Three weeks ago, Ben Como and Jared Simpson opened vegan food truck The Veggie Yeti in hopes of satisfying not only Denver’s plant-based community, but meat eaters as well.
“We would love meat eaters to try our food and say, ‘I can do that. I can incorporate this into what I’m eating,’” Como says. His goal is to help people eat more vegetables and eat healthier while breaking stereotypes that vegan food is boring.
That’s why Como and Simpson opted out of including vegan in their truck’s name, despite not serving any meat, eggs or dairy. “We do vegan comfort food that is calorie- and nutrient-dense,” Como explains.
The flagship item gaining buzz is the protein-packed burger, made with walnut, portabello mushroom, seitan and brown rice. “The feedback from meat eaters is we have one of the top three burgers in all of Denver,” he notes. The handmade patty is topped with lettuce, tomato and Follow Your Heart American Cheese, and the burger is served with tots or mac and cheese.
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Other items include wraps, panini, soups and crunchy Buffalo cauliflower tacos. The beer-cheese corn chowder is a veganized recipe of a white chicken chili that won Como awards at chili cook-offs (before he went vegan) combined with a dairy-free beer-cheese soup recipe. Como estimates the menu will change monthly, and he plans on adding more gluten-free options, such as a gluten-free option on the Buffalo Caesar wrap and Buffalo cauliflower.
Como and Simpson were inspired to start their endeavor while working at a Starbucks in Lakewood. They spent two years saving up the money to start building a truck, all the while perfecting recipes. Como says that he has received an abundance of support and encouragement from other local vegan food trucks and businesses. “It’s nice to be a part of the vegan community. I don’t feel alone. I feel like I can always reach out,” he adds.
You can find the Veggie Yeti at the Belmar shopping center in Lakewood on Friday nights, and at the Golden Farmers' Market on Saturdays starting in June. The truck also makes regular stops at Alternation Brewing, NOOCH Vegan Market and other spots around town. Follow the Veggie Yeti Instagram account to keep up to date on where the truck will be.