A couple of good things happened that evening: our boys were with us further solidifying our blended family, and we saw Susan Feniger in the flesh. Pretty darn cool!
Before I get too far into this post, I have apologize for the quality of the photos: the lighting was low, we were in a corner, and using a flash would not only be disruptive and wash the food in bright light, but conspicuously taking pictures of the food gives away your anonymity as a blogger.
The evening began with some outstanding mojitos, chips, salsa and guacamole. Quite frankly, I think the ideal for us would be to just stick to that from now on. Call a cab, designate a driver, and just suck down drinks & chips all night!
I have to give very big props to our server for knowing the menu inside and out, especially when it came to discussing vegan options with me. She advised me not to eat the tomatillo salsa (as it has some cream in it) and when pointing out the Summer Vegetable Chilaquiles, told me the chefs would leave off the tomatillo & dairy for a perfectly vegan dish. Unfortunately, I’m not sure that’s what happened. I was half way through the dish when I realized that the tomatillo salsa was definitely there. I am lactose intolerant, so not only is this completely unvegan, but also devastating to my digestive tract. (I had a rough night…)
That said, I absolutely believe that without the tomatillo, this is a great vegan meal, and you would not run into any trouble ordering any dish with no meat or dairy. Ease & simplicity of ordering, always very very high on my vegan dining checklist.
Everyone really enjoyed their meals, even my über finicky son who actually deviated from cheese quesadillas and ordered the “Border Classics”. I was shocked that he not only ordered something so outside of his little kid box, but actually tried one of each item on the plate! It’s a baby step, but a step nonetheless.
Dessert menus passed out, I assumed as always that there was nothing non-dairy on that menu. Nope! There was sorbet!! I used to consider myself an Olympic level ice cream eater in my lacto-vegetarian days. I could suck down a pint of Starbucks Javachip without batting an eyelash, and once (I swear this is true) I ate a 6 scoop ice cream cone no problem. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know…
So for me to get excited these days about sorbet is a big deal for sure. Although, I admit, part of me is really just waiting to hear another server say the magic words “coconut sorbet” – it’s like spinning the big wheel on The Price is Right: I’m sure one day I’ll get $1.00!
This sorbet was actually some sort of sweet cinnamon which was refreshing & surprising. Fresh strawberries & blueberries added the right amount of tartness, so yeah, this was a winner. Simple, rustic flavors.
And to top off the evening, Susan Feniger was walking around the dining room talking to diners & being photographed. She took one look at our motley crew and kept right on walking. Too bad: I really wanted a photo of her & I for this blog. Next time, Susan.
There is nothing difficult about getting a veg*n meal at Border Grill. In fact, there are not only several vegetarian items on the menu, but they specifically state: “We can make almost any dish with less meat and/or dairy upon request.” And don’t forget “Meatless Mondays”!
Border Grill Santa Monica
1445 4th St.
Santa Monica, CA 90401
phone: 310.451.1655 fax: 310.394.2049