WIAW #14: Vegan Chef Challenge!!!

This week I thought I would do something a little different. Here in Sacramento, October is our own Vegan Month of Food, as it is the month of the second annual Sacramento Vegan Chef Challenge!!!

Organized by my dear mother, Bethany Davis, this year 22 local restaurants have created special vegan menus for the entire month of october, many of which had no vegan options before!!  I am absolutely loving this year’s menus, with many eats that I haven’t had since going vegan, and are just simply amazing! I have mentioned this event before, but have still yet to post about the restaurants Ive been to! Halfway through the month, I have been to about 10 and photographed most of them. I still have some more to visit so expect another few of these posts!!

The first restaurant I visited was Tower Bridge Bistro

For the appetizer, I ordered Mushroom Spring Rolls, which were delicious! I heard that the lentil soup was to die for too!

For the entree, I ordered a soba noodle stir fry with an amazing, creamy miso sauce. I also snuck a few bites of the sweet potato black bean cakes with roma tomato compote. I was expecting them to be mexican, but actually they tasted, well, like fall (because thats a flavor). Sweet and savory, sweet potato, hints of spice. And oh, that compote! Ah-Mazing if I do say so myself!!

Dessert, what better way to kick off my month of dining with a honey crisp apple cake with a salted caramel sauce that I swear tasted like butterscotch and I kind of want to bathe in. (Um, not awkward at all). But seriously, I want this recipe and I want this sauce on everything I eat. Ever again.  Basically I was in foodie heaven!

Next up were a few sandwich shops, Juno’s and Dad’s Sandwich shops were delicious, quick meals!

Junos offered an amazing marinated mushroom and veggie sandwich on yeastless, house made, fluffy amazing perfect bread! I’m not generally one for a lot of bread (I prefer the fillings!), but warm, toasty, crunchy on the outside and heavenly soft on the inside? I’ll take that! They put a lot of work into their bread too, its yeast less, so baking it is a three day process. So. worth it. They also offered an arugula salad with delicious heirloom tomatoes and beets (gotta love local, central valley fresh produce!) and macrona almonds!

Dad’s had two sandwiches, sub style. These we ordered to go and split them up at home so my whole family could try both! On the right was their ‘meatloaf’ sub, with pickles, onions, lettuce, etc. Classic and delicious. On the left was an amazing BBQ tofu sub, with caramelized onions, daiya, and tofu so thinly sliced, chewy, and perfectly flavored I could hardly believe it!

Capitol Garage was next on our itinerary.

Capitol Garage started off with a light cucumber salad, perfect to start the meal!

The main entree was an amazing tofu mole dish. I’ve never had mole before, but this was incredible! I am determined to recreate the sauce! And the tofu was marinated perfectly!

For dessert, oh man was this good, a pumpkin cake. But not just any pumpkin cake, no this was like triple layer lotsa flavor cake! A sweet orange buttercream, followed by a thick, moist spiced pumpkin cake (So dense it was like a moist pumpkin bread-awesome!), and for the third layer the ginger glaze soaked into the pumpkin cake, turning it into a rich, moist gingerbread! I could have probably eaten an entire cake. For breakfast. I would have felt horrible but thats okay because the taste would make up for it!

Then I had the week to get myself back on track with healthy eating, before diving right back in to another weekend of delicious eating out!!

Friday night was The Porch, the sister restaurant to Capitol Garage

(photo courtesy of Leslie at Flora Foodie, because I forgot my camera that night!)

Uhm, hello fried comfort food! How long has it been? Oh yeah, a long time. You are definitely a once in a while food, but an amazing one!!

The porch was basically southern, cute, and reminded me of the bayou at Disneyland (I am such a child). And the Princess and the Frog. I kinda want to dress up in big hats and have a tea party there!
Oh right, the food!
The appetizer was described as a rice and avocado fritter, but basically it was a rice ball, fried and coated in sweet and sour sauce. It was delicious! Eveything I loved about sweet and sour chicken, minus the chicken (the rice instead). I knew it would be a great meal right then!

For the entree, potato cakes onto of green beans with a really good salsa of sorts. These were like fried mashed potato cakes, and they definitely reminded me of the mashed potatoes my grandma used to make. Absolutely delicious!

And for dessert (seriously I have not been disappointed by a single dessert at any restaurant!), there were two options, of which I shared to taste both. A vegan oreo, which tasted like hot chocolate re-incarnated as a cookie covered in chocolate sauce (yum) and even better- a banana waffle with a cinnamony- bourbon syrup and coconut ice cream. It was sooooo good!!

We went a little fancier on Saturday night, and went to an Italian restaurant called Michaelangelos

To start, we had a composed farrow salad. Simple and beautiful.

Dinner was Spaghetti with an array of veggies and a tasty sauce. I snuck a bite of the other offering, a mushroom risotto, and it was delicious! Creamy and very umami!

Dessert was my favorite part of the meal! A pumpkin square topped with fresh pears and brown sugar. This was like pumpkin pie times ten, with an amazing, I-could-eat-it-straight crust that was sweet and spicy and delicious! Oh my goodness I wanted another slice of this!! Plus some creamy, chocolate coconut sorbet to (made in house!) that was probably the creamiest, most decadent sorbet ever. Seriously, it was more like gelato. Maybe even real, italian gelato that everyone always raves about when they go to Italy itself. Im serious! Also my mom’s glass of wine, because it was really pretty:)

Last but most certainly not least (okay not really last either because Im only halfway through the restaurant list:) ) My family visited Evan’s Kitchen after church for Sunday Brunch. This restaurant went above and beyond the “appetizer, main dish, dessert” requirements, and created an entire menu with multiple options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! And they had never before had anything even remotely close to vegan, so this was incredible! Going back for their dinner before the months out!

We ended up ordering four things and splitting all of them so we could try everything! Good idea!!! Another meal of comfort food, but his time all breakfast!

A tofu scramble with all kinds of veggies, very delicious!
A mexican breakfast burrito, oh my holy burrito this did not taste vegan it was amazing!

A veggie sandwich off of their lunch menu, served with a cup of butternut squash soup that was actually savory, not sweet, but oh so good!

And my favorite? The French Toast. This definitely reminded me of my best friends house, sine her mom always made the best french toast for breakfast after sleepovers. This was topped with roasted tahini and maple syrup, and it was delicious!!

So there you have it! The first round of Vegan Chef Challenge restaurants! Not my usual, healthy home made eats but whats a month of indulging? This month, its perfection:)

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6 thoughts on “WIAW #14: Vegan Chef Challenge!!!

  1. Wow, now I REALLY want to go to Sacramento just to try all of that fantastic looking vegan food!!! The Vegan Chef Challenge is such an amazing idea; your mom must be a genius to organize something like that:) All those dishes sound so delicious and unique, and your pictures are awesome! Oh, and all those vegan desserts look so delectable, especially that pumpkin cake. I love pumpkin flavored desserts, so I would definitely love it:)

    • Thanks! This challenge is getting to be pretty big, after last years my mom created an organization Sacramento Vegan Challenge, and has done other events like 1000 cupcakes for charity, and a Vegan Marathon team, but this is the event that started it al! I am definitely showing her your comment, you are so sweet it will make her day!

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