Ok, yes you read that title correctly, vegan enchiladas! I mean, let's be real, how often do you see a large man writing a food review about a vegan dish? Bear with me, you may be surprised.
We started going to VIBE when they opened in an attempt to find a healthier alternative to our normal eating habits. I will admit, I was a bit timid and a little……ok a lot nervous. All the items are vegetarian with quite a few options being vegan. Of course, me being a meat eater my whole life I would always ask my wife, what's the difference between Vegan and Vegetarian.
From what I gather, vegetarians and vegans both don't eat meat, but vegetarians will eat animal by-products, such as eggs and cheese. Then there are the pescatarians, which……you know what, nevermind, that is another article in itself, and I like meat, so I won't be the one writing it.
This time around I ordered the enchiladas that are not on the normal menu but have them quite often. My wife ordered the beet poke and our friend got the mushroom swiss burger (meatless) with a lettuce bun instead of the bread bun.
I decided to order this option as a fully vegan plate: Spiced Jackfruit, cashew queso, vegan cheese, avocado black beans, brown rice and enchilada sauce. My first impression was at the register, $16 for the enchilada plate. Seemed a bit high, but I fully understand that ordering vegan can be more expensive. I am okay paying more if I leave full and was satisfied with the meal and service.
After the first bite, I knew I made the right choice. The jackfruit inside had the same texture as pulled chicken or pulled pork and took on the flavor of the sauce it was with. The cashew queso and vegan cheese on top had the perfect amount of heat to it, however, it might be a bit spicy if you don't like hot food. (NOTE: I heard if you order regular cheese it is not as spicy).
The mix of the black beans and brown rice worked very well with the enchilada, however, I would have preferred a Spanish rice version (but that is just me being super picky). The enchiladas were not dry at all which was a big surprise to me because I have always had a baseless assumption that vegan food was dry with no flavor. It was a very tasty and filling dish.
WOULD YOU ORDER IT AGAIN?
The answer is yes, without a doubt! Not only did I leave full, and happy, I didn't feel sluggish or suffer the usual “Kanak Attack”. Understanding that prices for vegan and healthier food are a little more, this dish was worth its value. It was a large plate and would be a good size to share, but let's be honest, me sharing any dish just isn't going to happen.
It is 4 out of 5 for me! Head over to Vibe in Hilo and check it out, I have already gone back and will make this a regular for me. I would also recommend their street tacos and burgers. We will probably do a review on the burgers as you won't believe what they have as the meat!!
**PS I tried the beet poke, and I had to draw the line there, I just cannot with poke, I need real fish.
750 Kanoelehua Ave, Suite 1, Hilo, HI, 96720