Archive for Restaraunts

Vegan Chicken in Vancouver

When I look back over 2019 and the food trends of this past year, there are a couple that really stick out. Straws became persona non grata in Vancouver this year, and wow did Beyond Meat get popular! In the non-vegan world, it feels like Fried Chicken was the biggest food trend in VanCity this year. It all started with Juke a couple years back, but people went bonkers for the Down Low Chicken Shack and other fried chicken joints that seem to be popping up all over the city recently. 

In the veg world, there tends to be two different types of folks: one has zero interest in “fake meat” and the other is down with it, even if it’s just on an “every once in a while” basis. I mean, let’s face it, veggie or no, eating fried chicken (or fake fried chicken) every day isn’t good for you. 

But for vegetarians, it’s about having options. As a vegetarian, I have few choices at many convenience or fast food restaurants. My son loves to go to Jack in the Box whenever we’re in the States, and the veg choices there are almost nil, and the vegan choices are pretty much zero. 

Over the past year, many fast-food chains have gotten hip to the veg movement. It’s a win-win. The eatery gets more customers, and the customers are happy because they have more choices. 

A&W lead this charge this year by introducing the Beyond Burger (which they immediately sold out of, it was so popular), quickly followed by Tim Hortons and others. 

A&W is also at the front of the pack when it comes to vegan chicken, which I think is going to be the next big trend. 

I’m excited for it. I’m not the hugest fan of the Beyond Burger. I know it sounds weird, but it’s a little too much like meat for me. My thesis is that these “fake meat” products are actually more of an alternative for meat eaters than they are for vegetarians, but I’m all for it. In general, the less meat we eat the better. 

But vegan chicken! Yes please! Bring it. 

So, let’s talk about where you can get vegan chicken in Vancouver. 

KFC Vegetarian chicken

KFC. It’s probably been 10 years or so since I ate at Kentucky Fried Chicken, but when they rolled out a vegetarian chicken burger, I needed to check it out. The weird thing about this sandwich is that it’s basically a secret menu item of one. I can’t find it on the website, and when we went into the store, it wasn’t on the menu. I had to ask for it. Also, please note, it’s fried in the same frier as the chicken, so that may be enough to exclude some of you from trying it. Order it in a wrap, without mayo, and it’s vegan, or just order it regularly if you are vegetarian. 

A&W Plant based Chicken nuggets

A&W. As of the beginning of this month, A&W launched a plant-based chicken nugget. It comes with your choice of BBQ or Sweet & Sour sauces (pick BBQ, trust me). Again, I’m pretty sure they are fried in the same frier as the meat is, but it seems like that’s par for the course these days… 

BeetBox Vegan Chicken

BeetBox: Juke Fried Chicken opened up this little joint on Davie St, and it’s completely plant-based. The menu is exclusively comfort food; burgers, a Taco-Bell type gordita wrap, onion rings, fries… and yeah, they have salads, too. The salads look great, by the way, but I was there for the deep fried goodness. The Chick-Un Sandwich patty is made of seitan and soy, and comes with a miso-based dressing and lettuce. Also worthy to note this is the most expensive (though you are supporting a local biz, not a big chain) of the three options. 

Okay, so now I’m going to weigh in with my opinion. 

Of these three, (and it kind of shames me to say this) KFC is my fave. It’s the most authentic and chicken-like. It’s really quite shockingly delicious. I was frankly disappointed at the A&W nuggets. My feeling is, the Beyond Burger was such a big hit for them, they were rushing to get on the meatless train and roll out something different. But there’s nothing great about these nuggets. They remind me of the boring ones you can buy in the grocery store. They were pretty bland and boring, I don’t think I’d order them again. Beetbox was good, but the texture and colour of the burger reminded me more of a falafel than actual chicken. Also the dressing made the lettuce quite soggy, and I like the textural element of a crisp lettuce on my burger. 

Okay, over to you. Where have you had vegan chicken in Vancouver? Where am I missing and need to go? And have you tried any of the above vegan chicken? I’d love to hear your thoughts. 

