Me and the girls had struggled for months to find a good date for dinner. Seriously, you'd think we were working on world peace. We're busy ladies. Everybody has a baby or a job, and either a social life or volunteer stuff or a marriage to sustain. Finally, we got it figured out. And just in time. We'd been planning on going to Horizons for months, a "modern vegan" restaurant near here - one of us is vegan and all of us like food - and then we heard that they were closing. The clock was ticking.
Am I going to be that asshole who pulls out her camera in the middle of her meals in restaurants? In front of everybody? Maybe.
I do this with takeout, but that's in the privacy of my own home, and no one has to know. No one except you, of course.
The sangria was fine. Met the need. We had two pitchers. I would have wanted more fruit.
We ordered all the appetizers. Ok, not all. Three.
My top pick was the korean bbq seitan taco. This was incredible, but I love seitan almost as much as I love cheese (I didn't even miss cheese!).
Crispy, sweet, daikon and cilantro, kim chee mayo - these were compared to banh mi (and you know I love banh mi).
I was alone in choosing the taco as my favorite, everyone else was loving the cauliflower.
Perfectly roasted, I thought it was fantastic, but I've never seen three women go nuts over cauliflower like everyone else at the table was, so clearly I was missing something.
The portabello carpaccio was rich and delicious, and the arugula cream was ridiculous. Also, there was something fried on the plate. I'm still not sure what. But it was good in the deep fried crispy things are good kind of way.
Four women, three different entrees. The winner, in my mind, was the grilled seitan, but you know how I feel about seitan.
On top of mashed potatoes, with horseradish and red pepper tapenade. The seitan was smoky and the accompaniments were bright and flavorful.
I had the roasted maitake mushroom. Sorry about the terrible picture.
With peas and potatoes in a rich and velvety truffle sauce. The mushroom tasted great, but I wasn't quite prepared for the texture, which took some getting used to. I had not eaten maitake before. It's not a mushroom, it's a system. A network. A community.
Two of them ordered the Pacific Rim Grilled Tofu.
This was delightful. Miso sauce, edamame puree, and hakurei turnips like I got in my CSA the other week - the ones that work more like a radish than a turnip. Again, smoky, with such a range of flavors and textures on the plate.
This meal ended in a hot debate. The restaurant is closing and they're planning to open something more "vegetable centered," and less about a chunk of protein in the middle of the plate. I don't want to eat fake meat like tofu hot dogs or soy bacon, but I really appreciate a big slab of seitan in the middle of my plate, or a piece of tofu like this. I can make vegetables at home, thank you. Me and the vegan were together on this, the other two are looking forward to a veggie-centric option.
Either way, we wish them well in their next endeavor, and of course we'll be there. And in the meantime, I'll be at home, cooking up some seitan.