Listen, you may put the "carne" in "carnivore", but do you know anything about vegan food? More importantly, do you know anything about vegan NACHOS? I know I don't, and that's why our guest reviewer is here to offer us a vegan view.
Is a nacho still a nacho if there's no cheese, no meat, no sour cream, no ... well, those are the only three common nacho ingredients that aren't vegan. So, as a vegan who loves nachos, I think the answer is: yes, absolutely! Vegan nachos are nachos just the same, and they can be delicious. So sit back and enjoy my dairy- and meat-free nacho reviews. I promise not to call them "not-chos".
First up is one of my go-to "fast casual" vegan joints: Native Foods. There's a bunch of them in LA, with one just a short walk from my office – a bit of a (delicious) disaster. Their nachos are on the starters menu, but the serving is not tiny. I've rarely been bested by a plate of nachos, but these have overwhelmed my stuffed stomach on several occasions (at which point I packed them up and took them home for breakfast the next morning, because I am gross and awesome).
The chips are your basic yellow corn chips: nothing special, not overly fried or salted. The base of black beans and Native Foods taco "meat" is plentiful. The faux-meat is done ground beef style, seasoned with taco spices but not too picante. For the next layer the menu lists "Native Cheese" and "Native Chipotle Crema". For the life of me, I've never been able to tell which is which, giving you a sense of just how spicy the chipotle crema is. The "cheese" has been spread over the meat and beans, while the crema is adorns the sides in adorable cloudlike puffs. Atop the "cheese" is a plentiful handful of fresh corn, green onion, and jalapeño. Topping it all off are salsa, guacamole and cilantro.
It all makes for a delicious appetizer for two or, if you're me, a meal for one. Native Foods deserve bonus points for presentation, too. It's always hard to start eating them because they look so pretty. Somehow, I manage.
Conclusion? Native Foods is one of the best fast food-style vegan chains around. They're in 13 US cities from Los Angeles to Washington, DC. If you're looking for a quick and reliable nacho-nosh, check them out!
I'll be back with another vegan nacho review by the time you get your next craving.