Thanks to SNR’s top 25 veg dishes article, we took a chance on a new Mexican restaurant and came back superfans. El PapaGayo (pronounced El Pawpaw GUY-oh for you Beavises out there) has delicious authentic Mexican food, and awesome full on vegan options with dishes that include beans, rice, Daiya vegan cheese and Soyrizo!
PapaGayos isn’t located in hipster infested midtown, it’s in an uncool part of Carmichael near Fair Oaks Blvd and a stone’s throw away from the El Dorado Saloon (RIP). Don’t let the location deter you from checking it out though the food is awesome, the prices reasonable and the staff friendly and accommodating. I spoke with the matriarch, a nice lady who is from my dad’s town of Guadalajara (Mexicans love to ask each other where parents are from). She not only knew what vegan meant, but had vegans and vegetarians in her family! She also mentioned that the previous Wednesday, she had about 100 vegans show up for the all you can eat vegan special. Unreal that it took me so long to find out about this place! Side note for you people that enjoy eating the flesh of beasts: they are first and foremost a Mexican food place that happens to have vegan options. This isn’t some weird culty hippie joint, you omnivores will dine just as well as we plant eaters will! (Just will ingest that much more cholesterol!)
Let’s talk about the food, first off Amy picked the potato and nopales (cactus) tacos. When I was a kid, potato tacos where what we ate when times were tough, here, they are a reason to celebrate. This picture doesn’t do them justice, you must eat them to appreciate their awesomeness!
Vegan Potato and Nopales Tacos
I was excited to try out the soyrizo tacos, my plate came with two tacos, beans, rice and Daiya sprinkled and melted on top.
Vegan Soyrizo "Street" Tacos
Just look at that plate! The refried beans were delicious, the rice was cooked just the way mom did mine (minus the manteca) and the tacos were so good I want to bite my monitor while typing up this entry. To summarize, great food, 100% vegan options, great prices (the taco plate shown above was $8.99 and was as big as it looks on monitor, way bigger than it looks on your smartphone) and friendly service. What else could these folks do to make me a fan? Let me tell you…
"Revolucion Rockera" aka "Rock Revolution" Hard Rock Night at El Papa Gayo - MY PEOPLE!
Yes, that dude is wearing an Amon Amarth shirt and these folks are having fun at what apparently is a regular occurrence at El Papa Gayo – Hard Rock/ Metal nights!
If you are on Facebook check out the Revolucion Rockera album or the Noche Rockera album to see how it’s done. Unbelievable! These are my people in every way possible.
So vegans, check out El Papa Gayo, thank them for offering vegan options, and if you are going to the next metal night let me know and count me in!