The Blind Burro (San Diego, CA)

It is becoming delightfully common to happen upon vegan staff at very non-vegan restaurants. Through the kindness of my server, Emily, I found my way through the menu modifications at The Blind Burro.

This is the kind of space a vegan would probably not find themselves at alone. A gathering corner a quick jaunt from Petco Park, this is the kind of restaurant your onmi friends will suggest meeting at because they like it. But don’t worry, you’ll like it well enough too.

The only vegan as-is items are the Guacamoles—Tradicional and Especial—I went Especial ($12). Mashed avocado binds chunks of roasted sweet potato, corn, and rajas with house made plantain chips (shared fryer). I scraped some of the salt from Caramelized Pineapple Margherita ($12) to season it.

Pinto beans and rice are prepared with animals, leaving the Veggie Tacos ($14) and Power Bowl ($13) as the substantial entrees. Over two corn tortillas, a generous plop of boiled or fried cauliflower comes drizzled in a fruity chipotle-orange BBQ sauce over kale salad, avocado, and matchstick radishes. I asked for all the hot sauces and received a rainbow of actually spicy house-made pepper slurries.

The Power Bowl is filled with scoops of quiona and kale salad under avocado (subbed for goat cheese) and benefited from what ended up being my favorite disha side of Mole Black Beans that came with the tacos. The spiced, and slightly sweet beans, smothered the blatantly healthy ingredient under better tasting but just as healthy sauce.

The Blind Burro offers an extensive printed allergen listhighlighting what dishes independently have nuts, egg, soy, and dairyalthough deciphering it requires detailed reading while hungry… Which made our friendly server indispensable in creating our pleasant evening in a very non-vegan establishment.

The Blind Burro
639 J St.
San Diego, CA 92101

theblindburro.com

Facebook: @TheBlindBurro
Instagram: @TheBlindBurro
Twitter: @TheBlindBurro

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Vegan Friendly: FaVe Tacos in Hillcrest and North Park

The Short and Skinny

Sustainable, farm-savvy T. Elizabeth Cramer fills house-made tortillas with fresh produce pulled fresh from the earth for vegan friendly tacos worth the queue at the Hillcrest and North Park farmers markets.

The Vibe

A smile breaks through the hustle of the Hillcrest Farmers Market, as San Diego native T. Elizabeth Cramer stirs enamel pots filled with locally sourced vegetables—many purchased from the farms just a few stalls down. Curls of cabbage and flutters of cilantro drop from the tip of her tongs. Each day the offerings are slightly different as the rhythms of nature are embraced.

After walking the standard line of life, Elizabeth stepped away from an office job and onto a popular DC food truck to study the food business (something she strongly recommends to anyone wanting to start their own edible empire). Invaluable lessons were learned, followed by a spell of disenchantment, replaced ultimately by a deep desire to really understand farming and sourcing.

Read more at: http://ediblesandiego.ediblecommunities.com/eat/vegan-friendly-fave-tacos-hillcrest-and-north-park

Project Taco (Los Angeles, CA)

Enthralled by an article on Beyond Meat ‘s CEO Ethan Brown, Project Taco founder Nick Fontova mentally earmarked the company for future collaboration. The very next day, Brown walked into the Hermosa Beach taco shop. The two quickly hit it off, both passionate about innovation and health, and entered into a conversation giving rise to a exceptionally vegan-friendly taco menu.

Project Taco has always offered the beach-friendly Heromsa Hummus ($4); a tortilla  slathered with hummus, with cool slivers of lightly pickled cucumbers, cherry peppers, diced tomato, corn and guacamole. But the Beyond Meat partnership gave birth to my new favorite taco: Miracle Meatless ($4)! An ample mound of ground “beef” heaped on a base of hummus and topped with cabbage, tomatoes, onions and a vegenaise based cilantro lime crema.

In addition to these two vegan-as-is options, Beyond Meat Chicken or Beef can be substituted into any taco AT NO EXTRA CHANGE! After reading that, my eyes immediately jumped to the Blueberry BBQ ($4). It had never occurred to me to mingle blueberries and BBQ spices, but these two belong together. I asked to substitute veggie beef for the pork, but then worried that the apple-kale coleslaw crowning this taco would be dairy based. Fontova gleefully informed me the slaw is made with vinegar. Score! The next taco begging to be veganize is the Thai Peanut Chicken ($4). Beyond Meat chicken soaked in a rich and spicy Thai peanut sauce is topped with carrots, cabbage, cucumber,  cilantro and chili garlic sauce. Be sure to ask for no honey. Vividly hued salsas are available on the side with chips ($3 for one, $6 for three). The Guacamole is exceptional. It is made not with onion but with lime soaked jicama.  The boldest and brightest turned out to be my favorite, the  Habanero Pineapple salsa. The Edamame, splattered in a house-made teriyaki sauce, is also vegan-as-is ($2.5 small, $5 large). The support that Project Taco gives the vegan community is thorough and sincere. In addition to the no cost vegan taco upgrade, every Monday all veggie tacos are $3… including non-vegan ones modified with Beyond Meat! Even Project Taco’s CEO Andrew Listermann says the Miracle Meatless taco is his favorite snack. Vegans have scored big with Project Taco thanks to a partnership that was simply meant to be.

Project Taco
6325 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90048
323-424-7564
ProjectTaco.com

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