Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Vegan Drinks at A-Tan

We had our monthly Vegan Drinks meetup tonight! Each month, a few of us cocktail-loving vegans  get together at various vegan-friendly restaurants for drinks and dinner. This time, we opted for a kitschy Asian theme at A-Tan Restaurant.

A-Tan is Chinese on one side and Japanese hibachi on the other. And it's one of the only Chinese places in town (at least that I know of) with a full bar (a requirement for our Vegan Drinks gatherings). Their cocktails are super retro, but more on that in a few. We had a decent-sized crowd this time, and more people showed up than I expected.

Now back to those blast-from-the-past cocktails. A-Tan is perhaps best-known for its Flaming Volcano. 

It's made with rum, brandy, pineapple juice, orange juice, and almond syrup, and it's served in an adorable volcano-shaped bowl with a flaming shot of Bacardi 151 in the center. You can't see the flame in this picture, but trust me, it was flaming. This cocktail was really popular in the 1950s and '60s in Hawaii. Cassi and I ordered one to share. It's definitely a sharin' drink.

Valerie went with a lovely martini, but I didn't ask what it was!

And Pam ordered a Hummingbird. I'm not sure what was in it, but it sounds pretty retro.

Sheila opted for a classic Dirty Martini.

And then came the food! A-Tan doesn't appear to have a ton of vegan options on the regular Chinese menu, but that's because they're not all grouped together. There are some options on that menu, some on the sushi menu, and some tucked into the fried rice and lo mein sections of the menu. I went with my A-Tan usual — Family Style Bean Cake (a.k.a. fried tofu with veggies in a spicy brown sauce). It's one of only a couple tofu dishes they have, and I just really like tofu. I also love how many veggies they put in this. So often, when I order fried tofu dishes in Asian restaurants, they'll have, like, two pieces of broccoli and the rest is all tofu. And though that is delicious, I always feel healthier when I have my veggies too.

But next time, I'm totally ordering the Vegetable Lo Mein. Pam got this, and we learned that they use ramen noodles rather than lo mein noodles (which typically contain eggs). So chances are the ramen is vegan! I want this!

Valerie ordered the Vegetable Fried Rice. Classic and soul-soothing. Can't go wrong there. She also ordered Vegetable Moo Shu (sauteed veggies served with thin Asian pancakes), but I forgot to photograph it.

Cassi and her kid Keithon went the Japanese route, of course. Cassi is obsessed with Japan, and she's going there next month. They got two Veggie Sushi Rolls.

And a platter of Tempura Veggies. She asked the server if A-Tan uses eggs in their tempura batter, and he confirmed that they do not. She gave me one of her tempura sweet potatoes. So good!

That's it! If you're interested in joining us for April Vegan Drinks, join our Facebook page. I'll be posting the date and location very soon!


VeganWoman said...

How fun! Love the retro cocktails!

Cadry's Kitchen said...

What a fun outing! I think it's awesome that you do this every month.

Barb@ThatWasVegan? said...

Umm... I never knew lo mein noodles have egg in them! Veggie lo mein is one of my favorite things to order!!

Bianca said...

Hey Barb. It looks like, after some googling, that some contain eggs and some do not. I'd always heard they were egg noodles, but apparently, some are just made with wheat. Just depends on the brand.