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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Donna's Tamales Makes a Mean Vegan Burrito

Posted By on Thu, Aug 28, 2014 at 11:41 AM

click to enlarge vegan_burrito.jpg
The Tuesday farmers’ market at the Ferry Building is a worthy lunch destination. There is abundant produce, flowers to make your desk look less sterile, and food vendors. You can have a pizza, a steaming bowl of ramen, or a Reuben, but for my money (about $6) the vegan burrito at Donna’s Tamales is a winning choice. The tamales are delightful — all are vegetarian or vegan, and showcase local produce, Straus cheeses and organic corn (they’re gluten-free, too) — but the burrito has a bit more heft, and its tahini-miso sauce adds a nice touch of umami.

Order your burrito and in seconds you’ll have it: a cute foil package, tied with twine, in a to-go container. There is room on the side for tiny cups of salsa (the tomatillo is mild but quite flavorful) and cabbage slaw. Carry it back to work or eat at one of the tables behind the market; just give your extremely hot burrito a chance to cool down so you don’t burn your mouth. Once you peel back the foil, you’ll find a whole wheat tortilla encasing organic brown rice, red beans and whatever vegetables are in season (carrots, peppers, kale, and squash make regular appearances). Add some salsa for a bit of heat/acid, and dig in. It’s fairly juicy, and may sag a little as you eat, but having messy burrito fingers is a small price to pay for this simple pleasure.

If you want dessert, don’t miss Donna’s vegan tapioca pudding. It’s made with coconut milk, tiny tapioca pearls, maple syrup, almond extract, vanilla and sea salt. Sweet but not too sweet, creamy on the tongue, this pudding is hard to stop eating once you start. Like the burrito, it’s comfort food, uncomplicated, made with all the best ingredients. Just the thing to fortify you for the return to work.

Donna's Tamales also appears at the San Rafael Farmers Market on Thursdays and Sundays; Oakland's Grand Lake market on Saturdays; and Oakland's Temescal market on Sundays. Tamales can also be purchased at Bay Area grocery stores. For more information, check out the website.

click to enlarge wrapped_burrito.jpg

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Julie Kramer

Julie Kramer


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