I’d been seeing the sushi pictures for months… sashimi and rolls that looked so realistic I’d have to look twice. I had to find out for myself what kind of voodoo must be involved in the making of this vegan sushi, so I contacted Vegreen and arranged to speak to their Social Media Manager, Jackie.
We met up last Sunday at the restaurant and talked me through some background on their relatively new shop, before getting to my most anxiously awaited question.
Vegreen was founded in Duluth in November 2016 by two friends, John and Ricky, after John was introduced to the health benefits of a vegetarian diet. When I later spoke to John himself, he explained that in the oldest meaning of the word, a vegetarian would consume only plant-based foods (essentially vegan in terms of eating).
Customers have the opportunity to order vegetable dishes, fake “meat” dishes, noodles, or sushi that are almost all vegan with the exception of about 4 lacto-ovo-vegetarian items. Prices are also reasonable and if you visit on a weekday, they offer a lunch special for $8 including a choice of soup and main dish.
The current chef was sent overseas to train in traditional Japanese and Oriental style cooking, but the owner mentioned he would like to expand the menu to additional styles in the future. One of my favorite things Jackie told me was that they use absolutely NO MSG (if you don’t know why I’m so against this toxin, you can read about it here) or preservatives! Yay! They also don’t use onion or garlic in any of the dishes since these tend to be common intolerances. And, since the restauranteur is health-focused, all of the water served at Vegreen is alkaline water – no tap!
I asked Jackie about her favorite menu items and ended up taking her advice. She suggested one of the monkey mushroom dishes – with options between a savory Satay style or a sweet and sour-ish Kyoto style. Not usually a mushroom fan, I was hesitant at first, but she assured me this was unlike any other mushroom, and she was right! The monkey mushroom is tender and juicy, but also chewy, and is most reminiscient of a chick-fil-a nugget! Needless to say, I was in love with the Monkey Mushroom Satay when I finally tasted it.
Jackie also pointed me to the sushi menu, reminding me once again of my most pressing question: what is it made of? It turns out that the sashimi or “raw fish” is actually made of the konjac root. If you’re not familiar with this sea root vegetable, it’s the same thing that is used to make shirataki noodles. Since it’s from the sea, it has a natural fishy flavor.
I tried the Special Salmon roll, which was their Sunday special last week, and it was completely delicious. The vegan spicy mayo made the dish.
I was there to try a lot of foods, but before I knew it I was full and being presented with a slice of yummy vegan coconut cake. I found out they have several cakes to choose from made by Mama Lee’s Bakery (the same company that provides cakes for Loving Hut), so next time I return I am saving room for the carrot cake.
I would highly recommend supporting this small business for their delicious food and dedication to promoting health and wellness through a plant-based diet. The owner John told me he re-invests all the profits from his other businesses here because he wants to see more people come to this lifestyle. Although I didn’t meet his business partner, I can say that John and Jackie are two of the sweetest people I’ve met in my blogging adventures with restaurants. I hope that the Atlanta community continues to embrace this new restaurant in Duluth – it’s definitely worth the drive!