Category Archives: Restaurant Reviews

Restaurant Review: Mi Ranchito Grill

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Mi Ranchito Grill is Mexican Restaurant along with Buffet, they have three locations, but only provide the Vegan at their Salt Lake City Location: 3600 South State Street, Salt Lake City, Utah 84115
They only serve the 100% Vegan Mexican Buffet on Fridays from 5:00-10:00P and offer a Vegan Menu (not buffet) on Mondays to Fridays. The buffet doesn’t have the exact same items every week, so that keeps it fun.

What we’ve seen there. 

Homemade Tortillas, Chips, Chikn Enchiladas, Meatless Enchiladas, Cheeseless Enchiladas, Spanich Rice, Black Beans, Pinto Beans, Corn on Cob, Grilled Portobello Steaks, Vegan Tortas, No Fish Taco, Vegan Pupusas, Mulitas, Vegan Pozoles soup, Tortilla soup, Taquitos, custom build of Nachos, Burritos, or Tacos, Chile Rellenos,

Fruit and Salad Bar: melon, pineapple, oranges, honeydew, pasta salad, Vegan Ceviche, green salad (two Vegan Dressings from Follow Your Heart) Salsa, Guacamole, cilantro, red onions,

Desserts: Vegan Tes Leches Cake, Dessert Tamales: Strawberry or Pineapple, Rice Pudding with Soy Milk, Flan, Vegan “Nice” Cream Sandwich, Ice Cream, Layered Tres Leches Cake, and Ice Cream!

There is several Gluten Free and Soy Free options, just ask Victor Ivan Barragan Razo, Winner of PETA’s Sexiest Vegan 2015 and he will happy to show to you!! He got this vegan buffet up and going, his baby. 

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Restaurant Review: Simply Pure LV

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Restaurant Review: Simply Pure LV

Chef Stacey Dougan is the mastermind behind Simply Pure Las Vegas, located on the bottom level in the container park in downtown Las Vegas. Just a short walk from the Fremont Street Experience. There isn’t much space inside the restaurant, it reminded me (and my husband) of something between a food truck and a sit down restaurant. That was the case with the menu as well. They have additional seating outside as well that is shaded.

The wall when you walk in the door

 

outside of the restaurant, you can see me sitting on a chair in the reflection outside

This was the first time I’ve been to Simply Pure, but full disclosure, we hired Chef Stacey to cater our wedding a year ago, after we met with her and had her cook us up some sample food items that we ended up loving and felt like they were in line for what we wanted for our wedding food. Feel free to check out my post on all the wedding food and how we did the wedding celebration to be remembered: Vegan Vegas Wedding!  Some of the things we had on our wedding menu that were similar to what was on the Simply Pure menu. When we visited, we made sure she was there, then we chatted with her for a little bit.

I believe Simply Pure started mostly as a Raw Restaurant, but has added more cooked things in.  Here are pictures of the menu. I’ve found that the website and the actual menu on site are different.


Someone had ordered a juice ahead of me, immediately after he tasted it was saying how great it was asking if anything else was added because it seemed so good. That’s always a great thing.

I guess when Bill Clinton went there a couple months back, after talking to Stacey I learned that he ordered the enchiladas, but didn’t get to eat them there because of all the people/press there for him, so he ended up getting the Nachos Grande. There was a repeat order later from him/Hilary so, obviously it was enjoyed.

I’m not really a proponent of soy, and the Nachos Grande uses TVP, which is all soy. On the menu it’s listed as “vegan protein *beef*” and the “vegan cheddar cheese” listed is also soy based. Cool thing is, she makes it herself, so it’s not the super processed kind of soy cheese, but just good to be aware. You can always get the cashew nacho cheese in it’s place. That’s what I got on my half order of nachos. I swapped out the TVP (textured vegetable protein… AKA soy) for the vegan chicken used in the chicken salad lettuce wraps. That is made from almonds and cashews, it’s a crumble as well, it doesn’t have any feel like traditional chicken, just FYI. To me, that was not a bad thing at all. So, it had nacho sauce, chicken crumble, pico and avocado.     I would get the nachos again. Getting the chicken crumble added to it would really depend on the day. As a kid I only wanted nacho cheese sauce on my nachos anyway, never any meat. I wish they had the option for beans in place of or with whenever the *beef* is used. I think that would be a nice uncomplicated addition to the menu.

half order of the nachos, subbed *beef* for ‘chicken salad mix”

I got the Thai Basil Springs Rolls. They come with rice vermicelli noodles, shredded cabbage, carrots and fresh herbs wrapped in rice paper. These are the fresh roll style, not the fried kind, if you were wondering. Came with a side of sweet chili sauce. Personally, they had too much noodles and not enough veggies in it to get a “LOVE” by me. The flavor was good though, just was like 75-80% noodles and I love my veggies.

