By Raymond Bill

When it comes to a Plant-based diet or vegan lifestyle, there are far more options for dining than there were just ten or twenty years ago. Many times, I find myself researching an online menu to see if there is something vegan available. Now, we have several restaurants offering solely, a plant-based menu, while most other restaurants carry at least a few vegan options. This week I treated myself to lunch at Chef Tanya’s Kitchen in Palm Springs.

Situated in a small commercial area south of the airport, Chef Tanya’s Kitchen is an intimate vegan deli, offering a large carryout menu. One can order and go or take advantage of the few tables set up outside for dining. The menu features both hot and cold sandwiches, house-made tempeh burgers, large salads, desserts, and more. My daughter and I decided to share a few items since we could not decide among the large selection presented to us.

The daily special was a Mushroom Melt. Served warm on a toasted roll, this cheesy,  gooey sandwich was loaded with sauteed mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, a touch of pesto, and the most delicious vegan cheese we have found. It was definitely comfort food and did not last long as we devoured it first. I only wish it were available every day, as I will be thinking about that sandwich often. Next, we shared the Guadalajara! burger, a house-cultured tempeh burger topped with caramelized onions, roasted Anaheim chili, melted cheese, guacamole, lettuce, tomato, and chipotle mayo. This was a mouth-watering, lick your fingers clean, kind of burger! Did I mention everything is plant-based?

We also ordered a large salad that we would enjoy later in the day. The Coachella Forever Salad contains a blend of romaine and crisp cabbage, topped with quinoa, avocado, cucumber, black beans, jicama, cilantro, pepitas, dried currants, and a side of creamy mango lime dressing. This entrée salad has it all and it did not disappoint! Every ingredient was fresh and bursting with flavor. The portions are “just right,” and quite satisfying.

As a vegan deli, there are many sides available, including Fleetwood’s Macaroni Salad, Moroccan Roasted Cauliflower, and my favorite, Quinoa Lemon Veggie Salad, just to name a few. The mini deli market boasts several eclectic sauces and specialty items of many different cuisines for sale and the staff are all eager to answer questions and offer personal reviews about their products. Debbie was especially welcoming and informative on our recent visit.

Chef Tanya’s Kitchen is located at 706 S. Eugene Rd. in Palm Springs near Ramon and Gene Autry. She now has a second location at 72695 Hwy 111 suite A6. Grab and go sandwiches, salads and desserts can also be found at Tower Markets in Palm Desert and La Quinta. Whether you are switching completely to a plant-based diet, or you just want to see what the hype is about while substituting an occasional meal for a vegan alternative, Chef Tanya’s Kitchen should be on your list!