I have no other way to reference it against its other locations. I had been a customer of PF Changs since 2005 and had visited many of its locations throughout the US.
Kona’s Rock Star Manager
I went with my family after hearing about the Kona Grill from the manager, Jose Perez. He was the main reason why I kept returning to the local PF Changs.
When I reached out to him asking him if their would be Vegan options, he was about to start training. At that moment he replied that even if they did not have any options on the menu, he would find a way to serve vegans.
I went over on the Monday after Easter. I found parking close to one of the main entrances and the signs got me quickly to the Kona Grill.
Great First Impression
Being a fan of water sculptures and art, I was highly impressed with the Kona sign which has a waterfall effect coming down.
The host, who seem to be one of the teams helping train the local staff, was nice and got us seated. I asked for the Vegan/Vegetarian menu and they had it available.
Our waitress approached us and we requested some Appetizers on the Vegan menu.
- Avocado Roll
- Vegetarian Roll
- Seaweed Salad.
Quickly we got the Vegetarian roll which has a simple look but was delicious. By accident we also got Avocado Egg Rolls. We mentioned that we did not order them and with a smile they were removed.
The waitress came back and mentioned that the seaweed salad had seafood ingredients in it. So I decided to pass on that one and was grateful that she and the rest of the staff caught it.
The Kona Grill Twitter account confirmed it must have been a small mistake, the seaweed salad is vegan.
@rj_c We completely agree! better safe than sorry! Glad your experience was positive! Hope to see you again soon!
— Kona Grill (@konagrill) April 7, 2015
We waited a bit more which is understandable when the restaurant staff is new. The staff gave our daughter an Etch a Sketch and she played with it while we waited for food.
Regular Entree Modified to Be Vegan
I requested my entree which was a Pad Thai Noodles with tofu. Lucy requested a vegetarian option which was the roasted corn + goat cheese flatbread pizza. Our little one had her favorite french fries (for her that was a full meal) with some edamame.
Everything tasted fresh and well made. I really enjoyed the Pad Thai accompanied with tea.
I was extremely impressed with the level of service for a vegan/vegetarian family like ours. We had a great time. Everything was so delicious that I did not even have to pack anything back home.
Very Affordable without Sacrificing a Quality Experience
Our tab was at a reasonable and much more affordable price than I would have expected. My large order of food, the ambiance, and the quality of the experience made me think it was worth more.
Since the Kona Grill is just a drive across the Teodoro bridge from us, they can count on me as a regular when we feel like we don’t want to cook at home.
I can’t wait to return and see what else they have in store for me.
We went up to Old San Juan a few Sunday’s ago to meet up with our favorite, soon-to-be-wed couple Zuleyka and Pepe. Raul had gone to the restaurant for dinner while he was staying up that way for a conference last month. I had read about the vegetarian options served at this restaurant when doing research for other stays and day trips in the area but we never got around to going.
Parking Close by
The parking closest to the restaurant is called La Cochera (they validated the ticket for the first hour of your stay at the restaurant). Ask the parking attendant to direct you to Calle Sol which is up the street and around the corner from the parking garage. If you are walking around you will have to walk up pretty far from Paseo de La Princessa area. But the good thing about that is you get to see the great architecture of Old San Juan.
Once we got to the restaurant that seats about 40 people, it was buzzing with guests and employees. We were goin to eat brunch for $17.22 (plus tax) in Old San Juan which is a pretty great price considering the location. I had previewed the menu on our ride up and sorta of knew that I wanted a sandwich. So for that price you get you choice of coffee or tea, juice, green or fruit salad, your main dish and side, plus dessert!
I also ordered the fresh fruit salad with orange/carrot juice and for dessert a nice restaurant made carrot cake. The best thing about everything I ate was that our daughter of nearly 11 months could eat as well. She loved the kiwi, granola, watermelon, bananas, and the cinnamon lightely sprinkled over all of the fruit. I think if we would have ordered another fruit plate for Daniela she would have eaten that as well. Everthing I shared with Daniela minus the carrot/orange juice was delicious. We even took some extra garbanzos from Pepe.
