Jolly Beans Cafe's Happy Bird Panini

Inspirada Gets Its Jolly Beans, Firefly Goes Vegan, and Banger Has the Barnivore Nod

The south part of the Valley has something new for all you plant-based folks. Thanks to Rishi Stocks, who came from the vegan-friendly Sunrise Coffee/Mothership Coffee Roasters outlet where she served as the assistant vegan pastry chef, we can add Jolly Beans Cafe in Inspirada (2009 Via Firenze, Henderson, 702-235-4791, JollyBeansCafe.com) to the city’s vegan map. Stocks, a manager, convinced the cafe’s owners to incorporate cruelty-free practices into the mix, resulting in a decent-size menu for non-meat-eaters. If you haven’t visited yet, the dish to scarf down is the Happy Bird Panini, filled with Tofurkey, spinach, tomato, vegan cheese and mayo between gorgeously grilled sourdough. There is also a decent coffee and tea selection, too. (Of note is the vegan version of the matcha mint latte.) Stocks expects to be able to add more items to the menu soon.

Tapas are going vegan, too. Well, at least some of them. Firefly Tapas Kitchen & Bar (3824 Paradise Rd., 702-369-3971, FireflyLV.com) launched a vegan tapas menu earlier this month. According to chef/owner John Simmons, the new menu came to fruition thanks to the demand from the plant-based community. They started toying with some plates and received positive feedback, and thus a vegan selection was born. The offerings—a collaboration between Simmons and executive chef Jaime Villanueva—include lychee ceviche with onions, tomatoes, jalapeño, cilantro, cucumber, lime and avocado juice; jicama salad with green apples, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and smoked almonds all tossed in sherry vinaigrette; and heart of palm “crab cakes” breaded in gluten-free panko. Firefly’s new vegan menu offers 15 delicious small plates of cruelty-free eating.

Moving from food to beverage: Not all alcohol is created equal. In fact, plenty of brands add non-vegan products including milk and honey, as well as other products you wouldn’t even imagine, such as isinglass (which comes from fish bladder), gelatin and sea shells to help remove impurities. And trying to find out who uses what can be a rabbit hole. However, thanks to Barnivore.com, we can weed out the vegan from the non-vegan in terms of booze. And there’s a newly approved spot in town for getting your buzz on. Downtown’s Banger Brewing (at the Fremont Street Experience, 702-456-2739, BangerBrewing.com) was recently added to the guide, so vegans no longer need wonder what went into the makings of their beer, including the award-winning El Jefe Hefeweizen infused with freshly roasted jalapeños and serrano peppers.

Diana Edelman aims to make living a vegan lifestyle in Las Vegas accessible to everyone. Check out the latest vegan news (complete with all the places to eat) on her website, VegansBaby.com.

DTLV

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