New Restaurant Alert

Vegan Mexican Restaurant Owner Not Helping Stereotype of Vegans

Gee, sounds like somebody needs a cheeseburger.

From time to time here at Chow Bella, we write something we know might make people angry. But once in a while, a post we thought was totally innocuous sets someone off. This is one of those times. When we announced that Tediberto's -- an indie, vegan Mexican restaurant -- was coming to Roosevelt Row, we had no intention of starting a shit show.


Here is the entire post we ran, announcing Tediberto's (alleged) impending arrival:

​"There's a lot of 'berto's' in Mexican restaurant names, and teddy bears are disarming," says Yin Macatabas on how she arrived at the name for her first eatery. "Plus, vegans don't eat animals."

Called Tediberto's, Macatabas' restaurant will focus on vegan Mexican food, something she says is difficult to find in the Valley.

"A lot of beans are made with lard, and sometimes chicken broth is used to make the rice," Macatabas explains. "It's difficult to find vegetarian food in downtown Phoenix, let alone vegan."

Macatabas, an ex-Californian who's been in the Valley for ten years, says that Mexican food is her favorite cuisine. Vegan tacos, burritos, and a spicy Mexican slaw are planned for the menu as well as a brunch. Prices will be between $10 and $30 dollars.

Tediberto's is located at 110 East Roosevelt Street (Roosevelt and First Street) in the former Fresh Gourmet space. Macatabas says she hopes to open soon.

Stay tuned for details.

Pretty run-of-the-mill, right? We didn't even make fun of Mexican food without real cheese (tempting, but we resisted).

Now check out Tediberto's Facebook post -- left just yesterday, even though our post was dated March 26 -- and you might think we really handed it to Macatabas:

in regards to that phoney-bologna new times articles and the idea of us being a high-end, upscale restaurant that's going to charge people $30 a dish: that interview was not published with permission. they stole that picture off from this facebook page and 95% of the quotes are not even from the owner's lips. the only thing she actually said was "teddy bears are disarming." the rest of that is either completely made up or completely taken out of context. most importantly- please know that the dishes will NOT be $10-30/plate. more like half of that. we have no idea where they pulled that number from. it is ridiculous and goes against our ethics. we are here to serve the community not rob them. ♥

Weird, huh?

The price point we mentioned in our post? It came from the "about" section on Tediberto's own Facebook page. (Someone else pointed that out on Tediberto's page even before we had a chance to.) And there's no mention in our post of the place being "upscale." The quotes? Right from the owner. (And they are hardly inflammatory!) The photo? Yeah, that's from Facebook, too, but that's fair game. And as for any sort of ambushing, our critic Laura Hahnefeld called the owner, told her who she was and where she worked -- then asked a few questions.

That's journalism.

Our post, by the way, got more than 500 Facebook shares and lots of positive comments. People in downtown Phoenix are apparently clamoring for vegan Mexican food. So what gives? Perhaps this restaurant owner is taking some cues from Tina's Ethiopian.

All we can figure around here, quite frankly, is that the adage about vegans being a bit, um, uptight, is holding true.

Or maybe that restaurant is never really going to happen and someone has a little egg soybean paste on her face.

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Amy Silverman is a two-time winner of the Arizona Press Club’s Journalist of the Year award. Her work has appeared on the radio show This American Life and in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Lenny Letter, and Brain, Child. She’s the co-curator of the live reading series Bar Flies, and a commentator for KJZZ, the NPR affiliate in Phoenix. Silverman is the author of the book My Heart Can’t Even Believe It: A Story of Science, Love, and Down Syndrome (Woodbine House 2016). Follow her on Instagram (@amysilverman), Twitter (@amysilvermanaz), and at