The Vegetarian Resource Group Blog

Vegan Options at Garbanzo®

Posted on November 10, 2017 by The VRG Blog Editor

By Jeanne Yacoubou, MS

With over 20 locations mostly in Colorado but also in Texas, Virginia, Georgia, and Minnesota, Garbanzo offers several Mediterranean-inspired vegan menu options. See:

The Vegetarian Resource Group first spoke with Joe Chum, Director of Support Services at Garbanzo, in May 2017. We noted a few changes in their website soon after and followed up with Joe between June and October 2017.

Based on our multiple phone discussions and emails, we generated the following list of Garbanzo’s vegan menu options (excluding raw vegetables) according to the website menu scrolling from top to bottom:

Vegan Menu Options at Garbanzo
•pita bread* (white, wheat, gluten-free)
•tortilla* (white)
•portobello mushrooms
•original hummus
•seasonal hummus
•tabbouleh salad
•tomato cucumber salad
•seasoned rice
•baba ganoush
•cilantro sauce
•red chili sauce
•Greek vinaigrette*
•tahini sauce
•homemade fries
•homemade chips
*Item contains sugar although information received from this chain differed during the months The VRG was conducting research. In the list above, the latest information obtained during October 2017 is presented. See Q&A below for more information.

According to page 5 of Garbanzo’s allergen sheet the Mediterranean garlic sauce contains egg (mayonnaise) and the Tzatziki sauce contains milk (yogurt). See:

In May 2017, Joe told us:
•“The pita bread does not contain milk.”
•“The seasoned rice used to contain chicken broth but it no longer does.”
•“There is no L-cysteine in the pita bread.” (L-cysteine is a dough conditioner that is most often derived from poultry feathers although microbial alternatives exist).
•“The flatbread contains dry milk.”
•“The portobello mushrooms are prepared in their own sauté pan away from meat products.”

Garbanzo’s Grab & Go Menu
Also in May 2017, Joe informed us that the Vegetarian Wrap on the Grab & Go menu (see their allergen sheet given above) “is usually made with the white or whole wheat tortilla and anything can go in it,” stated Joe. [VRG Note: In October 2017, Joe told us that Garbanzo offers only white tortillas.]

Also on the Grab & Go menu are
•Hummus & Veggie Snack Pack
•Greek Vegetarian Salad
[VRG Note: In September 2017, Joe told us this about the Greek Vegetarian Salad: “We no longer offer this item. It was just salad with Greek Vinaigrette dressing.”]

The VRG: Which bread is used for the Mediterranean Wrap?
Garbanzo: Usually tortilla bread is used.

The VRG: Is the flatbread ever used for the Mediterranean Wrap?
Garbanzo: Usually tortilla bread but if the locations use flat bread, sugar is in the flat bread.

The VRG: Are white or whole wheat tortillas available to make the Mediterranean burrito?
Garbanzo: Yes, but it depends on location. In general, only white is available.

Microingredient Questions for Garbanzo
The VRG: Is there any added sugar in the Greek vinaigrette (including sugar in its components)?
Garbanzo: There is sugar in the Greek vinaigrette.

The VRG: Is there any dairy including whey, casein, etc. in the Greek vinaigrette?
Garbanzo: There is no dairy in the Greek vinaigrette.

The VRG: Is there any added sugar in the baklava (including sugar in its components)?
Garbanzo: There is no sugar in the baklava but there is honey.

The VRG: Is there any dairy including whey, casein, etc. in the baklava?
Garbanzo: Yes, there is dairy in the baklava.

The VRG: Is there any added sugar in the tortillas?
Garbanzo: No.

The VRG: Is L-cysteine used as a dough conditioner in the tortillas?
Garbanzo: No.

The VRG: Does the seasonal hummus vary from time to time?
Garbanzo: Yes.

The VRG: If so, could there be dairy such as feta cheese in the seasonal hummus?
Garbanzo: There’s no plan to use feta cheese in our seasonal hummus at the moment. We are very careful on adding dairy to any of our menu items.

The VRG: Does your feta cheese contain rennet, an animal-derived enzyme? If not, what is its enzyme source?
Garbanzo: From our supplier (manufacturer): “Microbial enzymes and an animal lipase are used in the manufacturing of the [feta cheese].”

The VRG: Could there ever be animal ingredients or flavors in the seasonal hummus?
Garbanzo: No. We try to maintain most of our items to be gluten-free or vegan or at least vegetarian.

The VRG: You stated that there was no milk in the pita. Is there whey or any other dairy ingredient?
Garbanzo: There is no dairy in the pita.

The VRG: Is there added sugar in the pita?
Garbanzo: Yes. There has to be sugar to feed the yeast.

The VRG: Is the falafel deep fried in fresh oil away from all meats?
Garbanzo: Yes. We don’t use the fryers for any meat or animal products.

The VRG: Is the baba ganoush an all-vegetable dish?
Garbanzo: Yes, it has only roast eggplant purée, tahini, garlic, and salt.

The VRG: Is your sugar from sugar cane, beet sugar or some combination? [Note: Non-USDA Certified Organic cane sugar may have been processed through cow bone char.]
Garbanzo: Our sugar is from beet.

We followed up in June-October 2017 with these questions and emails.

The VRG: Are the gluten-free pita and the gyro pita all-vegan? No L-cysteine, whey, honey or other animal-derived ingredients in either of them?
Garbanzo: Gyro is not; pita is vegan.

The VRG: Is it true that you now offer the following breads:
•gluten-free pita
•gyro bread
•flatbread (some locations)
•tortilla (white, whole wheat)
•pita Yes
•gluten-free pita Yes
•gyro bread Same as Flatbread below
•flatbread (some locations) Correct
•tortilla (white, whole wheat) White only

The VRG: Which, if any, contains dairy including whey, casein or their derivatives?
Garbanzo: Flatbread

The VRG: Which, if any, contains sugar?
Garbanzo: They all have sugar.

The VRG recommends contacting this chain directly if diners have any additional questions for further clarification. Note that ingredients at all restaurants can change over time and there may be conflicts with what is on the website.

The contents of this posting, our website, and our other publications, including Vegetarian Journal, are not intended to provide personal medical advice. Medical advice should be obtained from a qualified health professional. We often depend on product and ingredient information from company statements. It is impossible to be 100% sure about a statement, info can change, people have different views, and mistakes can be made. Please use your best judgement about whether a product is suitable for you. To be sure, do further research or confirmation on your own.

For information on other restaurant chains, see:

For information on vegetarian and vegan restaurants throughout the USA and Canada, see:

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