As a vegan, I find that home-cooked comfort food isn't an easy find -- at least outside of my own (amateur) kitchen. So it's a rare treat to discover an eatery that offers burgers, nachos, and chocolate mousse, all plant-based and cruelty-free.
"I'm the one who cooks everything," says owner and chef Monica Alverca. "I'm always doing research. I try to use a lot of the ingredients I used to use back in Portugal, where I'm from, and adapt the recipes veganwise."
"Every week, the menu is different," she explains, though she adds that the black bean burgers and chili are consistent offerings.
The day I visited, there were vegan hot dogs and beer brats with optional toppings like sauerkraut, relish, chili, and "cheese"; meatless jambalaya with basmati rice and salad; sweet potato and lemongrass soup; Asian spring rolls; peanut butter pudding; and a whole host of other goodies.
The beer brat was hearty, satisfying, and impossibly meaty. Piled high with my choices of sauerkraut, sweet relish, ketchup, and mustard, it was worthy of a NYC street vendor.
In addition to home-cooked food, they have an onsite minimarket with a variety of goodies. There's coconut milk, nut-based cheeses, and rice noodles, among other vegan items. There are also tables and chairs, so customers can sit and eat -- no need to walk and grub.
The Hollywood Vegan Inner Circle is open at the Yellow Green Farmers Market, Booth 21 and 22, on Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Follow Hannah on Twitter @hannahgetshappy.
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