By Charles Karel Bouley
I’ve now had the best Po’boy in Las Vegas, vegan or otherwise. It was like a hidden treasure at the end of a hunt, thanks to the maze that is Town Square at Sunset and Las Vegas Blvd. The Po’Boy (and rest of the menu) is the creation of Chef Parker, a San Francisco/Oakland native now calling Las Vegas his home and the vegan, and foodie, communities are all the better for it.
I first encountered Down2Earth at the now shuttered Vegas Test Kitchen downtown. That’s where I had his fish sandwich (made from deep fried oyster mushrooms and a seasoned coating from the Gods). Now, they are located in Town Square, upstairs, across from AMC and next to the Blue Martini. They share a space with a non-vegan pizza parlor named Solamente Pizza, so if you’ve found them, you’ve found Down2Earth.
The menu is eclectic, from sandwiches to waffles and lots and lots of vegan pizzas. There are also daily and weekly specials, so be sure and check the menu down2earthplantbased.com for additions or subtractions.
As mentioned, the Po’Boy is a star for me, filled with deep fried and deliciously seasoned mushrooms that somehow don’t taste like mushrooms. The Fish Fry is still available, and I still remember its fabulous vegan brioche bun and unique tartar sauce. The Avocado Pesto could be a staple for any lunch, with a basil pesto, arugula, tomato, avocado and mounds of sprouts. Each sandwich is served with fries or a side salad. Get the side salad. Many restaurants make side salads an afterthought. Not Chef Parker and his friendly staff. The salad was a delight, from the mixed greens to the facon’ bits (fake bacon).
Now, vegan mac-n-cheese is hit and miss at many places. Here, it shines as Truffle n’Mushroom mac-n-cheese. It’s got two kinds of noodles, cremini mushroom, vegan cheese, truffle oil and panko breadcrumbs with vegan parmesan on top. It’s so good, they make a pizza out of it. It’s enough for two people, or an entree for sure.
And then, there’s the pizzas. They have six signature ones, plus specials; some featuring Beyond Meat products, others like the Hawaiian with pepperoni, vegan bacon, fresh pineapple, red onion, vegan mozz…. big enough to share, but you won’t want to once you see it.
Prices range from $11 up to about $20 depending on the dish, but worth every penny and great portions. Dessert changes, for me it was all about the lemon pound cake and/or the blueberry cobbler cookie (why choose, take one home, so I did).
Chef Parker and his staff are creating decadent and delightful plant-based treats that any foodie will love, vegan or not. Go on the treasure hunt at Town Square, find the right escalators by AMC and there will be a pot of vegan gold at the end of the rainbow. Hours are 12p to 9p Sunday-Thursday, 12 to 12 Friday & Saturday. They deliver through all services. 6559 Las Vegas Blvd. S., #B-209, Las Vegas, NV 725.214.3755. Tell them you read about in Real Vegas Magazine and/or veganinvegas.com
Lazeez Options In: Many ethnic restaurants can do vegan, but Lazeez Indian Grill at Desert Inn and Durango (8560 W. Desert Inn Rd, 702-778-1613) has now created a vegan lunch for $18.99 well worth the price. They always have vegan options on their buffet, but now, you can get two entrees, samosas, pakoras, poori or roti…a ton of delicious plant-based food for under $20. Aaloo Saag, Veggie Korma, Aaloo Cholay, Okra…there’s so many to choose from that you can come back again and again and not repeat. Ember and I eat here at least once a week and they never disappoint. And it’s great if you have non-vegan friends, you’ll still get great, made-to-order goodness while they can sample the other faire.
To read more about these and other restaurants go to veganinvegas.com and listen for reviews on The Karel Cast wherever you get your podcasts. Reviews are often featured at youtube.com/reallykarel so subscribe as well as realvegasmagazine.com Send comments to email@example.com