Last weekend seems so far away, but it was a good one in terms of vegan life.
Friday night, I hit up DC's new Cafe Green. (The grand opening was the next day). The cafe only serves vegan foods, with a nice selection of raw offerings. My dining companion and I went a little wild, ordering three appetizers, two entrees, and three desserts.
The entrees largely cater to the faux meat crowd. Dishes like chicken wings, cheese steaks, and cheeseburgers offer vegan alternatives to typical American restaurant offerings. I'm not wild in general about meat analogues, so I was not in love, but the Massaman Curry was wicked spicy and I enjoyed it.
Dessert stole the show. We struck up a conversation with the couple seated next to us who said that they always eat dessert first there and convinced us to order the raw cheesecake and cacao shake. In addition to those, we ordered a berry coconut tart. The cheesecake was unreal. I've had many a raw cheesecake, but this was literally it. It was chocolaty, smooth, and ridiculously decadent. The shake was fabulous and left us feeling high. The berry tart was great, but couldn't compete with the cheesecake.
The manager came out to visit the table and asked if we had tried the raw coconut ice-cream. We had not, so he brought us a little complimentary dish to sample. If I hadn't been stuffed already, I would have ordered more.
Cafe Green is most definitely a win. I hope they'll continue to expand their menu to go beyond the fake meat fare.
Sunday, I ventured out to a Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale event. I found that Compassion for Animals was hosting one in Silver Spring, MD and it was worth the trip. I caught them right as they were setting up, but they were very helpful anyway. I wandered away to give them some time, and when I returned, the table was swamped! I came away with cheesecake brownies, mini cheesecakes, mac and cheese, and mango bread.
The mango bread caught my eye because I'd never heard of such a thing. It was most definitely a wise decision to buy it. The bread is beautifully orange, spicy, and moist, but the remarkable thing is the surprising mango flavor.
There was an email address affixed to the packaging and I tracked down the associated blog, Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes.
After the bake sale, I headed over to the nearby Berwyn Cafe. I'm on a quest to try and review as many of the restaurants in COK's Vegetarian Guide to Washington, D.C. and Surrounding Areas.
It was a laid back little cafe full of students on laptops sitting on mismatched furniture and drinking from recycled thrift-store mugs. Oddly though, the plates and flatware were disposable (paper and plastic) and that never sits well with me. The food was good though, and I really enjoyed my combo breakfast that included a tofu scramble and giant blueberry pancake. They also made a good cup of coffee and provided soy creamer. If it were close to my place, and they switched to reusable or compostable plates and forks, I could see myself going regularly for a lazy weekend breakfast.
The cafe is conveniently located by the Smile Herb Shop. I was finally able to get culinary-grade lavender, matcha a.k.a. green tea powder (Green Tea Cupcakes, here I come), and loose rooibos. I also picked up a box of Harmonaise Tea that's pretty good.
Finally, I obtained some new-to-me ingredients that I will cook with at some point this week, dinosaur kale and yucca! Very exciting!