Monday, October 22, 2012

Eating in SF: Boogaloos and Herbivore (VEGAN MOFO: DAY 22)

Late in the morning on Saturday, my little sister took me to her favorite brunch place nearby in San Francisco, Boogaloos.
 There was a bit of a wait to get in, but finally, we were sitting in the cute little cafe.
Look at Ali's adorable happy face!
They had some different vegan options, but not much in the way of veggies, which I suppose is pretty standard for brunch places.  I got the Tofu Lover's Scramble, which came with either pesto, ranchero sauce, or peanut-ginger sauce.  I chose the ranchero, with a side of rye toast, and I added mushrooms and spinach into my scramble. 
Mmmm, ranchero sauce.  I prefer my tofu a bit more cooked than they made it, but it was still really good drowning in the spicy sauce and mixed up with the homefries.  My little sister got some meat and eggs and stuff.  Boogaloos is a place where serving the vegans is an afterthought, but at least they make an effort.  They have soy milk, but not soy creamer, which is OK by me but not preferred.  I had my toast dry, which, actually, I would have done even if they had Earth Balance (to cut down on added oils).  If more restaurants would make at least this level of effort, I'd be a lot happier when I'm forced to eat out.

Last night, Ali and I went to Herbivore because I really was craving some leafy greens and other veggies.  Since I'd arrived late on Friday night, I'd had no raw greens and very few veggies.  My sister suggested Herbivore for a salad, and we went late on Sunday, which meant that they were out of many of the menu items, although they still had my first choices.  It also meant dark pictures: it's dark in there!  She and I both ordered two things each.  First, I got the Raw Kale Salad.
It had peppers and carrots underneath and the avocado on top.  It wasn't something to write home about, but, you know, it's a raw kale salad.  I wasn't really expecting to whip out my handy-dandy unicorn stationary set and matching pen to write to Dad about it.  It was, however, exactly what I needed in my body, and tasted good, although not "OMG, WOW!" good.

I also got the Vegetable Sampler.  It came with three different dipping sauces and a bit of bread.  The veggies were charbroiled.
Now, THIS was jump-out-of-your-seat good!  There was such a wide assortment of vegetables, including awesome weird mushrooms, and they were all cooked to just the right consistency of being not-too-hard and not-too-soft.  The charbroiled taste and the spices in general were just right on.  While I was eating it, I almost felt like, "This would be perfect with some tofu," but then I reached the bottom of the plate where there were potatoes -- basically, french fries -- and they really hit the spot that I wanted tofu to hit, even though those two things are completely different.  All three dipping sauces were great.  My least favorite was the pesto and my favorite was, I think, the tahini.  The only "problem" with this dish was deciding how to use the dipping sauces.  It was difficult to actually dip veggies into them, and I didn't want to mix all three together, so I divided my veggies by three and poured one dip over each third.  NICE.
The veggies up close.

Ali got the Quinoa Salad.  It had beets and avocado on top, which is mostly what you can see here.
This was really good.  Beets and avocado, mmmmmm.  There were some leafy greens on the bottom.  I was proud of my little sister for eating anything with any vegetables!  She seriously eats mostly candy.  And, she also got this chili.
She liked the chili, but I thought it was a bit too sweet.  It also had this corn flatbread, which was sort of odd -- not exactly delicious, but it did seem like the chili needed some kind of bread with it.  I would make regular corn bread if I were them, or just work on the flatbreat recipe a bit.  Everyone is different when it comes to their chili preferences, though.  I like things spicy, my sister doesn't really.  I want chili to be not sweet, but my little sister loves stuff to be sweet.

Overall about Herbivore: I'd read mixed things about it.  In my opinion, the menu is a little bit "beginner's vegan."  It's got some classic vegan stand-bys: chili, hummus, tabbouleh, veggie burger, portobello burger, salads, mexi-style stuff.  That's really fine, it's vegan comfort food.  They also have fancier entrees that I may have ordered if they weren't out of most of them when I got there (although probably not since I was jonesing for veggies) like ravioli or phyllo dough pie.  I would only say that if you're going to have so many things that vegans everywhere make so often, you should really aim to kill with it.  Make sure you're making it something special.  I wish I had the chance while I'm here to try more things from them, but there is just too much in SF to go eat.

Actually, though, I do think that for lunch today I'll go back there and get a large cup of fresh green juice.  Celery, apple, spinach, parsley, mint, kale, ginger, and lime in one juice?  Yes, please.  And their desserts call out to me as well, I'm not going to lie. 


  1. My husband and I went to Herbivore for lunch when we were in San Francisco and we had a mixed experience kind of like yours. The dish I ordered was OK but not memorable. My husband really liked his dish a lot, and I was a little jealous. I think you just have to know which things are good before you order. Your veggies look really great.

  2. yeah, brunch doesn't tend to be heavy on the veggies...I should make a brunch this weekend that contradicts that! And it's nice when non-vegan restaurants at least have something for vegans, which isn't always easy to come across for breakfast/brunch food. Beet/avocado is one of my favorite combos, I totally would have devoured your sister's plate!


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