WALLINGFORD — Tucked at the corner of Quinnipiac and South Cherry streets is Arles & Boggs Vegan Eatery, a restaurant with a menu breaking many expectations of animal-free food.
“You don’t really see a lot of things like greens or vegetables but really we’re sneaking it in,” said Sarah Sharif, co-owner of Arles & Boggs. “Like our cheese sauce is 100 percent plant based and folks think when you think vegan cheese you think cashews.”
A typical vegan lifestyle includes foods like vegetables, lentils and beans, however Sharif said her family’s restaurant caters to “comfort food” like chili cheese fries, nachos and stir fry – all plant based.
“The general idea is that we don’t want to harm anything to sustain ourselves,” Sharif said.
The restaurant, which opened less than a year ago, has attracted vegans and non-vegans. Sharif’s parents Sam Sharif and Sonia Gomez also help run the restaurant.
“If I don’t eat it myself I won’t serve it to my customers,” Sam Sharif said.
Most of the menu items come from food Sarah Sharif grew up with, including substitutions for meat and dairy to make it vegan. Most items are also available gluten free.
The most popular dish, the Loaded Taquitos, came about when Sarah Sharif was craving the snack and made it for herself and the staff in the restaurant kitchen.
“Everyone in the back of the house really enjoyed it so we ended up putting it on the menu and it’s one of our top sellers,” she said.
Line cook Robert Grady said he’s seen feedback on Facebook about the food, especially the Taquitos.
“That’s our favorite,” he said. “They’re really colorful, we got the fresh guac on there, we make it right to order.”
The restaurant itself is a mix of laid back casual and upscale dining with velvet arm chairs in the lobby connecting to a bright dining room complete with mismatched kitchen chairs and crisp white tablecloths.
On the other side of the lobby is a soon-to-be-opened lounge area with a bar surrounded by colorful artwork by local artists.
“I wanted it to be all inclusive,” Sarah Sharif said. “That was really important for us.”