Chow Bella

Two Carnivores Visit CenPho's Green New American Vegetarian

Photo by Dayvid LeMmon

Green New American Vegetarian, a hip vegan eatery in Tempe, recently opened a second location in Central Phoenix at 2022 N. 7th St. This spacious restaurant is inviting with a contemporary, urban-yet-natural feel. We were greeted enthusiastically by the owner, who told us all about the extensive menu.

Even as meat-lovers, we felt welcome, and it was still tough to make a decision about what to order.

Recently trying to acquire a taste for tofu, I ordered the Apricot Miso Bowl with Crispy Tofu and brown rice. Holy cow - err, fruits and vegetables! This bowl is packed with deliciousness: dried apricots, red and green apple slices, zucchini, broccoli, carrots, and onions. It's hard to miss meat in a stir fry with this many other offerings. And the tofu? The texture was great, not at all spongy, and the crispy exterior took on the flavor of the apricot miso sauce. This is an impressive dish, but it could stand to have a little less umami (a savory flavor often associated with soy sauce), which built slowly in this stir fry, reaching an intense point just a little too soon.

Find out what else we had after the jump.

Photo by Dayvid LeMmon

​Green has lots of mock meat options for vegetarians who miss it or for those who can't go a meal without. Their sandwiches include four varieties of po-boys, two veggie burgers, their no harm chicken parm, and their faux BBQ chicken sandwich, which was named best in the U.S. by PETA.

We got the Mexicali Burger, which includes Green's house-made burger patty of packed oats and barley, organic hummus, zesty nacho "cheese," vegan mayo, and spicy chipotle. It takes a second to get past the beet red color of the burger patty, the burger itself tastes great. Its spice level is safely medium, and the toppings work well together. However, for a vegetarian joint, we'd expect more fresh toppings, like avocado.

As most good burgers are, Green's is served with a side of fries. The Thyme Fries (french fries) were reminiscent of the acclaimed McDonald's variety - except better - thin, crispy, flavorful, and not too greasy.

It's pretty clear that Green New American Vegetarian is not an exclusive place for only vegans and vegetarians. We'll be back.

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Dominique Chatterjee