The Noochy Noodle

a world beyond the blue box

Tag Archives: restaurant

Truffle Macaroni & Cheese from Source

Source is San Francisco’s newest vegetarian spot and a self described “multi-dimensional dining experience”. Whatever that means! To be honest, I was a bit concerned before they opened as San Francisco already has a vegetarian restaurant with an extensive menu serving up “mainstream international vegan/vegetarian food” and it’s not very good. Bay Area folks you know what I’m talking about! Fortunately, Source has far exceeded my expectations and is quickly becoming one of my favorite restaurants in San Francisco; it certainly helps that they serve up a gigantic piping hot bowl full of macaroni and cashew cheese. That earns you at least 4 stars on Yelp right off the bat.

The menu describes the mac n’ cheese as “Truffle Macaroni & Cheese w/ four cheese, truffle oil topped with agave bread crumbs”. However, there is a vegan and non-vegan version so I’m not sure if this version actually has four cheeses. It seems like it might only be three, but I don’t really care because it’s fantastic as is! It doesn’t mention it in the description, but there is a lot of garlic happening in this dish. A whole lot. It’s good, but you’ve been warned.  I love this mac n’ cheese because there are actually quite a few flavors and textures going on in such a traditionally simple dish. Since it’s so rich and such a large portion it’s not the type of mac n’ cheese I could eat all the time, but damn is it good! Bonus points for being served with a small baguette. Who doesn’t love a good carb fest?

Source is such a quirky place. You pay at the counter and then receive full table service, everything is ionized, filtered or purified within an inch of it’s life, faux meats on the menu are named after the sound that the analagous animal makes, and all the food comes on silly little trays, but you know what? It’s awesome! I’ve tried several other dishes now, including the Avocado Oink Bits Mozzerella Burger, Baked Vegan Spinach Artichoke Fondue, the Cluck and Artichoke Hearts, plus several of the desserts and have been awfully impressed with everything. Mark this place on your “must eat” list folks!

The Noochy Noodle Visits Souley Vegan (1000 times)

Souley Vegan is one of my favorite restaurants in the Bay Area, and my absolute favorite  in Oakland. While I can never seem to make it across the Bay for things like friends, concerts, job interviews, weddings or other so-called important life things, if you so much as say a word about the aforementioned all vegan soul food restaurant, I’m there. I try to be adventurous since everything on the menu is fantastic but nothing beats a crispy tofu burger, mac n’ cheese, and potato salad combo. Sometimes I do switch the potato salad out with mustard greens if I’m not feeling carb-tastic…but it’s so hard to say no.

Mac and Cheese, Potato Salad, Crispy Tofu Burger

As for the mac n’ cheese; some sort of humongous rigatoni-type pasta stands in for the macaroni, but no matter, we’re not noodle purists here. The cheesy sauce is thick, creamy, and heavy on the nooch. I’ve been trying to figure out for a really long time how they make the sauce and I’m not any closer to figuring it out now than I was when they opened.  I’m thinking it’s possibly made with tofu? Overall, it’s nothing fancy, just incredibly comforting and delicious, exactly how mac n’ cheese was intended to be. If they sold it by the pound I would stock my newly aquired deep freezer with it.

Portland Tour de Macaroni: Part 3 Hungry Tiger Too

I hate giving bad reviews. I hate it. Hate. What can I say, I’m just not cut out for this line of stressful, yet well-paying work. I knew I would have to give a  bad review at some point, I just didn’t think it would be so soon! I’m going to keep it short, and probably put up 12 new posts immediately after I hit “publish” so I can bury it forever into internet oblivion.

Saturday for lunch we went to Hungry Tiger Too a bar in Southeast Portland featuring a full vegan menu. I had heard they were famous around town for their house made vegan corn dogs, so I split a corn dog basket, which also came with tater tots, and a salad, plus a side of mac and cheeze. That’s right,  I actually ate a salad on my trip! Gross!

To put it plainly, the mac and cheeze tasted like eating margarine and lemon juice with a teaspoon of nutritional yeast thrown in. I took maybe 3 bites before I just couldn’t do it anymore. But wait, don’t stop reading! Everything else we tried was great! The corn dogs were absolutely delicious, the tater tots were perfectly crispy, and I would like to personally give them a round of applause for the vegan ranch dressing. Hungry Tiger Too is greasy vegan bar food at it’s finest, just avoid the mac and cheeze. You will be as sad and disappointed as I was.

Portland Tour de Macaroni: Part 1 Vita Cafe

I have finally returned from Portland, where I got to spend 5 glorious days pretending to be an average American, eating the standard American diet of carbs, protein, 3 vegetables, and a whole lot of mac and cheeze!

The first evening in town we had a late dinner at Vita Cafe, which was deliciously close to where we were staying. I had heard that there was ‘Mac and Cheese’ on the menu, but apparently you can also add broccoli, chili, sauteed tempeh, or fried tempeh! Since I planned to spend the weekend undoing all the good results of every bit of healthy eating and physical activity I had done over the past 2 months, I went ahead and ordered the fried tempeh on top.

I’m just going to get this part out of the way so that we can all move on with our lives; while this was a really lovely pasta dish, I’m hard pressed to call it mac and cheeze. The sauce was really more of a mildly cheesy-flavored margarine, and while I agree, that does sound delicious, you could have told me it was vegan alfredo sauce and I totally would have believed you.  The cheezy sauce to noodle ratio was a little low, I even came across a hand full of sad, naked noodles hovering around the edge of my bowl. And hey, I’m just going to nit pick and say that the pasta was rotelle and not macaroni.

Now the fried tempeh deserves it’s own paragraph, because WOW(!!!!), it was amazing! Being from the south I fancy myself somewhat of an expert in all things fried, and I do declare this to be spectacular breading. I would eat it with a fork covered in gravy if you let me. Actually, I think they will let you, and even throw in a side of mashed potatoes.

There was also crispy minced garlic sprinkled on top of the pasta which added 1 delicious point, but also gave the feeling that I could be eating it in a fancy-fancy candlelit bistro with table cloths and everything. The significant other even declared that the crispy garlic bits to be his favorite part of the dish.

So there you have it. Go here, order this, it’s really good even if it’s not really mac and cheeze! Be sure and order other stuff too because it’s all really good, I’m a big fan of anything with “buffalo” in the name.