Raul’s platter and brunch experience was custom and he’ll explain how the staff catered to his needs.
Different to many locations where hey have a set menu and will not change if for you, St. Germain caters to the dietary needs of each individual.
In my case I requested a vegan meal and the manager Mayra was more than happy to switch the many options on the menu for a Vegan Sandwich which is on their regular menu called Patrick. I have been trying to stay away from coffee for some time now and I also appreciated the fact that St. Germain had tea as another option. There Lemonade was fresh and refreshing and their fruit salad was delicious.
As in my other visits to St. Germain they are very consistent in how fresh the food options taste. If you are in Old San Juan on a Sunday, I have to say my recommendation would be to stop at St. Germain and enjoy an awesome brunch in a fresh and cozy place.
St. Germain Location and Contact Info
156 Sol St
San Juan, PR 00901
Alma is a restaurant located near Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA. It is not a vegetarian restaurant but has a nice selection of vegetarian friendly dishes. As I have mentioned in the past I enjoy spending time in restaurants that can serve both me and my non-veggie friends. Well let me tell you, Alma delivered.
I can tell you that the presentation of every dish was amazing. The service was awesome and the knowledge of every dish was incredible. The menu includes a reference to where the dish comes from. Or at least the nationality from which the dish was adapted from. In the end I had the “Vegetarian plate with quinoa, assorted fresh vegetables and hominy”. Loved it. Except the kale. It is not personal, I don’t like kale. But everything else was amazing. Just look at the picture. It was great.
I have been to Abay, another restaurant from the same owner. I enjoy the other restaurant and this remind me of this. A small cozy place with a nice selection of dishes and a small bar in the back. If you ever come to Pittsburgh, you should certainly visit this place.
Last Friday, we gathered with a group of local bloggers and twitter users at one of two restaurants located within the San JuanMarriott Resort and Stellaris Casino located in Condado, Puerto Rico. The restaurant that offers buffet and an a la carte menu is called La Vista Latin Grill located near the pool and beachfront area of the San Juan Marriott.
Once we all met up in the lobby, we were served drinks and snacks by the bar matron Jennifer. She took a liking to Daniela and chatted with us for a bit making sure we all had something to drink in our hands. Afterwards, we were brought down to La Vista Latin Grill by Melissa and Cristina, who are employees of the San Juan Marriott and coordinators of the luncheon along with CIMA IT Solutions, Inc.
Once seated, our waitress proceeded to list the items available for all to eat. I had to pay close attention to the vegetarian options in the buffet and a la carte menu. We were able to ask Melissa and Cristina questions about the restaurant and the services they provide at the hotel.
While everyone was talking at the table and waiting for their beverages, I decided to take a walk with my daughter and talk to the staff and chefs about the vegetarian and vegan options available. Of course I had to sacrifice my waistline for the greater good of other vegetarians and vegans they may want to visit the hotel as guests or locals.
One of the employees that was standing near the food, informed me of the vegetarian options and stated that he was waiting for one of the two vegetarians to come up to him. He introduced me to Lucy and Emanuel, two of the chefs at La Vista, that provided me with information regarding vegetarian or vegan options. I wanted to make sure that they understood the difference between Vegans and Vegetarians.
As I proceeded to talk to Chefs Lucy and Emmanuel, they understood that if someone who was vegan wanted something cooked, they would omit any type of dairy product from the meal. I also asked them if they had someone who was vegan or vegetarian and they wanted soup, they would make food with vegetable broth. They further explained they could make food for the guests according to their specific dietary needs. All you would have to do is ask them.
In this case, if I was the San Juan Marriot, I would put a little note near the foods stating this or have the waiters ask if there is someone with a dietary need who is dining with them that particular day. This would really be something out of the ordinary as far as customer service is concerned.
