Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Vegetarian delights with The Veg and Solfood Catering

Posted By on Tue, Sep 9, 2014 at 8:41 AM

click to enlarge VEGAN DELIGHT: Quesadilla from The Veg - DANA VICKERSON
  • Dana Vickerson
  • VEGAN DELIGHT: Quesadilla from The Veg
When you see items like nachos, quesadillas, and gumbo on a daily special menu, you probably don't jump to the conclusion that these items are vegan, but if you are standing in front of the River Market stall The Veg LLC, they are! The Veg started off selling vegan cookies but now has grown into a great spot to grab a plant-based meal in Downtown Little Rock.

I have had the pleasure of eating here several times, and I have been impressed by the quality of the food being served — this is not rabbit food\, but rather hearty, delicious dining that will even satisfy any meat eater. They serve burgers, sweet potato fries, and nachos among many other items on the ever changing daily menu. Who wouldn't want to try that?

On my first visit, I met up with a few local vegan friends, and we all came away happy and full. I ordered the chickpea "tuna" salad, because I'm a sucker for vegan mayo. The chickpeas were smashed and mixed with vegan mayo and spices, and the salad was served on a bed of spinach in a cute tortilla cup and topped with a slice of avocado. This veg girl was in heaven. They offer this chickpea concoction as a sandwich too, so I look forward to going back and giving that a try as well. My dining partners ordered the quesadilla and the burger, and both were delicious. You might be wondering how vegan cheese and vegan mayo taste, and if you've never had them, I can understand if it doesn't sound appealing. I'm here to tell you, though, that vegan cooking has come a long way in the 6 years since I gave up meat and cheese. So, give it a try, you just might be pleasantly surprised.

On my second visit to The Veg, I went downtown with a group of friends for brunch. This wasn't just any brunch, though, because Solfood Catering, a completely vegan catering company making amazing soul food in Central Arkansas, was serving up two special dishes out of The Veg's stall. The options were a savory fried rice and pot stickers or sweet pancakes and vegan sausage. It took me a while to decide, but I finally settled on the fried rice. I was not disappointed. Made to order, the rice came steaming hot and full of chopped veggies, flavorful oil, and marinade. The pot stickers were crispy and covered in a sweet plum sauce. I knew I had made a good choice, and I will return to try those pancakes.

Both The Veg LLC and Solfood Catering have a great presence on social media, so follow them to see what they are doing around Little Rock. If you have never had vegan food before, these are the venues to try it. They both offer a range of down home soul cooking to raw food delights. It's great to see the vegetarian/vegan menu items expanding in the city, and it makes me proud to live and dine in Central Arkansas.

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