For the last two plus years, I’ve continuously heard about / read about Pinky Cole’s Slutty Vegan. The original location, on Edgewood, has had lines out the door every time we’ve been by. And since, frankly, I am a dyed-in-the-wool carnivore, I wasn’t too excited about standing in line to eat vegan food.
I had heard that a location had opened on Pleasant Hill Rd, in Duluth, and figured, at some point, I would give it a try. Today, when I was at the AT&T store getting my phone fixed, I saw the sign in the same parking lot and, lo and behold, they were next door. And they opened at noon. Doing carry-out business only, at 11:40, I was number four in line.
So in line I stood, and twenty minutes later, I was standing inside. The first person in line was the day’s “lucky slut” and got a free burger. A word of warning – they use the word “slut” a lot. To excess, some would say – imagine Joe Pesci if this was HIS favorite word in GoodFellas – and you’re getting there. I struck up a conversation with the young lady in line behind me and she provided a lot of insight into the restaurant and the food – completely enjoyable lunch. Since I was likely only going to be there once, I ordered, as I’ve been know to do, way too much food. I started with a One Night Stand (words, I never thought I would right) – a plant based burger, topped with vegan bacon, vegan cheese and vegan tomato (there was ONE thing I had eaten before).
The burger was good. Was it $16 worth of good? Not for me. I was really hoping to say this was a great burger, but I have to qualify and say it was great for a vegan burger. That’s a qualifier that takes it out of consideration for routine eats. I can get a great (non-vegan) burger several places in a ten-mile radius of this place, often for less. Not fast food burgers, mind you – this was a good as a Wendy’s single or a Quarter Pounder with cheese. I also ordered the Side Heaux (faux buffalo-fried shrimp and fries).
I’ll start with the fact that the fries, with both meals, were tasty. And they were crinkle cut – next to tater tots, they’re near the top of the fried potato list. The shrimp had a nice crust and tasted as much like shrimp as shrimp ever tastes, but the texture was something I just could not get over. It was like an under-cooked has brown.
All being said – if you’re vegan or vegetarian, this is likely a great option for you. If animal-based things are your thing, you’ll likely enjoy some place else much more. And they’ll probably still call you “slut” there, if you ask nicely.