The Veggie Grill

VG2salad

All Hail Salad with Tempeh

A few months back this restaurant opened up near the office.  A few clients had asked me about it but I never had a chance to try it till today.  I asked our office staff to join me to get a flavor of their food and choices.  It was the perfect opportunity to have a girl’s lunch and catch up.

The Veggie Grill is a plant-based vegan restaurant.  The challenge I see in going in is getting enough protein to calm your appetite and balance your blood sugars.  Otherwise it sounded great.

The restaurant is an upscale order at the counter/bring the food to you kind of place.  It gives a good first impression since it is clean, with bright inviting colors and a very friendly staff.  The kitchen was open and looked clean and free from clutter.

There is definitely not a shortage of things to try with lots of interesting vegetables and numerous pairings of food choices.  I looked at the menu ahead of time to see what I would order.  Many of you know I do not approve of processed foods, even if they are vegan so the challenge was on.

The options of protein include tempeh which is fermented organic whole soy and the preferred recommendation to eat if you like soy. The other options were “Chillin’ Chicken’, Veggie-Steak and Veggie-Steak Burger.”  Here are the ingredients for protein choices off their web site.

Tempeh:
Ingredients: Organically grown soybeans, filtered water, organic apple cider vinegar, tempeh culture

Chillin Chicken:
Ingredients: Water, isolated soy protein, vital wheat gluten, natural flavors, modified vegetable gum, potato starch, expeller pressed canola oil, pea protein, carrot fiber, organic beet root fiber, organic evaporated cane juice, yeast extract, sea salt

Veggie-Steak:
Ingredients: Water, isolated soy protein, vital wheat gluten, natural flavors, pea protein, carrot fiber, organic beet root fiber, organic evaporated cane juice, yeast extract, sea salt

Veggie-Steak Burger:
Ingredients: Water, vital wheat gluten, isolated soy protein, natural flavors, modified vegetable gum, potato starch, expeller pressed canola oil, molasses, onion powder, garlic powder, spices, pea protein, carrot fiber, organic beet root fiber, organic evaporated cane juice, barley malt extract, yeast extract, sea salt

As you can see the only real whole foods choice for protein is the tempeh.  Isolated soy protein is processed so I don’t recommend it on a regular basis as a protein source.

I chose the All Hail Kale Salad with added tempeh.  It has kale and red cabbage, corn salsa and agave-roasted walnuts.  I had them put the walnuts on the side since I do not recommend agave for anyone and the ginger-papaya dressing on the side as well so I could get a true taste of the salad without the dressing.

Jennifer chose the Carne Asada wrap and a side of sweet potato fries, Trish had the Chop-Chop Chef and Sheila had the Chipotle BBQ sandwich, which were all made with one of the alternative protein sources.  They were all happy and satisfied with their food choices and none of them are vegetarian or vegan.  The meals all look and taste appealing.

vGsalad

Chop-Chop Salad

I would say my salad was refreshing, tasty and quite filling.  The tempeh is an acquired taste that was better with a little dip of the dressing.  At first glance the presentation looks like fish sticks on a bed of lettuce but don’t let this discourage you.  If I went back I would definitely have it again as the kale and red cabbage is a great filling phytochemical-nutrient filled meal.

I tasted small bites of the other entrees which were all tasty, spicy and fairly close to their meat/chicken counterparts.

Proportions of carb/protein/fat were to my satisfaction.  It is a few hours later and I don’t have a food hangover except I am tad bloated from the soy, which my body is not used to having on a regular basis.

If you want a clean eating color packed vegetable based meal on the run this is a great choice.  I would recommend tempeh for your protein choice which is available on many of the items.  With your meal, drink, tip and tax it will set you back approximately $12 which seems a bit high but then again you are getting high quality veggies which are pricier than processed fast food.

My rating system is below and these are the numbers.

  1. Clean Food –    3.5
  2. Clean Space – 4.5
  3. Friendly Staff – 4.5
  4. Balanced proportions of protein/carb/fat – 3.5
  5. No Food Hangover – 4

The Veggie Grill got a 4/5.