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Veggiejuana: Veggie Smalls at Food Garden

Well-dubbed veg hub dishes out fusion grub.

The taco de coliflor and tacoreano highlight Veggie Smalls regional fusion spin.
The taco de coliflor and tacoreano highlight Veggie Smalls regional fusion spin.
Veggie Smalls has held one of six stalls at outdoor gastro-court Food Garden since last November.
Veggie Smalls' full menu.

Veggie Smalls gets a sterling rating right off the bat based on their name alone, but the instinctive kudos is backed up in full by their menu of veg-friendly burgers, dogs, and tacos.

For the sake of highlighting their more inventive offerings, I dug into the tacoreano (a portmanteau of “taco Coreano,” or Korean taco) and the taco de coliflor (cauliflower taco). The tacos go for 25 pesos each (about 2 bucks) or 60 pesos for an order of three.

An innovation of Los Angeles food trucks, the Korean taco (fun fact: South Koreans represent the third largest foreign population in Tijuana, following Chinese and U.S. nationals) lends itself well to a veggie conversion, in which a chunk of battered Portobello takes the place of fish or bulgogi and is then topped with mixed veggies, fried noodles, vinaigrette, tangy chile pasilla paste, and cheese. The generously breaded mushroom is a dead ringer for Ensenada-style fish tacos, texturally and, to a lesser degree, in flavor. Add a splash of house peanut sauce to round out the chile paste.

The falafel wrap is a solid stand-by.

More distinctly local, the taco de coliflor finds lightly steamed and battered cauliflower topped with a Baja slaw of red and white cabbage, shredded carrots, and avocado cilantro sauce. The cauliflower carries a very mild smoky spice which beckons for a dash of pasilla paste to heat things up. Add a generous squirt of lime for a citric kick that hints at ceviche.

Veggie Smalls has held a location at the family-friendly, outdoor gastro-court Food Garden since last November. We’ll be coming back to the rotating, six-stall outpost in future dispatches of Veggiejuana, but for now, be sure to try their house aguas frescas or, better yet, their ongoing two-for-one domestic beer deal.

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The taco de coliflor and tacoreano highlight Veggie Smalls regional fusion spin.
The taco de coliflor and tacoreano highlight Veggie Smalls regional fusion spin.
Veggie Smalls has held one of six stalls at outdoor gastro-court Food Garden since last November.
Veggie Smalls' full menu.

Veggie Smalls gets a sterling rating right off the bat based on their name alone, but the instinctive kudos is backed up in full by their menu of veg-friendly burgers, dogs, and tacos.

For the sake of highlighting their more inventive offerings, I dug into the tacoreano (a portmanteau of “taco Coreano,” or Korean taco) and the taco de coliflor (cauliflower taco). The tacos go for 25 pesos each (about 2 bucks) or 60 pesos for an order of three.

An innovation of Los Angeles food trucks, the Korean taco (fun fact: South Koreans represent the third largest foreign population in Tijuana, following Chinese and U.S. nationals) lends itself well to a veggie conversion, in which a chunk of battered Portobello takes the place of fish or bulgogi and is then topped with mixed veggies, fried noodles, vinaigrette, tangy chile pasilla paste, and cheese. The generously breaded mushroom is a dead ringer for Ensenada-style fish tacos, texturally and, to a lesser degree, in flavor. Add a splash of house peanut sauce to round out the chile paste.

The falafel wrap is a solid stand-by.

More distinctly local, the taco de coliflor finds lightly steamed and battered cauliflower topped with a Baja slaw of red and white cabbage, shredded carrots, and avocado cilantro sauce. The cauliflower carries a very mild smoky spice which beckons for a dash of pasilla paste to heat things up. Add a generous squirt of lime for a citric kick that hints at ceviche.

Veggie Smalls has held a location at the family-friendly, outdoor gastro-court Food Garden since last November. We’ll be coming back to the rotating, six-stall outpost in future dispatches of Veggiejuana, but for now, be sure to try their house aguas frescas or, better yet, their ongoing two-for-one domestic beer deal.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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