Thai Spring Rolls

didn’t order ‘to go’ this is just how they came

Green Chili Enchiladas were on our wedding menu and my husband got it when we went to Simply Pure as well. All our guests were in love with them, as was he. I don’t care for anything that FEELS like meat in my mouth, so I can only handle like one enchilada eaten with other things as well. It was a discussion before the wedding if she should add more veggies to ours or leave it. He voted LEAVE IT I LOVE THIS! So, that is what happened.  When I say our guests loved them, I really mean it. People were asking us both about them saying how good they were and wondering if they were vegan or not.  Winner!

Green Chili Enchiladas that come with a small side salad

amber chakras black

HuHot Mongolian Grill

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If you haven’t ever been to an Mongolian BBQ, or Mongolian Grill spot, you should! This one is a perfect one to visit as a vegan, vegetarian, gluten free friends like me, paleo eaters, people watching their calories, and the list goes on. There’s a really great variety of veggie choices with things clearly labeled. Seemed to me like there were a good amount of meat choices as well, but I literally just walk right past that station and pay no attention to it, I get grossed out by it. There are a bunch of different sauces and they are all labeled stating if it contains soy, is gluten free or is vegan, as well as the calories. Very helpful for everyone I would say!!!

They have brown rice as an option as well. Yay.

One area of improvement for them would be their sauce location. I feel like they needed to come up with a bit cleaner way for the sauces. I saw some people spill a bit of the sauce in to a neighboring sauce, while scooping and pouring into their bowl.

They don’t use different spatulas for each person’s meal unless you specifically tell them. If you specify that you are vegan when you walk in, the hostess will inform the cooks and when you arrive to that point in the line they know who you are. Then they’ll SERIOUSLY clean that area of the grill as well as use new spatulas just for your meal, when they aren’t actively using them, they lay them down in an X around your food with a bowl. That made me happy.

Both times I’ve gone my meals were fabulous and I loved it!! The to go size is a good amount, and if you stay the unlimited trips is a nice thing. I have pictures of both my to go meal/container as well as my dine in food. When you dine in you get a cute little salad.

Certainly worth going to!

-Amber

The vegetable section, good size right?

     

closer shot for some of the veggies


Sauce choices

  

An example of how the sauces are labeled

 

my bowl before it went on the grill

I’m up next, they are going to clean off the grill for me

dine in meal, with brown rice and the side salad (no crutons)

 

my meal when I ordered to go, rice comes in a separate container

Restaurant Review: Siam Noodle Bar

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So the other day we had rainy weather here in Utah, which means SOUP TIME! My grandpa actually discovered this place. He recognized the Vegan icon, because of me 😊 (say Aww!) and was so excited to share it with me!

SUPER GOOD NEWS, I was thrilled to find out that Siam Noodle Bar has the same owner, Anny @annystakeonthai who owns Chabaar Beyond Thai and Tea Rose Diner! All 3 are Vegan and GF friendly! Scoooore!

At Siam Noodle Bar, they use Vegetable Broth! If you don’t want Tofu and they let you pick another vegetable to go with it! They also have amazing Kombucha on tap! Woohoo!

 

 

I did a Build Your Own Bowl and it already came with: Bean Sprouts, Celery, Cilantro, Garlic, Ginger, Green Onion, and Lime. You get your choice of broth, choice of noodles, choice of 3 veggies, and choice of protein. For the protein they have meats or tofu (I opted for an additional vegetable instead)

 

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Siam Noodle Bar:  Be warned, they are located at the IMC Hosptial, so don’t be confused if you are in the Hosptial and wondering if you are in right area. They are more of “fast food” style, where you can come in and grab orders to go, there is also small seating area

Tea Rose Diner: They are located not too far from IMC Hosptial where Siam Noodle Bar is at. It have very cute and small diner style that infuse with Thailand feeling.

Chabaar Beyond-Thai: Very casual, nice, and relaxed dining style. Great for big group! Plently of seating/table space.

