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Poll: Help the Vegetarians!

pollystyrene Jul 9, 2007 02:57 PM

What, and from where, are your top three dishes (excluding desserts) that do not contain animal flesh?

  1. Jpan99 Nov 17, 2010 04:15 AM

    Pan Seared Breaded Portabella Strips from Red Lentil in Watertown
    Trio of Pies at Vlora in Boston
    Burrata at Il Casale in Belmont

    545 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116

    Red Lentil
    600 Mt Auburn St, Watertown, MA 02472

    1. maillard Nov 16, 2010 09:01 AM

      Top three tofu dishes:
      homestyle tofu from Qingdao
      yu hsiang tofu from Mary Chung
      pad kee mao with tofu from Rod Dee

      Top three non-tofu vegetarian dishes:
      fried eggplant from Red Lentil
      falafel from Rami's
      dry fried green beans from Qingdao or Mary Chung

      Mary Chung Restaurant
      460 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139

      Red Lentil
      600 Mt Auburn St, Watertown, MA 02472

      1 Reply
      1. re: maillard
        chompie Nov 16, 2010 10:10 PM

        good post bringback! Are there ANY faves from North of Boston??

        My minds a blank right now..all i can think of are a couple favorite ordinary comfort dishes.. Spinach pie (does have feta though) with greek green beans and roasted potato and the greek salad at Brothers Kouzina Peabody, avocado rolls and veggie tempura at Sushi Island, and the homemade angel hair with vegetables at Calitris Danvers. Just make sure to ask for no chicken broth, as it is questionable as to whether its used in their seasoning.. might depend on the chef that day, but they make sure its not if you ask.

        Brothers Kouzina
        25 Newbury St, Peabody, MA 01960

      2. d
        drewinmrblhd Nov 16, 2010 08:31 AM

        I would also recommend the BLT from the Clover food truck, YUM!

        1. s
          sourgirl Nov 15, 2010 06:40 PM

          love this thread.
          I'd have to my number one favorite veggie dish is the pho chay at pho pasteur...mmm

          followed closely by a regina Margherita

          1. opinionatedchef Sep 1, 2010 11:49 AM

            just want to caution some people that this thread goes back many years and some of the restos mentioned no longer exist.

            for me:
            ginger deep fried bean curd at Mary Chung's, Central Sq, Cambridge.served in a unique slightly sweeet sauce w/ julienned ginger. also GREAT and refreshing if eaten as a take-out or leftover lunch.

            rice stuffed baby eggplant at Eastern Lamejun Bakery, Watertown (take out only)

            eggplant salad - Toro, South End ; could eat this for my entire meal.

            Mary Chung Restaurant
            460 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139

            1704 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118

            1. n
              nasilemak Aug 12, 2010 05:06 PM

              Lalla Mussa Dal - Black lentil simmered overnight in spices offered at Tamarind Bay, Harvard Sq.

              Tofu pad thai at Thai Moon, Arlington.

              Pie Tee (A.K.A. Top Hats) shredded jicama, cucumber, carrot, and tofu cake in a crispy hat shape shell, topped with fragrant fried shallots at Island Hopper, Back Bay.

              Tamarind Bay
              75 Winthrop St, Cambridge, MA 02138

              Thai Moon
              663 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02476

              Island Hopper
              91 Massachusetts Ave, Boston, MA 02115

              1. l
                lgss Aug 12, 2010 03:09 PM

                Just 3 is tough. We like various different dishes at Life Alive. We've eaten at the Lowell location and see that the Central Square, Cambridge location is opening soon! Various dishes at Martsa on Elm (Tibetan, Davis Square, Camb), the veg plate at Asmara (Eritrean, Central Sq, Camb), Pulse near Davis Sq has great food. We're vegan and I'm gluten-free and we find food we like, even more choices for others.

                Life Alive
                194 Middle St Apt 3R, Lowell, MA 01852

                1. tazia Aug 11, 2010 03:28 PM

                  This is an old thread, but one that I fully support resurrecting. I know a lot of fantastic veggie food has popped up in Boston over the last couple of years.

