2240 N Scottsdale Rd # 8
Tempe, AZ 85281
This adorable 100% vegan cafe seemed to congregate hipsters from Arizona’s woodwork (different hipsters, ones that smile at you) and rightfully so! Their “new American vegetarian” menu was jam-packed with options ranging from soup/sandwich-y to Asian-infused bowls to frozen treats and sweets. The large space also contained a small area for vegan pantry staples like Ricemellow, agave nectar and Newman’s sandwich cookies: many items they used to make their vegan “flurries” called tSoynami’s. Beside the selection of food, the operation was tip-top with a whole table of complementary drinks (iced coffee, lemonade, limeade, etc), local art on the walls and stellar service. In the bathroom, vegan hand wash and recycled toilet paper scored them even more points in my book. The only down point was drinking from a Styra-foam cup.
Pictured is our meal of Artichoke Gratine: a warm, creamy artichoke dip with a mean punch of nutritional yeast with corn chips
Mum’s meatball po’boy with a side of tahini cold slaw
A rocky road tsoynami with vanilla soft serve, chocolate syrup, walnuts and scoops of Ricemellow.
7027 East 5th Avenue
Mandala Tearoom is an small, upper scale organic vegan restaurant in Scottsdale. Well worth the trip into yuppie-ville, the restaurant exceeded my expectations at every course and the prices were right. The menu contains a good selection of vegan dishes, both raw and hot, hot, hot, along with an inspiring list of teas and “elixirs”. Knocking my socks off til the the very last course, I wished I had more time to sample the menu. Next door to the restaurant was their “Apothecary boutique” and spa services. On another note, it was nice to see that they offer take-out but at a surcharged price to cover the cost of eco-containers.
Our appetizer of tea crumpets: Rosemary spelt foccacia lightly toasted with 3 different spreads: artichoke + garlic, white bean hummus + sautéed greens and roasted tomato + fennel. Scrumptious.
Ziti al forno: organic pasta tossed with a creamy tofu ricotta cheese + spinach filling — topped with house marinara sauce + nut parmesan cheese-served with toasted garlic foccacia breadRawviolis Marinara: thinly sliced organic beets filled with nut “rawcotta” cheese + smothered in a living raw tomato marinara sauce.
Last but certainly not least was the tiramisu cake: layers of subtly sweet vegan creme, coffee-soaked vanilla cake and chocolate. Just perfect. Clean and not overly sweet.
624 N. 4th Avenue
The Casbah Teahouse is a eco-friendly vegetarian restaurant and teahouse in Tucson. During the summer months, the Casbah staff moonlights as a traveling caravan, doing the folk, bluegrass and world music festival curcuit in the Pacific Northwest. The place is adorned beautifully with gypsy garb and statuettes and oozes goodness and positive energy. The restaurant has a good selection of Middle East-inspired veggie fare, smoothies, teas and vegan and wheat-free desserts. And Although I enjoyed my visit to their gorgeous hemp tent eating area a good deal, I didn’t particularly like the food.
The hummus, the cornerstone of the Middle Eastern meal, was straight up tahini paste with nil flavor. My seitan casbah gyro was okay. Nothing I couldn’t make at home in a flash.
The banana mango smoothy was all chalk and little fruit. Still refreshing during the massive heatwave.