Friday, 09 March 2012
The Cannery Restaurant is a landmark on the Newport Beach Peninsula. The upscale establishment with bay views is housed in a building that was once home to a fish cannery in the early 1900s, which is where the restaurant got its name. It's not surprising then, albeit still unfortunate, that the menu here is chalk full of dead fishies.
When my Mom recently chose The Cannery as the place to have her vegetarian/vegan children take her for her birthday lunch, I figured I'd be eating another expensive salad or just having bread and drinks. (I will, however, mention that when we came here for Thanksgiving many years ago I mentioned to the server that I was vegan and the head chef came out of the kitchen, talked to me about my taste preferences, and then proceeded to make me a giant and super delicious plate of vegan items.) Luckily, my sister called ahead and found out that they had recently launched a full vegetarian menu. While many of the veggie dishes contain dairy, most of them can be made vegan, and the curry vegetable entree and stir fry tofu dish are already vegan.
The century-old building on the bay that houses The Cannery makes for a really nice ambiance.
You regular readers know I love my tofu, and at $13 it's the cheapest entree on the vegetarian menu, so that's what I ordered. I know, some of you are saying "$13 for a plate of tofu?" I'm not going to say the price is completely justified, but it is a HUGE portion at a white tablecloth restaurant on the bay, so you can't expect it to be super affordable.
This turned out to be a great choice, because the tofu is on point! I swear it must be two full blocks of tofu in there, along with a plethora of zucchini, onions, red bell peppers and onions, all stir fried in a slighty sweet garlic soy glaze. At dinner, they also serve the tofu with a monsterous pile of basmati rice, making it more food than an average person can handle. I've been here twice since they launched the vegetarian menu, and after trying the tofu dish the first time I couldn't get myself to order any of the other dishes, it was just that good.
I've had a lot of great times at The Cannery, even before the veggie menu was added. We've had many family gatherings here and we even came to celebrate my grampa's life after scattering his ashes in the Pacific. The ambiance of the restaurant as well as its bayfront location and extensive wine/cocktail selection make it ideal for a special date night, a get-together with old friends, or just a casual lunch in a beautiful setting. It's now a place where us vegetarians and vegans can visit with our omnivorous friends or family and stuff our face with quality food. For that, I give the new vegetarian menu at The Cannery a HIT.
Click here to visit The Cannery's site. (At time of posting, the vegetarian menu hasn't been added to the site yet.)
This post is contributed from the Vegan Vagrant!