Photo courtesy Phoenix Garden
Venture to Hardywood Park Craft Brewery on a Saturday afternoon, and you'll find North Side restaurant Phoenix Garden Vegetarian's food truck corralled with RVA's other carts like Boka Kantina and Olio. All items on Phoenix Garden food cart's menu are vegan, but don't shy away, carnivorous friends — these dishes aren't bland.
For starters, the crispy spring rolls (four for $3), finger-sized and crisp, are best dunked in duck sauce. If you're lucky like I was, the friendly man at the register will throw in some delicious breaded corn nuggets for good measure, too. The marinated drumsticks (four for $10) were coated in savory lemon-grass sauce and come "with vegetables," which to my disappointment were a small bed of lettuce with three cucumber slices and some thinly sliced carrot sticks, garnished with cilantro and green onions.
The bánh mì ($9), a traditional Vietnamese sandwich on French bread, was hands down my favorite, topped with a pinkish-hued vegan meat, jalapeños, carrots, cucumber and cilantro and dressed with a well-seasoned mayo. The side coleslaw ($6) was memorable and reinvented, topped with fried onions and peanuts, which gave it a nice crunch along with the red cabbage. One caveat: Although the food is indeed flavorful, mouth-watering and actually makes me enjoy eating vegan, the prices, I thought, were a little too high for the amount of food served.