****For your information, These all three dining’s menu is very slightly different, but have more of similiar dishes. ****

Siam Noodle Bar: 5171 Cottonwood St #160, Salt Lake City, UT 84107

Tea Rose Diner: 65 E 5th Ave, Murray, UT 84107

Chabaar Beyond-Thai: 87 7200 S, Midvale, UT 84047

#utahvegan #vegangf #vegansoupbowl #whatveganseat #vegansofig #veganfoodshare #vegansoup #annystakeonthai #siamnoodlebar #veganGFinSLC #tearosediner #chabaarbeyondthai

Restaurant Review: The Pie Pizzeria

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Exciting news, especially for me! The Pie has a gluten free menu in addition to their vegan menu! The pie was for a long time my FAVORITE place to eat, it was an addiction, I was there all the time when I lived in Utah (pre-vegan days). When I was in SLC recently I thought to myself “I wonder if they have got with the times and have GF pizza now?” So I looked it up online. Happy day, happy day! They are with the times and have GF. But is it GF and vegan? YEP!! No egg or dairy in that gluten free dough!!

the pie website

So, lots and lots of choices!!

vegan gf menu
gf menu

I ordered the GF Xtreme Veggie pizza. On the menu it has feta and mozzarella, but they ditch the feta and just use Daiya cheeze shreds. I asked them to add roasted garlic, but they wouldn’t. They said they take their gluten free items very serious, and the roasted garlic itself is GF but can easily be cross contaminated, so they won’t even allow you to put it on a GF pizza. INTERESTING!! They said it’s a slippery slope if they allow it on a GF pizza sometimes even though it might be contaminated, more confusing for the kitchen staff as well, and they don’t want anyone getting sick. Gotta respect that one!

gf xtreme veggie pizza

They really do take gluten free very serious! I was with my fiance and parents, they ordered traditional style pizzas, and we ordered our food for dine in. When their orders came up, they were just in a pan. When my orders came up, they were in a box, with a GF sticker sealed on it. WOW! That is a first time for me!

sealed box gf pizza

I also ordered a GF Cheeze Pull-A-Part. It comes with marinara dipping sauce, and normally ranch, but their ranch is not vegan, so they give you 2 marinara dips. The non-vegan cheese pull-a-part has romano cheese on it as well, they exclude that on the vegan version.

gf vegan cheeze pull-a-part

I wish they would have only used the Daiya mozzarella style shreds instead of the mozzarella and cheddar. They mixed them on both the pull-a-part and the pizza.
The crust was good, I was happy with it. It didn’t turn into a hard cracker burnt on the edges like many gluten free pizza crusts are. It wasn’t the best I’ve had, but I didn’t have any complaints. If you are up in the Salt Lake City area, you won’t be sorry for stopping by The Pie.

On their menu online and in the restaurant they have symbols showing vegan as well as gluten free. They also have a specific menu that shows the gluten free items as well as the vegan items. Talk about helpful! I was very pleased!! I think you will be too.

Their menu information is below.

Happy Eating!!

amber chakras black

 

 

 

 

 

 

build your own

vegan gf menu

pie options

The Pie Pizzeria info and locations

The Pie Underground / Salt Lake
1320 E. 200 S., Salt Lake City, Utah (dine-in only)
Phone: (801) 582-5700

The Pie Delivery / Salt Lake
275 S. 1300 E., Salt Lake City, Utah (take-out and delivery only)
Phone: (801) 582-5700

The Pie Midvale
7186 S. Union Park Ave, Midvale, Utah (dine-in, take-out, delivery)
Phone: (801) 233-1999

The Pie South Jordan
10627 S. Redwood Road, South Jordan, Utah (dine-in, take-out, delivery)
Phone: (801) 495-4095

The Pie Ogden
4300 Harrison Blvd., Ogden  Utah (dine-in, take-out, delivery)
Phone: (801) 627-1920

Restaurant Review: Seabirds Kitchen

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Restaurant Review: Seabirds Kitchen

I’ve been to Seabirds several different times, figured after my most recent time there, it’s time to write a review.

The menu isn’t extensive, but the choices are really good, so there doesn’t need to be multiple pages on the menu. For you gluten-free friends, they have items marked that are made WITH gluten. The kitchen isn’t dedicated gluten-free, so they don’t guarantee no cross contamination.

There are a few items that generally stay on the menu, but often they change seasonally. I personally love that. Eat what’s in season, it is bound to taste better.

One thing that seems to be an item that stays on the menu is the jackfruit tacos. They had them on their ever popular food truck and thus it is staying on the menu. If you haven’t had jackfruit, you should give these a try. Jackfruit is actually a fruit, so therefore it’s allergen friendly. When it’s pulled it mimics pulled pork. I’m not a fan of faux meats, especially since most of them are made out of soy and gluten (2 things I don’t consume). I am however a fan of jackfruit (and coconut bacon). Beer battered avo tacos are a great yummy choice too that are sure to please!

