Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Veggie Grill: A sweet consolation prize

They were supposed to be her consolation prize.

I didn’t even really want them.

The only reason I’d picked Veggie Grill for my mother and my lunch together in Orange County was because I was trying to eat healthy.

“I need to take care of myself this weekend.” I’d told my mother when she’d raised an eyebrow. I know she was secretly hoping I’d suggest getting a quiche at Old Vine Cafe or even a chicken wrap at Panini Cafe.

“I don’t care where we go.” She’d responded with an air of motherly indifference.

I loved her for it. Which is why I suggested we order Veggie Grill’s famous Sweetheart Fries ($4.25) – seasoned sweet potato fries served with chipotle ranch dressing. She loves sweet potato fries.

I wasn’t planning on having more than a couple. I had a huge All Hail Kale salad with blackened tempeh ($10.45) that was threatening to collapse my plate with its load of marinated kale and red cabbage, roasted corn salsa, agave-roasted walnuts, quinoa, and ginger-papaya vinaigrette. Clearly, I didn’t need any additional sustenance – especially fried sustenance.

But one fry turned into two. Two turned into ten. And before my poor obliging mother had time to secure her fair share, I was scooping up the overly crisp dredges at the bottom of the bowl and smothering them with chipotle ranch.

The combination of the salty fries and my sweet kale salad was addicting. A bite of greens, a lick of the mango dressing, a savory fry – I was shuddering with satisfaction. And soon enough, shuddering with revulsion at how quickly my plans for a “healthy” lunch had soured.

“I’d go back there again!” My mom announced as we retreated to the car, my tail firmly planted between my seemingly engorged upper thighs.

She hadn’t even needed her sweet potato fry consolation prize to enjoy our lunch and her Baja Fiesta salad at Veggie Grill. I had been the catalyst for my own diet demise and subsequent self-loathing.

But I’d go back again. Especially if someone offered me a consolation prize.

Veggie Grill
4213 Campus Drive
Irvine, CA‎
(949) 509-0003‎

8000 West Sunset Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA‎
(323) 822-7575‎


Anna A. said...

I'd go back again! (even though I've never been) but my bro and sister in law tell me I'd like it. Next OC adventure...

Esi said...

My coworkers just walked out of the door to go have lunch there and then I saw your post. It's a sign that I need to visit ASAP. My list is filling up!!

Cafe Observer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cafe Observer said...

"seemingly" engorged thighs is right. most women think they are overweight, even if they happen to be underweight!

Ashley said...

Aren't sweet potatoes the food that are supposed to keep you alive for the longest if you're stranded on an island? Those good qualities make up for the fried-ness.

stuffycheaks said...

hahaha i totally do that!! I snatch up fries very quickly, which is why I usually have to get my own order - no sharing :)

H. C. said...

I definitely have a weakness for sweet potato fries too (as a matter of fact, got a stash of chipotle-spiced frozen ones at home, ready for me to pop in the oven whenever I want... I know, BAD!)

And Veggie Grill has been on my to-try list for a while (was contemplating going there following a half-marathon in late May, but eventually opted for Old Vine Cafe) ~ can't wait to try next time I'm in the Spectrum plaza.

Diana said...

Anna - I think I like it better than Native Foods. That kale salad was a champ -- especially with the blackened tempeh.

Esi - Definitely a sign. Get the fries! As your lunch. No, seriously.

Cafe Observer - So true! Which is precisely why I added the "seemingly."

Ashley - I like the way you think.

Stephanie - It's actually a very large order so is one that is okay to share. Especially with someone like my mom who lets me do most of the eating. :)

HC - I still need to try the quinoa at Old Vine! Next time! Definitely hit up Veggie Grill - I think you'll like it!

bagnatic said...

those fries look so sweet and crispy! *drool*

Jenn said...

Give me some of those fries, please!

Kirby! said...

I LOVE Veggie Grill!! If I lived closer, I would go there several times a week. SIGH. Their Baja Fiesta salad is also REALLY good. I also love how it's so cheap!!