IN GOOD TASTE: POP CULTURE VEGAN CAFE


In this Month's "In Good Taste" feature, our own Food and Travel expert, Alicia Price reluctantly tries a new Vegan restaurant, Pop Culture Vegan Cafe and finds herself wanting to come back for more deliciousness. Check it out below!


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Story and Photos By Alicia Price

If you know me personally, then you know that I have a complex relationship with vegan food. On one hand, I’m intrigued by the ingenuity of the substitute options yet on the other…why would I eat cheese made from a cashew when real cheese is delicious? Every now and then, I step outside of my comfort zone and try a new vegan restaurant. There’s been more misses than hits and plenty more “oh, absolutely not” encounters. So new vegan experiences are typically one filled with reluctancy instead of eagerness.

Prior to this visit, I had a favorite vegan restaurant. This establishment was the first to help to break down the barrier of understanding the willingness to block the blessings known as butter, cheese, brisket and lobster…which is more commonly referred to as veganism. But then I was introduced to Pop Culture Vegan Cafe, formally known as Vegginini’s Paradise Cafe. Let’s just say there’s a new #1 on my list.

For starters, I had the freshly made smoothies. Unbeknownst to me, seamoss is not well complemented by bananas. The flavor combination of the seamoss, banana and mango was not my best work. However, I was still very much impressed by the crispness of the ingredients and the consistency. Round 2 was a strawberry-mango concoction, which was amazing.

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I can honestly say that there has never been a time when I craved a vegan dish, until now. The fried buffalo cauliflower has been on my mind since my visit. Who knew that battering and frying this vegetable could cause this kind of euphoria. It comes paired with a sweet and sour dipping sauce that entices your tastebuds to savor every bite. While convincing me that this is an adequate replacement for boneless wings is a strong reach …the fried cauliflower is gold.

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Moving on to the entrees.The flavor and texture were perfection. The Kung Pao “Chicken” and The Big American Burger were both “step outside of your comfort zone” choices that were well worth the risk. The Kung Pao can compete with any of the Asian cuisine staples from your neighborhood shops. The yellow rice and spring rolls rounded out the meal quite well. But that burger... Let’s be honest, meatless/veggie/beyond patties can be, well, bland. So biting into this handheld began with apprehension but resulted in bliss.

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I don’t say this often but I will be back to try everything on this menu.

Visit them at:

15439 Mack Ave
Detroit, MI 48224

Tel: (313) 458-8309