Wednesday, November 21, 2007

"World peace begins in the kitchen..."

...reads the manifesto underneath VegiTerranean's logo on the menu. Chrissie Hynde's new restaurant in Akron finally opened last week and I was fortunate enough to get a reservation for a late dinner tonight.

One week before the restaurant was to open, management decided to make it exclusively vegan rather than the announced vegetarian format. How thrilling! I plan to go there a lot and explore my way through the entire menu.

Tonight I had a pizza on special. It featured mushrooms and squash. Since going vegan last summer, I admit to having had the occasional strong longing for pizza with cheese toppings. My pizza had whole wheat crust and was topped with wild mushrooms and a sauce mixed with squash. They also offer a pizza called "The Ghoulardi" with banana peppers, olives, mushrooms, red onion with spicy marinara.

The menu includes appetizers, soups, salads, pastas, the afore-mentioned pizzas and entrees made with something called Gardein, garden grown protein. My meal tonight didn't include any meat substitute, but I can tell you the soy cheese on the pizza was deliciously melted and tasted great.

Finally, a place where soy cheese and other plant-based forms of protein are the norm, not the unattainable. The restaurant is open evenings from 4 - 11 and will begin serving a lunch menu this Friday and continue Mondays through Fridays. They will eventually be open for lunch on weekends as well, and then plan to be open for breakfast hours with vegan pastries -- yum!

The ambiance was stripped down and sleek at the same time. What a great gift for Akron! Thank you Chrissie! Wonderful job chef J Scott Jones and the wait staff!

VegiTerranean is located at 21 Furnace St on the ground floor of the new Northside Lofts. That's the building at the foot of Luigi's off of old Howard Street. Phone for reservations: 330-374-5550. You will need them -- the place was hopping! It was great running into old friends and former students in town for the holidays. If you have guests coming in over the holidays, there is now some place very special to take them.

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