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Yes, vegan donuts are real

Yes, vegan donuts are real

nolisoli eats restaurant green bar

Nearly every 20 minutes, men clad in black motorcycle garb enter the store and pick up brown takeaway bags from the counter. That’s what we noticed during our short stay in Green Bar. I figured they’re the guys from online food delivery service FoodPanda.

It makes sense because after all, Sarada Santos, one of the owners, said that this vegan café was supposed to only offer pickup and delivery service, not house the dine-in place it had evolved into. When we checked the restaurant’s rating on FoodPanda, they have more than a thousand of four- to five-star ratings. It was impressive for a restaurant that only caters to a niche market.

nolisoli eats restaurant green bar
“When we got bigger and more popular, people actually wanted to dine in. That’s when we created that little café,” says Santos.
nolisoli eats restaurant green bar
This is where they post the daily specials for the week. They also put their new creations on the list for testing to the public.

Sarada with her sister Jade first started Green Bar in 2014, in a building with a yoga studio in Alabang. “We thought veganism and yoga would go well in the same location,” shares Santos. But after a year, they’ve concluded that the market in Alabang was a bit tricky. They decided to move to Makati and establish a pickup and delivery service. A year again passed when they saw that this city’s market was starting to demand a place for dining in. Thus, the small café.

Trained by their experiences growing up vegetarians and traveling, all of the items on Green Bar’s menu are the owners’ own recipes. “We grew up making this food since the time we could cook,” says Santos.

“We’re happy that a lot of meat-eating people love our food,” says Santos. Their vegan café brings the community together—both meat-eaters and not—when you think another group of a different spectrum would be divisive.

One of the dishes that’s been stealing the spotlight in Green Bar lately is their Wild Thing Burger. They launched it during the obstacle race Spartan Race last September and it was lauded as “it’s uncanny how red and meaty it looks.” Vegans won’t miss the meat texture while eating this plant-based burger.

nolisoli eats restaurant green bar
Wild Thing has seitan or wheat meat for the patty, sandwiched between soy pepperjack cheese, lettuce, onions, pickles, and their own secret sauce.
nolisoli eats restaurant green bar
The breakfast burrito is a large wrap with scrambled tofu, roasted potatoes, seitan sausage, baby spinach, and vegan hollandaise sauce.

It now shares the ranks of other best-sellers in the main menu like the Breakfast Burrito, savory and creamy with a slight hint of sweetness from the seitan sausage. The burrito has been a favorite since Green Bar’s early days.

nolisoli eats restaurant green bar
The longganisa soft taco’s (left) star is its vegan longganisa taco meat, while the Popcorn Chickun (right) has battered tofu.
nolisoli eats restaurant green bar
This serving of nachos is loaded with beefy seitan, nacho cheese, black beans, cabbage, chipotle créme, and with peppers, tomatoes, and cilantro for additional zest.

Santos admits that the struggle is mostly in baking. “We have to be the most technical when baking because of [the absence of] eggs and butter to make it fluffy,” she says. So the secret? Soy milk in perfect consistency and temperature.

Creativity paired with patience led the owners to finally create vegan donuts. Yes, it’s possible.

nolisoli eats restaurant green bar
Green Bar has a lot of flavors for their vegan gourmet donuts. In the photo: (Two at the top platter, left to right) crunchy peanut butter and raspberry vanilla. (Bottom platter, clockwise, from top left) Strawberry with pistachio, apple pie, goji, almond joy, blueberry coconut, and maple bacun.

There are still a lot in store for Green Bar. For starters, they’ll be leaving the nook they’ve grown comfortable with for a better place that really matches their vibe.

“Now we’ve outgrown the little café. It’s time to move,” says Santos. But patrons in Makati, worry not. They’ll still stay in the city.


Read more:
Vegetarian restaurant Pipino will get vegans and non-vegans excited with their new menu
This vegan carbonara is tasty—even without the dairy and bacon, I promise
Plant-based food swaps for the aspiring vegan
Nobody can really be 100% vegan
Is vegan the same as plant-based?


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