Tillie Gort’s Cafe Pacific Grove California
“What can I do for you?” came the brusque question with a raised eyebrow when I walked in.
Perhaps I looked a little vague and it disconcerted the owner.
Or maybe it was my accent – I was asked to repeat myself several times. When the owner deciphered my words and realised I wanted lunch, she shrugged and abruptly told me to sit wherever I liked.
Thankfully, when the waitress, Nikki, came over to serve me, the vibe changed immediately. Nikki was upbeat, friendly, and happy to answer questions about the menu.
I have very English sensibilities about courteous service and was a split second away from bailing, but changed my mind after this interaction.
None of the beers on the menu are “officially” vegan, so I stick with a sparkling water, and a Corona, which are vegan friendly.
There’s a huge range of selections for vegetarians, a substantial amount of choice for vegans, and good options for omnivores.
For lunch, the meat-eaters have a wide selection: beef and chicken burgers; BLT, tuna, and club sandwiches; meat-filled tacos, quesadillas, and burritos; and a variety of meaty pastas.
Veggies can eat the same Mexican choices, choose from 4/5 veggie burgers, and have their pickings of sandwiches, pastas, stir fries, and Italian meals like polenta and eggplant parmigiana.
I ordered the vegan seitan gyro – I’d been craving a falafel rolls for weeks and country California hasn’t been a bounty of falafels. This was the closest thing I’d seen in a long time.
After I ordered, I heard my waitress explaining to another person that lunch meals come with either chips and salsa, soup, or salad. I was curious what random selection I’d be given.
Chips and salsa arrived with my vegan gyro. The chips seemed to be store bought Tositos. Moreish, but not that hot, fresh out of the fryer sort I like when eating out. The salsa was fresh and tasty, but it could have benefited from a slightly heavier hand with the garlic, jalapeño, and cilantro.
The gyro, on the other hand, was divine. It came with a lemon tahini dipping sauce that I wished I could have taken a bottle of home with me.
The seitan tasted like an unusual mix of falafel and chicken (weird, right?) but oh my, was it delicious! And it paired nicely with the spinach, tomato and hummus spread in the gyro.
Nikki asked how my meal was – surprisingly not when I had a mouthful of food, which usually happens to me. I told her it was delicious (it was), and she suggested dessert.
I was stuffed, so I politely declined. But finishing my beer, I saw some vegan orange poppyseed muffins at the counter. I caved, and buy one for my trip home.
The muffin was dense and had that lovely satisfying poppy-seed crunch. The orange flavour was present, but I would have liked it to pack more of a powerful punch. I like my citrus flavours in your face!
If you’re in the Monterey area and need to fulfil a variety of dietary requirements for a meal, Tillie Gorts is a great place to eat at. Parking was easy and plentiful in the surrounding streets.
And I should also mention that is has a happy hour daily between 3pm and 7pm, with $4.95 margharitas and Bloody Marys.
Location: Tillie Gort’s, 111 Central Ave, Pacific Grove
Contact Details: Phone: (831) 373-0335 Email firstname.lastname@example.org
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