Okay, so I had to break a few of my own rules last night, but let me just say, I’m BEYOND happy that I did! First off, I ate out twice in one day. Now mind you, I know vegan food carries much fewer calories and all the bad stuff that traditional restaurant food carries, but…it still isn’t good to eat out that much. BUT…the man’s momma is in town, we had lunch with her when she got into town, and then a late dinner after seeing his show. Which brings me to the second rule I broke…I ate WAY too late at night to be healthy (10:00…my usual rule is no eating after 7:00). REGARDLESS…I’m so glad I did, because if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have experienced the BEST veggie burger I think I have ever had in my entire life. Seriously, it was almost like a religious experience for me as every bite took me closer and closer to food coma nirvana. So yes, I broke some rules, but now I have a new favorite hangout.
Los Angeles is usually seen as a vegan “mecca” of sorts…vegan restaurants on every corner, health food stores up the ass, and a boatload of people who understand and respect your lifestyle. However, step foot in an LA dive bar, and you’re S.O.L. I figured it would be the same in Wisconsin, you know, with all the beef and cheese curds this state consumes singlehandedly. But oh, how wrong I was! We ended up at a cute little dive last night called the Laurel Tavern after the man’s show…complete with a cozy fireplace and a “Cheers”-like atmosphere (seriously, everyone who walked into this place seemed to know everyone else there!).
I figured I’d be lucky if their French fries were vegan, because quite frankly, this looked like the kind of place where EVERYTHING would be deep fried in pig lard. I had already accepted the fact that my dinner would more than likely consist of a glass of water, when I opened the menu and saw quite a few safe bets! Surprised, when our server came to the table, I asked if the veggie burger was vegan, and she told me that it was…the only non-vegan thing would be that they butter the bun. Relieved, I went with the veggie burger with an unbuttered bun and waited, satisfied that I would be able to go to bed with some food in my tummy.
My homemade veggie patty arrived at the table, and I immediately got nervous…it looked like beef. I cut it in half, and realized that it was in fact a veggie burger, as a load of mushrooms fell out of the patty, as well as chunks of tvp (textured vegetable protein)…a SAFE place! I made my burger happy face with tomato head, pickle eyes and a mustard smiley face before applying my butterless bun, and dug in. Then, I proceeded to melt into the booth. I have NEVER been that satisfied by a simple veggie burger in all my life. And, for five bucks for this huge burger, you really can’t go wrong! Cheap bar food at it’s finest! I will most definitely be back, and I think that if you’re in Madison, you should most definitely give this little place a try…you won’t be sorry, I promise!
So what are you waiting for?! It’s only 7 hours until happy hour…get your little vegan behinds over to the Laurel Tavern!
And by the way, head on over to Hungry Vegan Traveler’s blog to sign up for a vegan lip balm giveaway!