January’s “I Can’t Believe It’s Vegan Night” at Bar Luchador had the theme “Far Out, Far East.” I was skeptical since the last thing I want is someone bastardizing and/or appropriating food that is quite personal to me. Even using the word Asian is such a catch-all, as there is a huge difference among the cuisines of Asia. The menu did seem to run the gamut, from egg rolls to a banh mi to their take on drunken noodles, and even Thai Fried Bananas for dessert.
Living on the north side of St. Paul, I don’t make it to the western part of the Twin Cities often, but Naviya’s makes it worth it now and again (as well as Linden Hills Farmers Market). Many dishes are either marked “vegan” or “vegan upon request,” along with a fair amount of gluten-free offerings.
On New Year’s Eve, I went to Tongue in Cheek for the 5-course vegan tasting menu. I have to say, I don’t know why I don’t go there more often because the entire meal was incredible. The online menu lists it at $55, but it’s $65, and you can choose to get it paired with “libations” for an additional $35. I’m not sure how often the menu changes, but they do change it regularly so you don’t quite know what you’re going to get.
The Howe is in south Minneapolis and offers several plant based options, including dessert. Its sister restaurants are Stanley’s Northeast Bar Room in northeast Minneapolis and Pub 819 in Hopkins, and you’ll find some similar dishes across their menus. They all also offer a dog-friendly “paw-tio” along with a dog-friendly menu.
Dulce of Dulceria Bakery invited me to join her at Hamburguesas El Gordo which is across the street from the bakery, and I’ve been back one additional time since then. Their menu board lists vegan tacos either in a flour or corn tortilla shell. They also sometimes have vegan burgers; Dulce asked at our visit and they didn’t have them, but when I asked at my second visit we were able to order them.
My friend Casey sent me a Buzzfeed article last month about vegan bacon chips made from mushrooms, and I was too intrigued to not try them. I only had to wait about a month as they figured out production and shipping for their first round of orders, and they stayed on top of communicating about the status, which is always appreciated.
Vegan Cuts is a fun way to try new vegan products and potentially find a new favorite snack. If there’s a vegan in your life and you are in need of a gift for them, this is a great option. You can pay for just one box if you don’t want to get them a six- or twelve-month subscription.
For the past few months, Bar Luchador has hosted an “I Can’t Believe It’s Vegan” night, and I was finally able to attend this month. They make almost everything from scratch, and a couple options are gluten-free.
We started with the seitan buffalo wings with ranch and veggie sticks. These were SPICY. If they hadn’t been so spicy, I would have loved them, but I only managed to get through two before I conceded. I’ll have to stick to the buffalo cauliflower wings at J. Selby’s, though I appreciate that they didn’t shy away from heat.
I recently wrote about my brunch at Fig + Farro, and I ended up going back a few days later for dinner with my friend Lynda who was visiting from California. We tried several dishes, and overall I enjoyed everything.
Above you’ll see the Rapini with Piri Piri sauce, cashew crema, and embered plums. This dish is complex, as all the flavors are distinct but work perfectly together. I’m guessing the rapini leaves were baked because they were mostly crisp, adding a nice texture.