Vegan Chicken and Waffles From A Classic Car Garage — Dining on a Dime

– [Lucas] We are headed
to what began as a pop up and is now a permanent fixture inside of a classic car
showroom called Hella Vegan. And it seems to be comfort food, so things like biscuits and gravy, fried chicken and waffles,
you know home-style comfort vegan food at Hella Vegan. – You look great by the way. – Not as good as you. Showing me up on my own show. – Bonjourno! – Do you speak Italian? – No, I just say that for like everything. It’s like cheers, bonjourno, or like you’re in my way, bonjourno. Or it’s like bon jour-no! – Wow. – Oh yeah. (laughs) Hella Vegan Eats, it
started off as a pop up and then one time we threw this huge vegan beer and food festival in this space and like thousands of people showed up. And so it was like we
should just do this thing… – Permanently. – Yeah. This is like the free kingdom and so I’m just another one of them. – Did you have a background in food? – All the vegan food around
that was kind of like not as exciting and
bright as I live my life, so I basically just was really
forward with the options, and so just learned how to cook. – Is everything in the restaurant vegan? – Yeah, it’s not just
vegan, it’s Hella Vegan. – Do that again. – It’s not just vegan, it’s Hella Vegan! (upbeat rock music) – What can I do for you today? – Well hello, that’s how we do things at Hella Vegan Eats. My name is Lucas and I would like to order some of this delicious food. – [Hannah] Tape means
we don’t have it, sad. – Tape means no. So you ran out of chili? Well hopefully the chicken
waffles are just as good ’cause I will try that. – It’s kind of the staple
on the weekends for sure. – I think also just like the breakfast, the champions of breakfast. Are you a vegan? – I am not a vegan. – Okay, but that’s okay. – It’s fine. I think that’s almost
like a bigger compliment, is if you do eat meat, but
you choose to eat vegan food even if your friends… You know, especially ’cause
your friends make it. – That’s very true. – But I will opt for things on this menu. – But you’ll just eat it ’cause
you think it tastes good. – Yep. – Thanks for talking to me. Looking forward to this food. – Yeah, you guys should
sit in the beer garden. – I think we will. – Yeah, and we’re gonna
yell on a megaphone. – Oh yeah? Oh awesome, great. Okay, let’s go. (upbeat rock music) – Lucas, your order is ready. Enjoy, thank you so much! – Thank you, thank you. Look at this, a vegan feast. A lot of thought and care has gone into how do we make things taste like meat, even if they’re not meat. A favorite is tofu, made from soybeans, is a
common meat substitute. Another is tempeh, fermented soy beans, and it has more of like a grainy texture. And then lastly there is seitan, and seitan is wheat gluten,
so not for the gluten free. For the chicken and waffles,
bachelor number one, this chicken is a compressed,
texturized soy patty. There’s a little pat of herb butter, which is not going to be butter ’cause butter is a dairy product. But margarine is not, or at least most margarine is. It’s sort of perfect, fried chicken is crispy, salty, crunchy, savory, and then the pleasantly wheaty texture of the waffle goes well. So it’s you know, when you
think of biscuits and gravy you think of sausage and biscuits, baked good with protein. That frequently goes well together. Sage, oregano, it’s nicely battered and fried. You know, it has a crunchy
coating on the outside. I like this, I would eat this. Alright, we have a breakfast plate of biscuits and gravy. There’s also like a tofu-egg
scramble, some seitan bacon. I’m gonna get a spoonful
of this egg scramble, some of the fake bacon. It has the texture of scrambled eggs. Tofu gets a bad rap, but I really like it. It very much is a blank canvas and I think that’s sort of the strategy. Like it has a slightly sweet flavor, but it has that firm
texture of a piece of meat and the flavor’s not overwhelming so that whatever spices
or things you put into it, the protein will take on that flavor and that’s what tofu is. It lacks the depth of an egg flavor, if that makes any sense, like what you would get from an egg yolk. I don’t necessarily miss it. The seitan bacon, it’s heavily spiced. It tastes like curry. Biscuits and gravy, again it does become a little bit of a
challenge for baked goods because you can’t use
things like eggs and butter. The common pitfall is that
it becomes sort of too dense. But this is nice. The biscuit still does have
that buttery flakiness. As far as the gravy goes, it tastes like onion soup a little bit. You know, as someone that works in food, it would be very hard
for me to be a vegetarian and it would be very hard
for me to be a vegan, given the industry and that it is my job to try to eat as many different
kinds of things as I can. If you look at it from the perspective of well the goal is to like stop suffering, then I think there’s
a very strong argument for vegetarianism. I get it, and I respect that choice. There are good vegan options, and so I for one welcome
our new vegan overlords. I really hope you enjoyed this episode of Dining on a Dime from Hella Vegan in Oakland California. If you’d like to watch
more, please click here.