If you are a fan of brussel sprouts, the burnt brussels are some of the best I’ve tasted.

During the weekend they have brunch from open until 2p. They have mimosas and their version of a bloody mary. So good, so so good!

Plenty of fabulous vegan items to choose from at Seabirds Kitchen. Most definitely worth your time to go check it out!!

Here’s some info and pictures of their fabulous food:
ARANCINI (fried cheesy rice balls) Quite good, reminded me of mozzarella balls mixed with rice plated next to marinara sauce. Thumbs up in my book!

OH MY GOURD SALAD (roasted butternut squash, cranberries, local harvest apples, smoked almonds, baby heirloom kale, romaine hearts, cinnamon vinaigrette) I felt like the dressing was too oily for the salad.

my ever favorite THE HOLY SMOKES BOWL (brown rice, grilled bbq jackfruit, sautéed greens, zucchini, pickled red onion, coconut bacon, seabirds sauce and kentucky bbq sauce) They switch out the vegetables in this depending on what’s in season. I’ve had it with zucchini, cauliflower and broccolini. All good with it!

CAULIFLOWER STEAK ( w/pesto and brown rice risotto, garlic sauteed spinach and marinara sauce.) Loved it. Very unique. Hadn’t ever had a cauliflower steak before, certainly want to have one again.

seabirds food
holy smokes bowl
cauliflower steak

In this picture (from my friend Angie) we have:
Purple Taquitos (made with blue/purple corn tortillas and purple potatoes) crispy and yummy, not dry like many potato taquitos.
Porque Maria (like a Monte Cristo)
Grilled Cheese Crisps (crusted in potato chips, AMAZING!)
Morning Enchiladas
Biscuit Sandwich
infamous CHAFFLE (churro-waffle) I haven’t had that, being that it isn’t gluten free but all I hear is amazing things about it.
seabirds items

Restaurant Review: City Cakes & Cafe (Salt Lake City, UT)

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UPDATE: 2/1/2015

I visited City Cakes again on a recent trip to SLC, so I have an update. All of City Cakes is now vegan (I guess they weren’t for a while) and it looked like they had more gluten free items than ever! Exciting! I tried the GF cinnamon roll. I was so excited for it, but it was pretty dry and wasn’t too flavorful. Darn! I won’t be getting that one again. But I got another lemon coconut donut, those things are so good!! Tried another sugar cookie too and was pleased with it.

  • Cinnamon Roll (GF)
  • Double Chocolate Chip Cookie (GF) quite liked
  • Frosted Sugar Cookie (GF) liked

 

donuts and sugar cookiesGF cookies

 

cookie section

 

cupcakes and bars

cake section

 

3/30/2014

A big part of this girl’s limitless life is traveling! My family is basically all in Salt Lake City, so I visit there a few times a year. On my latest trip I discovered a new spot that seems to be taking the city by storm. It was mostly a bakery, but they also have a lunch type menu that is why it’s …”cakes & cafe”. It’s an all vegan joint and great thing is, they have a large selection of gluten free items.

Their muffins and donuts are being sold at local coffee shops around SLC as well as in Whole Foods Markets. Whole Foods is actually how I found out about City Cakes in the first place, I was wandering around & spotted a donut labeled: local, vegan, gluten free (and soy free!). SCORE!!! That was the first I’d seen one of those. Of course I (posted it on instagram) bought it and was so glad I did. That was a couple months before I wound up inside the store front for City Cakes.

The cashier, Sharon, was a doll and very friendly and helpful. I ended up getting some items that I loved and wouldn’t have ordered on my own (specifically the GF Apple Muffin, soooooo good). Each day they have slightly different items available, so the things pictured aren’t even the things that were there two days later when I went back in. I got some cupcakes for my mom’s birthday, she said they were amazing and she isn’t vegan (so she’s used to having nonvegan desserts).

Last thing I have to say is, I didn’t try anything from here that I didn’t like, or that I felt wasn’t up to par. Below I have listed all of the different things I’ve tasted of theirs and specified which ones I loved & quite liked. ENJOY!!

