Thursday, March 10, 2011

Vegan in Tucson: eegee's

Posted By on Thu, Mar 10, 2011 at 11:30 AM

Ahh, Eegee’s … one of the many wonderful things about Tucson.

Created in 1971 by Ed Irving and Bob Greenberg, eegee's started out in a food vending truck that sold "frozen lemonade" to students outside of Tucson high schools. Today, they are a Tucson staple. All of the 21 locations are family owned, though ownership of eegee's changed from the original founders in 2006.

According to the website, last year, they produced 850,000 gallons of eegee's. Oh my.

The best part about eegee's in my opinion is their wonderful vegan-ness. What could they really put in a mixture of ice and fruit to make it not vegan, though? (Well, I suppose they could put quite a lot in there, but the important thing is that they don’t.)

My personal favorite flavor of Eegee is Black Raspberry, which faithfully returns to me every October. Their other flavors are good, too. Even the regulars. Half pina colada and half Lemon? Yes, please.

Before my vegan days, I was all about the ranch fries. Ironically, the bacon bits that they put on top are vegan (they're made of soy and MSG, basically). It's the pile of ranch dressing that ends that dream.

What I’ve been wondering about for some time now is if any of the sandwiches there could be made vegan. Sure, they could make them without cheese and mayo ... but it’s the bread that's the problem. What is in the bread?!

So I called the corporate number on the website, and asked a helpful lady on the phone if any or all of the bread contains milk or honey. And after a few moments of waiting, I found out the sad truth that, yes, all of the bread contains milk.

I'm pretty bummed, but to cheer all of the vegans up, I thought I would at least compile a list of all the vegan goodies that are available at Eegee's.

Things that are vegan on the Eegee's menu: All Eegee's frozen drink flavors (as a bonus, none of these beverages contain fat, caffeine or high fructose corn syrup); regular french fries; plain or salted pretzels; any salad minus the meat and cheese. I'd say the Garden Salad would be your best bet, just ask that they hold the cheese. The Italian dressing/house dressing (the two are the same, according to the woman I spoke to on the phone) is vegan!

So, overall, Eegee's isn't the most vegan-friendly place in town in terms of grub. They are, however, one of the best providers of sweet icy beverages. If you want any more information, check out their website, or pay them a visit. They're definitely a Tucson staple.

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