I finally mustered the courage to go to Bean Vegan Cuisine after seeing it countless times over the years when driving to uptown Charlotte along busy Independence Blvd. The place was packed for 3PM on a Saturday afternoon which made me think that hey, this vegan restaurant must have a loyal following. I soon realized that this establishment doesn't just have a loyal following, it has a borderline CULT following-- so much so that they opened their second restaurant in Asheville in 2015 cause people would actually drive the two hours from there to Charlotte just to eat vegan.
Once seated I asked the waitress for the most popular item on the menu and she recommended the Cowboy Burger so I gave it a try. The patty, made in-house out of a soy and gluten based protein mix, tasted like real meat and the other items in between the bun made it so much more flavorful: Seitan (wheat gluten) Bacon, Daiya dairy-free Cheddar, onion rings, pickles, BBQ sauce, and Ranch dressing. In my mind the Daiya Cheddar tasted so good that I will buy this the next time I go to the grocery store just to try it further.
Overall, if you are willing to explore a restaurant that has a near cult following and want to skip meat for a meal or be friendly to the environment, make a stop at Bean Vegan Cuisine!