We just got back from a trip to warm sunny Phoenix to visit the Mr.'s family (and by warm and sunny I mean in the 90's... in Feb... crazy). I was really surprised to discover that the Phoenix area has many vegetarian/vegan restaurants to choose from. We checked out Yelp and found that Green New American Vegetarian had nothing but fantastic reviews and it was also in an area of the city that we haven't spent much time in on our other trips to AZ. This new favorite spot really proved that you can't make judgements about restaurants by their location. Green is in a Tempe strip mall surrounded by fast food, car lots, and pawn shops. If you weren't looking for the name you would never place it as the down to earth eclectic vegan comfort food spot that it is. Once inside you feel like you have been transported to San Francisco, Seattle, or Portland. The atmosphere is spot on. All of the employees that we spoke with were incredibly friendly, adorable, and eager to suggest their favorite items on the menu.
We started with an order of Vegan Chili Fries because the gal who took our order insisted that their homemade chili was unlike any we had ever had. She was right, it was comfort food to the max. The super flavorful chili was not filled with beans like your typical vegan recipe but rather a mock ground beef and savory sauce. The chili was piled high on a large portion of thyme flavored french fries.
Because we both can't resist any dish with mushrooms as main ingredient we didn't hesitate when choosing the Texas "Moo-shroom" Po-Boy. This sandwich was filled with "pulled portabella", onions, and peppers that had been slow cooked in Green's Espresso BBQ sauce. This sandwich was amazing and also messy, just as a bbq po'boy should be. It wasn't too heavy but just like the chili it was definitely comfort food rather than light vegan fare which was just what we were looking for on this day. We chose the tahini coleslaw as our side dish. YUM!
The beverage containers behind me had freshly brewed green tea and a couple other fun organic soda fountain type drinks with creative names. The tea was great.
Desert was a very hard choice. On our way out we grabbed this homemade creme filled oatmeal cookie (very reminiscent of the Little Debbie packaged cookies) and we were not disappointed. Aside from all of the cookies at the counter there was an enormous chalk board menu of Green's signature homemade vegan milkshakes that they call Tsoynamis. Some of the flavors that I can remember were Rocky Road, Almond Joy, S'more, and PB&J (this one caught my eye with peanut butter, grahams, and strawberries). They had a huge assortment of fun ingredients to build your own creation as well. All of these are made with a base of Green's vegan sort serve. We didn't get one of these tasty looking treats because we planned on making another stop in before the end of our trip but unfortunately this never happened. I will definitley be stopping in on our future trips to AZ! There is so much left that I need to try.
An ode to the warmth that we left behind in Phoenix: