San Francisco and are an unemployed bum (“freelancer”), you’ve heard of El Toro’s and Pancho Villa’s Taco Happy Hours. Between the hours of 3 and 5 p.m., both venerable taquerias offer $1 tacos and $2 beers. While in the past I’ve had no troubles getting tofu tacos for the $1 advertised price, yesterday when my friend and I hit up the Panch, we were told that the only vegetarian taco eligible for the deal was the plain rice/beans/salsa deal…BUT I could get a meat taco for the happy hour price!
What the shit? The basic meat taco is $3, while the rice/beans/salsa model is $1.50. That means that you get a $2 discount per taco if you eat meat, and a $0.50 discount per taco if you don’t. What’s more is the tofu tacos COST LESS THAN THE PLAIN MEAT TACOS! THEY ARE $2.25!!! WHY, PANCHO VILLA/EL TORO, WHY?
Now, I love me some El Toro and I love me some Pancho Villa (more El Toro, because they have pico de gallo in their salsa bar, and I am like a fiend for that stuff), but I am not so in love with this veg discrimination, so I say let us rise up, vegans, and fight for our $1 tofu tacos! Contact El Toro and Pancho Villa and (politely and pragmatically) let them know that we’re on to them. End veggie discrimination now!
SF. Korean Taco. Veganized. TOMORROW. (!!!) »
Kitchenette SF is serving up a veganizable Korean taco tomorrow for lunch so I suggest y’all hop on the train and get your fat asses to the location with the mostest. Vegan Korean tacos, that is. What? I don’t even know I’m just SO PSYCHED TO EAT HELLA TACOS.
They’ll be serving from 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. or until they sell out, so I suggest you get there early. It’s easy access on the T line and yeah, get there and eat hella tacos and show them your vegan tits! What I mean to say is that, show them that vegans will hella represent and eat hella tacos if given the opportunity. I don’t know where the tits thing came from, I’m just a perv.