Monthly Archives: September 2012

Nourish Goes Totally Gluten-Free, Plus Adds Vegan Tacos!

Scottsdale’s Nourish has taken its commitment to “freaks at the table” (including vegans, raw, gluten-free, soy-free and paleo foodies) to the next level. A new menu, launched at the beginning of September, is entirely gluten- and soy-free, and offers some new and tasty options for vegans.

Sadly, their chickpea-based hummus that I raved about previously appears to be gone. However, the addition of raw nut tacos more than makes up for it.

Nourish vegan nut tacos

The nut “meat” was perfectly textured, and when combined with their Southwest sauce and pico de gallo, the flavor was delightfully spicy. You can also get veggie tacos instead of the nut meat.

I had the Squash Spanish Rice as a side, which the waiter warned me “wasn’t actually rice.”

Nourish vegan Spanish squash "rice"

Instead it was finely chopped raw squash, heavily seasoned with garlic, green onions and seasonings. Some of the other sides – which are mostly all vegan – are on my must-try-soon list, including the black bean hummus and veggie pasta.

Nourish has also added wraps to the menu. Basically anything on their main menu can now be served as a wrap, a gluten-free sandwich, or a salad. The brown rice tortilla I had with my tacos was really good, so I’ll be heading back for a wrap soon too.

However, before ordering dinner, I was already contemplating dessert because Nourish now has several vegan desserts! While the raw lemon bars and Dutch apple crumble were tempting, there was no way I could pass up a piece of vegan chocolate torte. And now that I’ve tried it, I doubt the other items will ever get a tasting.

Nourish vegan chocolate torte

The torte had a firm chocolate top and a rich, creamy and dense filling that wasn’t overly rich. It sat upon a thin chocolate crust that added just the right level of crunch. It was seriously hard to not say “just add another one of these to my check, to go.”

Instead, I had them add the Nourish cookbook to the bill.

Nourish cookbook

While not entirely vegan, it does include the recipe for the hummus that I miss, so now I can make it at home!

If you haven’t tried Nourish yet, you might want to go on “date night” – Wednesdays from 4:00 p.m. – close when you can get a starter, two entrees, dessert AND a bottle of wine for $40! What a great way to try the new menu with a friend. I don’t know that I could or should down half a bottle of wine on a work night though! You can also check out the Nourish blog for recipes and tips for people with food sensitivities: http://nourish123.com/blog/

Note: Photos courtesy of Nourish, because I didn’t bring my camera since I didn’t know I’d be so excited about the new menu that I’d have to write about the restaurant again!

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Great Beer, Plus Vegan Food Options: Angels Trumpet Ale House Is Divine

Angels Trumpet Ale House has only been open for a little over a week, but we’ve already been there twice. Our first visit was a quick pop-in to wash down a spicy dinner at neighboring Tediberto’s with a craft beer. However, the sight of vegan food options on the menu compelled us to go back for a full dining experience. I have a feeling we may become “regulars” at this place!

Since moving to town 15 years ago, I’ve trying to find a place that felt like “Phoenix” to me. Not Scottsdale, not Tempe — both of which have their own vibes — but Phoenix. For some reason, Angels Trumpet seems to tap into what makes Phoenix “Phoenix.” Look around the room and you’ll see the whole range of demographics and cultures that represent the melting pot that makes this town so unique.

Angels Trumpet bar with 31 beer taps

I guess what brings a wide variety of Phoenicians together is a love of great beer!

Angels Trumpet beer

I’m not a beer expert, but if I visit Angels Trumpet enough I could become one! Check their Facebook page for regular “on tap” updates. My fondest hope is that they are able to get Old Bisbee Brewing Company‘s Belgian Whitbier on tap.

While I wouldn’t call Angels Trumpet a “destination dining” choice for vegans, there are several menu items we herbivores can pick from. The specials for the day offered a vegan salad and a black bean hummus “Sammy” that was easily made vegan (the waitress checked with the kitchen to make sure for us).

Angels Trumpet vegan black bean hummus Sammy special

The flat bread was chewy and flavorful, and the black bean hummus and grilled veggies were as expected. Oddly enough, the herb-seasoned fries got better as they cooled off.

The Garden Pizza on the menu is straight-up vegan.

Angels Trumpet vegan garden pizza

Again, it’s not gourmet dining, but as vegan bar food, it hits the spot. I liked the sauce, and the crust was light and thin. The combo of veggies was odd (potatoes and string beans?) but worked just fine for me.

We asked the waitress to find out of the Veggieloaf listed on the menu is vegan if served without the cheese. She confirmed it with the chef, so that’s what we’ll try on our next visit. Other options look to be the salads (with no cheese) and the Nutter Sammy (with no marshmallow fluff). There may be other items that could be vegan-ized as well, but I had reached the limit of how many “can it be made vegan?” questions I wanted to ask above the roar of the crowd!

I have to give high credit to the wait staff. Although the place was packed on both visits, the service was fast and friendly. The parking seems to be their weakest link. We had to circle the area a few times to find a spot on Friday night. I’m sure FilmBar appreciates having company on the street though! 2nd St. and Roosevelt is now the place to be!

Also, I do have to say “I called it.” The menu features seasonal pop tarts for dessert. The pop tart IS the new cup cake! Unfortunately, they don’t look to be vegan… but maybe without the glaze? I’ll ask next visit!

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