                  My additions (we're a bit Camberville-centric):
                  -Clover Food Lab: BLT
                  -Pizzeria Regina: magherita pizza
                  -Lemon Thai: cashew stir fry or anything with peanut sauce + brown rice and tofu (these prolly have fish sauce)
                  -Taipei Tokyo: peanut avocado rolls with brown rice
                  -Cafe Barada: hummus and mujaddara
                  -Ten Tables: veggie tasting menu--spectacular and reasonably priced
                  -Veggie Planet: Henry's Dinner (butternut squash, goat cheese pizza)
                  -Solea: Buٌnuelos de Alcachofas y Espinacas (Artichoke & Spinach Fritters)
                  -Za: lots of the seasonal pizzas + their Black bean avocado & roasted beet salads
                  -Yak & Yeti: palak kofta

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: tazia
                    Kinopio Aug 12, 2010 12:06 PM

                    Most of the best stuff was already mentioned, like Oleana and Helmand. Grendel's Den has some good veggie options and during their half price hours its an amazing deal. For newer places The Gallows is a good choice.

                    134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139

                    1. re: tazia
                      Bob Dobalina Aug 12, 2010 12:36 PM

                      I'll nominate the pistachio-encrusted, grilled tofu and the deep-fried cauliflower at Red Lentil,
                      Hon. mention: Anything with eggplant in it at Istanbul'u

                      Red Lentil
                      600 Mt Auburn St, Watertown, MA 02472

                    2. Boston_Otter Mar 25, 2008 08:51 AM

                      • Masala Dosas from Namaskar.
                      • Florentine benedict from Sound Bites.
                      • Royal Tofu from East Asia.
                      • the daily veggie special at EVOO. Last night I had parsnip cannoli, and they were amazing.
                      • Veggie ramen from Sapporo.
                      • the Dolmen Veggie Burger from The Burren.. it's a sort of curry patty.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Boston_Otter
                        pollystyrene Mar 26, 2008 12:55 AM

                        There's a daily veggie special at EVOO? Do you mean in addition to the one veg entree they've always got on the menu?

                        1. re: pollystyrene
                          Boston_Otter Mar 26, 2008 11:56 AM

                          Sorry for the confusing wording. I meant that they always have at least one veggie entree on the prix fixe menu, which changes depending on what's fresh and in season.

                          1. re: Boston_Otter
                            pollystyrene Mar 26, 2008 10:58 PM

                            Thanks for clarifying. I'm actually a bit relieved; I thought I'd been missing out on a secret special!

                      2. cassis Mar 24, 2008 07:17 AM

                        Wonderful unusual salads and chard/caramelized onion/goat cheese pizza from Veggie Planet!
                        Amazing spicy satisfying soups from Sultan's Kitchen

                        Sultan's Kitchen
                        116 State St, Boston, MA 02109

                        1. b
                          Bluebell Jul 11, 2007 08:43 PM

                          - The rasta pasta at Something Savory
                          - the roasted garlic polenta at Sabur
                          - the veg options from the antipasto table at Vinny's at Night

                          1. h
                            HopeRI Jul 11, 2007 08:30 PM

                            All casual places - I have not done high-end veggie in Boston.

                            -Bean veggie burger at Audubon Circle
                            -Veggie burger at Atwood's
                            -Veggie tasting platter at Enormous Room (although I haven't done that in like 3-4 years).
                            -(I cheat with one more) Luke Park's Veggie handrolls at Rivergods - mmm mmm good.

                            1. weathermasta Jul 11, 2007 02:18 PM

                              Tons of favorites as well, but here's my top 3 (at least today):

                              Veggie platter at East Coast Grill. Sounds boring, but damn I crave that all the time. Vegan or vegetarian option - either rocks.

                              Veggie chef's whim at Craigie Street Bistrot (I know, it's not a dish, but I've never had anything less than an amazing meal there).

                              Homemade veggie burger at Christophers. (The ones at Publick House and Atwood's are quite tasty too).

