There are days I am not cooking and on those days we get to eat out. There’s a favorite restaurant of ours, Green New American Vegetarian, located in Tempe, AZ. Tempe is a college town, and the restaurant reflects the image. It’s artsy, open, and in a strip mall. The clientele are college students and professors, and college dropouts who like to hang with the crowd. There’s a little mix of other types, but mainly that’s it.

To get to Green one has to know the football and baseball schedules of the University to avoid the traffic. And it is 15-20 minutes away from our house, depending on traffic and time of day. Early this summer we got wind that Chef Damon was going to open a Phoenix location. Phoenix is a big town, we could only hope it would be close to us. As the plans progressed we kept a watch on Facebook for any news. I actually figured out where the location was. I frequently drive down 7th st , and I kept noticing this same area under construction. Finally, like a lightening bolt hitting my brain, I knew: that’s where the new Green would be. Three miles from our house. I found the Super Secret Location (it’s kind of like finding the Bat Cave). Then they posted that the bakery and coffee shop, Nami, was open. A vegan bakery in Phoenix that has a chance of surviving. And after a day or two, it was posted that the restaurant itself was open.

Secret BBQ ChicknWe were in heaven. Not only do we get to save gas to eat at one of our favorite places, we also can have Tsoynamis more frequently. Last week we hopped on over to support the local vegan eating scene. We started with the Artichoke Gratin, with both corn chips and pita chips because I’m allergic to corn and she’s allergic to the wheat. The partner ordered a gluten free Mooshroom po boySecret BBQ Chick’n po-boy. What makes it gluten free? It comes with corn tortillas, not the bread roll. I had the Texas Moo-shroom Po-boy, “pulled” mushrooms in a thick spicy BBQ sauce. Messy and delicious. It is usually a four napkin sandwich.We took our time eating and digesting. And I finally got to meet the Mad Creator of the Valley’s favorite American vegan food.  The decor is much more urban than the Tempe location.

The current art was Signs. All big with funny and interesting statements on them. My favorite part was the back wall with car doors, and a spiral staircase leading upstairs. The staff at green are always friendly and helpful, and since this was the new adventure, enthusiastic about educating new diners on their particular vegan cuisine. After consuming our lunches, we strolled over to Nami and got to have lovely Tsoynamis.

tsoynamiNami (bakery & coffee shop) and Green (restaurant) are in two separate buildings on the same property. I met the lead baker who had Chedder and Chive scones out for sale as well as a selection of cupcakes, cookies, and other pastries – even a daily gluten-free option. She’s using the Daiya cheese in the scones. I was too full to try one, but they looked heavenly. We ate our tsoynamis and soaked in the atmosphere of Phoenix’s newest contemporary eatery. If you are ever going to be in the Phoenix area, and want a great vegan meal, drop me a line and I’ll take you to Green, where the food is fantastic and the ambiance fabulous.