Thursday, May 16, 2013

Dinner With Old Friends c/o Vedge

A few weeks back I called EF just to say hello. It had been a while since we had last communicated verbally, but I knew through Mr. Ass that she and her husband B. were officially moving from Michigan back to the east coast and Philadelphia in particular. During our phone call it was established that they'd actually be in town the following week to figure out some of the details of their where they might live. So I actually ended up spending part of a Saturday with E. walking around my greater neighborhood looking at houses with for sale signs and, in one instance, taking a tour by the owner of one such house (it was a cute house and I would buy it if I had the resources). We also had plans to have dinner one night later in the week. Initially the plan was that EF and B. and Mr. Ass would come by my place and I would make them dinner, which we would eat on the deck. But the weather for the night in question insisted that it was going to be rainy, and that wouldn't really do for an al fresco dining experience. As a plan B we all met at Vedge. EF and B. are vegetarians, so Vedge seemed like a pretty good choice, given its entirely vegetarian and vegan menu. EF and B. arrived first and said that they were given a bit of guff and attitude about getting a table without a reservation, but a table they did secure. The meal started with olive oil with fennel seeds and fresh bread.
I was drawn to the fancy radishes, roasted, raw & pickled, smoked tamari, avocado, shishito dish. I wish I could have taken a better photo to truly demonstrate the presentation and range of radish preparations, but alas the light was low and I was trying to take pictures quickly. So this is the best I could do. I'll say this. I love radishes pretty much however you give them to me. Straight up. Pickled. Sauteed. With salt. With butter. With nothing. So this more careful and involved presentation just upped the ante and made something I already love even more pleasant.
We all shared an order of potato wedges with a creamy worcestshire sauce, which I don't know exactly how they made given the lack of dairy in all their fare. The potatoes were lovely and creamy in their own right.
I also tried their funky kimchee stew with charred broccoli, pickled tofu, and togarashi. Our server warned me that it was spicy, but after the tofu stews that I've been making lately, this wasn't anything to worry about. Its broth was rich the kim chi funky. The pickled tofu was probably the weirdest part, as it had an almost mango/fruit taste to it. The others had a nice range of dishes as well, but I did not photograph them because the lighting was low and it would just take too much time. Pretty much everything was full-stop delicious. While I love me my cheese and red meat, Vedge is a reminder that with care and creativity one doesn't need either to have a meal that feels like it truly is complete while also being special.
Afterwards we wandered around the narrower streets in the neighborhood. I insisted on a photograph or two.

It will be exciting to have EF and B. in the city.

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