ABQ Vegan Chef Challenge: July 16–17

Jennifer Keene
4 min readJul 21, 2022

We moved to a new Airbnb on the west side and so after a long hot day of open houses, we absolutely had to finally try Leona Bahn Mi.

Leona Bahn Mi

Tempeh Bahn Mi — Photo by Jennifer Keene

They have lots of vegan options, but I wanted to start with the Vegan Chef Challenge special: Vegan Spicy Tamarind Tempeh, but with the option to make it a sandwich. The sandwich was wrapped up very nicely and would make great takeout to bring home or — let’s face it — to a tap house. I’ve heard that they have vegan mayo, too, but I forgot to ask about it. It was still delicious.

Look how cute that little lion is!!!

So nice that they had a brown sugar oat tea to go with the specials.

We also obviously had to get the vegan crab and cream cheese wontons. Although I have to be honest, they weren’t something I ever loved before I was vegan because I’ve never liked eating seafood. So even the best ones are only so-so to me, but I feel like I HAVE to get them any time I see them on a menu because they are a rare and majestic vegan bucket list item for most people. So these were tasty, but next time I’ll get spring rolls or bao or just an extra hunk of baguette.

The Acre

We went to The Acre before when we were in Albuquerque in 2021 and also way back in 2019. This was near an open house on the East Side and we were hungry, so we shared the special chilaquiles.

These were very tasty and they were out of cilantro so I didn’t even have to worry about it accidentally ending up on my plate. We sat outside because it seemed like they were having some kind of problem with their exhaust system or something. There was a scorched oil type smell and sort of a haze in the air. Hope it isn’t a big issue for them, because I bet that kind of thing can be expensive.

I’m not sure if I can really make it to all 30 places this month, but I am getting close! You can follow me as PebblesEatsPlants on Instagram or Facebook.

Vegan Chef Challenge:

  • Lucky Goose ✅ (Went 2x right before July, I’m counting it)
  • RubyReds Vegan
  • Vegos ✅ (A-Beet-Q Burger)
  • Tia Mom’s Cocina
  • VeganVato ✅ ✅ (Special Torta, Hella Good Tacos, Elote Tostadas, Taquitos)
  • Rush Of Prana ✅ (Acai Bowl)
  • El Veganito ✅ (Stopped by, but had to pass because it was too hot out)
  • CZV
  • Annapurna’s
  • The Acre ✅
  • Mata G ✅ (Grab & go on 7/1 before they posted their specials)
  • Trail Rider Pizza ✅ (Went right before the challenge)
  • Holmes Pizza & Arcade ✅ (Went right before the challenge)
  • M’tucci’s Bar Roma
  • Leona Banh Mi ✅
  • El Cotorro ✅ (4 different tacos, including the Vegan Chef Challenge Special)
  • ClownDog Hotdogs Parlor
  • Kickstand Cafe ✅ (Went 7/3 and they were sold out)
  • Hollow Spirits Distillery
  • Burrito Baby ✅ (Went 7/4 and they hand’t started vegan specials yet)
  • El Mariachi Authentic Mexican ✅ (Calabacitas Flautas)
  • Soo Bak Seoul Bowl ✅
  • Hummus King & Lady Falafel ✅ (Hummus, Falafel, and Babaganouj plate)
  • Blue Door Patisserie ✅ (Cinnamon Pecan Coffee Cake)
  • El Káahal Nuestro ✅ (Chicken Taquitos)
  • DDs Babycakes
  • ABQ Coffee
  • Zia Bros Pizza ✅ (Cheezy Bread)
  • Tokyo Bankok ✅
  • La Posada Dining Hall at UNM

Bonus Places Not On the List

  • B2B Garden Brewing ✅ (Tacos with Chips and Guac)
  • Flying Star ✅ (Double Chocolate Cake)
  • Cafe Nom Nom ✅ (Shanghai Noodles)
  • Los Ranchos Bakery ✅ (Blondie and Matcha Ice Cream)



Jennifer Keene

I write short fun pieces that people actually have time to read.