ABQ Vegan Chef Challenge: July 28–30

Jennifer Keene
5 min readAug 7, 2022

Y’all. I barely survived the onslaught of delicious restaurant food that I subjected myself to this month, but I think I did a damn impressive job at completing my self-imposed Vegan Chef Challenge in Albuquerque.

On top of that I met some cool people in town and got to know many more areas than I did before. It all comes down to supporting restaurants who support vegans with delicious and clearly marked vegan options!

Clown Dog Hot Dog Parlor

The list of possible toppings at this place in UNREAL. Some of them are quite possibly a crime against humanity. Lol. I’m generally impressed if I can get a proper vegan Chicago dog somewhere, but they have tons of options here.

I had a take on the Vegan Chef Challenge Special of the week. That one was “Avocado Toast” with avocado, tomato, pepitas, and sweet green chile. Instead, mine had avocado, sweet green chile, pickled red onions, and popcorn.

The dog is a housemade veggie burger type situation, rather than a more realistic “meaty” kind. I like that, because I drunkenly ate a supposedly vegan hot dog at a place in New Orleans four years ago after day drinking all day with a roller derby buddy and it haunts me to this day wondering if it was actually vegan.

With that said, it would be awesome if they added Impossible or Beyond Sausages and Field Roast Frankfurters someday for those who prefer a more authentic experience.

Food Fight Vegan Popup

This was an extra special thing that just happened to take place during the vegan chef challenge. It was a great way to visit multiple restaurants in one location. Ruby Red’s and DD’s Babycakes had been advertised as being at the event, so I didn’t prioritize finding them elsewhere, but then they didn’t end up being there. Some other time!

Tia Mom’s Cocina

This was my very first stop at Food Fight and I grabbed the White Chocolate Macadamia cookies to take home. They were delicious, especially with caramel oat ice cream and Grape Nuts!

CVZ

These guys are hard to find and don’t seem to have any social media or website that I could find, so I was super glad that they were at Food Fight. We had both kinds of tacos that they offered and both were delicious. Chorizo on blue corn and chicharrones on flour.

Fram’s Desserts

Chocolate Peanut Butter Caramel Crunch Cake Cup. This was UH-mazing!! I will be following them and trying to go back as soon as passible.

Churro Bar

Delicious trio of churros.

Ordinarily Beautiful Cotton Candy

This cart was SO MUCH FUN. This was a SMALL sized order that doubled as a parasol. I chose pineapple, but they had dozens of flavors. If you see this cart — go for it!

Project Pollo

Project Pollo and I go way back to when their very first truck opened in San Antonio in October of 2020. We have visited them many times since then and typically stay nearby when we are in town. It was awesome to see them here in Albuquerque and their popcorn chickn was as delicious as ever!

I made it to 26 out of 30 places, plus 8 additional places with vegan options who were not even part of the challenge. You can follow me as PebblesEatsPlants on Instagram or Facebook.

Vegan Chef Challenge:

  • Lucky Goose ✅(Thai Tea Oat Shake)
  • RubyReds Vegan ❌
  • Vegos ✅ (A-Beet-Q Burger)
  • Tia Mom’s Cocina ✅ (While Chocolate Macadamia Cookie)
  • VeganVato ✅ ✅ (Special Torta, Hella Good Tacos, Elote Tostadas, Taquitos)
  • Rush Of Prana ✅ (Acai Bowl)
  • El Veganito ✅ (Stopped By, Too Hot Out)
  • CZV ✅ (Two Tacos)
  • Annapurna’s ✅ (Mumbai Frankie and Thali Plate)
  • The Acre ✅ (Chilaquiles)
  • Mata G ✅ (Grab & Go Salad)
  • Trail Rider Pizza ✅ (Pizza)
  • Holmes Pizza & Arcade ✅ (Pizza)
  • M’tucci’s Bar Roma ❌
  • Leona Banh Mi ✅✅✅ (Crab Won Tons, Summer Rolls, Bai, Bahn Mi, Bubble Tea)
  • El Cotorro ✅ (4 different tacos)
  • ClownDog Hot Dog Parlor ✅ (Vegan Special)
  • Kickstand Cafe ✅ (Sad Tacos Because Cake Sold Out)
  • Hollow Spirits Distillery ✅ (Mushroom Bowl)
  • Burrito Baby ✅ (Bowl)
  • El Mariachi Authentic Mexican ✅ (Calabacitas Flautas)
  • Soo Bak Seoul Bowl ✅ (Vegan Veggie 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 ✅ (Iced Oat Latte and Panna Cotta)
  • Zia Bros Pizza ✅ (Cheezy Bread)
  • Tokyo Bankok ✅ (Orange Tofu, Fried, Rice, Sushi)
  • 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)
  • Churro Bar ✅ (Churro Trio)
  • Ordinarily Beautiful Cotton Candy ✅ (Pineapple flavor)
  • Fram’s Desserts ✅ (Chocolate Peanut Butter Caramel Crunch Cake Cup)
  • Project Pollo ✅ (Popcorn Chickn)

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Jennifer Keene

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