Tag Archive for meet on main

Vegan Wings in Vancouver

I don’t really miss meat. And if you look around, meat substitutes have come a long, long way! The Beyond Burger took Canada by storm last year, and it’s been a really exciting development in the vegan/vegetarian space, though I, personally, am not a huge fan. They are so much like meat! Too much so for me. 

But there are a few things I sometimes still get cravings for that are hard to find good substitutes for. Bacon, for example (I pick up MorningStar whenever I’m south of the border), chicken and waffles (I had an okay vegan version last year in Toronto) and chicken wings. 

Vegan Wings in Vancouver

There’s something about a plateful of spicy wings with a creamy dressing and a beer… it’s feel good food, and meant to be shared with a friend. 

So, I set out to research who had the best vegan wings in Vancouver. 

The good news is, lots of restaurants are hopping on this particular bandwagon, even chains. 

I should just say that the vegan wing trade is divided into two camps: Cauliflower and Soy. Cauliflower makes a perfect substitute for chicken wings. It’s exactly the right size and shape, and is still hearty and strong enough to stand up to a good beer-battering and deep-fry. The other alternative (I’ve tried these and prefer the cauliflower) is a soy version, wrapped around a wooden stick. You can buy these frozen from Happy Veggie World, and they look much more “authentic” than the cauliflower version. 

Okay, let’s go! 

Vegan Wings in Vancouver

MeeT 

Vegan Wings Meet on Main

My number one pick for vegan wings in Vancouver is MeeT. They have two locations, Main St and Gastown, and this is a winning combination. They start with cauliflower, beer-batter it, deep fry it, and then serve it to you on a plate doused in thai chili sauce. I could eat this for days. 

What’s Up Hot Dog? 

Vegan Wings Whats Up Hotdog

This little hole-in-the-wall in East Van hosts a weekly vegan wing night on Mondays. Get there early, there’s a lineup and for good reason. A basket of vegan wings is just $5, and there are 10 varieties to choose from; from plain to sweet to set-your-mouth-on-fire to Asian-inspired. It’s the best deal in town, and it’s also the best variety, but i do notice that the quality of the wings can vary. 

3G Vegetarian & Panz Veggie

I have long loved Panz since it was located in the West End, but it’s now relocated to Frasier St. I was always so impressed by how yummy the food was and how meat-like they were able to get some of the textures. Both 3G and Panz serve the soy version of the vegan wings, so hit them up if you want to try this option. 

Earl’s

Vegan Wings Earls

Earl’s is a pretty big, mid-priced chain, and they are really making an effort to include more plant-based meals on their menu. To me, this makes sense. It’s a popular and easy destination for groups of friends, so by including vegan options, they make themselves more open. Their cauliflower wings were tasty, sauced very reminiscent of a traditional buffalo wing. 

Rolling Cashew

Vegan Wings Rolling Cashew

This food truck (you can mostly find it near the new Emily Carr/MEC campus just off Main St) is run by Chef Thibault, and everything on his truck is at least vegetarian, if not vegan. This is a sweeter vegan wing, cauliflower-based. They also host beer and wing nights on Wednesdays at the food truck commissary in the Industrial park just off Main St. 

The Black Lodge

This Twin-Peaks themed bar on Broadway just off Main is warm and charming. I’ve been for drinks and quite enjoyed it, but I haven’t yet been back for their seitan drumsticks. 

The Emerald

I’ve long been a fan of Rachel Zottenberg. This tattooed badass is behind a few of my fave eateries in the city, all of which have yummy vegan options. The Rumpus Room, The Narrow, and newly-opened Key Party are all great examples of places that make eating fun and communal. The Emerald has two cauliflower-based wing options on their happy hour menu: a spicy szechuan, cooled by an accompanying blue cheese dip, and an Asian-inspired version with a peanut sauce (sauces may not be vegan–be sure to ask). 

Bonus: The Stranger Wings Pizza from Virtuous Pie. Okay, okay, it’s not vegan wings per se… but it is, hands down, my favourite pie in the city. It’s basically vegan wings on a pie, with a blue cheese drizzle, on top of a supremely perfect pizza crust. If you haven’t tried this pizza yet, get the to a Virtious Pie! 

What have I missed? What’s your favourite place for vegan wings in the city? Comment below and let me know! 

 

Vancouver’s Best Veggie Burger Is…

A couple of weeks ago, Vancity Buzz published a list of Vancouver’s best veggie burgers.

So, I’m pretty serious about a good veggie burger–I even put my friend’s taste buds to work last summer, testing different veggie burger recipes to see if we could find the ultimate one.

Well, after seeing that post, we decided to take it on as a challenge. Who made the best veggie burger in the city?

There were three of us: Jenn, who is a vegan, Michelle, a vegetarian-loving carnivore, and me, who is best defined as a “flexitarian.”

We decided we’d all go and pick up a veggie burger from a different place in the city, and then reconvene at my place, to see which one was the best.

The contenders were: The Market Grill (at Granville Island), Meet on Main, and Moderne Burger. We’d all had the veggie burgers already at The Whip and also at The Naam (and agreed they were both pretty great).

The Market Grill: 

market grill

They have two options: one is more of a traditional burger. It’s served with swiss cheese (we swapped that out for guacamole in the interest of keeping it vegan), mushrooms, fried onions, mayo, lettuce and tomato, on a house-made veggie patty. The second is a spicier option, topped with salsa and cajun sour cream. We sampled the first version, which came with wedge fries.

The patty is a lighter colour than any of the other ones we tried. If you are trying to pull of the old switcheroo and trying to convince people they are eating meat, you won’t be able to do it with this burger. It was tasty, though.

Meet on Main: 

meet on main

Instead of a veggie patty, this burger comes with roasted portobello mushroom. Topped with mayo, feta, roasted onions and peppers, it tasted like the Mediterranean on a bun. The mushroom was juicy and meaty. This is, indeed, a great veggie burger, and the fries that came with it were our favourite of the three. It’s also worth mentioning that this was the only one that came with a salad as well, and we really enjoyed the acidity of the house-made dressing. The bun, however, was a grave disappointment. This one was definitely in the running for our favourite, but was knocked out of the running by the plain, boring, white bun.

Moderne Burger:

moderne burger

This burger has it all. While none of us are meat-eaters who want a burger that makes us think like we are eating meat, this one, we all agreed, was the most satisfying of the three. It’s done on a grill, which gives it that smoky, caramelized flavour. It looks like meat. The toppings (lettuce, tomato, onion, mayo, and we added mushrooms) are perfect, and a lot of care is taken to assemble the burger properly so that the bun doesn’t get soggy. The brioche bun adds an element of sweetness, and is tough enough to stand up to the hefty patty.

The conclusion: 

Moderne Burger is Vancouver’s best veggie burger (it was unanimous). From what I understand, their meat burgers are excellent, as well. It was clear to us that they are giant burger nerds. They really know what they are doing, and it shows. I feel like this burger is the kind of burger I could easily feed to my meat-eating friends, and, while they’d know it wasn’t meat, they’d still be okay with it, because it provides that drippy, messy, satisfying burger experience.

Where is your favourite veggie burger in Vancouver? Let us know in the comments below.