Vegan friendly authentic mexican in the valley?
I am planning a dinner for some family and myself this Saturday. Invariably we go to either Ajo Als in Scottsdale or Chevy's. I'm looking to branch out and try some more authentic cuisine but I'm having trouble finding places that are vegetarian/vegan friendly. I was considering Los Sombreros or Los Dos Molinos but neither have websites where I can check the menu. Can anyone tell me who veg friendly their menus are and if the staff/chef is willing to accomodate requests to make items vegetarian/vegan? I live in Mesa but location is not that important. Some examples of places I've looked at that won't fit the bill are Blue Adobe in Mesa and Barrio Cafe, neither of which have much to offer a vegetarian/vegan.
Just talked to a veg friend about this over the weekend. He's veg not vegan. At Los Dos, the beans have lard and they would not go "off menu" for him with anything.
I would certainly call Los Sombreros.
I think you should give Barrio Cafe another shot. www.barriocafe.com They have a few veg options on their menu and they may even make something special or alter something that's on the menu. They used to do nopals taco (cactus) that were very tasty. Call ahead and check, it's really good. They do NOT take reservations, but I believe they have a call ahead wait list.
Another option is Richardson's for more New Mexican cuisine. www.richardsonofnewmexico.com Located at 16th Street and Bethany Home. They have a few veg options, the garlic plate is fabulous. The house salad is really good and they have rice/bean enchiladas. They do alot of stuff off menu, pretty much in my experience, they'll make anything you want based on ingredients that are on the menu. Richardson's will to reservations for 4 or more. HIGHLY recommend reservations.
I doubt that either of these places can do completely vegan, but veg for sure.
Try Via de los Santos on Central/Dunlap as well. They have a huge menu with my favorite side dish in town, calabacitas(squash/tomatoes/corn), that noone else offers.
I just gave Los Sombreros a call and talked to the manager. He was quite helpful and assured me that the chef will accomodate any dietary restrictions. Thanks for the tips though; I'll keep Richardson's and Barrio Cafe in the back of my mind for the future.
Wow thanks for the tip about Via de los Santos. From the review I'm reading this seems like the perfect place.
Thank you for all the suggestions. I just got back from Los Sombreros and was pleasantly surprised to say the least. It was the best mexican food I have ever eaten. We started the night with chips and salsa. I was surprised to see flour "chips" presented along with the corn but both were tasty, with the flour offering a nice change of texture. The salsas were a roasted tomatoe and pepper salsa with mild spice, and a hotter tomolatillo/chipotle salsa which was tarter than I would have expected but the universal favorite. I had heard raves on here and elsewhere about the guac so I knew we had to try it. It was everything I had heard and more; a huge helping of avocado mixed with lime juice, onion, and cilantro on a bed of cabbage. The taste was sublime and the texture was perfect. For our entrees I and two of my fellow vegetarians had the chef's special which consisted of a "salad" of grilled poblano peppers, roasted tomaltillos, carrots, jicama (I think), sautéed onions, avocado slices, fresh spinach, and roasted pepitas on a bed of seasoned rice or beans and topped with fresh mexican cheese. Served with corn tortillas this was an excellent dish. The roasted tomaltillos were a revelation to me; I had never had them in anything but a salsa and these were sweet with an almost starchy texture. Everyone enjoyed the food and the service was very attentive despite it being extremely busy (we arrive five minutes before our five o'clock reservation and ten people were in line ahead of us).
Also johneseberg you might want to try Blue Nile Cafe as well. I've eaten at both Café Lalibela and Blue Nile and much preferred the latter in terms of food, price, and service.