Sometimes we walk into certain places and don’t see vegetarian options so we leave. But the good thing about the employees that I talked to at the San Juan Marriott was that they were aware that people do have different needs when it comes to food. When the waitress did tell us the vegetarian buffet options she noted the quinoa and couscous stating that they were gluten free. I would recommend that they put a little note next to foods that were considered gluten free or vegetarian/vegan in order to ease a diners experience.
I was with our daughter Daniela who is eating solids and I also asked if they catered to moms and babies who needed food prepared for them. They did state they could do this for the family and asked me if I wanted something made for Daniela. Since I had brought her food and told them she likes mashed potatoes, I said it wasn’t necessary.
A couple of minutes later as I was feeding Daniela her peas and mango puree, one of the employees asked me if I wanted some mashed potatoes for her. I said sure and they brought out a plate of mashed potatoes that could have fed several babies. I thought this was genuine and an extra touch to the good customer service we were getting. As a new mom I am picky about what my daughter eats, ( I make her food at home) and I did taste the potatoes before giving them to baby. They had a good taste to them. I would recommend that if you do need this type of service at La Vista, go into detail about what ingredients your baby can or can not have.
When I saw the the plantain soup I thought I will be going for that during my food adventure. I found out from my partner that the chef had warned him not to eat any because it was not made with vegetable stock. For me it is kind of weird to make a vegetable or root based soup with chicken stock. But that is something that we run into with many places on the island that offer vegetable or root based soups and are not are vegetarian or a vegan cafeteria. I would recommend changing the recipe to include vegetable broth or include a soup in the buffet that is made with a vegetable base just for vegetarians or vegans.
The only item on the a la carte menu was a veggie burger. We were asked by the waitress if we wanted to try it and asked if we wanted to omit or add cheese. We did ask for swiss on the burger which I was going to share with my partner. They prepared a veggie burger that had toppings other than the lettuce tomato you might get elsewhere. They grilled eggplant, yellow squash, green and red peppers with a hint of balsamic vinegar. If someone were Vegan, they would offer the patty without the cheese. I have to say that it was delicious and I am usually a ketchup girl. But I didn’t need it with the way the vegetables were seasoned. I made sure to go to Lucy and Emmanuel and tell them both how delicious the burger was. Emmanuel told me that the focaccia bread was made in-house. It really tasted fresh and was soft!
Their salad bar was extensive and include mixed greens, iceburg lettuce salad with dried fruit incorporated, olives, tomatos, red peppers, shredded carrots, shredded broccoli, and cauliflower, corn, and other vegetable toppings. They also had balsamic vinegar and oil if you did not want any of the other dressings. They did have a couscous salad and quinoa salad that were prepared in vegetable stock.
For my main dish I did have the eggplant lasagna. It was made with tomatoes, marinara sauce, cheese, yellow squash, and of course eggplant. They did have extra marinara sauce to top the lasagna. I served myself the mixed greens salad, quinoa, couscous, and mozzarella balls. I did not leave one string of broccoli on my plate. It was all very flavorful.
The end of my lunch was topped off with coffee and sweets. I was told by my friends Zuleyka and Pepe to eat the guayaba cheesecake. I followed their recommendation and did not regret it at all. There were a wide variety of desserts from mini tarts, homemade mini chocolate chip cookies, decadent chocolate cakes, to typical tembleque and arroz con dulce. I recommended to one of the employees that they specify if there are any diabetic friendly desserts or even desserts that vegan’s can indulge in while they are visiting.
The customer service and attention to small details, especially the mashed potatoes for Daniela, was exceptional on behalf of the staff at the luncheon. There is always room for more vegetarian and vegan options when it comes to the a la carte menu at La Vista Latin Grill. But unlike other places, they had a good jumping point besides just lettuce and tomato that other places think is vegetarian or vegan friendly food.
Disclosure: The San Juan Marriott hired CIMA IT Solutions to assist with the coordination of this event. Even though our lunch was Complimentary on behalf of the La Vista Latin Grill and the San Juan Marriott, we don’t feel that this influenced the writing of this post in any way.