Restaurants in Arizona

Thanksgiving was unusual this year.  Usually we have a random mix of people, but this year it was just my parents, my brother, and me.   So we saved the feast for the weekend and ordered our meal from our favorite vegetarian spot in Phoenix… Pomegranate Cafe!  Everything was delicious, and it was nice not having to clean so many dishes.   “Jewel Salad”: Spinach, Apples, Pears, and Candied Pecans Raw LasagnaSweet Potato Turnover, Fennel Stuffing, Harvest Hash with Gravy, and a Cranberry ChutneyRaw Pumpkin Persimmon Cheesecake and Apple Cranberry Pie

Last week, a friend treated me to a meal at one of my favorite places!  She had seen a coupon for Sweet Tomatoes and knowing that I don’t eat meat, she thought this place would be right down my alley.  And she was right!

Sweet Tomatoes has a ridiculously large salad bar and a bunch of warm options (soups, pizza, pasta, and muffins).  As a vegan, I can usually have one of their soups (check out their options online here) and they always have baked sweet potatoes and russet potatoes.

The bill was $30 for two adults and four kids… so if you have kids, this place really is a steal. I’ve been through the drive through with this family and the bill generally adds up to $20-25 for the five of them.  So for $5-10 more you can get a much healthier, more filling meal.  And you may even be as surprised as I was at how much salad the kids eat!

my 5-year old photographer

If there is ever one place where I throw out all the rules of “oil-free” and “unrefined” and just worry about being vegan… it would be at Cornish Pasty. This place is amazing and always a treat.  And everyday they serve two vegan pasty options (just ask your server). Now I just need them to veganize their mushroom, spinach, and walnut soup.

What is a cornish pasty?  It’s basically just a british version of a hand-pie/calzone/empanada.  And I’ve been informed that the pronunciation is important, it’s like saying the word “past” with an “ee” sound at the end… If you pronounce it like the word “paste” you are talking about something else entirely.

When you order a pasty off the menu it has an egg wash… this vegan pasty is made without that!

This is the vegan vindaloo with potatoes and broccoli. If you love Indian food, you will want to eat this everyday! It’s served with a tahini sauce.

Cornish pasty has two locations, one in Tempe and one in Mesa, and I have found both to be great!

Phoenix has a vegetarian food truck!  I hear about these from LA blogs and get jealous, but now I don’t have to be anymore!

We went to “the uprooted kitchen” the last two Saturdays and have loved everything they’ve served… I just wish I remembered to take more pictures of the food!  Currently they only show up at the Gilbert Farmers’ Market on Saturdays from 7-11 AM, so go out and show your support so they can expand!

Their main breakfasts, all of which are very filling and nutritious, are $8 each.  They also serve baked goods for $3 and cookies for $2… and most, if not all, of the options are vegan.

>In the picture above, my salad is almost gone and my quesadillas are half finished… so you really do get a lot of food for $8.  I ordered this without the cheese, because I don’t like vegan cheese.

Here’s what we ordered:
breakfast cheese crisp (pictured above, half-eaten!) – whole wheat vegan tortilla filled with tempeh, butternut squash, baby kale, corn, and caramelized onions – served with a spring mix, sunflower shoot, and cantaloupe salad

chia summer oats – chilled baked oatmeal filled with dates, apples, and walnuts topped with almond milk and served with fresh organic fruit and a blackberry cashew scone.

My mom’s chilled baked oatmeal was amazing too!  It sort of made me think of muesli with this baked bar of oatmeal made cool and creamy from the almond milk.


I’m still learning to eat well at restaurants.  Especially vegetarian and vegan restaurants… it’s not like I’m going to accidentally order a steak, you know?  But fried falafels and the often oil-laden restaurant hummus can be just as unfriendly to the waistline.

My favorite question (suggested by both the healthy vegans and happy herbivore) for restaurant ordering is “Do you have a dish that can be easily prepared without oil?”

So I forgot to ask that one today.  This is the potato and cauliflower bowl with brown rice.  I had steamed veggies in my head, but they were roasted.  It wasn’t drenched in oil or anything, but it was a bit on the heavy side.

Tsom has a great cold buffet that I ate from last time that has a lot of light options, from greens to couscous salads to lentil stews.   I do recommend that!

My brother ordered the Indian curry biryani special and yam chips.   He can get away with this because tomorrow morning he will run 10 miles up some mountain peak… with his shoe laces tied together and blind-folded.  Or something like that!

I’d be willing to bet my brother could eat just one potato chip. 🙂