‘Phoney Baloney’ is Quite Tasty

Address: 4880 Irvine Blvd, Ste 102, CA 92620
Cuisine:Vegan Faire
Price: $5-10 a person with tax and tip
Hours: Mon-Fri 11am-9pm, Sat 11am-4pm

Inside Custom Bodies Fitness off Irvine Blvd., Phoney Baloney’s Healthy Sandwiches, Irvine’s newest location for vegan cuisine, lies tucked comfortably off to the side of rows of treadmills and other workout equipment. Having only opened two Thursdays ago, the three-employee diner is still small, but their food packs a punch — and for cheap, I might add.

Phoney Baloney’s menu of sandwiches, salads and smoothies presents a solid variety of options for whatever one may desire without being too overwhelming. Phoney Baloney’s even provides options for vegan desserts if one wants a sweet snack after the meal.

Upon entering, the space seemed a little confusing, I will admit, simply because of the juxtaposition of the gym and Phoney Baloney’s. However, the friendly greeting and service that my friend and I received during our stay made me completely forget about the location. Hey, if anything, it’s a nice combination of a good workout followed by a post-workout meal that’s delicious and healthy.

For my visit, I decided on the Buffalo chicken sandwich, which consisted of a great balance of Buffalo sauce and vegan ranch (which Phoney Baloney’s makes themselves) that combine for that great, spicy taste that one would expect from places that specialize in Buffalo wings.

The faux-meat tastes great as well; it was savory and just the right consistency, which is great considering a lot of faux-meats have problems in this area.

The best part? It’s cheap.

As great as places like The Veggie Grill and Native Foods are, it can be a little off-putting when the average price point of both of those locations are anywhere between $10 to $15, depending on your order.

This is not the case with Phoney Baloney’s — I walked out of there having spent a little over $6 on a full-sized sandwich, and with a complimentary soda to boot. Even the soda (Blue Sky brand) is made with real sugar and without high fructose corn syrup.

Not only is it cheap, but after talking with the owner, he explained that all of their produce is organic, and almost all of it is purchased locally.

That being said, it was both inspiring and heartwarming to know that there are little places like this one that are taking the time and energy to be not only healthy, but also responsible. And, like I said before, keeping the price point down while being both environmentally responsible and supportive of local farmers markets and community economy is impressive

After my experience, the feeling I got from the place was not only one of delicious and healthy food, but it was also one that was unique.

I enjoyed the feeling of supporting a restaurant that not only provides that, but does so in a way that’s responsible.

I can’t wait for Phoney Baloney’s continued success and expansion to bigger and better locations; something this good shouldn’t be contained to the small space that it is.

I highly recommend trying out Phoney Baloney’s, even if you’re not vegan and simply enjoy having vegan meals from time to time that’s more accessible in terms of cost. You won’t regret it.