Thursday, September 11, 2014

Native Foods Claremont Mesa San Diego Preview

We were lucky enough to be invited to the pre-opening of Native Foods Cafe in the Claremont Mesa area of San Diego, yesterday. I brought my parents and my 2 year old along for a deliciously amazing feast of some old favorites and brand new menu items and we enjoyed every bite!

For those of you not familiar with Native Foods, it is a small chain of order at the counter vegan food that is found in Southern California, Oregon, Chicago, Colorado, and Washington D.C. Their food, including all their faux meats, is handcrafted by talented chefs daily and designed to please both vegans and meat-eaters alike. That's right, even non-vegetarians will enjoy their food!

Since we have been visiting Native Foods for a while, now, we took this opportunity to sample some menu items that we normally would not have tried. You can see that we had quite an array of food to choose from, and this was BEFORE my and my son's main course got to the table!

Their nachos are uh-mazing. The "cheese" on the nachos is super tasty and creamy. Like all of their plates, it comes out looking absolutely beautiful! I think that is one of the main things that makes this restaurant appealing the non-vegans, is the freshness of the food and the care taken in making the plate look gorgeous.

One of my favorite new dishes was the Japanese Crusted Sesame bites. There may have been 4-5 bites on the plate but it is still on the small size. It was extremely difficult for me to get pictures of all the food in-tact as my hungry family was chowing down! I could eat these all day long with their sweet chili sauce and would have a really tough time distinguishing them from real chicken had I not known that no chickens were harmed to make this perfect dish.

We also got to try the Saigon roll with the Peanut Dipping Sauce. This was a larger appetizer, great for sharing or even perfect for a main course, in my opinion. My mom loved this one.

My dad got their reuben which just made a comeback on their menu. He loves this one, as do I and also comes out looking just perfect! You can add a variety of sides with your "handhelds" and he went with their yummy fries.

I ordered the chili as my appetizer, which I liked. Somehow the peanut dipping sauce landed on my plate when we had to make room for more food, but the cornbread comes with it. This I took to go, and I'm having it for lunch, today. I will just dunk that cornbread right in there and eat it in tasty chili soaked chunks. However, it is going to be hard for this chili to ever be ordered again with the Japanese Chicken Bites on the menu. It is great for a simple, classic bowl of bean chili if that is what you are looking for.

The kids meal of choice was the quesadilla and I ordered him the veggies since he was going to get as many fries as he liked off of his grandparents plates. I didn't notice that it wasn't just a "cheese" quesadilla and had the little chunks for "chicken" in it which he wasn't so interested in. I think we will stick with the mac n cheese for next time, which he really enjoys.

My mom got the Texas Bacon Cheeseburger which is one of my faves, too. This "burger" is absolutely gorgeous. .There is so much to eat in it, it is tough to get your mouth around!

I had their newer beet burger sandwich with their blue "cheese" on rye bread. It was really good.

My side was their cole slaw made with kale. It was really yummy, too!

I didn't get pictures of all their desserts, but we really enjoyed the Key Lime Pie the most. I feel like going back there right now and getting more, and regret my decision to try the Apple Cake a little bit, instead of getting a second piece of pie for the table, like we got 2 Peanut Butter Parfaits. The Peanut Butter Parfaits are just the BEST too!

Thanks again for the invite, Native Foods! We will be visiting again, soon, and feel free to open as many more locations as you like and invite us to feast for free. I'm not sure how far is too far to travel for free, ridiculously delicious, vegan food, yet, so try me, but the closer to Oceanside, the better. Right now, I'll be cruising over the the Encinitas location, regularly, as usual, and indulging in your culinary delights.

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