South Charlotte, NC - New vegan restaurant called Bean!

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sleepydvdr

sleepydvdr

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I went to Bean last weekend. It was mediocre except for the tofu buffalo wings, which I didn't get (I tasted my friend's). The main dinners are too expensive for what you get. I got the meatloaf. Although the waiter said it was made of Great North beans, I am pretty sure it was seitan based. It completely had the texture of seitan, not beans. The flavoring tasted like they just used soy sauce. I think it would have been much better if they threw in something to break up the monotony of just slabs of seitan, like bread crumbs, green peppers, onions, etc. It came with mashed potatoes & gravy, which wasn't too bad. I got a side of mac-n-cheese and it wasn't too bad either. It lacked flavor; they should have used more of their cheese flavoring. Also, it wasn't in a creamy cheese sauce. The macaroni was lightly coated with some yellow-orange stuff. My friend's buffalo tofu, like I said, tasted good. But for him, the portion was much smaller than my portion of meatloaf. And both meals cost $12.50. For that price, I expect a bit better. If they combined the taste of his dish with the portion size of mine, the price would be more justified.

I also ordered the kitty-kat bars (a homemade version of Kit-Kat bars). They came placed on top of a bowl of frozen banana mash. I enjoyed it, but really, the bars should be a separate desert from the banana mash. The banana overpowered the flavor of the bars. My friends ordered an appetizer of crab dip that came with crackers. The crab dip did not taste like crab at all, but it did not taste bad. It was creamy, almost like cream cheese.

They have some improving to do. The waiters need to learn what's in the food (they couldn't answer many of our questions well). But this was just their first week. I will return and keep giving them business. But how often I go back will depend on how much they improve.
 
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sleepydvdr

sleepydvdr

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Yesterday, I went back to Bean to try some more stuff from the menu. It was lunch time, but they had the same "temporary" dinner menu from last time. The temporary menu is a scaled down selection of their proposed full menu, which is not yet in effect. They offered an appetizer that was not on the menu, which was fried pickles with a ranch dressing. Remember, everything is vegan. I ordered that first. These were by far the best fried pickles I have ever had. The batter stuck to the pickle slices and was crunchy. The ranch dressing was delicious.

I also ordered the Reuben sandwich with a side of collard greens. The reuben sandwich was made with a homemade lunchmeat that they make. I think it's similar to the meatloaf that I had on my previous visit, but this time it was better. The sandwich also included some kind of vegan cheese and a small amount of sauerkraut. If I had anything bad to say about this sandwich, it would be that there should have been more sauerkraut. But that wasn't really an issue because the sandwich tasted great. I would have to say it is the best vegan reuben I have had. Granted, it's only the 4th vegan reuben I have had at a veg restaurant, but it was pretty darned good. Lastly, there's the collard greens. Around here, there's a local collard green produced by a company called KWCollards, which are the best collards I have ever tasted. Clearly, Bean is trying to mimic them. They have done a decent job. Their collards are nearly as good as the best I have ever tasted.

Has this restaurant become much better in a short time? Or did I just order the right menu items this time? I don't know. But I have to say that I was really impressed today. The fried pickle appetizer was too much to eat a lunch, so I took the rest home and just finished eating them a few minutes ago. They were still crispy and delicious.

I feel bad for my first post. Maybe I sold this restaurant short. My first experience wasn't the best, but then again, it was their first week being open. I will go back and keep trying other items.
 

CrazyCatLady

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I am going to NC in a few months (I live in England btw) but not sure I will be close enough to Charlotte to visit Bean :(
I am going to Southern Pines. Have been trying to see which restaurants / take away places are going to be most suitable for me to eat vegan with my omni family that I am visiting! Their favourite is Golden Corral...luckily they supply their dietary info online so milk and eggs at least are easy to spot.
Other than that I am pretty worries. They also eat at a place called Tripps quite a lot...I am struggling to find anything that is even veggie on their menu! And mcdonalds! I hear that even the chips in the US aren't suitable?
If you know of anywhere round there that would be helpful :) xxx
 

kibbleforlola

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:eek: Southern pines is less than an hour from me! We should get together and do lunch or something!

Also, don't eat at Tripps. :no: I went there once with the bf, there wasn't even anything veggie on the menu, let alone vegan.
 

CrazyCatLady

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:eek: Southern pines is less than an hour from me! We should get together and do lunch or something!

Also, don't eat at Tripps. :no: I went there once with the bf, there wasn't even anything veggie on the menu, let alone vegan.

Omg that's amazing! Will message u closer the time and see what's going on. Though I won't have any transport of my own :-(
What did u end up eating at tripps? I will have to eat there at least once I'm sure as my family I'm staying with work there! I'm sure they'll throw something together for me. I'm hoping they have some sort of red sauce so I can just have some pasta with mixed veg and sauce. Baked potato and salad should make it into more of a meal.
Think there's and ice cream place they go to called Rita's near by which I'm hoping do sorbet.
Not sure I can survive on that for 2 weeks tho! Xxx
 
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sleepydvdr

sleepydvdr

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Golden Corral is awful, at least the one near me. Hardly anything was vegetarian, much less vegan. They put meat and butter in everything. Even the green beans had ham in them.

Too bad you are going to Southern Pines. I don't know that area. It's just as far from my other favorite places: Greensboro and Wilmington. Both of those places have some great, locally owned restaurants.

Of the national chains, these places offer vegan options:
Chipotle - veggie burrito (get black beans, not pintos - contains bacon)
Moe's - Taco salad or veggie burrito
Taco Bell - Fresco bean burrito. The guacamole is now vegan friendly if you want to add it to the burrito. If you get a taco salad, do to eat the red tortilla strips - contains bugs (literally).
Mellow Mushroom (pizza) - many locations now carry Daiya cheese (vegan).
Brixx Pizza - also offer Daiya cheese.
Panera Bread - Mediterranean Veggie without Feta cheese. Bread contains honey, so if you want it 100% vegan, ask for sour dough bread.
Red Robin - They offer a Boca burger, but I don't know if the buns are vegan. I haven't been there in many years.
Jason's Deli - offers an incredible salad bar. It is huge and ingredients are always fresh.
Nothing But Noodles - Japanese stir fry. They offer tofu as an add-on.
Loving Hut - everything is vegan!

Thai and Ethiopian restaurants often offer lots of vegan options. Indian food often contains Ghee, so you may want to ask about that. Thai restaurants often use fish sauce, so you should ask about that.

Places that have nothing vegan: Wendy's, Jack In The Box, Del Taco, Hardee's, Olive Garden (their pastas contain egg).

This site may help you find some vegan food in Southern Pines:
http://www.happycow.net/north_america/usa/north_carolina/southern_pines/