Home > Food > Meal Mondays: A Vegan Affair

Meal Mondays: A Vegan Affair

Texas, home of the rib-eye, born and raised, it’s where I spent all of my days and most of my meals until I traded that red, hot state in for a snowy, blue one, or so I had thought.  I abandoned Texas for Massachusetts nearly 2 years ago and since then Massachusetts has turned Republican on me and I hear my hometown, Austin, has been getting actual snow.  In a world upset by Mr. Scott Brown and global warming, it is not so shocking that my inner beef-lover is walking on the wild side of veganism and other alternative choices. This weekend I checked out two local vegan eateries, both superb in their own right.  I did work in a turkey burger just to be safe and  I am happy to report I am still shaving my legs, using deodorant, and hugging people, not trees, but I am even happier to report that my adventure was nothing short of a flavor feast.

First stop: My Thai Vegan Café.  I knew it was going to be a good night when I found parking in Chinatown.  I walked down Beach Street, which really does not deserve a superior title to alleyway, and nearly missed the place. Standing directly underneath the sign, I realized the unmarked door at the top of a descending basement stair case might actually lead me to the restaurant.  Was this a Chinatown store front for corrupt cops like friend Nick Seagers describes in one of his recent novels?  I walked through the door and thankfully saw clear signage leading me to the third floor.  A few huffs and puffs later, the third floor opened in front of me to an impressively quaint atmosphere.  Tom Yum was my date for the night.  Served with tofu and an array of juicy vegetables, he was sweet, hot, and perfectly proportioned.  I barely finished a bite of crispy, flavor-rich veggies before craving the next salty, sweet piece of tofu.  Chopstick skills fairing well, I may have broken a timed record for an unskilled American eating with chopsticks.  But if veggies and tofu just will not rock your bed, the menu is full of delicious options from traditional Pad Thai to Mango Curry.  I have a feeling most of their money is made off their non-vegan menu items.  The price was right so I will be stopping by for more traditional tastes and some bubble tea as early as next week.

Last stop: Organic Garden Café.  (https://www.organicgardencafe.com) My first visit to the Organic Garden Café was Valentine’s weekend.  The meal was a romance of its own.  The founder, affectionately known as Rawbert, is a master of subtle flavor teases. The apple pie is sweetened with dates and apricots and drizzled with a creamy almond butter.  Embracing natural flavors, this dessert will have you forgetting traditional sugar like it was just an old college fling.  The dessert will ignite your interest, but the entrees will keep you coming back for a healthy, committed relationship with raw ingredients.  This week I had the Zucchini Fusilloni & Nut-free Meetballs* with Red Sauce.  The zucchini was one endless, perfectly shaved spiral complimented by a thick sun-dried tomato red sauce.  These clean and sweet flavors cut the strong nut flavors from the seed and flax ‘meatballs’ to leave each of your flavor cravings satisfied over and over.  But the Organic Garden Café is most known for their luncheon.  Their Monk’s Bowl, a choice of soup and special item over greens and brown rice or bean sprouts, is a hit for vegans and non-vegans in downtown Beverly, but my next visit will be for the macaroons.

They say hunger is the best spice, but I am beginning to believe purity is just as gratifying to my wanton taste buds. When eating vegan, no cheap salt and pepper thrills are necessary.   I’ll take my ingredients unadulterated.  And with so much change happening around us, I am perfectly content to be discovering joy in the stable, natural flavors of the earth.

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  1. 03/09/2010 at 2:00 pm

    And that you also threatened to bring the attorney in if your car was towed. But the Thai Vegan cafe Rocks!! I am still craving for the spicy sour sauce. I should sneek in the kitchen and steal the recipe. 😛

  2. Cindy
    03/09/2010 at 3:08 pm

    Cuz, These look delectable…but I NEED MY MEAT!!!!!!!!!!! MMMMM Prime Rib! Fillet Mignon. 🙂 Guess its my Okie Blood!

    • workingreekgirl
      03/10/2010 at 1:17 pm

      hahaha I love you and I love meat.

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