It had been a long time since I'd been to Golden Era Vegetarian, so when an omnivorous friend called me up and invited me, I was thrilled. Turns out the S.F. Chronicle had run a very positive article about Golden Era, which had spiked my friend's interest. Go Chronicle!
My friend had decided beforehand that she would order two of the items recommended in the article, so she skipped the plentiful fake meat dishes and had the Teriyaki Mushrooms (specialty number 12) and a mango smoothie (both above). The mushrooms were loaded with flavor and served up with enough other veggies so you don't feel overwhelmed with the mushroom-ness of it all. I was happy she let me try some. :) I was too busy lovingly admiring my own dish, however, to ask her about the smoothie. She made no complaints, so I'll assume it was delicious. Kind of like my salad:
Calling this dish simply "cucumber salad" does it no justice. This is a mouth-watering mix of cucumbers, celery, bell peppers, cilantro, mint, sesame seeds, peanuts, and soy jerky all topped with a lemon chili sauce. The flavor is so fresh and bright, but with just enough depth from the peanuts and soy jerky. It was absolutely sublime, and the happiness in my mouth lasted quite a long time.
Golden Era is haven from the grimy Tenderloin outside its doors, and I can assure you I will be back, next time with the husband. He was very impressed with the Sauteed Ginger 'Chicken' I brought home for him. In the meantime, I say unto you; Fear not the fake meats. In the right hands (like at GE) they are wonderful culinary delights!
I'm headed back to another old fave tonight before getting on a plane tomorrow morning for Minneapolis, so stay tuned for more great eating coming soon!