I finally made it to Plant Power Fast Food, after several San Diego trips where I drove right by the restaurant and thought, well, maybe next time. This place was busy on a Saturday afternoon. Every inside seat was taken, but the patio had some empty tables. It’s a cute little garden patio, but since Plant Power Fast Food is on the corner of Sunset Cliffs and Voltaire, my friend and I did a lot of “What did you say?” as we tried to converse over cars.
As the name implies, this is a vegan joint that aims to replicate the fast food experience. It does this pretty well, from the faux fish filet sandwich to the bags and wrappers, eerily reminiscent of 1970s fast food, to the speaker in the patio announcing the numbers of orders ready for pickup. Of course, McDonald’s doesn’t serve raw tacos made with seasoned walnut and pecan “taco meat.” And Big Macs cost about $3.99, compared to the Big Zac (“two sizzled patties, special sauce, American ‘cheese,’ lettuce, onions and pickles) for $9.50. If only there were as many vegans as carnivores, Plant Power Fast Food and its customers would benefit from the economy of scale. And cows would benefit, too.
At the server’s suggestion, I ordered the Buffalo ’66 sandwich, which is a crispy battered buffalo chicken breast, ranch dressing, lettuce and tomato. (She insisted it kicked the fish filet’s butt.) My friend got the chicken sandwich. They looked pretty similar and tasted good in that fake meat vegan food way. Mine was extremely messy. Fortunately, the napkins and all other packaging are 100 percent biodegradable, so I didn’t feel too guilty about using extra.
A few other highlights of Plant Power Fast Food: Fries are fresh, not frozen. Buns are homemade. They use nothing GMO, no high fructose corn syrup, and no trans fats.
This is a fun place for vegans who want a retro fast food fix. And just like people who order a Big Mac with a diet Coke, you can offset your Big Zac with an organic pure green juice. Personally, if I want green I’d go elsewhere. Nor am I ever going to order a kombucha float. But a vegan chocolate peanut butter milkshake sounds pretty good.