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Thursday, July 28, 2011
Okay, so I am searching for this Vegetarian place on South Street that's supposed to be great to try out next month for my birthday. And then I find it! Only, as it turns out, I am a month too late, and Horizons closed July 2. With 4.5 stars on Yelp! and a fairly large following, I'm confused. But then I read that the owners have been hard at work on VEDGE, a new Vegetarian restaurant opening on Locust Street in the city at summer's end. The place hasn't even opened yet and already, the Facebook page for VEDGE has 282 fans. I can't wait to book my table, and be first in line to review the new place!
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
I have passed by the "Coming Soon" sign in the center of Wayne for months now, and finally, Xilantro is open. Tonight we have a reservation for dinner at 7pm. I am so ready for my Margarita at the new Xilantro, "Upscale Authentic Mexican Restaurant and Tequila Bar". “The Xilantro menu will feature a variety of authentic Mexican dishes with the freshest ingredients and a common theme – seasonal, flavorful and spectacular!” claims owner Luis Marin. The name Xilantro is based on the Aztec spelling of my favorite herb ever--you guessed it-Cilantro! All of the dishes made with corn are gluten free. There are not a lot of Mexican places I have found on the Main Line--in fact, the only one that comes to mind is Coyote Crossing, and that is in Conshohocken. Judging from the online menu, Vegans would not be happy here. Most everything has cheese or meat. For entrees, I see Vegetarian Enchiladas, and that's it. There are salads, of course, and the obligatory guacamole and salsa. Duck, Shrimp, Beef, Chicken...even Octopus Tacos, but no veggie option.
This should be interesting. Stay tuned.....
Update...I really wanted to sit outside but it must have been 100 degrees last night, even at 7:00. We were seated right away, and Xilantro was already looking lively. The atmosphere is cozy and chic. The dining room itself takes up little space, with little booths and tables tucked neatly away. The walls are adorned with artsy green prints and shapes. We were seated immediately, and our waitress was at our side in an instant with our menus. I chose the Red Sangria, and it was deliciously refreshing, but I found myself coming back to my husband's even tastier Margarita. It was so smooth.
We ordered the Guacamole: Fresh avocado, Xilantro, onion, peppers served at your table. We watched one of the waitstaff prepare this in a corner. My husband enjoyed the guacamole, and I thought it was just okay. There was certainly a lot of it. Unfortunately, for the photo my husband didn't get his elbows out of my photo in time.
There was only one vegetarian entree, the Vegetarian Enchiladas, and I asked if the chef could make the Fajitas with only vegetables, and was told that he could, but I decided to try the enchiladas anyway. I was so stuffed from the chips that I almost didn't finish this. The Vegetarian Enchiladas with Green Sauce were stuffed with ingredients I wouldn't think would work in an enchilada, but I was pleasantly surprised to find what was hidden within. Crisp carrots, perfectly cooked crunchy asparagus, and broccoli, and all nestled in a warm tortilla beneath a delightful green sauce, and melted cheese. Whole wheat? Not so much. A little too much cheese, maybe? Aside from the vegetables within, the meal itself was not very nutritious at all. High in fat. I thought it tasted good though.
Places like this need to offer more Vegetarian choices. As for Vegan entrees...forget it.
This is the main reason I started this blog. We need some local restaurants that offer Vegetarian and Vegan choices, because not everyone wants their food stuffed with meat and dairy. In an ideal world, I would be Vegan, and though I eat most meals at home, there are just not enough options in restaurants to make a Vegan lifestyle possible for me. I would like to be back any try Xilantro again, especially if they decide to add more Vegetarian options to the menu, so that I have a choice. I'd like to come back when it's a little cooler and I can enjoy the patio out front, especially if their seasonal menu changes, as it should with the change of seasons.
We got out of there with a tab of about $100 with tip, for two entrees, one app, and four cocktails. A little pricy, considering our meals. The service was flawless, and the staff very pleasant. Judging from our meal and the crowd at Xilantro, with a little work, I think this Mexican joint could be a nice little addition to the town of Wayne.
