Tag Archives: vegan food

This vegan black-bean cheeseburger wasn’t LOV at first bite…

Now, I’m no stranger to vegan food — whether it’s mushrooms ‘n waffles, jackfruit tacos or vegan poutine pizza. But I haven’t actually had a vegan burger since A&W first brought out the Beyond Meat. It wasn’t bad…but it definitely wasn’t beef. So we’re hanging out at LOV, this funky vegan joint on King West, and I figured I’d go for a different kind of vegan burger — their black bean Big LOV Cheeseburger:

big_lov_cheeseburger (7)

Now, there were some good things going on here. The potato bun was warm and squishy, onions were nice and crisp, and the vegan mozzarella was surprisingly cheesy. But the black bean patty really wasn’t the star of the show. I didn’t expect it to taste like beef…but it didn’t really taste like anything. I guess I was expecting a little zip, like a black bean dip, but nada. It was sorta like an unseasoned hockey puck in Flavourtown. So I guess I’m still looking for a really great vegan burger?

lov_vegan_caesar (2)

On the other hand, this vegan caesar was quite tasty. I’m not sure what parts of a regular caesar aren’t vegan, but I definitely didn’t miss ’em here. This drink had a nice little kick from some Tia Lupita hot sauce, alongside the usual suspects — vodka, caesar mix, tomato and lime juice. And during Saturday + Sunday brunch, they’re two for $15, so you can totally slam, like, six of these… Happy Family Day, bro!!!

Mushrooms ‘n waffle @ Planta

Now, chicken and waffles is an all-time soul food classic — but what happens when you make it vegan? We’re about to find out at Planta, this funky vegan joint at Bay and Bloor. I was actually here before for some jackfruit tacos and deep-fried mushrooms, so I knew their shrooms were legit…but how would they taste on a waffle?

planta_mushroom_waffle (11)

Now, there’s nothing wrong with the mushrooms here — deep-fried, crispy and delicious. The waffle itself wasn’t bad, but not the best I’ve had. I wasn’t really feeling the combo of the mushroom gravy and maple sriracha, though. And I don’t think the flavour of the shrooms works as well with waffles like chicken does. But I would totally put some of those mushrooms on top of a burger, bro…maybe even a Beyond Meat one?

Does pulled jackfruit taste the same as pulled pork? Well…

Now, you won’t find “vegan” next to “BBQ” in the Flavourtown dictionary, but I’ve noticed a few BBQ joints in this city that have a vegan option…and it’s almost always jackfruit. Of course, I would never order BBQ jackfruit if I could get some ribs or beef brisket, bro! But now we’re hanging out at Planta, this funky vegan joint on Bay Street–and since all the food is vegan, I guess I might as well try it?

planta_jackfruit_taco (10)

They say that jackfruit “deceptively resembles pulled pork in texture” and they’re not completely wrong. Although I’d say it’s a little less stringy, and a little more clumpy. At Planta, they’re serving it up in their Jack of All Tacos with pineapple chutney, tomatillo salsa and a whole lotta cilantro. They also season the jackfruit with some guajillos, so it tastes like it belongs in a taco… but I dunno, it’s definitely missing the unctuousness of pulled pork. Malfunction at the Unction!!!

chicken_fried_mushrooms (1)

On the other hand, their chicken fried mushrooms are pretty much on point. You know I like my chicken fried, cold beer on a Friday night, pair a jeans that fits just right and the radio uuuuup, Zac Broseph Band! And hey, turns out I like my mushrooms fried too…

Holy Vegan Poutine Pizza, Batman!!!!!

So, we’re hanging out at FuBar, this friendly neighbourhood heavy metal joint across from Christie Pits in Koreatown. This place is serving up local craft beers and blasting out killer tunes from 4 pm until 10–and downstairs, they’ve serving up the best vegan pizza I’ve ever had in my life at this funky little joint called Apiecalypse Now! They’ve even got a killer pie named after Slayer, but when I saw they were putting poutine on a pizza, I was all over that like Tom Araya at a Trump rally!

vegan_poutine_pizza (5)

This pizza is like a Renegade of Funk in Flavourtown, bro! You’ve got some thin & crispy spuds, a legit vegan gravy, these little Buffalo-style soy nuggets, all served up on a nice, crisp crust! While you don’t quite get the texture of squeaky cheese curds from the vegan mozzarella, it does capture the saltiness you would expect from a poutine. This dish is bananas, and bananas are good!

In fact, I would even say this here is the best vegan dish I’ve ever had…and I’ve had more than one vegan dish before, bro! (Like, maybe three or four?)

guy-fieri

HORNS UP IN FLAVOURTOWN!!!!

FRONT STREET FOODS: This vegan taco salad (almost) makes me wanna eat more salad

Now, I don’t usually eat salad—and when I do, I load it up with bacon. But after stuffing my piehole full of bacon grilled cheese burgers this weekend, I opted for something a little lighter today. And hey, I almost didn’t notice there wasn’t meat in this dish. OK, so I kinda wanted to run over to Tacos 101 and ask them to top me up with some carnitas…but I figured that after putting pulled pork on top of fries, I didn’t need more pulled pork on top of salad.

taco_salad (3)

OK, let’s break it down. You’ve got the creaminess of the avocado, a nice crunch from the corn, some acid from the tomatoes, a nice chew from the pumpkin seeds(!) and zesty red peppers. Oh, and the jalapeno lime dressing was super-creamy. Not too spicy, just the right amount of heat. I kinda hate to say this, but I was actually full after eating this salad…at least temporarily.

taco_salad (2)

Winner, winner, salad dinner!

All Hail Cheese Seitan!

(Originally written August 21, 2014)

So I had vegan food today, and hey, it’s actually not bad!  It’s not something I’d do every day, but I figure that if I’m gonna eat something with no meat, it better resemble meat as closely as possible.  Hence, the Philly cheese seitan at Hogtown Vegan:

hogtown_vegan (1)

To their credit, it actually looked like meat.  Not the thinly-shaved ribeye you’d find in a cheesesteak, mind you; more like gyro meat, which I’m pretty sure still has some beef in it.  Of course, this dish was completely beef-free.  I’d say it also had the texture of a gyro, and a nice dash of seasoning…but it certainly didn’t taste like steak.  And I’m not sure the cheese sauce really reminded me of cheese, though it certainly was messy!  On the other hand, the fries were pretty much your standard fries, cuz hey, you can’t vegan those up, eh?

Alas, while I came away satisfied with the overall edibleness of the meal, I will say that the tatooed-hipster service at the Bloor St. W eatery left a little to be desired–which is to say, it was rudimentary at best.  The place wasn’t even all that busy, but I did not see a server between the time we received our food and the time we finished eating.  Hey, I mighta had another beer or two (Mill St Organic, natch) there, instead of hitting up some hipster bar down the street, had they been a bit more attentive.  (Said server also would’ve received a more respectable tip to go towards her latest performance-art piece.)

I will say this: I’ve got a bit of an unpleasant aftertaste right now, and I don’t think it’s from the Mill St. Organic…

Hogtown Vegan, 1056 Bloor St. W (East of Dufferin). Philly Cheese Seitan, $13.