Meatless Mondays

In case you missed it, here’s my review (of sorts) of the new Monday dinners at Julia’s that appeared in Thursday’s Go! section of the Monterey Herald. I’ll be reposting my reviews and stories from my weekly column for the Herald here on my blog along with extra photos that didn’t appear in print.

Several of my friends, and a number of readers, have been urging me to check out Julia’s in Pacific Grove, one of the few wholly vegetarian restaurants in town. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a die-hard carnivore, but every now and then I need to detox with meatless meals.

Clearly the word hasn't gotten out about Julia's new Monday-night dinner service-the place was empty when we dined here.

I’ve been wanting to try Julia’s for quite some time, but their business hours — they’re only open for dinner on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights — limited my opportunities.

But this past Sunday, I noticed a curious note on the door of the restaurant: “Now open Mondays.” My curiosity was piqued, so I returned for dinner the next night to try out a truly Meatless Monday meal.

There weren’t any other diners when we arrived — clearly the word hasn’t gotten out about Julia’s extended hours on Mondays.

The Monday menu was limited—a couple salads, an entrée and a couple pizzas.

My friend and I opted to split the vegetable curry ($13.50) and a pizza ($12.50).

The infamous flatbread was full of garlic and herbs--a perfect start to dinner.

Dinner started with the housemade bread— a thin, crispy, doughy flatbread topped with garlic and herbs that came complimentary with an entrée. We added red pepper hummus for $2 extra.

It was a little dry, but the veggie curry was quite flavorful.

The curry was full of fresh vegetables — zucchini, squash, mushrooms, peppers and fennel. Yes, fennel in curry. I’d never think to try fennel in curry, but it actually was quite tasty giving a hint of licorice to the complex curry.

The pizza was simple--and a tad undercooked--but flavorful.

The pizza — an individual pie — was flavorful. Ours was topped with mozzarella, ricotta and tomatoes. It was good, but we both agreed we should have ordered the pizza topped with roasted veggies.

Vegan apple pie--served with soy ice cream--might not be my usual cup of tea, but it wasn't bad.

We finished off dinner with a vegan apple pie ($6) that was full of rich spices and tender, delicate apple slices.

The Monday selections were limited, but no less flavorful. Let’s hope business at Julia’s picks up on Mondays — it’s a refreshing addition to Pacific Grove’s rather sparse Monday dining scene.

Julia’s is located at 1180 Forest Ave., inside the Forest Hill Shopping Center. For more information, call them at 656-9533 or go to www.yelp.com/biz/julias-pacific-grove

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