We have two sets of vegan friends.
Well neither are completely vegan -- one couple will eat dairy if they're eating out, but is vegan at home.
The other is vegan 80% of the time, but with a gourmet-style chef for a dad, their cheat items tend to be duck confit and lobster. Quite the way to "cheat" if you ask me.
But whether you're vegan, vegetarian, flexitarian or a BBQ-loving carnivore, It's amazing to see what delicious options are available at vegan restaurants.
I had the chance to try Native Foods in Point Loma (in San Diego) the other week with a group of fellow San Diego bloggers. My friend Ashley, from Champs & Pearls, was able to join me.
The line was long when we arrived, but moving quickly. A couple in workout apparel got in queue behind us as we tried to figure out what to eat. The menu was big, and between burgers, salads and "chicken" fingers, we really didn't know where to start.
"You've got to try the nachos," the man said. "I never thought a vegan restaurant would become one of my favorites, but those nachos made me a believer."
With a pitch like that, how could we not? We decided to try all of the typically non-vegan items. Nachos, chicken fingers, a chicken sandwich, a burger, and cupcakes topped with three inches of frosting for dessert.
The man in line was right. The nachos were amazing. Piled high with black beans, salsa and guacamole, the taco seasoned tofu meat added the perfect amount of heartiness. But the real show stopper was the chipotle-flavored cheese. Native Foods' cheeses are made from cashews and different seasonings, and while I wouldn't say it tasted exactly like real cheese, it was just as good in its own way.
The tofu "chicken" fingers were equally delicious. I was amazed at how much the texture seemed like chicken.
Ashley had the chicken sandwich, while I ventured to try the portabello burger with sausage. Both were good and had us questioning exact how they did it!
Dessert was a fun treat. Carrot cake cupcakes with "cream cheese" frosting. You guys know how much I love cupcakes, and I'm sort of a frosting snob (I won't eat store bought), so I was skeptical that they could recreate the flavor of cream cheese and a good consistency without the real thing. But they did not disappoint.
The restaurant style is "fast casual." Order at the counter then servers will bring your meal to you inside or on the patio, which is decorated with cute planted herbs. There are locations throughout Southern California, Colorado, Chicago, DC and Portland, OR. If you're ever in the neighborhood and craving a vegan meal, a healthy alternative or just something tasty, Native Foods doesn't disappoint.
This post was sponsored by Native Foods, however the thoughts and opinions are completely my own. Thank you Native Foods for a delicious meal!