Once upon a time, the best a vegetarian could hope for dining options at most restaurants was a salad or some pasta in cream sauce. But really, how much mushroom ravioli can one person eat? Longstanding vegetarian favorite Garden Grille in Oak Hill has been serving creative preparations of tempeh for decades, and Julian’s on Broadway has long been a best bet if you need to feed one vegan and one carnivore at the same time, but this town wanted more, and we finally have it.
Asian food is always a good option for vegetarians, so the vegan Veggie Fun was a natural evolution. The kosher-certified, meat-free restaurant opened last year on Dorrance Street, and serves everything from Japanese (Yam and Taro Tempura) and Thai (Pad Thai) to Korean (Bim-Bi Bap) and Chinese (General Tso’s Soy Protien). For a while, we also had Sprout, a vegetarian food truck – but that closed down production in July.
For those people who were crying for more veggie variety in town, Veggie Fun and Sprout sated our appetites as we waited (and waited) for The Grange to open... but it was totally worth the wait. Another restaurant by the owner and chef of Garden Grille, The Grange takes vegetables and elevates them to fine dining status. Take, for example, their Roasted Carrot entrée, which comes over a lentil and fennel stew with creamed leeks, roasted turnips and saffron crema. Or the Cassoulet, made with Maine white beans, smoked onion and poached eggs. The Po’Boy, made with fried oyster mushrooms, cabbage slaw, pickles and remoulade on a (trend alert) Foremost pretzel roll is a must-try, even for carnivores.