You could say that the “Pac-Man” in vegan trailer Counter Culture‘s Pac-Man Caesar salad refers to all the good nutrients packed in such a simple salad: chopped kale, carrot rounds, and a light, nutty dressing somehow reminiscent of Parmesan. Or you could say it means that upon visiting the trailer, you will, like Pac-Man, want to eat everything in sight. For those of you turned off by the idea of wimpy vegan vegetables, try the Philly Seitan sandwich: Huge chunks of crisp, grilled seitan and lightly sautéed green peppers and onions nestled in a thick-slicked, toasted vegan hoagie roll (made specially for owner Sue Davis by Moonlight Bakery). Instead of the traditional Cheez Whiz typically squirted on cheesesteaks, Counter Culture uses cashew cheeze. Creamy, tangy, and not nearly as neon, it brought the whole sammy together. An unlike Cheez Whiz, it will actually nourish your body rather than sitting in your stomach for years to come. Speaking of questionable foodstuffs, let’s just say that it takes an adventurous eater to dig in to a regular tuna salad sandwich. Pinkish-brown meat that comes in a can. Some sort of cream sauce made from egg whites, known as “mayonnaise.” And, usually, mysterious bits of diced greenish things that may or may not be crunchy. So I’d say the garbanzo “tuna” sandwich was a vast improvement. The combination of mashed and whole chickpeas, white onion, and celery tasted like real tuna, plus offered a similar protein punch. Paired with ripe red tomatoes and healthy leaves of romaine on a tasty, toasted hoagie, this sandwich will do you right. I liked the cashew cheeze, fresh tomatoes, and slivers of basil on the bruschetta, but I wasn’t so fond of the homemade flax “bread” that tasted like a slightly sweet, chewy cracker. Compared to the hearty sandwiches for $6, this measly appetizer seemed overpriced, at $5. The quinoa seasonal salad, with quinoa, corn, and black beans, tasted bland and generic, and I was also disappointed with the lavendar chocolate. “Lavendar” implies a certain delicacy, but this large chunk of frozen chocolate, studded with slivered almonds and dates, with a strange coconut aftertaste, melted in my hand long before some of it made it into my mouth. All in all, though, you wouldn’t suspect this was a vegan trailer, or a two-person operation. Their food is hearty, plentiful, and delicious. I might just go there for dinner tonight. I’ll tell you how many points I rack up, Pac-Man-style, tomorrow. Posted by Megan Giller
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