I have been wanting to dine at White Dog Cafe since its opening in Wayne last fall, so I made a reservation for lunch and escaped the heat (and the kids) for a couple of hours to check it out. It is located on Lancaster Ave, right past the center of Wayne. I pulled into the parking lot that served a few other establishments (like Peanut Butter and Jane, and a beauty store called Beans), and I zipped right past a man who I later realized must have been a valet. Who knew? Stepping into the cool, the inside of White Dog is really unique. There looked to be at least five different rooms to dine in, plus a really snazzy bar area. We were seated in a bright and airy room that was mostly cozy booths, and nicely decorated. There were cute little doggy throw pillows all over the booths. I really wanted to get a picture of the booths with doggy pillows, but just as I was about to snap the photo, a family sat down. Bummer.
We asked how often the menu changes and were told it changes every couple of months to stay seasonal. This restaurant appealed to me because they serve meals with pesticide and chemical-free ingredients all from local farms. Inside the newsletter at the hostess stand is a list of all of local farms that they deal with. Their meat is humanely raised and hormone free. Their dairy and eggs come from local, organic and humane sources. All wine and beer are American grown and produced, with special attention to those grown without pesticides. They only serve local craft beers. The beer list would have been up to my husband's strict standards, I am sure. The waitress brought us some water, and two small Whole Wheat Rolls with butter. Yes, you heard me right. Whole Wheat. Extra bonus points for White Dog. I am pretty done with white rolls being the only choice. These rolls were perfectly crispy on top, warm and delicious. My mom and I decided to split the Lancaster Beet Salad: Crème Fraiche, Shellbark Hollow Goat Cheese, Polenta ‘Croutons’. I don't love beets, so my opinion on this salad may be skewed. My mom really liked the salad, and I thought the Polenta was nice. It had a touch of lemon to it, and was still hot. There were yellow and red beets and they had a nice flavor, but the salad was missing something. I probably would have been happier with any green salad with nuts and some goat cheese, but the salads were pricey and most had some kind of shrimp or meat involved.
Since it was after noon, and I just had to try the White Sangria, made with fresh seasonal fruits. It was refreshing and light but next time, I'll skip the ice. For $8 I got about three sips.
For entrees, it was a toss-up between the House Made Veggie Burger: Tzatziki, Tomato Tapenade, Feta, Lettuce, Tomato, Lavash Flatbread or the Cashew Crusted Tofu Buckwheat Noodles, Red Chile Aioli, Asian Vegetable Slaw, Ginger Soy Sauce. Not being a huge fan of tofu alone, I opted for the Veggie Burger, and a good choice it was. The flatbread was tastier than a bun, and all the flavors of the burger blended well together. I felt really healthy. These restaurants do need to move past the Veggie Burger/ Black bean option and get more creative. There was a choice of the grilled vegetables as an entree, but it just seemed to blah. Who wants a plate a veggies only as a meal? There are so many vegetarian meals I'd love to see more variety here. But I digress... I liked the effort to provide local, sustainable foods, and how the restaurant practices environmentally friendly practices. The atmosphere is warm and inviting. It's quiet and sophisticated. For one salad, two veggie burgers and two white Sangria's our bill - without tip was $56. It was a fun place to try, the food was good enough, but if my options for lunch are a veggie burger for $13, next time I'll probably just defrost one from the freezer and call it a day. Dinner might be interesting, albeit expensive. I'm willing to pay for a fancy meal with white tablecloths but not so much for a burger.
Monday, July 18, 2011
Finally, our local restaurants are catching on! Eight local restaurants are offering meatless Mondays! Check out my link above for details.
And for Edgmont/Newtown Square residents, this summer kicks off the new Edgmont Farmer's Market! I love it! The Farmers Market will be open from 3-7PM on Thursdays all summer. I plan on visiting this Thursday to check it out!
I also have a reservation at the new Xilantro Mexican restaurant in Wayne on Wednesday, so be on the lookout for my review!
Posted by Bridget at 10:29 AM