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Fresh, flavorful Mexi-Cali food with plenty of vegan options

I would love to say I discovered Mucho Mas, but truth be told, it has apparently been around since 2009 and it has quite a local following, — along with bragging rights in the local paper’s Reader’s Choice Awards.

That makes me a little late to the party, per se. But I found it because I happened to be in LaPorte near lunch time and starving. So I started searching for food options via the TripAdvisor app on my phone, and saw that the number one place in town served California-style Mexican food. Plus, it said “vegan friendly.” Oh, really? I decided to check it out.

I took it as a really good sign when I was walking toward the front door that there were local firemen walking out after enjoying their lunch at Mucho Mas. When I walked into the space, it was bustling with a wide variety of clientele and it wasn’t quite the noon hour — another good sign.

I thought I’d be putting that “vegan friendly” claim to the test, but as it turns out, this restaurant is serious about feeding vegans. Apparently the owners have dabbled in veganism themselves (according to an employee I chatted with).

They have tofu, soy chorizo and soy cheese to play with in the kitchen, along with a host of fresh yummy things. So when it was my turn to order, not only were they accommodating, but they also had suggestions and options — both of which I love.

So I just told the guy behind the counter to hook me up with his favorite vegan fare (and he seemed genuinely familiar with the product). I ended up with a tortilla wrap stuffed with sauteed veggies, fresh lettuce, tomato and soy chorizo. This is a two handed item, even after it is cut in half.

I also ordered a side of guacamole and chips. It was fresh, chunky and good. Plus, they have this little condiment area with a fresh verde sauce and some pico de gallo and pickled veggies to dress up your food if you are so inclined.

I am going to recommend the verde sauce because it is flavorful and tangy, but not overly spicy — and I had plenty of flavor going on in my soy chorizo.

I ended up taking half the wrap home, where my youngest daughter found it (despite my best attempts to hide it in the back of the fridge) and quickly dispensed of it. She said it was the best Mexican food she’d eaten in a long time.

This isn’t a fancy place. It’s a local place with great food and great energy. It’s fresh, flavorful and affordable, too. The staff is friendly and bustling, the menu is solid with multiple vegan options. Yes, multiple.

The nice thing here is, I could go back and not have to order this exact same dish. And you can bet I will be going back.


For more tales of eating vegan in Michiana from Crystal Hallwood and Rama Ganesan, subscribe to the Vegan at the Bend email newsletter.

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