Chef Matthew Kenney turns a Del Taco into a vegan drive-thru
This spring vegan transit VEG’D will replace a closed Del Taco in Costa Mesa, CA. The new vegan drive-thru is a concept developed by Chef Matthew Kenney in collaboration with local entrepreneur Christine Mulholland. VEG’D serves cooked organic fast foods with a healthy taste and minimally processed, plant-based ingredients. Menu highlights include a breakfast burrito filled with mung bean-based JUST egg, non-dairy jack cheese, green chillies, tater tots, avocado, and green chilli salsa. The VEG’D burger is served with non-dairy cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, onions and a homemade VEG’D sauce. and a vegetable bowl with toasted almonds and Catalina dressing; along with a selection of smoothies, desserts with no added sugar and much more.
Plant based for the planet
Mulholland came up with the idea for VEG’D a few years ago, and after seeing the plant movement grow, he finally decided to reach out to Kenney to bring it to life. The duo transformed the former Del Taco room into neutral tones and a chic look. Guests wishing to skip the transit line can also dine indoors. “We are very excited to bring this fresh, mindful new concept to the fast food market, an industry saturated with longtime giants who have neglected the health of their consumers and our planet,” said Mulholland.
To promote its commitment to greener choices, the restaurant will package all food in recycled and / or biodegradable and compostable materials. In addition, VEG’D composts or donates all food waste and offers other environmentally friendly initiatives such as the Forest Smoothie, the proceeds of which are used to plant a tree.
“I’m very excited to have the opportunity to enter the drive-through market. It was a dream of mine,” said Kenney. “The Costa Mesa and Orange County community is the perfect place for us to begin our journey of bringing plant-based cuisine to the masses on a larger scale than we could with our seating. We couldn’t be more excited to get into this market right now. ”
Vegan trip – from coast to coast
Earlier this year, Kenney and Rhode Island-based entrepreneur Kim Anderson opened Plant City X, the first vegan transit in Rhode Island. The drive-thru features burgers, sandwiches, and salad bowls inspired by the menu served in Providence’s Plant City vegan food hall – another vegan shop that Kenney opened in 2019.
Kenney is an unstoppable force in the plant-based movement. He has published 12 vegan cookbooks and opened or is about to open more than 40 restaurants around the world. Kenney plans to expand both the VEG’D and the Plant City X drive-through concept to other locations in the coming months.