Sorry once again for the massive delay in posting! I’m attempting to adhere to a new diet due to my ongoing gut issues (Dr. Fuhrman’s “Eat for Life” diet). This means I’m eating a lot less processed foods and fake meat, and am now consuming a large amount of nutrient-rich foods like kale and beets. That seriously changed (and limited) what I’m eating when I dine out in the Phoenix metro area. Lucky for me, a new vegetarian restaurant opened in Tempe recently that has a wide variety of nutrient-rich foods (and of course a few indulgences)!
Tsom is located in what I call the “awesome ethnic food corner” of Tempe – the southeast corner of Rural and University. It’s in the same strip mall as the Blue Nile Café, Delhi Palace, Oliveo Grill) and Pho Nhat, with Thai Rama across the parking lot.
Tsom is a very casual (as in, paper plates) counter-serve vegan and vegetarian restaurant that focuses on healthy food and quality ingredients. The menu offers a variety of Middle Eastern, Mexican and other regional foods, pastas and wraps. They clearly mark what is vegan vs. vegetarian, and several of their menu items are gluten-free as well. You have the option of selecting from their pay-by-weight salad bar, ordering from the menu, or both. They also offer daily specials and have a falafel toppings bar — which is a cool idea!
The first time I visited, I tried a bit of the kale salad, hummus and beets from the salad bar, and couldn’t resist trying a spicy falafel (no, not on my diet…). Everything was vibrant and delicious. The kale and beets made me feel like I wasn’t cheating; while the falafel was clearly fresh-made, and had hot peppers blended into it. I liked adding toppings from the falafel bar such as veggies and sauces to taste as well. It was also all very reasonably priced! I think the total bill was a little over $7.
On my second trip, I brought reinforcements so I could try more items (and a camera because I knew I had to write a post about this place). My husband selected items from the salad bar.
He liked the kale and beet salads the best too, but overall enjoyed how wholesome everything tasted.
I went for the daily special, which was an irresistible “tofu tomatillo stew.”
The stew was loaded with beans, tofu, tomatillos, corn, tomatoes and other veggies combined with brown rice. It was perfectly spiced – causing just a slight nose run. I’ve never had anything like it before – which indicates to me that the chef knows what he’s doing in terms of creating unique flavor combinations.
And to top it off – Tsom features desserts from our favorite local vegan baker – Treehouse Bakery! Even though we’re trying to avoid over-indulgent sweets, we had to split a chocolate peanut-butter cupcake.
It wasn’t quite as fresh as when we had a batch of cupcakes special-made for us, but it was still delicious!
I’ve barely scraped the surface of the menu options and can’t wait to go back – frequently! The two times I visited Tsom, it wasn’t very busy (only one or two other customers there). I hope they start packing them in soon. It’s the kind of place we need to keep in town!