Most honest taco lovers will admit that when it comes to heavily marinated fillings like al pastor and barbacoa, the spice-soaked flavors take precedence over the meat itself. Plus, when the tacos are loaded with extra salsa, onions, herbs, and so forth, the base protein is but a fraction of each bite. That’s why these styles are perfect vehicles for tacos made with fake meats, which is what the recently opened fast-food-ish restaurant Vegan GreenGO is serving on upper State Street.
On my first-ever visit, I went with a totally gluten-free taco trio ($10), trying two flavors made from soy — al pastor and chorizo — and then rounded out my trio with the barbacoa, which is made from the stringy, chicken-like jackfruit. They’re topped with pico de gallo, fresh spinach, jalapeños, onions, and your choice of salsa — I went hot red, medium green, and then chipotle made with cashew butter. Compared to meat tacos, the fake meats were a little curious texture-wise — the soy was a touch sandy, the jackfruit slightly creamy — but the flavors were spot-on, all running together in spicy harmony.
I washed them down with sips of hemp horchata and turmeric lemonade — Thursdays are 2-for-1 drink day, which makes the $4.20 price tag for a non-alcoholic beverage a little more digestible. I’ll be back to chow down a burrito, which two regulars seemed to be enjoying as I left, or the nachos, which is a leading choice according to online reviews.
3613 State St.; (805) 318-3161; vegangreengo.com