Reviews written by Ms Margaret

Registered on Aug 16 04
 

Christos in Twin Cities, Minnesota
Feb 20 05

rating star

For a Greek restaurant Christo's is surprisingly vegetarian friendly. That's not to say that there's a lot for vegans here or that you won't see platefuls of meat passing you, but the restaurant staff seem pretty conscientious about accomodating non-meat eaters. There's usually at least one soup on the menu that's marked "vegetarian" (I had the tomato basil feta - yum - and a friend had a cream-based apple butternut squash soup that kicked butt). The menu lists about six or seven vegetarian entrees, including stuffed grape leaves, falafel, veggie mousaka, and spanakopita. I had a sampler plate with the last two and both dishes were excellent. Most entrees were about $10-11, but you get a lot of food for the price (dinner entrees include soup or salad, entree, plus often a side dish - and the portions are pretty substantial). Overall, I was pleasantly surprised. Christo's is several steps above the typical Greek diner fair.

Evergreen Chinese Restaurant in Twin Cities, Minnesota
Apr 11 05

rating star

FYI - Evergreen's take-out menu is slightly different from the big up-dated one they use for sit-down diners (though they'll tell you they're the same). The take-out menu leaves off three yummy specialty vegetarian dishes: pepper fried mock pork (mentioned in a previous review), fried tofu with crispy soy bean flakes, and three cup tofu.

It's Greek To Me in Twin Cities, Minnesota
Jun 17 05

rating star

I don't understand why City Pages continually rates this place the number one Greek restaurant in the Twin Cities. It's Greek to Me serves basic Greek diner food (gyros, spanikopitas) at inflated prices. It's ok, but not great. If you're looking for good quality Greek food in a nice atmosphere try Christos instead. Their vegetarian menu (including vegan options) is much more extensive and simply better all around.

Sawatdee Bar & Cafe in Twin Cities, Minnesota
Aug 16 04

rating star

The sign out front says "Seafood and Vegetarian," but who in their right mind would consider fish sauce to be vegetarian-friendly? They put it in almost every dish. The last time I went (the last time I intend to go - ever) I ordered pad thai with tofu and it tasted suspiciously fishy. I alerted the waiter and he said he'd take it back to the kitchen and have it remade. He returned with the same plate saying that the "ladies in the back" claimed the original dish had no fish sauce in it - I was mistaken. Honey, I've been a vegetarian for 15 years and I know fish when I taste it. Even by meat-eater standards this place isn't that amazing. I mean, they put iceberg lettuce in their spring rolls. Iceberg freakin' lettuce. Just avoid this place...

Taj of India in Twin Cities, Minnesota
Nov 2 04

rating star

Middle of the road, no-frills Indian/Bangladeshi cuisine. The vegetarian and vegan options here are pretty much what they are at most Indian restaurants: alu gobi (cauliflour and potato), chana saag (spinach and chick peas), vegetable korma (mixed veggies in cream sauce), etc. The quality of the food varies. Dinner can be good, but the lunch buffet often seems like an opportunity for the cooks to reuse and get rid of leftovers. The prices are reasonable - about $8-9 for an entree (including rice) and around $7 for the lunch buffet. A decent place if you happen to be in the area, but ultimately can't hold a candle to the Udupi Cafe.

Tibet's Corner in Twin Cities, Minnesota
Dec 7 04

rating star

I went to Tibet's Corner looking forward to the peanut butter Momos (dumplings) I had read so much about, but then learned that they have discontinued them. The dumplings in question are now filled with a mixture of what seems to be cream cheese and broccoli. How disappointing. As another reviewer noted, even though Tibetan cuisine is usually meat-heavy Tibet's Corner has a whole section of about 6 vegan entrees. The bad news is they aren't that amazing. At least the cauliflower carrot dish I had wasn't. Nice ambiance, just lackluster food.

Udupi Cafe in Twin Cities, Minnesota
Oct 31 04

rating star

Absolutely amazing food. This place stands head and shoulders with some of the best Indian restaurants in the greater NYC area. The lunch buffets are a good deal. Saturday lunches can get really busy. The place was swamped the last time I went, with a line out the door when I left. Note: this is Southern Indian food (land of the dosas...), not the Bangladeshi fare a lot of places call Indian. For what it's worth, a friend mentioned that Udupi hired a new chef several months ago and that the food has improved dramatically since then. This may be why I was so impressed when I went (after the new cook arrived), while some of the older reviews on this list rate the food lower.

The Wedge Co-op in Twin Cities, Minnesota
Nov 13 04

rating star

While their baked goods still tend towards the dry side and some of their food is rather bland, the Wedge's deli offerings have improved in past months. The garlic lover's pasta (veggie but not vegan-friendly) is totally addictive. The sandwiches made to order are good, but a bit pricey (the pre-packaged ones can be soggy). I tried some walnut-pecan pate the other day that was good (again veggie, not vegan). Nice to see the food quality improving even if it still has a ways to go.

