Picture this...An intimate space akin to a 1980's avant garde vibe with the best 90's R&B jams playing, and a wealth of cultural art pieces hanging from vibrant walls. That is the ambiance of Mo V's (Vegan) Kitchen and I haven't even gotten to the food yet. But where are my manners?
Monica Monet is the creator and HBIC (Head-Boss-In-Charge) of Mo V's, who through her own personal health journey sought to make the type of vegan food she always wanted to eat.."Food just like your momma and grandma make." Mo V's is located within the finger-licking good restaurant: The Cookbook in Jacksonville Florida. Mo V's propelled into the industry with the motto of providing "the best quality vegan food possible" and did they deliver on that promise?
I'll get to that soon, let's first talk about what sets them apart from their peers (although Murray Hillbilly is my jam). Mo V's knows what vegans AND non-vegans like. You heard me correctly, I said non-vegans. It was the following dishes that cemented this fact: "The Collard Green Soul Rolls," "The Mezzy Azz Burger," and the "42."
A lot of soul food lovers like collard greens. Me on the other hand, if it wasn't my mom's collards I didn't want it... So, I was nervous to try fan favorite the "Collard Green Soul Rolls." At first glance, they looked like classic egg rolls. Then, I took a bite and the myriad of delectable flavors dancing on my tongue was all she wrote.
We all know that collard greens without a bit of tweaking can be bitter, but these tasted sweet and rich at the same time! The breading was a bundle of firm, buttery goodness that looped my taste buds back to the fact that these greens oozed with the aftertaste of savory BBQ.
I was suddenly excited for "The Messy Azz Burger," a juicy patty leading a precession of cheese, pickles, onions, tomatoes, lettuce, and special sauce brought together by a pretzel bun. If you didn't tell me that it was a vegan burger I'd never know. The patty was flawlessly cooked with a whirl of richness without the greasiness. Every other component just enhanced it further. Poe's Tavern may high-key have some competition.
The final item I sampled was a hot dog...A souped up hotdog. The "42," a tribute to Jackie Robinson and Chadwick Boseman, is a vegan hotdog topped with delectable chili and seasoned coleslaw. The "42" is on a link that looks more like a bratwurst, the chili's pleasing but quasi-sweet flair only adds to the taste when you combine it with the freshness of the coleslaw. It's *chef kiss* goodness. This is the dish that made realize what made Mo V's unique from likeminded restaurants.
From the food to the presentation, Mo V's thrives on comfort and familiarity. That's Monica Monet's superpower and by proxy Mo V's Vegan Kitchen's. They without a doubt provided "the best quality vegan food possible."
It's vegan food for the love of food, ancestral roots, and veganism.
Full disclosure, I'm not vegan at all. I love meat and while I am as conscious as I can be, I don't think I'd ever fully cut meat out of my diet. That being said, if an apocalypse happened and I had to eat Mo V's Vegan Kitchen for three squares a day, 365 days a year, I'd do it in a heartbeat. What started as me trying a new type of restaurant quickly became an experience. One that I won't forget. So, if you find yourself in the Springfield area of Jacksonville definitely show Mo V's Vegan Kitchen some love. It's well deserved.