Here is what I tasted:

  • lemon coconut donut (GF)  LOVED
  • cinnamon sugar donut (GF)
  • chocolate creme filling donut (GF)  quite liked
  • chocolate creme filling donut (GF)  LOVED
  • orange glaze raspberry filling donut (GF)
  • spice cake cupcake (GF) quite liked
  • sugar cookie (GF)  quite liked
  • snickerdoodle (GF)
  • apple cinnamon muffin (GF)  LOVED
  • blueberry muffin (GF)  quite liked
  • pumpkin muffin (GF)

Family had:

  • chocolate cupcake w/marble swirl frosting  LOVED
  • spinach cheeze scone

Here is the info for City Cakes & Cafe
1000 South Main St.
Salt Lake City, UT 84101
Primary: 801-359-2239
E-mail: contact@citycakescafe.com
www.citycakescafe.com

 

amber chakras black

 

 

 

 

Restaurant Review - City Cakes & Cafe, donuts

my first exposure to City Cakes at whole foods

donut choices from City Cakes at Whole Foods Market

again at Whole Foods Market

Restaurant Review - City Cakes & Cafe

lemon coconut, chocolate with creme, cinnamon sugar

 

Restaurant Review - City Cakes & Cafe

the outside of City Cakes & Cafe

Restaurant Review - City Cakes & Cafe: cupcakes and bars section

the cupcakes and bars section

gluten free section

section on the right is all vegan and gluten free.

different day, cupcakes section

different day, cupcakes section

all of the donuts at city cakes are vegan and gluten free

all their donuts are gluten free

vegan gluten free cookies

vegan gluten free cookies

vegan gluten free chocolate covered donut with chocolate filling.

vegan gluten free chocolate covered donut with chocolate filling.

Restaurant Review: Crossroads Kitchen (Los Angeles, CA)

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I knew that Crossroads Kitchen was supposed to be a high end vegan restaurant, it is in Beverly Hills after all. We had our car valeted and as we turned the corner to get to the front door of the restaurant, we encountered some paparazzi ready to snap our pic, until they realized that we were no one special, then they put down their camera and went back to chatting. The lighting in the restaurant was very dim, I told the hostess a table for two. She asked if we had a reservation. No, I didn’t think we were going to need one. “We are fully committed for the evening,” she tells us, but then informs us that we can sit at the bar, full menu there. That was just fine by us.
We started off with cocktails, both of us were pleased with them, but not absolutely in love.
I ordered the Lentil Flat Bread (gluten free option) that came with 3 different dips: leek pâté, baba ghanosh and roasted root vegetable. Not sure which was better, I really enjoyed all 3 of them as well as the gluten free lentil flat bread.
Next up, the crab cakes. Delish! Loved the toppings together and the horseradish aioli was great (could have had a bit more horseradish for my taste) I just wish there would have been more of the crab cakes, they were so small! I almost ordered something else because I was still hungry. My fiance got the risotto del giorno, it was good, not great and again small.
I am not sure if I had too high of expectations for the place, or if it wasn’t really that great. Their website DOES say they specialize in small plates. That is the truth. Our bill was just shy of $100, 3 drinks total and both of us walked out of there still hungry. We were both looking at each other wondering if we should go find somewhere else to stop & get something to eat on the way home. I think I could deal with that if I felt like I was having some of the best tasting food I’ve had in a long time. It wasn’t that either.
So, basically my response would be, I wouldn’t really try to go back there again, nor would I suggest it to a friend. There are lots of vegan restaurants and vegan options through out Los Angeles and I would recommend them way before Crossroads. There wasn’t anything bad about it, unfortunately for me there just wasn’t anything great either to constitute the price.

 

8284 MELROSE AVENUE
LOS ANGELES, CA 90046
http://www.crossroadskitchen.com

Much love!
amber chakras black

 

 

 

 
Restaurant Review - Crossroads Kitchen

 

Restaurant Review - Crossroads Kitchen

PARISIAN STANDARD gin or vodka / elderflower / sparkling rose / pear / lemon / agave / grapefruit twist

Restaurant Review - Crossroads Kitchen

Restaurant Review - Crossroads Kitchen

LENTIL FLATBREAD WITH 3 SEASONAL SPREADS — (GF optional) $6
leek pâté / baba ghanosh / roasted root vegetable

Crossroads Kitchen Vegan Restaurant Review

Crossroads Kitchen Vegan Restaurant Review: “CRAB CAKES”   / 12 hearts of palm / granny smith apples / heirloom beets / horseradish aioli -- (GF optional)

“CRAB CAKES” $12
hearts of palm / granny smith apples / heirloom beets / horseradish aioli — (GF optional)

Crossroads Kitchen Vegan Restaurant Review: RISOTTO DEL GIORNO

NEW YORK FLIP   buffalo trace bourbon / 10yr tawny port / coconut cream / “egg yolk” / nutmeg

NEW YORK FLIP buffalo trace bourbon / 10yr tawny port / coconut cream / “egg yolk” / nutmeg