Congrats! You’ve made it to Friday of The Smart Girl’s Guide To Going Vegetarian’s 7 Days To Veg! Now that it’s almost the weekend, we have a totally fun assignment for you that we hope you will be able to find time for over the next few days: Go to a restaurant.
Not just any restaurant, that is. A vegetarian restaurant (even better, a vegan one). Sure, you can order a plant-based meal off nearly any menu (even if that means cobbling together a boring salad-and-rice combo). But at veg-focused establishments, you’ll get something you’ll rarely find at a spot that serves up meat as well as veggie dishes: Inspiration.
At so many restaurants, vegetarian food can feel like an afterthought. The side dishes and aforementioned salads. The random pasta dish that just doesn't have the same oomph as the other food on the menu. Chefs who deal in nothing but vegetarian food, however, are pros with produce and pulses. Tops with tofu and tempeh. Stars with spices. Bottom line: They know how to make plant-strong meals shine.
Thanks to meals at vegetarian restaurants, we’ve learned that almonds work great in veggie burgers, well-seasoned tempeh is the perfect stand-in for bacon on a veggie “BLT,”, broccoli can be almost as tempting and dippable as French fries, and you can turn cashews into a creamy, cheesy sauce. And that’s just for starters.
If you live near SGV HQ here in New York, you might hit up Candle Café, Angelica Kitchen, Blossom, Hangawi, Dirt Candy, Peacefood Café, Taim, our new and beloved by CHLOE., or countless others. Of course, you might not be as lucky we are in regard to proximity to vegetarian restaurants—but perhaps there’s one right under your nose that you’ve never noticed. If you’re not sure, do a search on http://www.happycow.net/, which has an extensive directory of vegetarian restaurants around the world.
No veg restaurant in your neighborhood? Bummer. But, silver lining: That’s a great reason for a road trip! Good food is worth traveling for! In fact, some of our best-ever travel memories have been made seeking out plant-powered meals.
What’s the best vegetarian restaurant you’ve ever eaten at (at home or far away)? Did you learn any tricks you now use at home?