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Herbivore in Berkeley - Only Order the Smoothie, Salad and Nothing Else

rightstar Feb 24, 2008 06:28 PM

Went to Herbivore for dinner. The smoothie was excellent. Blueberries, strawberries, bananas, mint, fresh squeezed orange juice, pomegranate juice and soy milk. Fantastic. The salad was excellent as well. Lots of greens, cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, beets and a tangy dressing. So why will we never go back again? Because the rest of the food was awful. Baked falafel. Dry as cardboard, overly spicy and way too salty. Plus it was put into a wrap with a ton of raw red onions and pickle slices. There was hardly any hummus or tahini. Quite simply, inedible. The moussaka was drenched in marinara sauce, a high salt nightmare. Second, the eggplant, vegetables and tofu were all ground up into a puree so you couldn't taste them. Third, there was so much soy protein it tasted like the processed veggie slices you get in the deli case at the store. Not appetizing at all.

We must be the only ones who don't like it because the place was packed and we had to wait for a table. But that's what it tasted like to us. Come for the smoothie and salad, but nothing else.

  1. tonyarose Jun 27, 2008 08:54 PM

    Herbivore is a terrible example of vegan food! Their menu isn't seasonal, includes a lot of canned sauces, and simply doesn't taste good. I'm a life long vegetarian, and it tastes like mediocre food I cooked hurriedly at home out of a jar.

    As far as other semi-nearby veg. restaurants, Cafe Gratitude is great (despite the ridiculous "I Am _____" theme to the menu).

    1. Robert Lauriston Feb 25, 2008 07:17 PM

      You're not the only ones who don't like it. Check the reports in the archive.

      1. Morton the Mousse Feb 25, 2008 02:29 PM

        Inedible is a spot-on description of the food at Herbivore in Berkeley. Once was more than enough for this hound.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Morton the Mousse
          chemchef Feb 25, 2008 03:02 PM

          Amen to that!

          I had a pahd thai there a few months ago that tasted like noodles slathered in peanut butter. Yuck! Which is sad b/c I had a meal at Cafe Gratitude that was really very good. I would've expected it to be more difficult for the raw place to make a good meal than the vegetarian/vegan place. Oh well, guess I was wrong!

        2. t
          tex.s.toast Feb 25, 2008 11:22 AM

          I'll agree that they fall prey to the whole "lets take vegan food from everywhere and put it on one menu" syndrome that typifies a lot of places like this, but there are, at least in my experience with the SF location some pretty good things on the menu.

          Salads, like you mention stand out. but the thing i crave at herbivore most is the meatless schwarma. Its really delicious in a pretty shocking way - based on the love i have for that wrap id have though that the more middle eastern inspired options would be the way to go. Id be curious if other people have found high points on their menu.

          1 Reply
          1. re: tex.s.toast
            kimchee Feb 25, 2008 10:29 PM

            The schwarma is the only thing I eat there. Very delicious.

          2. rworange Feb 25, 2008 11:17 AM


            2451 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704

            1. x
              xanadude Feb 24, 2008 09:47 PM

              The problem with herbibore is that they're too eclectic--it's very difficult for one place to make a good thai noodle soup, much less make a thai noodle soup, a burrito, and a lasagna.

              For some reason, vegan places tend to offer a dish-of-this and a dish-of-that--a formula that more often than not results in mediocre food.

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