Thursday, September 24, 2015

Restaurant Review: Dory Deli in Newport Beach, CA

Dory Deli in Newport Beach, CA

Dory Deli has been open since January 2015, but I only recently got down to its location near the Newport Beach Pier to try out their vegan options! Their vegan options have come highly recommended, and were curated Nom Yourself's Mary Mattern in collaboration with Chef Chris Rubinstein. They open at 6 AM and serve coffee and breakfast (unfortunately they don't have any vegan options during this time) and then at 11 AM start serving sandwiches, burgers, etc. as well as some wine and beer.

Dory Deli is situated right at the foot of the Newport Beach Pier, so parking can be tricky. There are paid lots and metered street parking available, and if you don't mind a walk, some free neighborhood parking between beach houses. If you go on a nice day, expect lots of beach traffic! However, if you have to park far away (we went on a busy weekend and had to park about a mile away), the walk along the beach is quite pleasant.

Once you get there, Dory Deli has an inviting space. It is rather large inside, with ample seating. It also has a patio where you can sip beer, enjoy the ocean breezes, and people watch (and watch the stream of never-ending cars looking for parking in the beach lot there). The restaurant is decorated in attractive dark wood with a nautical theme. It's got style, and reminds me of a beachfront bar a lumberjack would go to on vacation, if that makes any sense!

They've unfortunately scaled back on their vegan options, so I didn't have as many options as I thought I would. Basically I could go with the vegan-ready Buffalo Mary OR a modified version of The Vedge burger (the server stated it was vegan, however you would need to remove cheese, swap out the mayo for vegenaise, maybe swap out the brioche bun for a vegan bun, and double-check that the patty is in fact vegan since I think our server was a little clueless as to what vegan meant). Even the salads require modification to be made vegan. So, I went the easy route and ordered the only item on the menu that was specifically marked vegan, the Buffalo Mary sandwich. The menu reads that it is: "Crispy cauliflower tossed in buffalo sauce, vegenaise ranch, shaved celery, shaved carrots, and fresh greens on a sub roll *This is a vegan item."

The vegan Buffalo Mary at Dory Deli in Newport Beach, CA

The sandwich was $9 and doesn't come with any type of side besides a lonely pickle. However, the sandwich size was very generous, and I could only finish half of it. It was stuffed with delicious cauliflower popcorn that was perfectly crispy and coated in spicy buffalo sauce and vegan ranch. The veggies that garnished the sandwich were fresh. The bun itself was nice and warm and was the perfect vessel to get the yummy crispy cauliflower in my mouth! I really loved this sandwich and would gladly order it again! Next time I would definitely get it with some chips or a side of their Kennebec fries.

Unfortunately, since this is the only specific vegan option I don't know if I would ever come back to Dory Deli just for this sandwich. If I'm in the area I may stop by again to enjoy the ambiance and the Buffalo Mary, but I probably wouldn't go out of my way to visit again.

However, it may just be the restaurant just wasn't getting enough interest in their vegan options and that's why the menu is much more limited now - if you are in the area, please go to Dory Deli and inquire about their vegan options (and enjoy their Buffalo Mary since it is reallllly good). Maybe if more people ask for more vegan options Dory Deli will add some back on the menu and then more vegans would go there!

You can find more info about Dory Deli on their website.

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