Dining out is one of my favorite activities for date night and just in general. It wasn't always but that's another blog post. This weekend Zack and I went to Root Down, a vegan-friendly Restaurant in Denver. It was dee-lish!
I myself am not vegan but I am well versed in vegan menu planning since a lot of my personal nutrition coaching clients want to make the transition to 100% plant based and to meet their nutrition needs it helps to have an RD's eye.
I'm also very aware of the amazing benefits of eating plant based and the culinary creation these days are tremendous! Think of any animal based food and there is a vegan version. Like this Mediterranean Inspired Frittata I made was dolloped with vegan ricotta cheese.
Personally, I include some animal products in my diet: seafood, poultry, eggs, whey protein, yogurt, cottage cheese. I really strive for variety. I also think we don't all need to eat no meat but we can all eat less.
Zack isn't a major meat eater himself. I think mostly because that means he would have to cook it, lol. At home he makes protein shakes, peanut butter toast, eggs, pasta...meat-free meals. He practices #meatlessmonday probably more than I do since I'll typically have chicken or fish for dinner.
For a while now we have been trying to snag reservations at Root Down in Denver. This restaurant is affiliated with Ophelia's , Linger and Vital Root and we have eaten at all of those places and loved them so it's about time we made it to the fourth establishment.
As a rule we always look at menus before going out to eat. And this isn't just for nutrition reasons either. We want to obviously look at the prices of the entrees and what kind of entrees they have. We're not "cheap" but definitely not trying to spend $40 on an entree and be hungry 2 hours later. Do you know how many groceries you can buy with $40?!
So a few days ago I popped on the web to download the dinner menu at Root Down. I discovered that it wasn't a full vegan restaurant but plenty of their items can be made vegan, as requested. I like that! But tonight I felt like ordering fully vegan so I could give an honest opinion about the vegan versions of the meal. I want to help my personal nutrition coaching clients by giving them restaurant recommendations.
What I Ate
Zucchini Poblano Soup
The soup was so yummy and I'm not a big soup person. By that I mean I don't often order soup, but it's definitely a great menu item to order. Soup is filling and can be fairly low calorie if you are watching your weight. I have no idea how many calories this was. I also don't care. It was spicy but not too spicy. I could finish the entire soup without needing something cold and creamy to calm down the fire. I noticed it got spicier towards the end. The pepitas were a great touch of texture and I ate those poblanos. So tender!
Veggie "Poke" Salad
The Veggie "Poke" Salad was the heartiest entree I ordered. I thought the flavor was mild over all and in case you are wondering the red beets that replace raw fish in traditional poke were crunchy. I don't know if that was on purpose, like they were under cooked but I enjoyed it! A great vegan meal if you want a plant-based meal that's loaded with protein.
Asparagus & Artichokes
Okay, so this was one of the shareable plates and while it was delicious, I was a touch confused at the ratio of dip to veggies. I almost felt as though there needed to be fewer asparagus spears and leafy greens and more of the crunchy fava beans and more that 1 quinoa cracker to scoop the dip with. However, it was served with a fork so I kind of just ate it like a salad. Taste was amazing but just was not expecting that much hummus.
Veggie Burger Slider
Zack ordered this entree, with my nudge ;-) . He wanted to order the chicken entree and something else. It was between the special buffalo mozzarella buratta which was described to be like a bruchetta (please read that like brusKetta, not bruSHetta because the 'ch' sound in Italian language is like the English 'k').
I told him he should go with the sliders because 1. it was $2 cheaper , lol and also that with the slider comes the sweet potatoes fries and that's always a crowd pleaser!
He placed his order and the waitress said that the sliders were substantial and she was willing to put in an order for only 1 slider versus 2. That's what we did.
What I Wore
You know I need to write a full post on why I love bodysuits so much because as a short-torso chica I find it kind of challenging to wear cute tops that don't make my upper body disappear. You know like the long tank tops that go right past the booty? If you're short-torso'ed you know what I'm saying.
I love crop tops + high waisted things and now I love body suits. I bought 3: 2 black and 1 white from different places I like to shop at.
This one I'm wearing is from Express. It's a black thong body suit with a deep v-neck. I wear stickers instead of a bra but I'm sure a black bralette would look cute as well!
The back of this Express body suit is full coverage unlike the one I wore to Bassnectar which is an open "scoop" back. That I would not wear any bralette with.
Paired with the black body suit were these adorable cloth shorts I ordered from Lulu's . I bought these as part of an outfit but decided I would go with the black body suit instead of the crop top to go out to dinner with.
They are high waisted and the length is still covering the cheek. I love the lightweight material especially on these hot summer Denver days. Probably should have shaved my legs but oh well!
I bought these scrappy sandals with summer concerts in mind. My thing with concert shoes is I must be able to dance! These babies are secure to my feet as to minimize potential falls. Also, if you have ever been to Red Rocks Amphitheater , which you should definitely add to your list if you have not yet, then the stairs can trip you up if you're wearing floppy sandals.
I love the strap details too because while its a very basic sandal, the overlays give it extra eye-appeal, in my opinion. Plus they're brown/tan and they go with everything. I seriously have a brown shoe problem.
No it's not a problem, it's a solution :)