ROAD TRIP: Waiting for Vegan Food in Chandler, AZ

Thank you all for reading about my vegan adventures on my road trip to Oklahoma City.  Today’s post is the last post of this journey.  For our last meal, my mom and I stopped at 24 Carrots.  This all vegetarian cafe is located outside Phoenix in Chandler.  Not being from Arizona, I had no idea how out of the way this place was.  When we finally got there, we were greeted with a nice, fresh atmosphere.  We had about two people in front of us ordering, but it went quickly.  24 Carrots has a lot of juices and smoothies with a large selection of vegetarian food options (most can be made vegan).  Their brunch menu looked amazing and (luckily) they serve it all day.

However, this is where the post gets bad.  I mentioned before that two customers were in front of us at the ordering counter (not bad) and there were only a handful of other customers already there.  One wouldn’t think it would take long to get our food (especially at a place where you have to order at the counter).  It took 50 minutes to get our food!  They said it was because we ordered brunch and they have one grill, so when someone orders a lunch menu item, they have to clean the grill before working on a brunch menu item.  This is bullshit for two reasons.  First, if this is the protocol for brunch menu items, then they should just stop serving it at a certain time – eliminate the waiting time so they can clean their grill!  Second, EVERYONE was waiting for their food.  One person just told them to cancel her food order, because her friends had already gotten theirs and left and now she had to leave.  Plus, those 2 people that ordered before us only got their lunch menu order about 5 minutes before us.  Really?  I don’t think we would have driven completely out of the way to come here had we known we were going to have to wait that long.

Anyway, when we did get our food, we first tried the Arizona Bowl ($10.95): apple soyrizo hash, spinach, garden tofu scramble, cheese, avocado, jalapeno cilantro pesto, and aioli.  My mom loves soyrizo, so we decided to try this.  Sadly, there wasn’t much soyrizo in this – just tiny bits.  In fact, most of this dish was potatoes (something not even listed in the menu description).  It had an ok flavor, but I wouldn’t order this again.

24 Carrots Arizona Bowl

Arizona Bowl

They managed to redeem themselves a bit with the Fried Egg Sandwich ($11.95): fried “egg,” house bacon, cheese, tomato, house ketchup, garlic aioli, seasonal fruit.  This sandwich was very tasty, although a bit expensive when you look at what you are getting.  Would I wait 50 minutes for this?  No.  If I lived in the area and called my order in ahead of time, I would definitely get this again, though.

24 Carrots Fried Egg Sandwich

Fried Egg Sandwich

And last, we got the Carrot Cake Pancakes ($7.95), which I don’t see on their online menu anymore.  Maybe they are trying to change the quickness of their brunch items?  Or maybe people didn’t like them, because we thought they were a disappointment.  They tasted more like a cinnamon pancake –  we didn’t really taste any carrot.

24 Carrots Carrot Cake Pancakes

Carrot Cake Pancakes

If you have loads of time to kill and are in the Chandler area, check them out.  I wouldn’t say their food is terrible, but they definitely need to get their act together (they’ve been open for 4 years?!).

24 Carrots
6140 W Chandler Blvd Ste 2
Chandler, AZ – 85226
(480) 753-4411 <—- (use this to call in your order!!)

Sunday – Tuesday – 8am to 2pm
Wednesday – Saturday – 8am to 8pm

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WE NOW RETURN YOU TO YOUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED SO CAL PROGRAM. (thanks again for reading!)

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ROAD TRIP: Eating Vegan in Flagstaff, AZ

Flagstaff is a wonderful mountainy community with a pretty awesome downtown.  Walking around makes you feel like you’re in the Route 66 past.  And the higher altitudes mean that Flagstaff has cooler weather than the rest of the state.  There is a large university located close to downtown, so the whole area has a young feel to it.  Young students also means that there will be places that cater to vegans.

One such place is Pita Jungle.  This Mediterranean eatery has a whole bunch of vegan options.  Their website even lists out all the vegan offerings.    The first thing we got was the Carmelized Cauliflower with Tahini ($3.99).  My mom loved this dish – like really loved this dish.  I am not a huge cauliflower fan, but thought it was good.  I would have been on my mom’s level of enjoyment had it been broccoli.

Pita Jungle Caramelized Cauliflower

Caramelized Cauliflower

The one dish I really loved was the Hummus ($4.99 small/$6.29 large).  It was so creamy!  In my opinion, it is hard to find this creamy style of hummus.  Most places serve what I call “rustic” or “hippie” hummus – kind of gloppy versions of the Middle Eastern delight.  This came with warmed pita and was devoured in minutes.

