The Unvegan

Recent Posts

10 Years of Unvegan
A Quick Bite at Burrito Express
Serendipity at Northern Waters Smokehaus
Twerks and Burritos at Casa Amigos


Sliders Done Right at Greene’s Hamburgers

Those are what I call sliders.
Those are what I call sliders.

The Metro Detroit area seems to have been blessed with a number of great slider joints. Although Hunter House in Birmingham seems to get the most public acclaim, Greene’s Hamburgers in Farmington is no less worthy, if only for the fact that they are open 24 hours a day.

Greene’s resides in a little unassuming porcelain tile-covered building with the words Greene’s Hamburgers written in a basic black font, with the emphasis on Hamburgers. Inside, the place smells like burger heaven, with no large number of stools placed around the counter and against the windows. The menu barely contains more than hamburgers and fries, but there’s really no need to look beyond those items, because they are the real reason people come to Greene’s.

The Authentic Experience at the Original Tommy’s (CLOSED)

What part of this could be unhealthy?
What part of this could be unhealthy?

NOTE: While this location may be closed, this review unquestionably applies to all other Tommy’s

When I first moved to LA, a friend of mine told me a story about Tommy’s Burgers. Apparently the success of the original Tommy’s spawned a multitude of strange chili cheeseburger places with various spellings of the word Tom or Tommy. In all this confusion, I didn’t know where to find the place that started it all, until my friend enlightened me to the location of an Original Tommy’s in Santa Monica. Now, even though it is called Original Tommy’s, the true Original Tommy’s is on LA’s east side. Confused? I was too. At least until I got to Tommy’s.

Once I got there, everything became clear to me. Having just finished a game of tennis, I found the way to reproduce all the calories I had incidentally burned, the Mega Combo. This combo featured a triple chili cheese burger and chili cheese fries, with a drink bigger than my office’s water cooler. This Mega Combo is not just a meal, it’s a gamble that you’ll survive eating it long enough to look back on it with pride, like storming the beaches of Normandy. I had to make it mine.

Free Eats at Jack in the Box

Hard to go wrong with free fries...
Hard to go wrong with free fries…

While not one of my preferred restaurants (if you can call it that), Jack in the Box recently had a promotion for free medium curly fries, so I took a ride down Sepulveda to take advantage.

Knowing the fries wouldn’t be enough, I got myself a few extra items from the menu. The first choice was two tacos for 99 cents. The value in this is unbelievable, even though I had to get them without lettuce. The meat is certainly not of the highest quality and they use melted American cheese, but still, 99 cents.

On top of that, I got the Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger. Another great value. Trying to mix up the meats, I added a chicken sandwich to the load, completing my multi-ethnic, multi-meat meal. The chicken sandwich usually comes with lettuce, so I had to make a special arrangement to get it without.

Lucy’s Drive In

What's with the greens?
What’s with the greens?

On a late-night drive back from a party, the glowing fluorescence of Lucy’s Drive In lured me inside.

While standing in line, I had plenty of time to check out the menu on the wall. I was temporarily distracted by the burgers on the menu, which I decided were only there so they could put “American Food” on their sign. Brushing this distraction aside, I chose the chicken taquitos with guacamole platter. The menu said it came with rice and beans, but I asked the ingredients of the taquitos to ensure that I wouldn’t end up with any unfortunate vegetables inside. The woman told me there weren’t any, so I felt confident as I waited for my grub.


Is there any meat in there?
Is there any meat in that mess?

A few years ago, Subway changed the name of the “Meatball” sub to the “Meatball Marinara.” I’m not sure why this particular change occurred. Maybe it was to placate healthy people who would be more attracted to the word “marinara.” I never felt this was a particularly bad thing, after all, rebranding to increase sales is a huge component of our capitalistic system.

That all changed when I went to the Subway at Pico and La Cienega. I ordered a Meatball Marinara sub on Italian herbs and cheese bread, with provolone and parmesan cheese. It seemed like such a great idea, until I started watching the man behind the counter make my sub.

The Caravan Cafe (CLOSED)

A sorry substitute
A sorry substitute

As the night of the glorious buffet wound down, I incomprehensibly became hungry yet again. Perhaps that was because it was 4 am, or perhaps it was because I’m a fatty. Either way, I got it into my head that I only wanted Hooter’s wings (which were on special after midnight for only 25 cents a wing) or another buffet. Ridiculous as it seems, these were my only culinary desires in my late-night state. Unfortunately, despite my expert debate skills, I was unable to convince my friends to take me or accompany me.

Instead, we ended up back at our hotel, The Sahara, at a sad little 24-hour diner called The Caravan Cafe. While complaining about the lack of buffet/Hooter’s wings and how I refused to eat anything but, I was finally coerced into ordering the chicken strips.

Taco Truck at Venice and Centinela

"No onions" got lost in translation...
“No onions” got lost in translation…

When eating at a taco truck, I am typically drunk and there are few demands that have to be met. One of those demands is that my food have no vegetables, the other is that the food is edible. When I recently ventured out to the Taco Truck at Venice and Centinela, I was in for a rude surprise.

I stumbled up to the window to place my order. When I inquired about the ingredients in the chicken quesadilla, I was told that there were no vegetables. Then, I asked about the carne asada taco, which I was told came with onions. I asked the lady for no onions, and to make it offensively clear, I also said, “no cebollas” (cebolla being the spanish word for onion).

Taco Bell: Bacon Cheddar Gordita Crunch

The Gordita Crunch...of DOOM!
The Gordita Crunch…of DOOM!

In reading this article today, I knew something had to be done quickly to defend the good name of Taco Bell.

If you haven’t noticed yet, I am uncomfortably (and unhealthily) in love with the Cheesy Gordita Crunch, without lettuce. It represents all that is good in this world and I often find it difficult to push myself to eat anything else.

Recently, a friend alerted me to the newest Taco Bell creation, the Bacon Cheddar Gordita Crunch. The name alone is enough to make the weak queezy, but I simply could not believe that my world could be graced with genius! If bacon can improve donuts, why not the gordita?

Canter’s Deli

Who could ask for anything more?
Who could ask for anything more?

Another LA landmark restaurant that has managed to evade me since I have lived here is Canter’s Deli, located at Fairfax and 3rd Street. Canter’s is a good old-fashioned Jewish-style deli, heavy on meat and character.

Their menu is immense, but the best way I know to judge a Jewish deli is the pastrami. As goes the pastrami, so goes the deli. Canter’s offers a hot pastrami sandwich, which I promptly ordered after the waitress told me it was simply pastrami and rye, without any wasted add-ons.


There is nothing pink about this feast.
There is nothing pink about this feast.

Pink’s is one of those places that you have to experience in Hollywood. It has been around since 1939 and is a staple. If you live in LA, you know what Pink’s is. If you visit LA, there’s a good chance you’re going to drive by Pink’s and be intrigued by the constant line emanating from the place. With that said, it took me over a year in LA to finally stop and see what it had to offer.

When I arrived, the line didn’t seem too long, but it wound and wound for a good 20 minutes until I finally made it to the counter. Along the way, I stared at the menu on the wall that should have had a disclaimer reading: “Do not eat if you are pregnant, have a history of heart conditions or are on a pacemaker.” In other words, just about everything looked amazing to an unvegan.