The excitement that The Vegetable Garden reopened seemed to wear off when I realized it was like a 50-minute drive from DC in traffic. Every time we think about going back, we instead opt for restaurants within walking distance because they are so much easier. But, we could only go so long before heading back. This time, I met my brother, Darren, who I hadn't seen in a while.
We were supposed to meet at 6:30 p.m. on a Saturday, but I arrived a little early. Well, it appears that this is no longer a vegan's secret because this place was bustling! My brother informed me that he got stuck at work and would be late so I told them I'd wait for a booth. He ended up getting lost and didn't show up until 7:15 p.m. or so, but it took that long to get a booth, so I guess it all worked out!
I started with a burgundy wine, which, as I knew, was not at all good. I wish I could just bring my own wine to this place. *sigh* The most exciting part of the night was when I discovered that the warm leek bread they used to serve at the old location is back! Oh, how I've missed you!
We both went with the dinner combo special so we could try as many items as possible. You get an appetizer, soup, and two entrees. I started with a Moo Shi Cilantro Roll, which was loaded with tofu and other faux meats and was pretty good.
The surprise of the night was the Hot and Sour Soup. I don't normally order hot and sour soup, but when they told me that was the spicy soup, I was willing to try it. This soup turned out to be fantastic -- it was thick and full of mushroom flavor and tofu and spice. I loved it!
For my two (side order size portions) entrees, I went with one new dish and one I knew I loved. The one I know I love (on the left) is the Garden Feast filled with soy and wheat gluten beef, chicken, and veggies galore! There are snow peas, cauliflower, broccoli, shiitake mushrooms, tomatoes, carrots, jicama, and kale in brown sauce. For the new dish (on the right), I ordered the Asparagus with Oyster Mushrooms and Yuba. It was exactly as described -- asparagus, oyster mushrooms, and yuba (tofu skins) in a delightful brown sauce.
My brother ordered two that I wouldn't normally order. He got the 8-treasure eggplant (on the right), which was surprisingly good. This dish was loaded with diced eggplant, shiitake mushrooms, yellow squash, zucchini, red bell peppers, lily bulb, pine nuts, cranberries, cashews, and tofu in a spicy sauce. Other than the cranberries, I loved this dish! He also got the Sesame Beef Taro Root (on the left), which was really good, but a bit too much of the wheat gluten and not enough of anything else. Raw veggies were on the side, but I guess this dish is more for people who don't love veggies and I'm sure there are many people like that!
So, all-in-all, it was a great experience. The food was fantastic and my brother left there thinking vegan food is awesome. The service was great. And the price of the combo was only like $13 so very cheap for what we got. I love this restaurant and only wish it weren't so far away!!
July 24, 2014
February 3, 2012
3830 International Drive
Silver Spring, MD 20906