Pita Jungle Hummus

Hummus

We might have thought we were lacking on our greens, so we got the Spinach Pasta Salad ($9.29).  This salad is huge!  We ended up taking most of this home, because we could barely eat it.  It was full of flavor — and spinach!  It could be served as a nice, refreshing meal on its own.

Pita Jungle Spinach Pasta Salad

Spinach Pasta Salad

We also split a Falafel Wrap ($5.99): crispy croquettes of chickpeas in a regular pita with cilantro and spices, mixed greens, tomatoes, onions, pickles and tahini.   I put on a little bit of the hummus for added amazingness.  This wrap was delicious.  The falafel was perfectly crispy.

Pita Jungle Falafel Wrap

Falafel Wrap

BONUS:  For all the Vegan So Cal Gals and Guys there is a Pita Jungle out here!  They have one in Newport Beach, Pasadena, and San Diego!  Go now!

The next morning, before we made the long trek back to Southern California, we stopped for breakfast. Macy’s European Coffeehouse is the epitome of eclectic coffeehouse.  It has that cozy yet chaotic atmosphere.  We were a little confused as to where to order, but you can do this in the back of the coffeehouse next to the bakery display case.  Order your drinks, foods, and baked goods here.  They will bring the food out to you.  Since we were still kind of full from the previous night’s feast at Pita Jungle, we were set on just splitting a waffle.  But then I saw this Pecan Sticky Bun ($3.50) labeled as vegan.  I had to get it!  It was moist, sticky, and not overly sweet.  Love on a plate.

Macy's Coffee House Pecan Sticky Bun

Pecan Sticky Bun

And we got what we came for: the Vegan Waffle with Fruit ($5.95).  These were perfectly crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.  Dare I say that these might have been the best vegan waffles I’ve ever had?!  Well, I just did.

Macy's Coffee House Waffle

Waffle with Fruit

Oh, and FYI – you do bus your own table at Macy’s – another thing my mom and I had a hard time figuring out (the bussing station was hidden).

Pita Jungle
320 S. Regent St
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
928-774-0086

10:30am – 10pm daily

Macy’s European Coffeehouse
14 S. Beaver St
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
928-774-2243

6am – 8pm daily

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COME BACK TOMORROW FOR THE FINAL POST ABOUT THIS ROAD TRIP.

ROAD TRIP: Vegan in Sedona

Continuing with posts about my recent road trip, I bring you Sedona, AZ.  My mom and I absolutely loved it here.  It was so beautiful – red rocks galore!  I definitely recommend a trip here, and if you do, take a tour on the Sedona Trolley.  It’s a great way to familiarize yourself with the sights.

Because Sedona is more of an artsy community, vegan food is easier to find here.  They have a natural foods market to get your vegan groceries and a full vegetarian restaurant.  Plus, many of the omnivorous restaurant offer vegan options.

My mom and I got to Sedona in the evening, so we hit up Simon’s Hot Dogs.  Sedona has some very strict regulations about signs and lighting, so finding this place was rather difficult.  It is inside the Oak Creek Brewing Company on this side street.  Once you find the place, you are in for a treat!  The head guy (I’m assuming Simon) is super nice and he’ll direct you to what can be made vegan.  They have one vegan dog that is substituted for the meat dog (it’s like a Field Roast sausage).

We got the Bratwurst Sauerkraut: vegan dog with spicy mustard and sauerkraut with your choice of chips or a pickle.  I love sauerkraut, so I loved this dog.  The vegan dog is very flavorful and combined with the mustard and sauerkraut – so good!

Simon's Hot Dogs Bratwurst Sauerkraut

Bratwurst Sauerkraut

We also split the Cowboy Dog.  This is like a chili cheese dog – only he uses vegan chili with tahini for the cheese.  And I thought I loved the sauerkraut dog!  This one was even better!!  We wanted to come back to this place, but just weren’t in town for long enough.

Simon's Hot Dogs Cowboy

Cowboy Dog

For lunch the next day, my mom and I went to the vegetarian restaurant ChocolaTree.  This is like your typical earthy, yoga-loving cafe.  You can eat inside or outside in this cozy courtyard complete with hammocks and gardens.  They also have a complete display case full of raw vegan chocolates (some contain honey).

Most of the menu items are vegan (some contain honey) and a lot of them are raw.  They also have an extensive beverage menu.  My mom felt like she needed a vitamin boost, so she tried the Beyond B ($4): probiotic base B vitamins drink.  It was described as having an herbal tea taste, but I thought it tasted more like what it is: vitamins.  My mom enjoyed it.

ChocolaTree Beyond B

Beyond B

I was very focused on trying the Buckwheat Waffle ($7) with vegan butter and cinnamon agave (beware: the optional add-on of coconut creme contains honey).  That cinnamon agave was so thick it barely came out of the dish – but it was delicious.  I loved this waffle.  It was a bit denser than a typical Belgian waffle, but so yummy!

