IMG_5332

I am on Day 30 of trying to complete 30 Days of Vegetarian eating. This was lunch. Meaning I only technically have one meal – dinner – and possibly an evening snack to go before I can successfully say I did 30 days with zero meat. So to not bury the lead, that is why I’m eating vegan bacon this lovely Thursday afternoon.

Vegan bacon is an odd thing. It looks like a thick dark brown popsicle stick that is slightly chewy and flavored with liquid smoke and a lot of salt. You know just like real bacon. No seriously, it’s bacon-ish at best. While bacon-ish is the best I can say about the vegan bacon itself, I am happy to share that the B.L.T.A. (Tempeh Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato, Avocado) I ate it in was pretty good.

You’re probably scratching your head wondering how can a chewy, smoke, salt popsicle shaped substance taste good in anything? It’s a fair thing to wonder, but I swear it really does work in this vegan version of a B.L.T.A. sandwich.

The combination of the fresh ingredients and vegan mayonnaise with the grilled sourdough bread makes it a solid sandwich and one I’d definitely order again, even if I wasn’t doing a no meat personal challenge. Does that mean this sandwich is better than the real thing – a B.L.T.A. with real “B”?  Possibly. I’ve had some poorly executed real B.L.T.A. sandwiches that I’d pass for the vegan alternative. I still prefer real bacon and yes I did miss it in the rest of this perfectly executed sandwich. And that’s okay. I survived vegan bacon and it wasn’t that bad when the rest is right.

IMG_5336

The sandwich comes with a couple choices for sides including mixed green salad, coleslaw or potato salad. I went with the potato salad.  I prefered this vegan version over the typical potato salad with egg whites which is something I pick around, as I’m not much of a fan of eggs. It was a nice compliment to the sandwich as I’m sure the salad or coleslaw would be as well.

Overall, I enjoyed this quick lunch.  The sandwich was reasonably priced at $12 including the side.

I look forward to coming back and trying some more from the menu. The Burrito Fore and some of the vegan tacos sound delicious.

Learn more about Flore Vegan on their website: http://florevegan.com/

Address: 3818 W. Sunset Blvd. Silverlake, CA 90026

Phone: (323) 953-0611

Tagged with:
 

The Sorry State of the “Kids Menu”

On November 28, 2011, in Family, Food, by Chris Baccus
2

We spent the Thanksgiving holiday in San Antonio. It’s a great city to visit if you have children. Thanksgiving Day we ventured to The Alamo in the morning and later went to Sea World, since they opened late that day at noon.  The next day we walked along the city’s River Walk and later did a movie – Hugo, which we all highly recommend.

One of the challenges of traveling with kids is food.  Our boys don’t eat hamburgers, hotdogs, chicken tenders or macaroni and cheese. This pretty much eliminates 95% of all kids menu options. We are often left with grilled cheese, cheese pizza, or spaghetti. I’ll admit the issue here falls on us as parents since we don’t really push a lot of meat in the boys’ diets.  We also tend to focus more on fruits and vegetables at home, something that is nearly non-existent on most kid menus.  Often the only side is french fries.  Granted the boys love this, but we are none too thrilled.

We had to get particularly inventive on the River Walk as we decided to eat at a Texas bistro restaurant that was recommend to us. The kids menu had three options: chicken tenders, coconut shrimp, and a fish fillet. The good news is they offered grilled vegetables with one of the choices, but our boys wouldn’t do any of the three choices.  So my wife suggested a hamburger, minus everything but the cheese.

The typical waiter response ensued.  Eyes rolling and the person telling us “we’ll have to charge you for a normal hamburger meal.” I’m sure the waiter expected some other response, but honestly this was not about cost; it was about finding something our kids would eat. So we ordered the burger-less burger.

I’m not insulted by being charged for a burger, even if it was just cheese and bread; rather, it’s the attitude so many have with parents like us not satisfied with the limited options restaurants have for children.  And please do not read this as a complaint against the waiter.  It was a pretty typical response by several restaurants we’ve been to.

Funny, but the best option we have found for the kids is California Pizza Kitchen who at least offers a few more options and even has a bowl of sliced grapes and pineapples as a side option.

What’s your experience as a parent with restaurant kids menus?  Are there some places you recommend that give more options and offer decent sides, beyond the typical french fries? Or do you bring your own veggies or additions to supplement poor kids meals?