Veggie Girl: The Cock & Bull

Categories: Veg

Last weekend, I set off on my bike. I would save gas, stay close to home, and kill like three birds with one stone by brunching at the promising-sounding Garden Café, on Junius Street in Lakewood.

I'd been there as a pre-vegan, and I remembered a lovely garden in the back.

The garden, as it turns out, didn't disappoint. Rows of colorful chard and fragrant herbs make for a sublime, at-one-with-nature dining experience. The menu, however, was a different story. There's plenty here if you eat eggs and milk, but vegans have three options: a garden salad, a veggie burger or a plate of sides (corn, collard greens, black-eyed peas, etc.). Even the sweet potato pancakes have powdered milk in the batter.

Disappointed, I ordered the veggie burger--not bad, but far from remarkable--and resigned myself to a weekend devoid of mind-blowing adventures in veganism.

Cock & Bull.jpg

Having thus temporarily abandoned my search for vegan places, I headed the next day to The Cock and Bull, Lakewood's self-anointed "neighborhood pub." I supposed I would have a beer and some fries and a good time listening to other people's jukebox choices (Waylon Jennings, Ween and Jerry Jeff Walker). Who knew it'd be a vegan jewel, too?

Let me first clarify that The Cock & Bull is truly a pub. It's dark and homey, with beat-up wooden tables and beer signs on dark red walls. There's a full suit of armor by the door and a jukebox in the back. We huddled at a booth between a table of loud kids with thick Texas accents and a couple of dark-haired hipster girls.

The most surprising and delicious vegan menu item here is the incredibly creamy homemade hummus, which comes with pita bread, mixed marinated olives, and cornichons ($6). For appetizers, there's also edamame for $4 and a spinach-artichoke "beggar's purse" made with phyllo dough that engendered some intense ovo-lacto envy. There are a couple of salad options (try the roasted asparagus with balsamic reduction and hazelnut vinaigrette) and a "veggie sandwich Parmesan" that might not be much without the cheese, but where Cock & Bull shines is in the burger department.

It's a bar, after all; each burger option is listed on the menu with a beer pairing. All can be made with veggie patties instead of beef, and topping options include ripe avocado, sautéed button mushrooms, and roasted red peppers. Burgers are served with chips and salsa, a nice alternative if you're not particularly attached to French fries.

Cock & Bull is, we recall, a bar; it's even won awards for its beer selection. Here are a few notes on vegan-friendly beers:

According to, the following ingredients are sometimes used during the brewing, filtering or clarifying process of beer:
-Animal derivatives: albumin, casein, isinglass, lactose or lactobacillus, gelatin
-Possible animal derivatives: charcoal, colorings, glyceryl monostearate, pepsin, sugar (if whitened with bone charcoal)

But don't give up just yet. has a pretty thorough search engine that OKs the following beers: Anchor Steam, Sierra Nevada, Samuel Adams (except for Cherry Wheat and Honey Porter). has a more extensive list, which vets as vegan-safe everything from Ace Pear Cider to Stone Brewing Company's Arrogant Bastard Ale and even Bud Light, along with two of my favorites, Full Sail and Spaten. The ever-popular Stella Artois makes the cut, too--and it's the Cock & Bull's Sunday $4 draft special.

Beer and a burger? Even the meat-eaters in my family--all the men--should be able to handle this kind of veganism.

The Cock & Bull
6330 Gaston Ave.

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