When I fall off the gluten-free wagon, I fall off hard. And possibly permanently. The Native Foods event written about below took place on day 20, and I knew before I even arrived that I was going to
eat everything on the menu live dangerously, gluten-wise. But, more on my three week gluten-free adventure in another post. With that teaser written, here is the story of my very enjoyable fall from GF grace.
I have written many times of my love of Native Foods, my favorite vegan restaurant, my disappointment when the Palm Desert location closed, my trips to other sites in Southern California, special occasions celebrated, my fear that the Palm Springs store would not re-open. In regards to the latter concern though, all my worries are over. Native Foods in Palm Springs will reopen on Tuesday! Even better, a few days ago I received this (click the photo for the full sized version):
Not only was I invited to the pre-opening party a few days before the grand opening, I was able to bring up to three friend along with me for a free meal to celebrate. I invited Alan, of course, and Megan, my vegan co-worker. I told her to bring a guest and she came with Renee, another co-worker. We met at Native Foods on Saturday at 6:00.
As we were checked in, we were handed a menu and told that we could each order an appetizer, entree, side, dessert, and beverage. Beer and wine were $2 each, with all proceeds going to a local charity.
As we walked into the restaurant, it seemed lighter and larger than before. They now offer counter service like the rest of the restaurants in the chain, so we stepped up to order. We decided to share appetizers, so we ordered one each of the Butternut Polenta Bites, Native Fries, Nuevo Native Nachos, and Native Chicken Wings (remember, despite the names, everything on the menu is 100% vegan – no animal products at all – you can see the complete menu here). I’ll let the pictures do the talking:
Dinner arrived before we were done with the appetizers, something that usually annoys me, but these were special circumstances. Pile that table with food!
We all ordered different entrees. I had the Bistro Steak Sandwich with fries, Alan had the Oklahoma Bacon Cheeseburger, Megan the Twister Wrap, and Renee the Soul Bowl.
By this time, we were pretty much all stuffed. We had selected our desserts when we first ordered, but I was too full to eat another bite. We boxed up our leftovers, including my pumpkin cheesecake. Alan and Megan managed to devour their Peanut Butter Parfaits, while Renee took his Oatmeal Cream Pie home to his daughter.
We all agreed that our food was excellent. The staff was efficient and cheerful, and they seemed as happy as we were to be there. Our meals arrived quickly and everything was hot and delicious. The reviewers:
Bottom line? Native Foods is back and we’re all happy and excited! As the only vegan restaurant in the desert, they fill a huge hole that has been empty since they closed in February. The grand opening is Tuesday, November 20.
Have you been to Native Foods? If not you’re missing a treat. What is your favorite vegan restaurant?