One of my favorite "fast food" staples, the Black Bean Company, has developed a new dinner menu that is excellent. I'm not saying that lightly. It's completely delicious. Man y'all. This is a good one. This is a reeeeally good one. Why, you ask? What makes it so good?
Well first of all, it's on James Island. For me, this is a huge bonus because that means: parking, remote closeness to my house, and likely not crowded. Secondly, they are not only willing to make any dish vegetarian or vegan, but they're actually kind of jazzed about it. Thirdly (Is thirdly a word? Should I say "third of all" there?), anyway, thirdest is the fact that it's so boss and it's still brand new, which means everything will only get better. I can't imagine such a thing, but I know it's coming.
Last week, my neighbs and I went to check out this brand new menu while our husbands were out of town. Just us two ladies, veggin' it up. Out on the James Island scene. You know. Anyway, I had seen rustlings on Facebook about some pretty amazing dishes that the BBCo was serving for dinner. I was a little confused, as their menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner consists of mainly wraps and salads. I was like, why would you go get a wrap in the drive-through and then be all like "Oh nevermind, I'll have the seared salmon"? You probably wouldn't. Or maybe you would if you knew what you were going for...
The beauty of the BBCo's new dinner menu is that the drive through/wrap/salad side of things isn't disappearing. You can still get ALL of that. Only now, you can also go in, sit down, and have a nice, insanely fair priced, crazy good dinner on James Island.
Here's a sample of some of their dinner menu. Notice I said SOME:
FROM THE LAND
Chicken, Sauteed Broccoli, Carrots, Snow Peas, and Peanuts tossed with Mung Bean Noodles in a Pad Thai Sauce. Tofu or Shrimp
may be substituted.
Herb Roasted Chicken served over Thyme/Rosemary Mash with Sautéed Kale, Apple Chow Chow, and a Herb Compound Butter
Panko Encrusted Pesto Chicken Served in a Marinara Sauce over a Roasted Julienned Vegetable Mix and Asparagus
Seared Chicken Cutlets over a Zucchini and Squash Spaghetti with Pan Sautéed Asparagus, Capers, and a Lemon White Wine Butter Sauce
Seared Duck Breast
Honey Glazed Duck over Apple Sausage and a Butternut Squash and Spinach Risotto
FROM THE WATER
Shrimp and Quinoa
Sauteed Shrimp in a Tasso Cream Sauce served over Quinoa and Sautéed Spinach
Seared Seasonal Catch served with Shrimp and a Mixed Vegetable Risotto
Catch of the Day
Ask your server for more information
FROM THE EARTH
Balsamic Marinated Portabella Mushrooms, Sundried Tomatoes, Seasonal Local Vegetables and Spinach served with a Basil Risotto
Vegan Tofu Piccatta
Flour Dusted Pan Fried Tofu served over Local Seasonal Vegetables and Asparagus drizzled with a Piccatta Sauce
Vegan Stir Fry
Asian Tofu, Cabbage, Local Seasonal Vegetables, Asparagus, Broccoli, Snow Peas and Spinach tossed with a fresh Ponzu Sauce
HOW GOOD DOES ALL OF THAT SOUND??!!!
When we walked in, Chef Will asked what I'd like to try. All I said was "Well, I try not to eat meat or dairy." That's all I said. Apparently that was all he needed to make sure we had the most delicious vegan treats known to man. Here's what we had:
The hummus trio—three types of hummus served with fresh warm pita. A pretty good starter. I wasn't blown away, but the hummus was solid. Then came the Southwest Veggie Flatbread—homemade hummus, roasted tomatoes, roasted red peppers, black beans, and corn served on a baked tortilla drizzled with chipotle sauce. He kept the sauce on the side, just in case I was feeling like a real vegan. Keeping with the Southwestern theme, we had the Bella Bello Tacos with balsamic marinated portabella mushroom, roasted red peppers, caramelized onions and feta cheese. And then... and then came the Baked Green Tomatoes—baked green tomatoes served over cheddar grits with a chipotle cream sauce. OH. EM. GEE. Best tomatoes ever ever ever. They were crunchy and salty like a fried green tomato, but not greasy or heavy. And the grits were outstanding. I could hear the girl behind us talking about the dish and how good it looked—she was totally jealous. I was kind of full at this point, but bet your bottom dollar I made room for what came next.
For the main courses we got to try three dishes. First was the Pad Thai. Chef Will subbed tofu for chicken. This is one of my favorite pad thai's around. It's sauce is heavy on the sweet chili flavor, which in my opinion you can never have too much of. The tofu had an awesome texture. We also had the Vegan Stir Fry. This stir fry is spicier than the pad thai, more pepper flavored, but still with a little bit of sweetness behind it. The tofu even looked like steak. And of course, if you want chicken or shrimp, JUST ASK! I preferred the flavor of the pad thai, and Reames, my neighb, liked the stir fry better. I think it came down to our tolerance of spice. We both loved both. Last but certainly not least, we both thought the Vegan Tofu Piccatta was one of the best things we'd ever had in our lives. One thing I shared with Chef Will that I miss about not eating meat is not so much the meat itself, but flavors like PICCATTA. Most people serve a tomato sauce or an asian dish when catering to vegans or vegetarians, so to have a real italian favorite of mine made with tofu was so refreshing. And unlike some other tofu entrees I've had before, this was actually a similar texture to meat, and the outside of the tofu was cooked perfectly. Oh my gosh. I can't really describe how awesome it was. We would have taken the leftovers home, but there were none.
Check out some of the pics below, and get over to Black Bean Company on James Island for dinner. They hope to take the new dinner menu to all locations in the future, but for now, and for once, it's ONLY on James Island!