FitGirl: Why Carnivores Will Like The Veggie Grill Too
With seven locations just in Southern California, The Veggie Grill is expanding to serve an increasingly health conscious population. Meat is replaced with tempeh (soy beans, grains and rice) and wheat meat (wheat protein). Flavorful marinades, such as pesto, Cajun and chipotle, confuse your taste buds into thinking you’re consuming chicken or steak. Meals are cooked without butter, milk or any other animal products. Even the serve yourself condiments section offers olive oil and organic ketchup instead of mayonnaise. To my surprise, there is even a water fountain and lemonade pitchers in the place of a soda machine.
Founders of The Veggie Grill, T.K. Pillan and Kevin Boylan wanted to make good tasting, healthy vegan food readily available; from what I tried at their location in The Grove on Fairfax, they succeeded.
I had the Grillin’ Chicken and split the popular Sweet Potato Fries and Mac-n-cheese with my friend Paige who came to try vegan food as well. The fries were delicious. They simply tasted like well-made typical sweet potato fries with chipotle ranch on the side. The “chicken” sandwich had a fake chicken patty with avocado, pesto, lettuce, onions and tomatoes on a toasted wheat bun. The sandwich also tasted completely normal and delectable, with the pesto sauce and avocado being the strongest flavors.
The only questionable item on the menu was the Mac-n-cheese. The Veggie Grill makes their Mac-n-cheese with Quinoa pasta, unique Veggie Grill imitation cheese and breadcrumbs. Personally, I like particularly cheesy Mac-n-cheese and dish at The Veggie Grill tasted more like pasta and less like cheese. It was still enjoyable; I was just expecting more cheese.
The rest of the menu is full of normal sounding entrees such as the Sante Fe Crispy Chickin’ Sandwich (“chicken,” lettuce, tomato, red onion, avocado and southwestern spiced vegan mayo). They even offer desserts without any diary, cholesterol or refined sugar, such as Veggie Grill carrot cake and chocolate pudding, if you are feeling adventurous.
FitGirl is a weekly health and fitness column that comes out every Thursday. If you have any questions you want to see answered feel free to email me.