I'm in San Jose, visiting my adorable friend Risey, who's house-sitting down here this weekend. I don't visit downtown San Jose that often; didn't even visit that often when I lived here. But I have to admit, it's clean and nice and most importantly, it has this:
Yes, you read that right: Good Karma Vegan Cafe.
As you may or may not know, I eat mostly vegetarian, avoiding animal products and dairy. I don't freak out about a little egg in my gluten-free bread (trying to avoid that, too) or a little honey, but I feel better since I've started eating this way, so there you go.
Risey discovered this place a couple of weeks ago, when our meat-eating friends took her here for lunch. They were impressed enough with it to consider going veg themselves, so that was good enough for me. We popped by for lunch today.
It's super casual and comfortable inside, papered with the expected flurry of liberal pamphlets and hipster club advertisements, with another hipster behind the counter. The food is kept cold in a deli case, and their dishes rotate daily. There's no menu, just hand-written cards on the containers. You choose two to three dishes, and they're piled on a plate with some mixed veggies and some brown rice, then nuked in the microwave.
Yes, the microwave.
And you know what? It's delicious. So, suck it haters.
I went the faux-meat route, above. I had ginger "beef" with portabello mushrooms, barbecue "chicken" (on a little stick to make it look like a chicken leg), mashed potatoes, rice and broccoli.
Risey also had the "chicken leg" and potatoes, but chose dahl as her third dish. It's an Indian lentil-based dish.
After dinner I had this:
Rocky Road pie!!! How do they get pie so creamy and mousse-like without eggs or dairy? No idea, but it was awesome. In fact, the pie was so awesome that two San Jose bicycle cops, who I doubt very much were vegan, were in having pie when we were there. One of them and I had this very mature exchange, while I dithered about which pie to get:
Cop: Oh, GAWD. Just get the plain pie!
Me: But...that one's Rocky Road!
Yes, that conversation was as moronic as it sounded. Anyhoo, I got the Rocky Road, and it was awesome. The End.
All in all, I loved Good Karma, and will now visit my friends in San Jose more often, just to get to eat here. Get ready, guys.
And here, as a special treat, is beautiful Risey: