Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Soul Vegetarian D.C. is Good to Go!!!!

Soul Vegetarian Cafe & Exodus Carryout
Joe Yonan
Washington Post
Food & Dining
The best-selling item at this modest takeout joint is the mac and cheese, which at a vegan restaurant sounds like an oxymoron until you taste it. Sure, there's an unmistakable hint of soy, but it's also incredibly creamy and deeply flavored. Who cares what it's called when it's this good?

At Soul Vegetarian, vegan food represents more than just lunch or dinner. To the members of the African Hebrew Israelite community that owns the place (and a dozen sister restaurants worldwide), it is part of their way of life. The 80 or so members in the Washington area also operate a juice bar and deli inside a health-food store in Largo, says cafe manager Ben Ore Israel.
"We're a small community, but we're focused on what we do," Israel said. "We don't cut any corners. We have a genuine love for our people."

The basis of many of the sandwiches and other dishes is vegetable protein, which for the popular Garvey Burger ($5) is combined with whole-wheat flour and seasonings that give it a slightly smoky taste. "I like to say 11 herbs and spices, although it's not quite 11," Israel said, laughing. "We hand-press it every morning and grill it to order. Most people can't even tell it's not meat."

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