                              6 Replies
                              1. re: weathermasta
                                litchick Jul 11, 2007 08:13 PM

                                Weathermasta, you're reading my mind. Ditto on the Christopher's burger. It's important to get the housemade one, not to other one -- it can get confusing if you don't know better, and I equally love the Publick House's version, also made on premises.

                                And to ChrisVR upthread, god that kaddo is to die for, isn't it?

                                1. re: litchick
                                  Chris VR Jul 12, 2007 06:52 AM

                                  Yeah, I was so skeptical because, really, how could pumpkin be THAT good? And yet it was soooo good.

                                2. re: weathermasta
                                  pollystyrene Jul 11, 2007 11:10 PM

                                  Weathermasta, can you remember some of the items on the Veggie Platter at ECG? I have a friend who loves that place, but I never go with him because the menu doesn't look too good to a vegetarian. If there were something I craved there, it would make his day!

                                  And I've heard talk of this legendary veggie burger at Christophers, but, like the veggie cubano at Chez Henri, I keep forgetting it's there. Now I'll have this great thread as a constant reference/reminder.

                                  1. re: pollystyrene
                                    okello Mar 24, 2008 08:42 PM

                                    Veggie Cubano. What's in that?

                                  2. re: weathermasta
                                    soxchik Oct 2, 2008 11:59 AM

                                    I've been working my way through this entire post, and finally had a chance to do the Chef's Whim at Craigie Street (I did a 6 course tasting menu). It is now firmly in my top three vegetarian dishes. If I have to pick just ONE thing from that menu that was truly a standout, that would be the polenta dish included in last night's whim. I've always liked polenta, but after trying this I thought I'd gone to heaven! Other standouts from the tasting menu were the celery root soup and Olive Oil-Taza Chcolate Mousse - however, it was all fantastic and I can't wait to go back. The service was impeccable and chef Tony Maws came out to speak with us which I thought was a really nice touch.

                                    1. re: weathermasta
                                      chickendhansak Nov 16, 2010 08:52 AM

                                      The Druid does a very good veggie burger as well.

                                    2. s
                                      shivohum Jul 10, 2007 07:47 PM

                                      The white bean gazpacho I recently had at Salts was amazing.
                                      Veggie cuban at Chez Henri
                                      Bread at the Helmand.
                                      Bread and garlic oil at Sabur.
                                      The greek pizza and the vegetable ravioli at Croma
                                      Malai kofta at Tanjore
                                      Vegetable platter at Cafe Baraka
                                      Corn and cheese platter at Macchu Picchu

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: shivohum
                                        pollystyrene Jul 10, 2007 08:26 PM

                                        Where is Croma, and how do you pronounce "Sabur"? And thanks for reminding me of the veggie cuban at Chez Henri; I'd been wanting to get one.

                                        1. re: pollystyrene
                                          shivohum Jul 10, 2007 08:53 PM

                                          I think it's "sah-boor" but I could be wrong :). Croma is on 271 Newbury...

                                      2. b
                                        bear Jul 10, 2007 04:40 AM

                                        The mujeddara and the ful mudammus at Cafe Barada on Mass. Ave. near Porter are terrific, and they always have one vegetarian special from a list of rotating specials. We usually start off with hummus and olives, then either the mujeddara or the special with a side of buttery rice, and sometimes try to manage a piece of very good baklava. Yum!

                                        We also love the masala dosa at Bombay in Arlington Center, especially when you eat in so it's nice and crispy and light.

                                        1. p
                                          pollystyrene Jul 9, 2007 09:13 PM

                                          I can't wait to try some of these. I could go for a big dose of those noodles with tofu and peanut sauce right now. Yes, The Helmand is great, esp. the Kaddo. I didn't know Sabur had a whole vegetarian menu. (A respite from the usual menu jerk, "Ooh, that sounds--nope, shrimp; oh, this sounds pretty--nope, pancetta.") It looks great, and I drive by there all the time, for some reason without stopping, but now I know better. And I'll dream of spinach and mascarpone ravioli tonight.... And maybe eat some tomorrow. Thanks for all the great ideas.

                                          1. limster Jul 9, 2007 07:40 PM

                                            Hard to put a top 3, as it's like comparing apples and oranges, but here are some that I like.

                                            Gluten puffs with edamame/mao2 dou3 and tofu skin/bai2 ye4 at New Shanghai in Chinatown. Also the appetizers like kao3 fu1 (gluten with pieces, lily stems in a dark sweet anise flavoured sauce), ma3 lan2 tou2 (chopped wild Shanghainese vegetables and tofu).

                                            Similar dishes at Shanghai Gate in Allston.

                                            Seaweed with garlic at Chung Shin Yuan in Newton.

                                            Mezze plate at Sultan's Kitchen.

                                            The mucver (zuchinni pancakes/fritters) at Brookline Family Turkish Restaurant (the yogurt's excellent).

                                            Ultimate veggie platter at Cafe Baraka.

                                            Gujarati Thali at Namaskar.

                                            Daikon dumplings at O Ya.

                                            O Ya
                                            9 East Street, Boston, MA 02111

                                            Baraka Cafe
                                            80 Pearl St, Cambridge, MA 02139

                                            New Shanghai Restaurant
                                            21 Hudson St, Boston, MA 02111

                                            Shanghai Gate
                                            204 Harvard Ave, Allston, MA 02134

                                            Chung Shin Yuan
                                            183 California St, Newtonville, MA 02458

                                            Brookline Family Restaurant
                                            305 Washington St, Brookline, MA 02445

                                            Namaskar Fine Indian Cuisine
                                            236 Elm St, Somerville, MA 02144

                                            Sultan's Kitchen
                                            116 State St, Boston, MA 02109

                                            1. l
                                              lergnom Jul 9, 2007 05:57 PM

                                              My favorite food is probably ma pa dofu and I often get it without pork or other meat. Shanghai Gate, Sichuan Garden, other places mentioned here make good versions. If you eat fish, Shanghai Gate has it with minced fish.

                                              1. a
                                                aventinus Jul 9, 2007 05:46 PM

                                                I eat great vegetarian dishes all the time so to me that seems like an very broad question.

                                                I second Rami's falafel sandwich with hot sauce (which I think is much better than Shwarama King).

                                                How about a veggie kibbee platter from either Boston Shwarma or Reef Cafe? Delicious.

                                                I would say a curry tofu plate from Rod Dee, but that surely has shrimp paste. I don't know if shrimp paste in a curry sauce qualifies as animal flesh. Brown Sugar/The Similans has a good curry that definitely is vegan.

                                                There are so many Indian dishes that fit the bill that it's impossible to pick one. I would just say do a search for good Indian restaurants and try the buffet or dinner. Namaskar's buffet is particularly good for vegetarians. Kebab Factory is great too.

                                                Malaysian Buddhist delight at Aneka Rasa, with coconut rice, is excellent.

                                                I can think of so many Asian dishes that it's basically impossible to narrow them down. All I can say is...I used to be a vegetarian, for like 15 years. I didn't want to trouble anyone and would eat wherever. But don't take me to some completely Western meat-centric place with one boring token vegetarian dish on the menu (or even worse, they are able to throw together some vegetables in the kitchen) and expect me to be pleased.

                                                1. Chris VR Jul 9, 2007 05:32 PM

                                                  Definitely the Kaddo at Helmand,

                                                  The Helmand
                                                  143 1st St, Cambridge, MA 02142

                                                  1. c
                                                    chowfamily Jul 9, 2007 05:22 PM

                                                    My favorite is the herb broth with a variety of tofu and vegetables (I get cravings for the watercress) at Little Q Mongolian Hot Pot on Hancock Street in Quincy.

                                                    Most of the outstanding broths are vegetarian. and the scallion pancakes are some of the best in the region. It is definitely worth a detour for some of the most delicious broth and food without any worry about chicken stock. Just ask to be sure - five out of the six broths are vegetarian, if I remember correctly.

                                                    My carnivorous family choose beef, and love the vegetarian broths.

                                                    1. c
                                                      cmd Jul 9, 2007 05:06 PM

                                                      The spinach and marscapone ravioli at Teatro is my #1.

                                                      Tied for 2nd are falafel sandwiches from my back-and-forth spots, Rami's and Schwarama King. I thought I had committed to Rami's as the favorite (due to the hot sauce), but I'm wavering again.

                                                      1. c
                                                        chiclets_mb Jul 9, 2007 04:26 PM

                                                        I've not been in a while but Addis Red Sea onTremont St has lots of vegetarian options and the few times I've been I really loved my meal. The atmosphere is really fun.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: chiclets_mb
                                                          patiofixture Mar 27, 2008 11:03 AM

                                                          At Addis, you don't even need to worry about narrowing down your choices. The "Winnie Mandela Special" is a sample of all of their vegetarian dishes.

                                                          Probably one of the first places I think of when someone asks for good vegetarian.

                                                          My personal favorite is either the Nemeser Wot or Mittin Shuro Wot. I keep forgeting which wot is wot.

                                                        2. c
                                                          chiclets_mb Jul 9, 2007 04:24 PM

                                                          You should also try Pho Republic - the chow fun noodles with tofu and peanut sauce is one of my all time favorites. I go to Pho Republic weekly.

                                                          1. mipiace Jul 9, 2007 04:19 PM

                                                            The Vegetable Tagine Couscous with sultanas and dates from Sabur in Somerville is wonderful... my carnivorous dining mates eyed my dish with extreme longing :)

                                                            3 Replies
                                                            1. re: mipiace
                                                              lgss Mar 25, 2008 05:23 AM

                                                              Roasted Garlic Polenta, Wood Grilled Artichokes, Tomato & Olives
                                                              Vegetable Tagine Cous Cous, Sultanas and Dates
                                                              From the menu it looks like the above two dishes may be vegan and gluten-free (no wheat, oats, barley, rye, spelt)?

                                                              1. re: lgss
                                                                powella Mar 25, 2008 07:09 AM

                                                                mmmmmmmm, I think couscous is usually made from semolina wheat, which contains gluten.

                                                                1. re: powella
                                                                  lgss Mar 25, 2008 03:35 PM

                                                                  I missed the cous cous listed. Thanks for pointing this out.

                                                            2. c
                                                              chiclets_mb Jul 9, 2007 04:16 PM

                                                              I've got a lot of favorites....

                                                              Oleana in Cambridge - http://www.oleanarestaurant.com/ They have a vegetarian tasting menu that is what ever the chef feels like but you can't go wrong with anything they serve it is a must. The Spinach Falafel, Tahini, Yogurt with Beets & Mâche are the out of this world.

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: chiclets_mb
                                                                litchick Jul 10, 2007 08:38 PM

                                                                Ditto. Gotta be the best veg offering in the region.

                                                                1. re: chiclets_mb
                                                                  soxchik Mar 24, 2008 06:50 AM

                                                                  Based on this post I went to Oleana on Friday night for a special occasion dinner with the boyfriend. WOW! It was AMAZING from beginning to end. Not only was the food spectacular, but the space and service were also fabulous. Before dinner I got the white port cocktail with mint and grapes. The BF got sangria. Both excellent. We did the vegetarian tasting menu with wine pairings. All courses were timed just right and the wine pairings were perfect. Started with 4 items from the pret a manger area of the menu. My favorite was the Spicy Carrot Puree & Egyptian Spice Mix with Nuts & Olive Oil, the BF loved the Whipped Feta with Sweet & Hot Peppers - but all were certainly worth ordering again. Other standouts from the next 4 courses were the spinach falafel, manchego cheese cakes with green chard, Ricotta & Bread Dumplings with Red Wine, Porcini and Kale, beet salad. There was more - all great - dessert was also a winner. A small chocolate cake, and ice cream with candied fruit. Considering we did a 6 course tasting menu with wine pairings with each course (and also got 2 additional cocktails to start), I think the $200 price tag was very reasonable. I can't wait to go back!

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