Pull Up Baby! Within walking distance of the Oakland LGBTQ center is a walk-up restaurant slinging vegan versions of BBQ and soul food, known as Vegan Mob!
Vegan Mob founder Toriano’s life-changing journey to plant-based inspired him to create the well-known food truck and restaurant, offering his community healthier alternatives. At Vegan Mob, you will find vegan versions of traditional favorites like brisket, ribs, gumbo, po’boys, cheesesteaks, and so much more! To say I was overwhelmed with choices is an understatement! I wound up with more food than I could eat (per usual) and could enjoy the leftovers over the weekend. I ordered a Large Mob Plate and made an additional meal of the sandwich I was eyeing, per recommendation.
My Large Mob Plate came with one protein and two sides- I chose the naked Spicy Fried Chicken, and for my sides: the Smackaroni, Sweet Candied Yams, and Mob Fries. The Mob’s vegan chicken may be the best I’ve tried. I think it is soy-based meat with a juicy and tender texture and is the perfect contrast to the crispy outer coating. The outer crust is seasoned, crunchy, and could easily rival the Colonel. I dipped the Spicy Fried Chicken in a side of the Mob’s BBQ sauce, which I found to taste sweet and peppery. The Smackaroni is creamy and ooey-gooey with subtle spice. The fries are shoestring cut, salted, and dusted in Mob BBQ seasoning for a slight kick of heat. To round out the plate, I went with the staff’s suggestion of Sweet Candied Yams. They are pillowy but firm and coated in a sweet glaze with a mellow cinnamon flavor. These definitely make for the perfect finish to the meal!
I HAD to try the Deep Fried Grilled Cheese, and since I also wanted a drink, it made sense to just tack on an extra side for an even $5 more. I chose the Garlic Fried Rice for my side and a Dragonfruit Fresca Lemonade to drink. The photo does this sandwich more justice than my words, as you can truly see the texture. The outer panko coating elevates the crunch factor, and the inside reveals a soft and melty sandwich. The cheese is lightly melted, and the green onions add a sharp flavor. The sandwich is served with sweet house ketchup sauce, made for dipping. The Garlic Fried Rice is buttery and filled with carrots, onions, green onion for added bite, and little tofu cubes for an egg-like sensation. It is served with a sweet chili sauce, which adds acidity and sweetness when mixed with the rice. My Dragonfruit Fresca Lemonade was refreshing with a punch of fruity flavor! I chose this one because it was pink, obvs!
Vegan Mob’s restaurant location is in Oakland, but they also have a food truck that frequents San Francisco and travels across California. They have even pulled up to Modesto in the past, so follow them on IG to see where they’ll be next. Everything I have tried is delicious! Next time you are in the East Bay, pull up on the Vegan Mob!
Vegan Mob Location: 500 Lake Park Ave, Oakland, CA 94610
Instagram- Vegan Mob