I <3 Indian Food

If you have never tried Indian food you are really doing yourself a disservice.  Vegans have a limited number of restaurant options as it is, so adding delicious alternatives such as Indian, Ethiopian and Thai really make life more exciting.

Lucky and true, vegetarianism is very common in India, so you can be sure that the vegetable dishes are definitely free of animals, unlike authentic Eastern Asian food that more commonly contains non-vegetarian hidden ingredients (fish sauce, shrimp paste, and a fish stock called dashi, to name a few). Unfortunately, traditional Indian cuisine usually begins with clarified butter, or ghee, but many of the Indian restaurants around here have been made aware of the benefit of catering to vegans. These angels have noted on their menus that most vegetarian dishes can be prepared “vegan-style” or with vegetable oil instead of ghee.***

Any restaurant with the word “Vegan” on the menu has my heart… and my business.

❤  <– FOR YOU–> Tandoor Flame, Thali of India and Taste of India.

Our favorite Indian place in Rochester is Tandoor Flame, for the following reasons:

1. We almost always have the same waitress. She is very friendly and accomodating. She always remembers us and automatically brings us roti without butter (vegan).

2. They already prepare their food with oil instead of ghee, so any vegetarian dish on the menu or buffet NOT containing paneer (cheese) or cream/yogurt (it’s obvious if these are in the dish) is vegan by default.

3. Did I mention they have a buffet? And there is almost always 3 vegan options on the buffet (chana masala, a dhal dish and a potato dish). Also vegan on the buffet: basmati rice, vegetable pakora, salad, fresh fruit and several chutneys. (The mint chutney contains yogurt, fyi.)

Terrible Pic From My Cell: Tandoor Flame Buffet

Terrible Pic From My Cell: Tandoor Flame Buffet

4. Bonus- They have frequent diner cards; Buy 5 Buffets Get One Free. Ya can’t beat that with a stick.

We had Tandoor Flame cater our wedding and it was DELICIOUS. I am ashamed to say that I was too busy that day to even think about taking pictures of the amazing feast. I know, i’m shocked too… But just imagine 3 huge main dishes (chana masala, aloo gobi, tofu palak–> google is very helpful if you don’t know what these are), rice, naan, an appetizer (onion bhajis), and 2 different chutneys (tamarind and onion) for a grand total of $235. That is an incredibly good deal and we had tons of leftovers. I’m drooling just thinking about it.

In summation, if you haven’t already tried Indian food, you NEED to try Indian food. It’s awesome. Don’t be afraid. English descriptions of the dishes are on the menus so you’ll know what you’re ordering and any Indian restaurant will make your dish as mild or spicy as you want. Just ask! 🙂

***While the menus in these restaurants do promise that dishes can be made vegan, not all staff may be aware of what this means. Be sure to communicate to your waitstaff that you do not consume ghee, butter, cream, yogurt or cheese, as these items are commonly used in their vegetarian food.


Oh No, South Wedge!

Have you heard the sad news? As of just last week, 2 of Rochester’s most unique vegan offerings are no longer available.  

It seems like yesterday that Nathaniel Square Corner Store began their amazing Vegan Wednesdays. For just a few hours, 1 night a week, we could go get deliciously greasy sandwiches, stuffed with awesomeness, like Buffalo Seitan, the Reuben, Philly Cheesesteak and Tofu Po’ Boy with a side of fries or vegan mac salad. It was like a dream, and I’m not sure it wasn’t a dream, considering how fleeting it was. Nathaniels has now closed their kitchen. 😦 All that remains is a corner store specializing in craft beer. *wipes tear* 

Just as upsetting is the closing of Eco Bella, Rochester’s ONLY vegan bakery. This one really caught me off guard. Not only was this the only place to find vegan baked goods, but they also catered to the gluten-free community. They had moved to a bigger location, and always seem to be doing pretty good business. They even baked our wedding cake for us, just 3 weeks ago.

100% Cruelty-Free

I don’t know what happened, but it sucks. What is happening in the South Wedge? What is happening to our vegan-friendly establishments?

Come on Rochester Vegans! Get out there and support our community!