January 25, 2010
Occasionally, all of us girls at the office sneak out for a lunch together, and last Friday, we decided it was time to shake it up a little bit. Sometimes we go for a posh girlie lunch at a fancy place, like Stephan Pyles or Fearing’s at the Ritz Carlton, and other times it’s a cheap delicious lunch at Cafe Brazil. This week, we went raw vegan! The “we” is me; a 15-year vegetarian/3-week vegan, and 3 open-minded carnivores!
I don’t want to say where we went since the restaurant was having a bad day: their chef quit, they were short-handed, and they were having a sewage issue. Probably not the day to give them a fair review!
All 4 of us got something different so we could share. Some dishes were more successful than others. Our favorite was the Coconut Kale Enchiladas. I never thought I’d say those words! Marinated kale was wrapped in coconut tortillas with nacho cheeze, pico de gallo, salsa verde, and cashew sour creme. It was spicy and really tasty, but not sweet at all as you might think it would be from the coconut. I usually find raw kale to be too tough and chewy, but this was perfect. I would order this again.
Our second choice was the Greek Pizza. Creamy tahini hummus was topped with a Greek salad of cucumbers, avocado, red onion, capers, fresh tomatoes, Greek olives, chopped parsley, and romaine. The dressing on the salad had a great flavor, and the hummus base was delicious. You had to dig a bit to get to the “pizza” part, but it was delicious digging!
In third place was Raw Tacos. Crisp corn tortillas are topped with chipotle flavored beans, guacamole, nacho cheeze, pico de gallo, and salsa verde. This is a pretty dish as the previous two are, and had fresh ingredients on top, but we found the “tortilla” and bean topping to have a slightly bitter flavor.
And our least favorite by a mile was the Raw Pad Thai. Kelp noodles are tossed in almond butter and chili sauce, and
garnished with crispy vegetables. This dish was practically inedible, sorry to say! It was bland, watery and had a pretty nasty texture. The kelp noodles were oddly crunchy, and were mixed with slightly slimy zucchini noodles. None of us could eat this.
In spite of the challenges of the day, our waitress did her best to take care of us, and it was a pretty fun eclectic experience. Maybe we’ll go back after they’ve had time to recover from last week!