Category Archives: Restaurants

Vegan Banh Mi Chay from Bánh Mì San Marcos

Vegan Banh Mi Chay Vietnamese Sandwich

Vegan Banh Mi Chay Vietnamese Sandwich

When I die, my last meal request would likely be a vegan Banh Mi sandwich. In particular, a vegan Banh Mi Chay Vietnamese sandwich! It even sounds great! Say it out loud! Bánh Mì! — pronounced “Bon Mee”.

I’ve always loved Vietnamese food. Their combinations of spicy and salty, with a touch of sweet and sour, produce that perfect umami flavor perfection that I love so much. Only Thai food rivals the joys of umami and would be a close 2nd for a death bed meal, but a Banh Mi Chay is really my last wish.

Vegan Banh Mi Chay Vietnamese Sandwiches

Vegan Banh Mi Chay Vietnamese Sandwiches

Sure, you can make your own Bánh Mì at home, but they are so inexpensive that I just prefer to let the experts make them and buy Banh Mi from a restaurant, street food cart, or food truck.

One of our favorite places in San Diego is Banh Mi San Marcos. They make these giant Banh Mi sandwiches and it is family owned and operated. The secret to a great Banh Mi is extremely fresh ingredients, especially the French baguette used for the bread, and Banh Mi San Marcos gets it right every time.

Vegan Banh Mi Chay Vietnamese Banh Mi San Marcos

Vegan Banh Mi Chay Sandwich from Banh Mi San Marcos

We order the Banh Mi Chay fried tofu sandwich without mayo and add Vegenaise ourselves in place of the mayonnaise. It comes with the traditional ingredients of cucumber, jalapeño, pickled carrots and daikon, with cilantro, and we like to add Sriracha or chili garlic sauce to each bite. Some Vietnamese restaurants use fish sauce with their tofu or on the sandwiches, so be sure to ask about that to make it vegan. Bánh Mì San Marcos does not use fish sauce on the Bánh Mì Chay. Yay!

Banh Mi San Marcos Menu

Banh Mi San Marcos Menu

Banh Mi San Marcos is located at 706 Rancho Sante Fe Road San Marcos, CA 92078. You can phone 760-599-0177. They don’t have a website, but I’ve included a picture of their menu, which also shows their hours. They are closed on Sundays.

They have some of the best Banh Mi Vietnamese sandwiches I have ever tasted, and I’ve had many. Give them a try or search your local area for a restaurant that serves the Banh Mi Chay fried tofu sandwich. If you’ve never had one then you are missing out on true delight. Do not deprive yourself. Go now! It may very well end up being your death bed last meal request, too.

Vegan Banh Mi Chay Sandwich

Vegan Banh Mi Chay Sandwich

Vegan Banh Mi Chay Vietnamese Sandwich with Sriracha

Vegan Banh Mi Chay Vietnamese Sandwich with Sriracha

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Filed under Appetizer, Cooking, Cuisine, Culinary, Eating, Food, Foodie, Restaurant, Restaurants, Vegan, Vegetarian

Vegan Pizza – Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza

Vegan Pizza Slices

Vegan Pizza Slices

I love pizza. Most people do. Luckily vegan pizza has come a long way in the last few years. My girlfriend wanted some vegan pizza the other night after a hard day at work. Comfort food? Yeah. So, I looked online and found a pizzeria a few miles away that serves vegan pizza. It’s called Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza in Carlsbad, close to San Diego, CA. They have several locations in San Diego, Southern California, and Las Vegas. See below for important caveats for vegans. Want a free pizza? Keep reading.

Vegan Pizza Sammy's Woodfired Pizza

Sammy's Woodfired Vegan Pizza in the box

I called and asked all the right questions (so I thought – more later) and ordered their vegetarian pizza to go, substituting Daiya vegan cheese for the regular cheese for a $2.00 upcharge and xing the fontina cheese. It had grilled eggplant, onions, zucchini, bell peppers, and tomatoes, with a roasted garlic sauce. They couldn’t tell me on the phone which brand of vegan cheese they use. So, we went to pick it up and I spoke with the chef and told him I wanted to be sure it did not contain casein. He was kind enough to check and informed me that they use Daiya cheese. Yay! He said he hadn’t tried it yet and I chuckled and told him it is really quite good. Anyway, thanks for checkin’ chef. Hey, they have gluten-free pizza, too.

The atmosphere at the restaurant was quite nice with a warm ambiance and very busy. They have a little patio with a fire pit and the woodfired pizza ovens are on full display. We agreed we would have to go back for the full experience. We got two vegan pizzas because they are kind of small and there is only one size. We got home and opened the box and a beautiful vegan pizza stared at us and smiled. :) We chowed down.

Vegan-Pizza-CrustVegan Pizza Close-Up

Their Vegan Pizza

Their vegan pizza is excellent. Especially, the grilled veggies. The eggplant had a wonderful texture, much like mushrooms, and the flavor of the roasted garlic sauce with the Daiya cheese was a nice combination. Everything was very well-balanced and tasted oh soo good. Nom nom nom nom.

The crust was pretty good. The crust. Ok. So, after we ate both pizzas I emailed Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza to just triple check all my facts before I posted this up on the interweb. I am new to this whole vegan thing, so I was remiss in asking about HONEY! Bah. Turns out I needed to ask a lot of questions.Lesson learned. See below for important caveats for vegan pizza at Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza.

Free Pizza

It would be nice if they DID advertise a vegan pizza on the menu, so that it would be clear to their employees and customers exactly what to order that could be considered vegan. Hey, but now YOU know. Also, their website is not up to date with all of their locations. There are a few not listed on there. You might try Google Maps instead. FREE PIZZA? Join their Insider E-Club on their website and get a coupon for a free pizza with the purchase of a menu item of equal or greater value. You can also follow them on Facebook or Twitter for deals.

Important Caveats for Vegans

I called and spoke with their corporate chef, Jeff, and got more information. He said they are working on a vegan menu. Hooray! Go Sammy’s. Go chef Jeff. Here’s what you need to know in the meantime.

  • Their regular crust contains honey. Order whole wheat, artisan, or gluten-free crust instead.
  • Their “homemade sauce” is not vegan and contains cheese. You need to specify that you want marinara sauce without cheese.
  • The roasted garlic sauce IS NOT vegan, but was at the time of this writing. They added Parmesan cheese. :(
  • The Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce IS vegan.
  • The veggies are grilled first thing in the morning on a clean grill, but it is the same grill used to grill meat, in case this is an issue for someone.

The verdict. Awesome good vegan pizza. My girlfriend already went back. We will continue trying vegan pizza here in San Diego and I hope to make my own very soon. To avoid any controversy, the pictures here of vegan pizza are not vegan since I didn’t know the regular crust contained honey.

Sammy's Woodfired Pizza Vegan Pizza

Vegan Pizza with Grilled Veggies

Sammy's Woodfired Pizza

Pizza Box

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Filed under Cuisine, Culinary, Eating, Food, Food Products, Foodie, Restaurant, Restaurants, Vegan, Vegetarian