Native Foods

Jane's mom is here for a visit, so we took a quick trip down to Palm Desert (a resort town in the California desert) this weekend. The weather was excellent there. (Unfortunately, it was in the 90's here this weekend too, so we could have just stayed home!) But we enjoyed the usual tourist treats: swimming at the hotel pool, gambling at one of the Indian casinos, and we visited the Living Desert, a zoo and arboretum.

Jane and I haven't made up our minds how we feel about zoos. On one hand, most of the zoos we've frequented in the last decade or so have been involved in significant animal conservation, and the animal habitats are carefully designed. On the other hand, it's not the animals native habitat, and the aviaries are particularly troubling to us. But this is fodder for another post. So back to Palm Desert...

As vegans, we know that eating on the road can often be challenging. We've learned to 2008 03 - Native Foods TacosNative Foods close to the hotel we were staying at. We'd heard lots of great things about Native Foods, but aren't close to any of their locations. So we knew we would be stopping there on this trip.

We loved it! Our meals were fantastic. Jane and her mom shared the Baja Surf Tacos. They were quite tasty. The black beans were a little bland, but were much improved with the home-made hot sauce (warning: it's HOT).

2008 03 - Native Foods Portobello Sausage BurgerI ordered the Portobello Sausage Burger. The sausage was sliced seitan. It was one of the best vegan burgers I've ever had. The service was good, friendly and solicitous. The prices were right and the food was delicious. It's not fine dining, but the restaurant has a nice ambiance and outdoor eating.

We didn't have any dessert or additional sides. Jane later regretted that as she'd split a lunch with her mom and our dinner at the casino left a lot to be desired, especially from the vegan perspective!

The rest of our meals on this trip were unremarkable. Thankfully, the hotel room had a mini fridge so we were able to stock up on some vegan snacks. But we really could have used a Starbuck's Vegan Brownie, or some other vegan dessert!!!


  1. Mmm, carrot cake.
    Jane’s been talking about making one. She thinks it would be easy enough to veganize. The only think holding her back is the cream cheese frosting. We only buy the non-hydrogenated tofutti stuff, and right now, we can only find that at Whole Foods ($$$), although Jane is on a campaign to get Ralph’s, Vons, and Trader Joes to carry the stuff (she keeps bringing them the lids of the good stuff to contrast the ingredients — so far no luck, but we don’t get thru that much cream cheese anyway).
    So… hopefully, she’ll make some soon, at least before we get back to Native Foods!

  2. I don’t like anything that Tofutti puts out, but check out the brand spanking new vegan cream cheese from Follow Your Heart! I haven’t tried it yet but I’m willing to bet that it tastes better and is probably a lot healthier than the Tofutti.

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