In June of 2013, Everlasting Life Cafe in the Park View neighborhood of DC changed its name to Woodlands Vegan Bistro, but they still continue to serve the vegan comfort foods everyone loves. They were bought by Mickiyah and Vernon Woodland five years ago, but hadn't changed the name as the cuisine remained the same. Another Everlasting Life Cafe exists in Maryland and after enough confusion the Woodlands decided it was time to brand this restaurant as their own. I hadn't been here in a while so I headed over for dinner on a Friday night.
It was quite busy when we arrived. We walked back into the back room where you order deli-style from the items in the case. There is always one featured entree and a number of hot sides and raw salads. We got our food, placed our orders for drinks and took a seat. The dining room is one big room with brown pleather-covered tables and heavy wood chairs. On this particular night, they were playing slow jams really loud.
Not too soon after ordering, they called me over to the counter to tell me that the wheatgrass shots we ordered were being made not from fresh wheatgrass, but from powdered wheatgrass. I had already paid so I told them that was okay. When I received them, they were huge like juices and did not taste good at all. Not at all what I expected.
We started eating while waiting for our juices. I ordered the Wild Mushroom Burger, but this was also not what I expected. It was described as a delicate patty with a delicious mushroom blend. It should have been described as a blend of mushrooms, battered, and deep-fried. I was not prepared for this. It was served with lettuce, tomato, onion, and cashew cheese. I liked the cashew cheese, but the burger itself was too big and too fried. It tasted okay, but wasn't at all what I expected.
On the side, I had the Caribbean Chickpea salad, which was really good. It was just chickpeas with a delicious curry spice mix. I also had the Garlic Kale salad, which is usually one of my favorites, but this time it tasted like the kale had been sitting in the garlic sauce way too long as it was particularly soggy.
For my fresh juice, I got the Incredible Hulk made with celery, cucumber, carrot, kale, collards, spinach, and parsley. It was really bad. I don't think I've ever had a juice I didn't like, but this one was pretty disgusting. It had a really harsh taste and I ended up just throwing it out.
Chris ordered the special of the day -- the pot pie. It was a pretty basic pot pie with not much flavor and a bit too much dough. It really needed a meatier ingredient on the inside like mushrooms or a faux meat. On the side, he ordered the broccoli and their famous mac and cheese. The broccoli was just steamed plain. The mac and cheese was pretty good, but also tasted like it had been sitting out for a while as it wasn't very warm.
All in all, I'd say I was disappointed. The food here is not cheap as our bill came out to be almost $40. For what we paid, I felt like the food could have been a lot better. The burger was deep-fried and not advertised as so, the drinks were disgusting, and the warm food wasn't that warm. That's not to mention that I should have been informed that the wheatgrass "shot" was not a fresh shot whatsoever before I paid. This was not the best experience I've had here and I only hope my next experience is better.
Woodlands Vegan Bistro
2928 Georgia Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20001