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Vegan at Vintana’s, Escondido

Every so often, I offer people with their own area of expertise an opportunity to ‘guest blog’ on ChefMarian.com.

Jax eats Vegan, and is a perfect person to talk about trying to eat within her parameters at an upscale restaurant.

It’s a good story with a happy ending! I’m a sucker for a happy ending! So this blog is Vegan at Vintana’s, Escondido. Enjoy!

Happy Eating,





Vegan at Vintana’s by Jax

Last Saturday I was scheduled to finish a tattoo I started last year. When the artist had to cancel due to a sudden case of pneumonia, I was able to make my friend’s graduation dinner at Vintanas in Escondido instead. 

After checking their menu online, I was a little apprehensive if they could accommodate a vegan dinner. So I decided to call in advance. 

The lady who I got on the phone respectfully heard my request, placed me on a brief hold, and went straight to the kitchen to get answers. She came back on the line and told me every night the kitchen prepares a vegetarian special and tonight was eggplant parmigiana (which was unfortunately not prepared vegan). However, she told me that the chef is ready to get creative and will prepare a special vegan meal for me despite this. 

I got off the phone in awe thinking wow, the chef is going to prepare me a special vegan meal! This will be a first.

I had never been to Vintanas before and became aware that they were connected with the Lexus dealership on Auto Parkway. 

I was taken aback by the space — I parked in the parking garage and entered through glass doors. The design of the space has that Vegas feel to me, complete with a upscale mall feeling. 

I found my party (12 of us total) and sat down. I only just glanced at the menu when our server came over. I told her I had spoken to someone over the phone and that the chef expressed his interest in preparing me a special vegan meal. She went to the general manager and confirmed this for me. 

I didn’t ask what the chef was preparing. I just expressed my needs and allowed the artist to work, like I would for the artist who was supposed to finish my tattoo. 

So, when the appetizers came out, a surprise appetizer came out for me too (on the house)! 

Vintana, Escondido

Vintana, Escondido

The appetizer was a deliciously warm artichoke and asparagus salad with roasted shallots, fresh citrus, avocado puree, olive oil and a balsamic reduction!! And it was brought out by the General Manager with complete care who proceeded to recite the ingredients to me. It was so tasty and special. Avocado always seals the deal for me and the way it was spread on the plate made it taste that much yummier! 

Next our meals came out and the chef had prepared me a warm quinoa Jax Vintanasalad with edamame beans, dates, toasted almonds, heirloom cherry tomatoes and charred baby broccoli with an almond and olive oil puree and red wine poached grapes!!! The flavors, while all very different, complimented each other in a medley of goodness popping off like fireworks. It was a sensational dinner. Trust me when I say I savored the flavor, I ate slowly and with as much care as was put into my meal. I mean, who gets this type of treatment anyway? 

But the chef did not stop there, he made me a peach berry sorbet with macerated berries

and brought out the whole table a dessert, too! Which he really did not have to do, but did anyway!  

Vintana Dessert

Vintana Dessert

Then, the infamous Chef Darrell came out to personally meet me. I was blown away! I am just a regular person and he treated me like I was a star. I felt so special and cared for during my meal, more so than I have ever felt at any restaurant I have been to. 

Besides the dishes tasting incredible, Chef Darrell assured me they were a good source of healthy fats and protein (avocado, olive oil, quinoa and edamame).

By the end of the night, the whole table agreed that I had the best meal and that next time they would all go vegan at Vintanas! 

I can’t wait to go back and bring my fiance. You earned it. Five Stars, Vintanas! 

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