Vegan Done Right: Lunch at Sprig & Vine
My rants against vegetarians and vegans have been epic, but as I sit at my computer–fingers slightly sticky (a result of incessant licking I suppose)–I feel like a hypocrite of the highest order. I just finished nomming on some pretty bitchin’ leftovers–a mash-up of sweet potatoes, black beans, and cilantro-scallion rice all neatly ensconced in a whole wheat tortilla. This ‘everything-but-the-kitchen-sink’ creation is one of the gems from Sprig & Vine’s all-vegan menu. Has The Palate Princess finally gone all-veg? No, not at all–I still satisfy my inner carnivore every now and again but who needs meat when the tattooed geniuses at S&V are serving up meatless masterpieces like this?
I had lunch at the New Hope eatery today, finally giving it a try after passing it a million times on my way home from Gerenser’s (I know, I know–the ice cream addiction is getting out of hand). When I walked in the door, I was confronted by a blackboard suspended from the ceiling announcing that the soup du jour had wheatberries in it. I almost walked out. Listen up wheatberries, I have nothing against you but it’s that kind of talk that frightens us meat-eaters. My fears were allayed, though, when a pleasant smokiness wafting from the griddle area convinced me that this was safe territory. I ordered the very filling, perfectly spiced zucchini and black-eyed pea griddle cakes topped with a spicy corn remoulade that could have been a meal by itself. These little delights were the reason why I had to tote my burrito home–they were that hearty! (And, yes, that exclamation point is totally warranted.)
What I love about Sprig & Vine is that they’re not all smoke and mirrors–they don’t try to make vegetarian/vegan food in meat’s image. You won’t find tofu rolled into the shape of a hot dog or tempeh mechanically-pressed to mimic bacon. The folks here get it right and allow vegetarian food be just what it is–natural, wholesome, and tasty. When it’s done right as it is at Sprig & Vine, it’s sublime.