A few weeks ago, my lovely friend Lauren sent me a link to something called a Vegan Food Crawl, asking me if I wanted to go with her.
Yummy, probably healthy, vegetarian (vegan, even!) food, all along a long walk, alongside one of my best friends? Sign me up!
When we showed up, we were each given a bag with the Urban Food Crawl label on it.
I thought this was a cute touch, though it definitely made me think we’d be getting more nibbles-to-go than we did (since we didn’t get anything to-go unless we didn’t finish what we got at each location).
We got a menu in these bags, however, which let us know what we had to look forward to.
As the menu suggested, our first stop was Malo.
There, we got Vegan Chipotle Soyrizo Tortas (and burritos, actually) with avocado, lettuce and tomato.
Once splitting was all said and done, this is what my plate of tastes looked like:
This location, being the first, was also the first where I got a real sense of what this food crawl would be like. We were all kind of sitting around at a table and rather than being treated like this was a professional food crawl. We were instead kind of like a big, distant family, especially given that we got plates to split with each other. We also waited about 20 minutes for our order to come, as it seems they didn’t put the order in until we got there.
Once we ate and the hosts paid, we moved on to the next location, which was across the street: Garage Pizza.
This place offered the same kind of deal, where we all sat at tables there and waited for our food, which we split up.
At Garage Pizza, we got the Vegan Calzone, which had Daiya cheese, mushrooms, vegan sausage and red onion. It’s actually supposed to come with bell peppers instead of mushrooms, but one of the hosts had a personal preference that led her to change the official order.
At this point, only two stops in, I was already kind of full!
We took a break part-way through to stop at a spice station. It was a cool location, but definitely added to the very slow pace of the food crawl.
Next up: Berlin Currywurst
This was, by far, my favorite location. Not only was the food good (and plentiful), but this was the only stop that really seemed to “get” what we were there for. The staff of the restaurant told us about their food and why they brought it to Los Angeles from Germany, and also told us about how they came to offer vegan options.
One of these options involved these amazing french fries, which we dipped in curry ketchup.
The other was a surprise favorite of mine: vegan kielbasa (tasted real and I had no problem with that, even though I’m not a meat fan!). There were a variety of flavors, but to me, the clear winner was one that had both orange and curry flavors. It was to die for. It also came with German bread, which was a really nice touch.
The next stop was Naya, an India restaurant.
This place was kind of weird, since they definitely did not seem to get that we were on a food tour. They crowded us around low tables at a bar and asked for individual orders, which was odd.
Their food, however, was good! Two Samosas each — one spinach & tofu and one pea & potato.
The pea and potato Samosa was one of my favorite things we tasted all day.
Sadly, this is where the tour stopped for Lauren and me. While this mostly can be chalked up to a personal call I got that basically forced me to leave, I can also say that I wasn’t all that sorry to go. As much as I loved the food tour, I was a) completely full at this point and no longer wanted any more food and b) sort of over it. This was three hours in, we’d been to four stops, people were ordering drinks, and I just didn’t want to spend a fourth hour of my Sunday on a food crawl with strangers.
I think this food crawl could be awesome and I know it’s through a new company, so I’m hoping they’ll keep improving the tour. I seriously encourage any of you fellow LA-ites to check it out, but I’d also encourage them to change things. For instance: they should cut down the amount of food at each stop, the amount of time spent at each stop and the amount of time total. If the tour was something more expected by each location (say, “we’ll be here at 2:15PM, so please be ready with these dishes”), the food was already paid for, and there was a little more information about the food at each stop, it might feel more like an actual food crawl.
That being said, go check their website out if you’re in LA!