Donna Jean – A Look Into Plant-Based Cuisine
Donna Jean is a vegan homestyle eatery in the Balboa Park neighborhood of San Diego. In June 2017, the restaurant made a significant shift by adding pizza to its menu, a choice that has received much praise and garnered them the distinction of Best Vegan Pizza in San Diego in the annual Best of Vegan in San Diego awards vote.
The Inspiration Behind Donna Jean
Chef Roy grew up in Illinois, and his culinary style was molded by homecooked meals, summers on his grandmother’s farm in Southern Ohio, travels as an aspiring musician. After traveling around the world, mastering his craft in vegetarian, vegan, and sustainable cuisine, he came back to San Diego.
Chef Roy’s mother’s name was Donna Jean. She died of severe breast cancer at the early age of 55, and he feels it may have been avoided if she had been given the information and tools to seek out a plant-based lifestyle early on in life. This instilled in him a desire to not only produce something that would make her delighted but also present a type of plant-based cooking that even the most adamant meat lovers can enjoy.
What’s on the Menu?
You can find their house bread with a choice of oil, butter, or sauce, salads, Chef Roy’s famous cast-iron mac and cheese, artichoke dips, broccolini, and more. Their different kinds of handmade pasta and risotto include Lasagna Bolognese, Wild Mushroom Cavatelli, Squash Party Casoncelli, and a gluten-free option, Risotto Alla Milanese.
Donna Jean is infamous for its vegan pizzas, which are made with their homemade 96-hour fermented organic dough, and can be made with gluten-free socca crust upon request. Their dessert options include a Semolina Almond Cake, Strawberry Rhubarb Cheesecake, and chocolate chip cookies. Their brunch menu is slightly different and is served on Saturday and Sunday, from 10 am to 2 pm.
Customers can now buy in-house produced Scratch House cheese, as well as Donna Jean butter and sauces, from a cold case at checkout. Moreover, they have customized merchandise available on their website!
With their rustic, comforting, and plant-based food, Donna Jean is on a mission to become an everyday restaurant in San Diego. If you haven’t visited them yet, book your RESERVATION now!
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