Category: Vegan, Vegetarian
Neighborhood: Washington Square West
1221 Locust St
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Phone: (215) 320-7500
Vedge has been on my go-to Philly restaurant list for a few years now. It’s been raved about everywhere, from magazines to newspapers, to TV shows. This vegan restaurant excels in not only their presentation, but also transforms the experience of eating vegetables. Vedge elevates the vegetable to the status of meat, without intending to imitate it. Instead of making the vegetable into something it’s not meant to be, the cooks at Vedge bring out the vegetables’ diverse qualities in flavor and texture, creating elegant masterpieces that you don’t want to ruin by digging in with your fork.
So now onto the actual food! The suggested amount of plates to order is 3 per person, but my friend and I decided a total of 4 would be plenty for us. The menu is divided into three main sections with the first comprising of cold plates mostly in their raw form. The second section lists hot plates, which are a little heartier and have larger portions, and the third section is called the dirt list, items that are cooked for the most part but smaller portions.
The first dish we ordered was the Wood Baked Sweet Potato Hummus with two types of sliced bread (multigrain and grilled white bread with olive oil) along with pickles and pickled jicama rods. They actually give you quite a large portion of hummus, but not quite enough bread and pickles to dip into the hummus. The bread and pickled items were very tasty. The bread tasted fresh and the pickled jicama was especially tangy with a strong bite. The hummus had a smooth texture and a very smoky flavor. We didn’t expect this extent of smokiness, but if you like “smoky”, then this hummus is right up your alley!
Our second dish was the Roasted Rutabaga Salad. This was my favorite. It was presented beautifully with the leaves of the rutabaga, grilled shiitakes, and crushed pistachio making up a salad dressed in a little olive oil, and 4 large thin bright yellow slices of rutabaga emerging from underneath with some roasted bits of onion sprinkled along the long edge of the plate. I loved the surprise of a crunch of pistachio in the salad with the delicious mushrooms and fresh leaves. The rutabaga actually had a caramelized onion flavor and were crisp and delicate. The onion complimented the rutabaga well as well as the greens.
Our next dish was Brussels sprouts that were shaved and grilled with a smoked mustard dressing drizzled on top. The Brussels sprouts were well cooked and flavorful and the mustard dressing was light and fresh, bringing out the Brussels sprouts even more so.
The final dish was the Seared Hearts of Palm. This was presented as one whole heart of palm in the middle, with chopped hearts of palm next to it, and topped with Calabrian chile salad. The salad consisted of halved cherry tomatoes and chile peppers with a light vinaigrette. In a pool around this were black lentils that had a rich undertone, encircled by a rim of green Harissa puree. This dish was also well prepared, the hearts of palm were crisp and flavorful, the lentils well cooked and slightly rich with the Harissa blending in to add a delicate flavor. The child salad was a bit on the spicy side especially if you got a tiny pepper. But the waitstaff were very quick to ensure our water glasses were always full, so that helped wash away the spiciness.
The service also was extremely fast. Almost too fast! Our food came out in less than 10 minutes after we ordered, might have been five.
We were presented with the dessert menu after we finished our meal, which by the way was the perfect amount for the two of us. The desserts were all items that combined sweet and savory flavors, but more adventurously than usual.
Overall, I would highly recommend Vedge. It’s a great place to go whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, or omnivore!
However, you’ll usually have to make reservations pretty far ahead of time if you’re looking to eat at prime dinner hours (6-8pm) range. Or you might be able to snag a reservation that someone cancelled (like I did) a few days before!