We may be at the end of June (and therefore halfway through the year), but this summer is all about re-emergence and growth in the vegan community. From the return of Garden Grill to a new food truck catering to those who can’t necessarily afford chemical-free produce to the expansion of a local favorite into a new market, and much more—here’s what’s going on in the Las Vegas vegan community this month.
Violette’s Vegan (ViolettesVegan.com) is giving locals the opportunity to meet and mingle with Gary Yourofsky, who is responsible for converting about 1 million people to a vegan lifestyle, and Jason Wrobel, a vegan celebrity chef and author of Eaternity (HayHouse, $25). From 6:30 p.m.-10 p.m. July 1, the restaurant will host a dinner and meet-and-greet with the two. Reserve a seat for $5 and the fee goes straight to One Family Animal Sanctuary.
Speaking of that, on July 2, One Family Animal Sanctuary (OneFamilyLV.org) will host a vegan barbecue at a private residence. The Red White & Blue Vegan Cookout costs $27 per person and includes one vegan hamburger, one vegan hot dog and a choice of chips or slaw, plus lots of farm animals to hang with. All money from the event goes to the sanctuary, which supports many animal medical cases, as well as caring for abandoned, neglected or abused farm animals. Purchase tickets here.
On June 10, Vegas Roots Community Garden (VegasRoots.org) and Downtown’s Citizen of the Month, Rosalind Brooks, launched the Veggie Buck Truck Mobile Farmers Market. Pesticide- and chemical-free produce are harvested by at-risk young adults and local farmers from the community garden and then distributed directly to low-income areas. The threefold goal of the Buck Truck is to increase access to locally grown and affordable fruits and veggies for low-income families; provide nutritional information and on-site demos; and help boost the local economy. Each week, the truck delivers produce to 120 low-income seniors and families. To volunteer, visit VegasRoots.org/Volunteer.
Chef Kenny Che of Veggie House (VeggieHouseVegas.com) is expanding beyond the Asian food scene. Debuting in September, Che will introduce the Veggie Burger Drive Thru. Slated to be the town’s first vegan fast-food venue, the drive-through concept will offer a “simple menu” of vegan burgers, fish tacos, milkshakes and more at 7790 S. Jones Boulevard.
For those obsessed with dining that’s portable, Garden Grill (GardenGrillLV.com), has exciting news: It’s back! For months —five to be exact—we’ve wondered what happened to Leslie Marroquin’s popular Mexican-inspired all-vegan stand. What was supposed to be two weeks in Peru ended up being a five-month South American adventure for Marroquin. But she and her stand have returned to the scene. Most recently, she dished up the Thrillist (think doughnut filled with fried chicken that tricks non-vegans every time, tempeh bacon and other items that all magically go together), at the L.A. Vegan Beer & Food Fest. Garden Grill returns to the weekend farmers market circuit in mid-July.
Finally, I’m launching a new vegan meetup! From 6-8 p.m. on the last Monday of each month, join me and Vegans, Baby (VegansBaby.com) at VegeNation (Vegenationlv.com) for #MeatlessMonday. The event is open to everyone and includes one complimentary cocktail, two-for-one happy hour, a pop-up menu and live DJ. The next Vegans, Baby meetup is set for July 25.