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Tag: Tacoma vegetarian restaurants

Aug.
28th

Coming soon: Vegan restaurant Viva Tacoma will open in Proctor

These are enchiladas with seasoned walnut meat inside a tortilla made from cashews as prepared by executive chef Fransisco Hernandez at AmerRAWcan Bistro. File Photo 2012. Peter Haley/Staff photographer
These are enchiladas with seasoned walnut meat inside a tortilla made from cashews as prepared by executive chef Francisco “Paco” Hernandez at AmerRAWcan Bistro. These enchiladas will be on the menu of a new restaurant from Hernandez called Viva Tacoma. That restaurant will open soon in the Proctor neighborhood. File Photo 2012. Peter Haley/Staff photographer

The Proctor neighborhood soon will be gaining a vegan restaurant. Viva Tacoma plans to open at 2602 N. Proctor as soon as final inspections are completed. UPDATE 9/2/2014: The restaurant is now open.

The restaurant might be new, but the chef is someone South Sound vegan and raw diners will recognize. Francisco “Paco” Hernandez most recently was the chef of AmeRAWcan Bistro, a raw-vegan restaurant that operated in the St. Helens neighborhood from August 2011 until May 2014 when owner Darrin London closed the restaurant to focus on another business. Read more »

May
10th

Going veg: Tasty burgers, minus the meat

Social's veggie burger is made with a portobello mushrooms, black bean quinoa salad with jack cheese. It's served with regular or sweet potato fries. Janet Jensen/Staff photographer
Social’s veggie burger is made with a portobello mushroom, black bean quinoa salad and jack cheese. It’s served with regular or sweet potato fries. Janet Jensen/Staff photographer

A few decades ago, ordering a veggie burger garnered a skeptical look from a cashier and bitter disappointment from a grill cook. What inevitably would arrive was a disappointment squished into a bun: lettuce, tomatoes, onions and maybe pickles, if you were lucky.
Then along came commercially prepared veggie patties that skipped the meat and included ingredients such as grains, rice, cheese and vegetables. Some were good; some tasted like spackle and mushrooms.

It took a good decade of demand for better-tasting patties to arrive. With even fast-food restaurants embracing veggie patties, it made sense that vegetarian burgers eventually would land in the hands of chefs. Just as chefs have turned the humble burger into something of a fussy culinary spectacle, veggie burgers have gone gourmet in fine dining rooms across the country.

Chefs everywhere have been fiddling with the formula – hand-making patties featuring grains such as quinoa, barley, millet and farro – and now the trend appears to have landed here. On South Sound menus, diners now can find housemade grain- and vegetable-based patties and new tweaks in the world of portobello mushroom burgers.

If you’re a meat eater reading this, well, the burgers might not come close to squashing your hankering for a double bacon cheeseburger — in fact, they’ll probably disappoint you miserably. However, for vegetarians, these burgers are far more thoughtfully composed than I’ve ever seen on local menus.

Here are seven of the best I found. Read more »