I have had the delight of eating Lettuce Eat Healthy’s special sausage biscuits and gravy with a tofu scramble for a vegan meetup back in September, but I had not yet ventured out to the food cart, as I am not much of a downtown Friday night gal.  I had heard and read of the rave reviews of the sausage and Philly cheesesteak that Jim does.  So, for a special occasion, we went out on First Friday for December 2011.  We ended up walking back via the direction that the Witch and the Ale is located, so we dropped in and saw that Jim was there with his cart.

I was thrilled to finally get the chance to try this cheesesteak!  My husband and I shared it, and neither of us were actually so impressed that we couldn’t believe it.  It did taste ‘meaty’ but it was lathered in onions and peppers and I didn’t get much of a taste for the cheese, or the actual flavor of the meat.  Since we were still hungry, and feeling pretty disappointed, we got a hot dog to share as well.  We absolutely loved the hot dog.  It is probably one of the best vegan dogs I have had, and it hit the spot.  I’ve been pretty disappointed by Lettuce Eat Healthy on a whole though, with their spotty downtown hours (we’ve gone 3 times on lunch breaks and they haven’t been there once,) and them running out of food when we’ve actually made it, then with the food quality not quite living up to the word of mouth I had heard.

Jim is a great guy and super personable and kind.  The breakfast that he did at the meetup was absolutely one of a kind and I have never had such amazing sausage biscuits and gravy as I had that morning.  But as for the cart as a whole…I’d rather buy some Field Roast Italian Sausage from Whole Foods and cook that up.  It’s cheaper, guaranteed to be in my freezer when I want it, and I can add my own ingredients to top.  I’m glad I finally tried it, but I won’t be back.

My husband and I have a date night every Sunday.  This particular Sunday, we decided we did not want to cook, and would rather enjoy some tasty new vegan food.  I parlayed my handy VegOut app for the iPhone and looked for some recommended eats nearby.  I couldn’t help but notice the rating for Nitally’s Thai-Mex Cuisine.  It was shown as a Thai-Mexican Fusion restaurant on my app.  Now I am a huge Thai food fan, and a HUGE Mexican food fan.  So we decided, especially after seeing several reviews saying they know how to cater to vegans and vegetarians, that we would head there.

First impression was what an awesome décor on the interior!  It was very loud and bright with colors, I absolutely love the black and white plastic awnings that adorn the walls, as well as the chalk board for the ‘Inferno Soup hall of Shame,’ and the drink board.  It’s very welcoming and very small.  It is unfortunately also VERY hot in the summer.  (This is my ONLY complaint though, so don’t stop reading!)  I would suggest getting food to go, unless you are okay to brave through the heat to have your meal there.

The menu is extensive, offering over 70 dishes with a full Thai menu, a full Mexican menu and then the Fusion menu.  There is also a healthy offering of beverages, including more teas than I have seen in any restaurant, and some authentic beverages called (I hope I don’t botch this too badly…) Boboas, beer and wine.  When we sat down we were greeted by a sweet young waiter and he let us know that food was taking about 20 minutes to come out and asked if we’d like to look at appetizers first.  We wanted to save our appetite for our main meal so we said we’d be fine with the wait.  I had a Hoegaarden beer, my favorite, and when I asked for a second they had run out.  The waiter asked if I wanted to try something new or was there another beer I would like instead, I asked him to recommend something, told him my preferences and he suggested a Polish beer.  I stupidly should have written the name down, but by the time that we were on beer #2 we had our food and I was totally distracted!  However, the beer he recommended was nice and went down well with the food.

My husband is a bit timid with new food/places, so he ordered Pad Thai from the Thai portion of the menu, and he got chicken with it, as he does not eat a full vegan diet like I do.  (Shame, I know, but at least he does at home which is 99% of the time!)  I wanted to try something new and ordered a Chipotle Mexican Stir Fry, which was on the fusion menu, and I can’t get onto the website to give the specific name so my apologies.  I got it with Tofu and asked it be made vegan.  The waiter was also kind enough to let us know that Nitally’s mild for spicy is what most people consider medium, and their medium is closer to hot.  Since I love spicy, but also love to eat my food, I ordered mild.

When our food arrived I was shocked at the amount of food we both got.  It was definitely worth the price, and the wait!  Fresh, FRESH, FRESH veggies hot food and the flavor was out of this world.  I think that the Chipotle stir-fry ranks among my absolute favorite foods EVER.  The flavor of the sauce was a bit like a Mexican red sauce with a smoky mesquite flavor.  The tofu just sopped it up and was absolutely amazing.  And I am a picky tofu eater, I absolutely HATE when a restaurant just fries or boils it and it’s chewy and has no taste.  Nitally’s definitely knew how to cook it and it just enhanced all the flavors on the dish.  I wouldn’t change a thing about the dish, but I can imagine that with some pineapple added in (not sure if this is Thai or Mexican themed though…) that I might have fainted due to all the amazing flavors!  I was just about to that point as it was since the food was so incredible.

My husband is originally from England, and they have some pretty fantastic Thai cuisine there so he is a huge critic, especially of his favorite Thai dish, Pad Thai.  He took one bite and said simply ‘This is THE best Pad Thai I have EVER had.’  He said the food tasted incredibly fresh, and that he would definitely be coming back to Nitally’s again.

The portions were so generous that we had no room for dessert because we couldn’t stop eating our fabulous dinners!  So if you’re a fan of desserts, eat half your dinner and take the rest home so you can enjoy more of Nitally’s cuisine.

If you like Mexican food, and if you like Thai food, you HAVE GOT to try Nitally’s.  It might be a little bit hot and uncomfortable in the restaurant, but the food is SO worth it.  I think they just may be having some AC troubles, and in saying that I am SURE they want it fixed as badly as the customers.  This is my new favorite dinner spot because there is so much food to try and they are incredibly vegan friendly, the food is amazing and the service was great!  I don’t just recommend it, I endorse it!  I order you all to get your butt down there and try out Nitally’s NOW!