The Menu: A fully-stacked salad of mixed greens, peas, shredded carrot, sauteed veggies, cucumber, and chickpeas topped with a dollop of garlicky hummus.
The Goods: As a rule, I don't like eating meals served buffet-style, but all bets are off if there is a well-stocked salad bar in sight. Whether overpaying for a crisp kale salad at my neighborhood Whole Foods or making due with the cheaper but less awesome selection at my local Safeway, I love that salad bars let me do the deciding—like choose-your-own-adventure novels, except with vegan food. At Valencia Whole Foods the offerings adhere to the Goldilocks Principle: they are just right. From fresh salad bar basics to a vegan-friendly, build-your-own falafel bar, it never fails to satisfy. Additionally, VWF have a great selection of vegan desserts, which I unfortunately forgot to peruse. Lucky for me, we call baking an Apple Pecan Flip in the middle of the workday "recipe testing" here at the VNHQ.