Sunday, January 20, 2013

Philadelphia, PA - Vedge; I have seen people questioning to try a vegetarian restaurant by wondering if the food is going to taste good and if it would fill you up. If you're going to try venture out of your comfort zone for the first time, this is the place to try. It has the presentation and flavors that you will be used to and you won't even miss the meat.

The bread prior to the meal was nice and fresh. The seasoning in the oil was earthy and fresh. It was a delightful change from the salty dipping oil at other places.

The server recommended the brussels sprouts, saying at it is one of their more popular dishes and phenomenal ones. I couldn't agree more and see why it's so popular. It is truly delicious. The sprouts are cut thing, surprisingly. I thought they were going to be whole or cut in half, but not each piece thin slice. It's topped with a smoked mustard sauce that has a strong flavor that cuts through the typical sprouts flavor and sometime bitterness of it. I licked the plate clean.

Here's an example of how creative they are with their food, while delivering excellent and familiar flavor. The salted roasted beets, avocado, smoked tofu, rye, capers, creamy cucumber dish is one that should be a must to try if you haven't already. It's a play on bagels, lox, and cream cheese (BLC). Coming from a person who has had many many BLC's, this was a playful, creative, and tasty attempt for a vegetarian restaurant. When you take a whole bite, it has the familiar flavors of the BLC, heartiness from the bagel, saltiness from the capers and fish, and sliminess from the fish. The rye replaces your bagel, the smoked tofu convinces you of the smokiness from the fish, avocado and beets, have the sliminess for the fish, capers were perfect for the saltiness, and creamy cucumber for the cream cheese. What's really interesting is that if you deconstruct the dish and eat the pieces individually, it will not remind you of the BLC and you will think it is a completely different dish. I left nothing of this dish either.

Now it was time to try the Sweet Potato Pate served with mustard seed, jerk cashews with brown bread. Their playful attempt to mislead you into eating a vegetarian dish, while convincing you it's a typical meat pate. Well, they almost pull it off, which really means they pretty much did it well. The pate has the texture and consistency of any other pate. Between the sweet potato and mustard seed, you'll convince your self that it was meat and never look back. It's slightly on the smaller portion size, but this way, you're not overwhelmed with the flavor, it'll be gone before you know it.

Now for dessert. The Chocolate Pot De Creme. It's served on a nice cold stone plate to keep your dessert from melting. It was deliciously rich, but not overwhelming since I cleared this plate as well. The biscotti's where nice, just a little too hard for my preference, but still done well and flavors were very nice.

This is truly an exceptional restaurant with very talented chefs.  It's worth trying, one, two, maybe three, or four times.