A wannabe vegetarian succumbs to a late night cornedbeef sandwich at Canters, and then repents over a pineapple shake and zucchini fries at Astro Burger


Article provided courtesy of Jeremy Ferrick a good friend and fellow foodie.

So, I understand the merits of vegetarianism. I would say I do not eat meat about 95% of the time. I love juicing, raw fooding, vegan cupcakes, etc. But whenever I sit down at Canters on Fairfax the omnivore in me just jumps out of nowhere. I once was told by an actor in Northern California that sometimes he makes the 425 mile drive from his house just to go get a Pastrami sandwich. There’s just nothing like a a plate of hot food after a sweaty gig in the adjacent Kibitz room. (My band has played there a dozen times this year.) And the Matzo Ball soup, while not quite as good as Grandma’s, comes pretty darn close. (That’s mainly veggie, except, I think the broth.)
My friends and I are usually throwing food around there like it’s going out of style. Trading half a tuna for half a caesar salad, tossing bagel chips at each other in the heat of debate (comes with the matzo ball soup.) If your brain needs an omega three break during your late night studies, grab some bagels and lox!

Gotta get that Screenplay pounded out by next weekend? The coffee is strong here. And the waitstaff is truly inspirational. They’ve got attitude, stories, and many have been around quite a few years. It’s a non kosher greasy spoon with a yiddish flavor, where the extroverted come to be reclusive, and the timid come to rock out! Canter’s was established in 1924, and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Check them out here: www.cantersdeli.com

Of course if you’re trying to avoid a Gastric bypass, hop down the street to Swingers at 8020 Beverly Blvd. It’s literally around the corner from Canters. Decked out in with a Warhol- retro vibe, it’s opened until 4 in the morning, and everything I’ve ever eaten here is fantastic. It’s fairly healthy, and when I want a vegan burrito it’s the perfect place. If you’re in the mood for some finger food you can load up on some of the few dozen side dishes they have, most of which are fairly affordable and range from quinoa, goat cheese, sauteed zucchini, or my personal fave, the homemade guacamole. Honestly, their menu is so vast, and not just with shakes, smoothies, entrees and desserts, but there is also a fairly substantial booze section in case you want to continue your late night buzz! In my group, a lot of times we recommend that for anyone who has a long drive ahead, the rocket shake will give you the fuel you need. It’s your basic chocolate shake but it’s got an extra dose of espresso, AND some espresso beans thrown in for good measure. Check it out!

If you’re looking for a quicker fix, we have a third option, where I believe you can do no wrong. The Astro Burger is a great late night alternative. There’s a few of them, I recommend the one at 7475 Santa Monica Blvd. They’re opened until three in the morning and offer everything from fried zucchini (a veggie favorite) to the pineapple shake (my personal favorite.) It’s a classic example of Los Angeles at it’s Melting pot multicultural best. It offers an assortment of yummified mouth watering pleasantries from Greece and Mexico, AND a vegetarian menu that it filled with so many deluxe items (I must admit I haven’t tried them all – but will.) For all you Carnivores, there’s more than enough for your palate. It’s a guilty omnivore’s dream- and easier to stay on the Veggie side of the Gastronomical line than other restaurants previously mentioned. (Sorry Canters.)

As far as veggie burgers go, there is no rival for their garden burger. I prefer the non soy patty which is a blend of mushrooms, onions, herbs, and low fat cheese. There is a soy cheese available upon request, but I’m personally avoiding soy for now so can’t recommend it. Anyways, I’ve tasted v.b.’s at every corner of the planet and prefer the ones that you can find at the Santa Monica and Gardener Astro burger. http://www.astroburger.com/

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