vegan


Much to my mom’s chagrin, I ate a cheeseburger last night.  I was tired and a bit grumpy — so I decided that would lighten my mood.  Well it really didn’t and in fact, I felt (and still feel) guilty about it.  It doesn’t help that she’s brought it up in every email and IMs since then. 

Well then I read this morning’s Wall Street Journal and caught this very interesting (free) story about the Kansas City Chief’s Tony Gonzalez and his vegan diet (but does sometimes eat lean salmon and chicken).  They also offer a free Q&A on training on a vegan diet with a sports nutritionist.

*Sigh* if a pro football player can do the vegan thing and be healthier, I think I can at least put down the cheeseburger. 

I don’t know if I can go completely vegan, but maybe I should give it a shot since there are a lot of great vegan options in the DC metro area.  Java Green and Sticky Fingers Bakery are two places I’ve been (and loved). 

Any vegans out there in DC?  Any recommendations? 

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If you have never been, YOU MUST GO to Sticky Fingers Bakery.  Don’t be afraid of “vegan” — don’t hesitate for a second if you’re worried about the taste. 

This is quite possibly the best oatmeal sandwich (called Cowvin Cookies) I’ve ever eaten.  It was sweet, moist, and so amazing.  It’s also only $2.50 (or so) and a pretty big sandwich cookie (a little bigger than a Cannon PowerShot ELPH camera). 

Sticky Fingers Bakery Cowvin Cookie

You honestly can’t tell that it’s all vegan, meaning everything is:

  • 100% vegan (contain no animal-derived ingredients)
  • Dairy/lactose-free
  • Egg-free
  • Cholesterol-free
  • Lower in saturated fat
  • Made with heart-healthy soy
  • Sweetened primarily with evaporated cane juice
  • Made with non-hydrogenated oils

If I lived by this bakery,  they’d know me by name.  Run, seriously, RUN TO THIS BAKERY. 

**Disclaimer — I only tried this oatmeal cookie, but if the other items taste like this, wow.  And they also serve sandwiches, soups, etc. but I haven’t tried those yet either.**

Is it just me, or do you hate to cook on Fridays?  Well, I hate it.  So before I left my office, I thought I’d call in an order to City Lights of China for pick-up.  Although I’ve walked by it a million times before, I’d never ordered anything. 

  • Food: Don’t judge, but I ordered a lot of food from here because I wanted to try a little bit of everything (and I have a ridiculous amount of leftovers!).  Anyway, I ordered their steamed meat dumpling, vegetable curl (with lettuce), crispy fried Cornish hen, and BBQ spare ribs (photos in order of list).  The dumplings were really tasty — I think it was primarily a pork filling.  With the soy-type sauce they included, it was perfect.  The curl was a pretty big container full of vegetables and a good taste.  The Cornish hen — wow.  Even though I picked up my order, the Cornish hen was still crispy!  The ribs were also fantastic.  

Meat Dumpling  Vegetable Curl  Crispy Fried Cornish Hen  BBQ Ribs

  • Service: I ordered on the phone, but they were polite.  When you order for pick-up, you go straight to the back where the staff are located.  It seems weird, but true.  Also strange is that they didn’t include any silverware with the order.  Thankfully, I have an apartment that has furniture, but what about those folks who stay in one of the local hotels?  What are they supposed to do?
  • Atmosphere: The interior leaves something to be desired. 
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $$
  • Overall: If you need to impress someone with the atmosphere and ambiance, this is not the place.  But if you’re trying to impress someone with Chinese food, go here.  I thought all of the food I ordered was really good and there wasn’t a weak dish.  I’m looking forward to going back and trying other items!

Details:

  • Reservations accepted.
  • Hours: Mon-Fri 11:30 AM-close; Sat & Sun 12 noon-close
  • Address: 1731 Connecticut Ave NW; Washington, DC 20009
  • Ph: 202-265-6688/8688

I used to be a vegetarian after I read Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle (not Fast Food Nation, I don’t know why either…maybe I didn’t think it was as disturbing).  Then one day, I wanted a burger and I haven’t looked back since. 

But, I appreciate vegetarian food and was intrigued when I found out there was a great vegan restaurant in the Golden Triangle area called Java Green.  Vraiment?  I had to find out more.

  • Food:Well, after looking at their very tasty looking menu, I ordered the “Chicken” Ramen in veggie broth with bean sprouts, carrots, scallions, broccoli, and soy chicken (left photo).  Dear God I fell in love after the first slurp.  The faux chicken had a smoky flavor and there was a lot of it!  While I ordered the soup to go, when I opened the container, the broccoli still had a nice crunch.  The flavors were perfect — you didn’t need to add anything else.   However, I added a little hot sauce to give it a little kick.  The soup smelled fantastic too and was a perfect, filling meal on a cold day in DC.  Day 2 I ordered their special which was the Spicy Chicken Rice Bowl (middle photo).  I have to be honest — the rice was bland and dry.  The chicken was spicy (definitely a kick) and the noodles were good. 

Java Green Spicy Chicken Java Green Soy Chicken Ramen 

Update: I went back again and ordered their spicy noodle soup with ramen noodles.  The soup has kimchi, bean sprouts, scallions, seaweed, and choice of noodles — ramen, udon, or soba.  There’s also wheat and gluten free options kelp, yam, and rice noodle.  It has a tiny kick (meaning not spicy), but it was delicious. 

Java Green Spicy Noodle Soup  Java Green Spicy Noodle Soup

 

  • Service: Polite and extremely efficient.  You order on the left side of the bar, get a number and a little receipt, and the pay at the other side of the bar.  Think Seinfeld’s Soup Nazi counter, make it a little longer, and  you get the picture.  Though they do not act anything like the Soup Nazi. 
  • Atmosphere:Not only the restaurant vegan, but it’s also eco-friendly. 
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $
  • Overall: If I could, I’d eat here all the time.  Their soup was fantastic (I’d order the Spicy chicken but 86 the rice) and I can’t wait to go back.  They have a great list of smoothies and other healthy drinks too.  If there were more restaurants like this, I think I’d be vegan…well, maybe not…still not convinced?  Since I started this blog, I’ve tried to eat at a new place and don’t want to go back to the same place if possible.  I’ve been here twice.  Yeah, that good. 

Details:

  • Address: 1020 19th Street NW; Washington, DC 20009 
  • Hours: Mon-Wed 8:30 AM-8:30 PM; Thurs-Fri 8:30 AM-9:00 PM; Sat 11:00 AM-6:00 PM; Sun closed
  • Ph: 202-775-8899