Sunday was the perfect day for pumpkin picking: it was sunny but a little cooler than usual and it’s early in the season which means the pumpkin selection is at its best. So Kirby Von Scrumptious and I, along with a couple other jokers, trucked down to Orange County to Tanaka Farms. When we got to Irvine, however, we were famished, so before we could play in the hay bales and get lost in the corn maze, off we were to one of the best vegan joints in SoCal: Veggie Grill.
Veggie Grill’s concise menu is entirely vegan so there is no need to ask about which dishes contain what products, although I asked anyway because their dressings looked to0 thick and creamy to not be made with eggs. I have been dying to try the Baja Fiesta salad since drooling over a photo of it on another vegan blog (can’t remember where exactly). Delightful is the exact word I would use to describe this mix of romaine, papaya, avocado, quinoa, roasted corn salsa, cucumber, cilantro, and tortilla strips. The ginger-papaya vinaigrette was perfectly light and tangy.
We got an order of Sweetheart fries for the table. They were delish but it’s pretty difficult to make sweet potato fries that aren’t. My sweet-potato-fry-heart will always belong to Pure Luck where they are actually baked, not fried, and are thick and super chewy and come with the world’s best special sauce. But Veggie Grill’s own special sauce–a tangy, vegan ranch-style dressing–was also very tasty and were great on the fries. I washed everything down with a combo of iced teas (black with sweetened peach for me, please!).
Everyone else also really enjoyed their meals. My meat-eating friend Derek even questioned whether the “chicken” was real or not–and everyone knows an omnivore being tricked by fake meat happens about as often as Sarah Palin kisses a polar bear.
I might not drive all the way down to Orange County just for Veggie Grill, but it is so good that I just might consider driving to the west side to the El Segundo location–which says a lot because y’all know how much I don’t like going west of Vermont!
P.S. Look how cute we are in that picture at top. I <3 my fellow pumpkin-picking amigos!