Cafe DeWitt in Ithaca & Finger Lakes, New York
Aug 4 05

rating star

Located in the same downtown Ithaca shopping center as the Moosewood Restaurant, this Euro style cafe excels at brunch fare. The place is somewhat easy to miss - the space is kind of open-air towards the back of the DeWitt Mall. The mirrors and fish tanks make it look like there's more to the space than just the eating area.
The food at Cafe DeWitt is excellent. Their egg dishes are great and the veggie pannini I had was delicious. I think their pastries are made fresh every morning. The dessert menu is also mouth-watering. I had a yummy lemon pound cake, but the day I was there they also offered lavender creme brulee, some special meringue cakes, a couple of chocolate items, and some locally made ice cream.
Cafe DeWitt only does breakfast and lunch, so you have to get there before they close in early afternoon. It also appears they do a fancy brunch buffet every weekend. Big thumbs up from me!

Moosewood Restaurant in Ithaca & Finger Lakes, New York
Aug 4 05

rating star

I've heard some people call the Moosewood Restaurant overrated, but I enjoyed my lunch there. The restaurant itself is really quite understated - warm yellow walls, simple wooden furniture, some couches, an area to buy cookbooks and such. The location is easy to miss too if you don't know the area. You have to enter through the little DeWitt Mall on the corner.
The lunch menu is pretty small (as is the dinner one, I'm sure). Moosewood usually offers about 4 soups, a handful of sandwich options, and a number of casseroles for lunch. Surprisingly, they also seem to really push the (alcoholic) drink menu (a real money-maker, I'm sure).
I had the tomato-basil soup and a sauteed veggie sandwich with smoked mozzarella. Both were simple, but excellent. My husband had a southwestern corn chowder and some kind of casserole. The soup was yummy (and made us want to go home and make it ourselves), but the casserole was kind of bland. Overall, I really enjoyed my Moosewood meal, even if the restaurant wasn't the fantastic experience I expected from the famed cookbook.

Alto Cinco in Syracuse, New York
Nov 5 05

rating star

One of the most consistent best bets for good food in the Syracuse University area. The restaurant itself is quite small, cramped even. Tables really only accommodate 4 at most. The place is pretty busy, so seating's often scarce. They really need to expand! Alto has quite a few vegetarian offerings: the regular, veggie, california, and covered burritos, a few different quesadillas, soft tacos, and salads. For vegans there's the bandito, vegan, and super vegan burritos and the veggie plate. The enchiladas (usually served with cheese, but vegans can ask them to hold it) are great because of Alto's homemade mole sauce. So yummy! Also amazing are the sweet potato fries.
For take-out Alto is pretty affordable - an average of about $6 for a burrito. The sit-down menu is actually a little pricier. Alto delivers, but their delivery hours are a bit more limited than the eat-in ones. It's great to see the cooks behind the counter making everything fresh, but the counter-help can often be surly or aloof. If you can't get through ordering take-out at 472-3633, try 422-mexx.

China Road in Syracuse, New York
Oct 27 07

rating star

With a dearth of vegetarian options in the Syracuse area, this place is a welcome relief. Apparently it's one of a few "university ghettos" in town - lots of professors frequent China Road. The vegetarian options here are really quite impressive. There were maybe about 20 veggie options listed on the restaurant's dry erase board (unfortunately not listed on their take-out menu). Most veggie dishes featured "mock meat." I've had plenty of "mock meat" dishes that were just so-so, but the one I tried at China Road was excellent (szechuan-style mock chicken and vegetables). China Road delivers, but only within a two mile radius. Lord knows why this restaurant's "master chef" moved from New York City to Syracuse (I've heard rumors of the Chinese mafia), but his presence is a welcome addition.

Added later: I read somewhere that the chef at China Road adds pork broth to some of the vegetarian dishes. Yikes! I guess it's best to specifically ask if pork or any other animal products are used in an entree. What a bummer...

Munjed's Middle Eastern Cafe in Syracuse, New York
Nov 5 05

rating star

Munjed's is often a good, quiet alternative to Alto Cinco. Pitas are usually reasonably-priced - around $6. The vegetarian sampler plate offers a nice variety, but it's a little pricey - about $10. The lunch and dinner menus are the same. I like the spinach pie (vegan) and the tabouli is better than what I've had at a lot of Middle Eastern restaurants. I usually leave Munjeb feeling full, but not bloated. There have been a couple of times, however, when I've eaten a Munjed falafel pita and wound up with a stomach ache. Pretty good, but not absolutely amazing.

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