27 May 2011

Green New American Vegetarian Restaurant a hidden jewel in the Arizona desert

Last week I went on a short vacation to visit my uncle in Scottsdale, Ariz. This was my first time there and I had no clue where to find vegan food or if there were any specific vegan restaurants in the area. I ended up doing a lot of online research to see where some of the local vegans frequent and managed to find a few interesting places to try out. I give the incredibly sweet Tracy, who is an Arizona local and owner of the Strawberry Hedgehog, complete credit for referring me to Green New American Vegetarian which turned out to be my favorite place to eat on my trip.

The restaurant was created by owner/founder Chef Damon Brasch on March 1, 2006. Brasch wanted to create a vegan restaurant that people could come together and enjoy food from different cultures and cooking styles using high quality ingredients. For example their sweets are made with unrefined, unbleached organic ingredients, the veggie burger is made by hand, cooked to order and served on a locally baked eggless bun.

Green New American Vegetarian may not look like much on the outside but once you take a step inside you’ll soon come to realize it really is a hidden jewel in the desert.

The restaurant is completely eco-friendly from the utensils it gives customers when ordering takeout, to a mural they created on the wall using all recyclable items such as the doors from old cars, plastic bags, wood, metal and insulation but what impressed me most was the simpler things like the relaxed vibe of the customers and staff who are incredibly friendly.

When I walked up to the counter to place my order I found it difficult to choose something to try because the menu was very diverse filled with many goodies that any vegan or meat eater would enjoy. I ended up asking the girl at the counter what she recommended and she suggested I try one of their best sellers ‘The Secret bbq Chicken Sandwich’ which was filled with their mock chicken, caramelized onions and peppers with an espresso bbq sauce with vegan mayo.  Hearing the word mock chicken to be perfectly honest scared me a little because I have major texture issues when it comes to mock meat and usually shy away from it. However she did such a good job describing the other aspects of the sandwich in the end it sounded so good I figured it couldn’t hurt to try it and the worst that could happen is I end up eating the fries that came on the side.

When I received the sandwich and took my first bite I couldn’t believe how good it tasted. All the flavors of the sandwich worked very well together. I was very happy with the restaurant and the quality of food surpassed my expectations.

If you live in Arizona or just visiting and you haven’t tried the food at Green New American Vegetarian yet, I highly recommend giving it a try.

Jodi Truglio | email
Jodi is a strict vegan and animal rights advocate that grew up in up-state New York. She holds a degree in Journalism and Media Studies. In her spare time Jodi enjoys doing yoga and pilates.

Photo credit:Green New American Vegetarian