Well Dined

4May/121

Vegan Restaurant Challenge – Pt 3

For anyone who has read Pt 1 or Pt 2, you will know that my Vegan friend challenged me to try the top 25 Vegan-friendly restaurants in the area.  This time we decided to two different spots in the same trip.  Cafe Green (an all vegan restaurant) and Agora (a Greek spot with a number of vegetarian options and a few vegan ones) are right next door to each other near Dupont Circle.

The menu at Cafe Green is a little eccentric - part Asian, part Southern comfort food; all Vegan, with a large portion of Raw food.  I ordered the macaroni and cheese platter based on good reviews, and the fact that I love mac-n-cheese.  The macaroni is made from quinoa (which is a super grain) and the sauce had almost a bit of curry flavor too it.  Great texture, great flavor - this is a winner.  The platter came with a side of lemony kale that was alright and some spiced, candied yams that were AWESOME.  I also added on a piece of cornbread that had good flavor but was super dry and crumbly.

Keerin's entree was the Gnocchi di Riso - dumplings made from rice with vegetables in a "Thai basil-infused coconut cream sauce".  The flavor was okay, but the texture of the dumplings was really chewy and odd.  We both preferred the mac and cheese entree.

We also ordered the Mandoo - "sauteed Korean dumplings stuffed with mushrooms, scallions, soy protein, and veggies."  They were a little bit greasy but very tasty, and the peanut and tamari dipping sauces were flavorful and a little spicy.

We also got a cocktail - a young fresh coconut, cut open, with rum added.  This was not actually as tasty as it sounded - coconut water is not very sweet, and the rum was REALLY strong.

So things here were a little hit and miss - but definitely worth a return visit.  I would like to try some of their desserts, too.  Especially the raw cashew-banana ice cream sundae.

(Me perusing the menu at Agora)

Our trip to Agora was not as successful as our one to Cafe Green - first off, they have really weird rules about seating.  The hostess asked us if we were going to have dinner or just appetizers - apparently you are required to have 2-3 dishes each to qualify for dinner and be allowed to sit at a table.  If you just want drinks and apps, you have to battle for space at the bar (which only seats like 15 people max).  The tall tables in the bar area?  They do not count as bar seating.  All of this despite the fact that there is a huge outdoor dining space and a second dining room upstairs.  After milling around the bar for awhile and realizing that there was no way we would be able to get a seat, we went back to the hostess and told her we would have "dinner".

I really wanted to order some meat dishes, but I stuck to Vegetarian (if not Vegan) fare. I tried the Mucver - zucchini pancakes with mint, dill, scallions & Manchego cheese.  They seemed a little burnt and had a funky aftertaste, I was not impressed.

Keerin ordered the Falafel, which was also not tasty.  Fortunately, we had also ordered hummus and taramosalata which were very good.  The taramosalata was actually the best I've ever had.

We also tried some desserts (if only to salvage the night from the disappointing appetizers).  I ordered a rose scented rose pudding, stacked between shredded filo and topped with honey and pistachios.  It was delicious, thank goodness.

Keerin had the baklava, which she said was good as well.

I don't know what to think about this place - the dips and desserts were good, but the hot appetizers were pretty gross, to be honest.  It might be worth trying out again, but I wouldn't travel all the way into DC for it - especially considering the bizarre seating rules.

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  1. The candied yams tasted like Christmas! Def second the motion to go back for the raw cashew-banana ice cream sundae. “battle for space at the bar” ~ haha very true.


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