Veg Dinner at Bauhaus

I’ve said it once, I’ll say it a million times; there has never been a better time to be a vegetarian than right now in Vancouver. 

This past year has brought a proliferation of vegan and vegetarian products to fast-food chains, and that has changed the choices that we have at our fingertips. It’s all pretty exciting. 

But while casual vegan and vegetarian foods abound, we still don’t have a ton of options yet at the higher-end restaurants. I recently emailed the Top Table group to ask if they had any vegan dishes on the menu in any of their restaurants and apparently they don’t. 

There are a few places where you can go if you want a higher-end celebration; The Acorn of course, Yew has a vegan menu (but they’re closing soon), and, one you likely did not know about; Bauhaus

Located in Gastown, I’ve had people tell me they thought it was a furniture store! But it’s actually a German-themed, higher-end restaurant owned by a big-time movie director. 

As you might expect a restaurant owned by a movie director to look, it’s frikkin’ gorgeous inside. It really does look like a movie set! It’s an old historic building with huge ceilings and tons of exposed brick, but the vibe is super cozy. 

The new executive chef here is Christian Kuehnel, and one thing you may not know about Germany is that they have a huge vegan and vegetarian population. 

So the new fall fix prix menu features options for veggies. Yay! 

Please note, I emailed the chef to try to find out which of these dishes were vegetarian, which were vegan, and which were vegetarian with vegan option, but I hand’t heard back at the time of publication. If you’re vegan, you may want to call in advance to double-check. 

Bauhaus Cocktails

There are two vegan cocktails on the menu. 

 

The Pear Tree: Pumpkin Spice Infused Bourbon, Pear & Apple bitters. Does that not sound like fall in a glass?? So cozy and warming. 

beets me cocktail bauhaus

And then there was the Beets Me. I thought this one would take a pretty photo, and I was right. Also, in all honesty, I’ll happily order the weirdest thing on the menu just because. And beet juice?? That’s weird! The cocktail is made with Gin, Cynar (one of my faves, bitter and a digestif), beet juice, Lemon, Rosemary & Celery bitters. It sounds weird, but it’s actually quite delicious. And you kind of feel healthy drinking it. 

Bauhaus Winter Menu:

Starters:

beet carpaccio bauhaus

Beetroot Carpaccio with blueberries, hazelnuts and mushroom. If there’s one thing I love, it’s when a chef takes a meat-based dish and makes it vegetarian. Here, thinly sliced and cured beets are so pretty on the plate, adorned with hazelnuts and a beautiful dressing. 

mushroom toast bauhaus

Wild Mushroom with bread dumpling & brussels sprouts: this was like a version of mushroom toast, which I am always a fan of. In this case, however, the “toast” is more like a savoury bread pudding, or even like a stuffing. It’s a Bavarian recipe called Semmelknödel.

Mains:

pumpkin risotto bauhaus

Pumpkin Risotto with Walnuts, Fig & Feta. So I’m a bit obsessed with pumpkin risotto. I just published a recipe for it quite recently. I loved the little textural element of the walnuts in this dish, and how pretty it was! 

Desserts: 

There are two options. 

desserts bauhaus

Chocolate Torte with mandarin orange: yes, yes, yes! Order this. Really. Seriously. Do not pass go. Just order it. 

Honey Cake with Lemon & Lavender: so pretty, right? But the Chocolate Torte was my fave. 

Bauhaus also has a pretty extensive and impressive wine list, and the fixe prix menu comes with an optional wine pairing. The Winter Menu ranges from 3 courses at $65 to 6 courses at $108, and then of course you can get a wine pairing on top of that if you like. The sommelier is very knowledgeable and the wine list is 11 pages long! 

If you’ve not been to Bauhaus, I encourage you to check it out. If you don’t want to go for dinner, they have a reasonably-priced happy hour that will make you feel very champagne on a beer budget! 

 

« Older Entries