He had an old co-worker recommend Pelon's , she is also Vegan and said she really enjoyed grabbing a bite there. His finding out about this tasty place was what set the fire under me to search for more local, vegan fare recently, so be on the lookout for more reviews!
The Pelon's in Virginia Beach just recently began carrying Vegan options , which is great. The Hubs tried to surprise me by driving us out to the oceanfront Pelon's in Virginia Beach only to find they didn't have anything Vegan as an option that wasn't your typical "just leave out the meat" dishes. I wasn't wanting rice and beans, I wanted something special to write about. This was a few weeks prior to them changing their mind and starting to finally offer the vegan choices. i'll have to visit and update you on their atmosphere, customer service and food soon.
Fast forward to a few weeks later and here we are at the Norfolk location, Pelon's. This one was more inviting and had less of a surf shop vibe. It was calmer, quieter and had a wide, covered and enclosed, dining patio. It was gorgeous outside that day, so sitting on the patio was a no brainer.
In lue of my writing a review, the Hubs knew we needed options. He ordered 3 of the Vegan "carne Esada" steak tacos (corn tortillas) a chicken burrito and a Vegan brownie. Just to let you know the faux meat products are Vegan but they are NOT gluten-free so if you are a Celiac I wouldn't reccomend anything but the rice and bean combo, which was super delicious anyhow.
We sat at a fence side table in the sun and i snapped some pictures quickly so that we could get down to business. After all, we came to eat food not photograph it. I had a bite of each, as I am gluten sensitive I needed to taste it for you guys but not make myself feel ill. The Carne Esada steak tacos were filled pretty well with the vegan steak, green tamatillo sauce, fresh cilantro, diced onion, fresh avocado (guacamole) and other spices. The texture of the steak was pretty close to the real deal. It had a firm almost crispy thin layer on the outter edges and a tough red-meat like texture on the inside. It reminded me of blackened steak strip tacos. The spices, fresh herbs and cool veggies, warm tortillas made it crispy, cool , warm, crunchy, soft and a tad spicy. All a perfect combo. We ate them pretty quickly. While the ingredients seem simple, you must know that the cooking technique and spices added to faux meat products is imperitave to getting a good dish, let alone a great one like this.
Now onto the Chicken burrito. This puppy was stacked and stuffed. The flour tortilla was doughy, warm and super soft. It completely wrapped all the ingredients inside helping you not make a huge mess while gobbling it down like someone who hasn't eaten in days. This had loads of seasoned beans and rice and chicken with a nice hot- off- the -grill texture and a kick of flavor. There were also your typical ingredients like cilantro, onions, lettuce. However, typical does not mean that you could do without these. Yet again, these typical and seemingly "normal" burrito ingredients played up the flavors extrememly well. Another win!
Now the Vegan brownie. I don't know about you but when I indulge in a baked pan of brownies, my favorite is the coner peices, you know, the crispy edged ones. This browni reminded me of that. It was crispy and firm outside and soft an brownie-like inside. The taste was of low sugar content and real cocoa baking powder. I am not a huge fan of processed foods and i like a touch of sweetness. The sweet didn't overpower and the crunch was a nice change of pace from typical heavy and fudgy brownies. In all honesty, at first, i thought it was just some regular, possibly partially stale brownie. Now, my Husband IS a huge brownie lover and wasn't the biggest fan of it. I feel if it were taken home as a treat, popped in the microwave for a few seconds and eaten alongside a cool glass of Vanilla Almond mylk, that would be a much fairer situation for this brownie.
All in all it was a lovely day and a great meal. We also didn't get the typical heavy feelings or bloat associated with meals that combine carby/animal by product and spicy. If you're in town be sure to pop on over to Pelon's and try out some of their scrumptious Vgean options at 738 West 22nd Street Norfolk, Va. Please mention my article!
Check out the menu!