Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Garden "Flesh"

Garden Fresh is a small Chinese vegan restaurant in a strip Mall anchored by a Baskin Robbins. They specialize in faux meat dishes (chicken, ham, steak) in sauces, large portions, and a friendly staff. I've eaten here dozens, if not hundreds of times over the last 10-12+ years. The staff has remained almost the same over time and remembers your likes and dislikes.

I have a love/hate relationship with the place. I like supporting vegetarian establishments. I love most of the "meat" taste and texture in their dishes, but can find the sauces a bit too sweet. When they say "spicy," they mean mild. Then again, I like my food very spicy.

Four of us went for lunch on Monday. They now have 2 menus - one printed, one on a whiteboard of (never changing) specials. We wanted to try new dishes. We'd ordered almost everything off the printed menu in the past. We debated about ordering the "Basil with Vegetarian Kidney" off the printed menu. but realized we weren't manly enough to try faux kidney. We ordered 2 dishes from the printed menu - Orange Vegetarian Steak and Green Boat. We'd had both dishes dozens of times before. Both are very good, but a bit sweet.

All entrees come with 2 scoops of brown rice and a cup of corn and tofu chowder. The chowder is bland for my taste, so I dump a lot of chilis in it.

Pix of the Orange Veg Steak:

We also ordered two dishes of whiteboard menu - Braised Green Beans and Pork Chops. Green Beans pix:

The Green Beans were good, the Pork Chops were, well, tough and had a gristly consistency (just like 'real' pork!). We ate everything.

I'd order all the dishes again, minus the Pork Chops. We noticed a sign that they were under new ownership as of October, 2006. I hope the staff got together and bought the restaurant. I'll ask them next time I am there.

Garden Fresh
1245 W. El Camino Real
Mountain View, CA 94040

(650) 254-1688

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