What makes a restaurant special? Philadelphia based Vedge has become
one unforgettable place for vegans and meat-eaters!
Vedge, located in the heart of Center City Philadelphia, gives diners an experience they won’t soon forget. Since its opening in fall 2011, vegans and meat-eaters alike have flocked to this unique, upscale vegan restaurant. With inventive dishes and locally sourced ingredients, it’s easy to see why.
In Philadelphia, Vedge is one of the first, if not the only one, vegan restaurants that makes vegetables the star of the dish, as opposed to protein and grains. But don’t worry, you’ll leave feeling full and satisfied.
The main menu is divided into four sections: For The Table, The Vedge Bar, From The Hot Kitchen, and The Dirt List. While the entire menu is constantly changing, the most frequently changed section is The Dirt List, a list of vegetable sides centered around what produce is delivered by the farms that week.
We ordered about ten things for the table. Everything was delicious and well-seasoned, but three dishes were very memorable for me. The smoked carrots, served with kimchi “reuben”, pumpernickel, and white bean puree, had a wonderful texture, and the juxtaposition of the sweetness from the carrots and the saltiness from the kimchi and pumpernickel gave the dish a very unique flavor profile.
Another dish that stuck out was the spicy grilled tofu, accompanied by gochujang (a Korean hot pepper paste), edamame puree, smoked miso, and yuba (tofu skin) cracklin. The texture and flavor was reminiscent of salmon, and the dish had the perfect amount of heat. The yuba cracklin was a unique and creative accompaniment.
While simple, the last thing that truly wowed me was the smashed fingerlings with creamy Worcestershire. The sauce was robust, and it was exciting to be able to have a vegan Worcestershire.
Do not, I repeat, do not skip dessert, no matter how full you are. Like the rest of the menu, the dessert menu is ever changing, and combines unique flavors that creates a truly amazing ending to the meal. My favorite is the chocolate uber chunk, a chocolate malt custard served in a glass jar with a pretzel-peanut crust and stout ice cream. It is alarmingly decadent, and I have a weakness for dessert with salt.
Since everything is served as small plates, my recommendation is to get a couple things from each menu section to share with the whole table. This place fills up quickly, so be sure to get a reservation a few days in advance. It is pricey, so be prepared to fork out a few dollars, but the quality of the food certainly makes it worth your money. However, if you’re looking to avoid the hefty bill, their weekday happy hour is a good option, with drinks and snack ranging from $4 to $6.
* All photos by Michael Spain Smith and courtesy of Vedge