ChocolaTree Waffle

Waffle

We also tried to get in some greens with the Kale Quinoa ($11): quinoa, kale, and Thai sauce topped with shredded carrots, shredded cabbage, red onion, and red bell pepper.  I really need to figure out how to make this on my own.  It was so good.  The kale was not bitter at all and the Thai sauce was delicious!  It’s a healthy salad without tasting healthy.

ChocolaTree Kale Quinoa

Kale Quinoa

Then the Almond Butter Sandwich ($6): warm banana bread with stone ground almond butter and honey (obviously I didn’t get the honey).  This wasn’t your typical sandwich – you definitely had to eat it with a fork – but the almond butter was the best I’ve ever had.  It had the perfect amount of creaminess.  Of course the banana bread that it was poured over was also very tasty.

ChocolaTree Almond Butter Sandwich

Almond Butter Sandwich

And we couldn’t leave without trying a few of the goodies in their huge selection of raw chocolates.  I think my favorite was the White Goji Berry (white raw chocolate with goji berry) – no bitterness at all.  My second favorite was a toss up between the White Jungle Peanut (white raw chocolate with jungle peanuts) and the Almond Butter Cup.  I just love that almond butter!  The Jungle Peanut Butter Cup had a bit too much raw dark chocolate for me and made it way too bitter.

ChocolaTree Assorted Raw Chocolates

Left to Right: White Goji Berry, Almond Peanut Butter Cup, White Jungle Peanut, Jungle Peanut Butter Cup

ChocolaTree
1595 West Hwy 89A
Sedona, AZ 86336
(928)282-2997

Daily from 9am-9pm
Simon’s Hot Dogs
2050 Yavapai Dr
Sedona, AZ 86336
(928) 496-0266

Mon, Tue & Thurs 4pm to 9pm
Fri & Sat noon to 9pm
Sun 12 noon to 8pm
Closed on Wednesdays

ROAD TRIP: Green Vegetarian in Phoenix

Recently, my sort-of-vegetarian mom and I went on a journey to Oklahoma City for a family wedding.  Of course this vegan food obsessed girl had to make a list of all the vegan friendly restaurants to try along the way.  Our first lunch stop was in Phoenix.

My mom and I have actually stopped here before about three and a half years ago on another road trip together.  We have been talking about the food we got there ever since – so, of course, we had to stop and get it again.  Green Vegetarian has two locations: Phoenix and Tempe.

Our first appetizer was their Crab Puffs ($4): mock crabmeat, vegan cream cheese and secret spices.  My mom really liked this one.  Even though I was the one that really wanted to get this dish, I was less than pleased.  I think the crabmeat had a flavor that I just wasn’t a fan of.

Green Crab Puffs

Crab Puffs

My mom wanted to order a salad and went with the Balsamic Picnic Salad ($6 small/$9 large): toasted organic pecans, apples, strawberries and figs over fresh greens tossed in a home made balsamic syrup.  Again, she liked this dish more than I. I am not a fan of balsamic vinegar and this salad was very strong with it.  All the fruits and nuts were very tasty – I only wished we had gotten it with a different dressing.

Green Balsamic Picnic Salad

Balsamic Picnic Salad

The Meatball Po-Boy ($8) was a sandwich my mom and I had gotten on our original visit.  We absolutely loved this sandwich!  We even tried to come back to get another one that first road trip, but arrived when they were closed.  We were so excited to get this dish on this trip, but, unfortunately, it didn’t live up to our expectations.  It was tasty – just not as tasty as 3 years ago.  Made with mock meatballs cooked in a tomato sauce and topped with melted mock mozzarella.   I think our expectations were just too high.

Green Mum's Meatball Po-Boy

Mum’s Meatball Po-Boy

Our last item was a Greenza Flatbread Pizza ($10): homemade pesto sauce (basil and pine nut) with vegan mozzarella cheese.  I thought this one was very simple and delicious.  The crust was super thin and crispy, the pesto was very flavorful, and the cheese was not dominating the pizza.

Green Greenza Flatbread Pizza

Greenza Flatbread Pizza

If you go to the location in Phoenix, you can go next door to their all vegan bakery (see my next post for these amazing treats!)

2022 N 7th St
Phoenix, AZ 85004
(602) 258-1870

or

2240 N. Scottsdale Road #8
Tempe, Arizona 85281
(480) 941-9003

Monday – Saturday  11 – 9
Sunday – Closed

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STAY TUNED FOR MORE ROAD TRIP POSTS OVER THE NEXT WEEK!