My sister-in-law Victoria and her husband Chris are vegans and were in town for the long weekend. It was complete happenstance that the next on my list of lunch spots was Nature’s Express, which is a vegan heaven. So of course they accompanied us.
The menu was quite extensive. We ordered four different food items and two smoothies, and we swapped tastes all around. Except I had no interest in partaking of Dave’s beet smoothie, as gorgeous as it was to look at, because I am of the opinion that no matter how pretty they are, beets taste like dirt.
Chris and Victoria shared a Brazilian smoothie, which they liked. I won’t mention my husband’s inappropriate response when I asked what made the smoothie Brazilian, but if you are at all familiar with Brazilian waxes, you might come up with some variation of it yourself…
I got the “tuna” melt, tuna being in quotation marks because of course it isn’t really tuna but a chickpea substitute. I don’t know why it couldn’t have been called a chickpea salad melt, but I suppose the idea is to lure carnivores into eating something that sounds familiar. I was excited to see that one of the add-on options was caramelized onions, which I promptly ordered because everything tastes better with caramelized onions. Sincerely. I dare you to come up with something that doesn’t improve when infused with this miraculous foodstuff.
My sandwich was quite good albeit messy because the wheat bread kept dropping the garbanzo bean/Daiya cheese mix into the basket below. (Notice how I blame the bread rather than myself.) My lunch companions ordered wraps, which were easier to eat without losing the innards. We all thought Dave’s Spicy Thai Chik-un wrap was really tasty (chik-un being some sort of chicken-like non-meat, or un-chicken). Chris thoroughly enjoyed his lightly toasted avocado kale wrap (purported on the menu to be an “all time bestseller”). Victoria’s lentil soup was fine, but declared Dave’s wrap as “unbelievably flavorful.”
Because we felt virtuous, having eaten so healthily, Dave decided that as a reward, we should split a Pecan Cardamom blondie among the four of us. That was probably the only disappointment, mostly because our mouths were expecting a blondie, but what we got was more akin to a muffin.
It was their last day in Berkeley, and before they left for the airport, Victoria returned to Nature’s Express to get dinner for the plane ride home. Along with a sandwich, she came back with sweet potato fries, which I pointed out would not taste as good an hour later when they were cold. So we ate them immediately. I was only too happy to help out…