Food for After the Fourth: VeggieGrill Gives Great Taste & Options with a Vegetarian Perspective
A new not quite “fast food” restaurant opened up near me and I was invited to the preview “soft” launch of this chain. VeggieGrill is a West Coast chain that’s predominantly in California but with a couple of locations in Oregon and a couple to come in Washington as well as an expanded presence in Northern California. It’s the new kid on the block that’s sort of like 5 Guys, Chipotle and some other chains but focusing on strictly vegetarian cuisine, done with style but in a semi-fast food manner. This quick bite veggie meal is in the neighborhood of an upscale burger resto but with a broader spectrum of presentations and with significantly healthier fare.
As I stated, I was invited to attend the soft opening and bring a guest to test out the different things on the menu. (That means we ate free but I did leave a tip) It was interesting because you have a full menu to choose from including side dishes, salads, soups & chili, full plate meals as well as a slew of sandwiches that feature both a beef substitute and a chicken substitute. The sandwiches include portabello mushrooms, soy substitute chicken and beef, as well as “crab” cakes.
We started off with an appetizer of UpTown Nachos: tortilla chips, chili, VG-cheese, corn salsa, avocado (read guacamole), soy cream and jalapenos.
My guest had the Santa Fe Crispy Chickin sandwich with a side of sweet potato fries. The fries where a disappointment because they were a little soggy– but they are in-line with what we have seen at other restaurants. Just disappointing because we keep looking for crispy sweet potato fries. The chikin sandwich had a spicy vegan mayo (yay!!) and it was a good sandwich.
I ordered the All American Stack which was like strips of steak with lettuce tomato, crispy onion rings and thousand island dressing. The Stack was awesome! Both were messy sandwiches — which is good in my book. They required about 3-4 napkins and for me that’s the sign of carefully assembled sandwiches that have attention to detail. My side was steamed kale with a bit of sauce and poppy seeds over it. It was not overly boiled. It was slightly crispy on the ends and not limp. It was pretty tasty. (And it really does look like this too!)
Some of the staff at the restaurant location we visited. (photo from their Facebook page). I recognize at least 3 of the faces in that photo!
The staff checked with us about 3 times to see if we needed refills on our drinks (non-alcoholic only. There is no beer or wine that we could see but information that I have found seems to indicate they have organic beer and wine available. Would have loved to have purchased that). We met the manager and he was very friendly and people were really seeming to like their food. We talked about what the meat substitutes were and the other substitutions– and how you cannot tell the different for the most part from the real deal.
We got a mini-dessert tray of a small chocolate parfait (not the best thing on the menu but I am not a fan of chocolate pudding type things unless it’s dark chocolate mousse), the carrot cake is outstanding – complete with “cream cheese” frosting plus two small bites of chocolate chip cookies which I really liked! Those were -yum- heavenly!
Here’s the menu link for you to download their PDF menu
as well as see what offerings they provide
Here’s a video that shows off a lot more of their food:
Thank you to the VeggieGrill people for inviting us. This is a place that makes vegetarian eating more than palatable but definitely TASTY. I will be returning there because 1) it tastes really good and 2) it’s very filling. Normally I don’t eat that much food but the Nachos were superb and I loved the Stack. I hear the Carne Asada is to die for and I want the Kale salad that they have pictured.
This chain is spreading rapidly and if you check their facebook page and their website you will find delivery available in select areas.
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