Vegetarian Mexican cuisine at Las Katarinas in Nevada City

MEATLESS DINING IS ON THE RISE, WITH nearly a quarter of Americans eating more vegetarian or vegan entrees than they did a year ago, according to recent dining surveys.

As a result, restaurateurs are dishing up more meatless meals across a wide spectrum of cuisines—American, Chinese, Italian and Mexican.

In the foothills, Las Katarinas Mexican restaurant in Nevada City is becoming known for its extensive vegetarian menu — as much as for its authentic meat dishes such as pork chile verde, carne asada and tinga (shredded beef in a chipolte sauce).

Las Katarinas opened nearly six years ago with a “pure Mexican food” menu designed by Chef Delia Gutierrez, a Mexico City native. The idea was to introduce locals to the same cuisine they would find in the better Mexican restaurants: fresh, pure and homemade daily, not your run-of-the mill Tex-Mex.

“As we developed our theme, we discovered there was a large group of local vegetarians, vegans and people with certain food intolerances who were searching for a Mexican restaurant that could satisfy their dining needs,” says co-owner Dave Francis. “This led us to develop a menu featuring a variety of vegetarian entrees.”

All vegetarian dishes are prepared fresh daily in the restaurant’s kitchen, without lard, MSG, corn starch or any other “fillers.” When cyclists speed past Las Katarinas in the nation’s largest bicycle race this May, patrons will be watching from a picture window while eating entrees such as a vegetarian fajita—with onions, bell peppers, tomatoes,mushrooms, guacamole and pico de gallo.

Las Katarinas (or “ladybug” in Spanish) has a loyal customer dining club with more than 2000 members, and about 12 percent of them are vegetarians. “This menu has been well received by locals and tourists alike, and it has enabled us to develop very loyal customers who visit us regularly and refer family, friends and neighbors,” says Dave.

Las Katarinas
311 Broad Street
Nevada City

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