Friday, December 24, 2010

Vegetarian Restaurant by Hakin

This is my second visit to Vegetarian Restaurant by Hakin.  This time I did meet the tall man himself and 2 others there and of course had another wonderful meal and great conversation with the staff and other diners.  The website still isn't up but there is a little more here:

Unobtrusive, at the end of a strip mall, you need to know you're looking for this place if you're going to find it.  I bet very few people out for a lunchtime, "where are we going to eat?" drive find this place.  It's not easy to see as there are trees between the parking lot and the street and it's the last storefront and you're already past the driveway when it comes into view.  It's on a 6 lane street with an island so turnaround isn't easy either.  
The menu is on a dry erase board and I knew walking in that I wanted a green drink and a chicken or beef pie.  The entree was up in the air but last time I had a delicious Philly Cheese Steak and that thought was starting to make my mouth water.  

Ackee taste.  
First we had a taste of the Ackee.  Ackee is the national fruit of Jamaica and is commonly served in a dish called Ackee and Saltcod.  I found the flavor interesting and to tell you the truth I would have to taste it again to describe the flavor accurately.  The consistency was a bit gelatinous, not unpleasant but not a "meaty" feel.  Since this was a week ago the flavor profile has faded but I remember it being worth another taste.

I shared half and this was after my first bite.  Why can't every bakery serve a vegan dish like this?
The Chicken pie was wonderful.  The crust is very flaky and encases a soft and pulpy delicious interior.  There are bites of corn and peas mixed in with a ground up chickenish mixture.  It doesn't have a very overpowering or strong leaning of flavor in one direction or another but I found it delicious.  My friend was less impressed with this than the ackee.

Opened for display, this is half a sandwich.  Yes, I again forgot to take a picture before chowing down but realized half way through.  This is one of the best Vegan Philly Cheese Steaks made.
I believe that more than 50% of a sandwich is the bread.  This is a perfect french bread that has a moist and absorbent crumb and a very crispy crust.  The sandwich itself is made of almost a "pulled" soy protein in a rich gravy with onions and peppers. It has and incredible mouthfeel and although I haven't had a real Philly Cheese Steak sandwich in about a hundred years I would put this up against the real thing in a heartbeat.

My buddy had the White Monkey to drink which was Mango, Banana, and Soy milk.  It was delicous, smooth and creamy.  I had the Go Green!  It was green apples, celery, cucumber and wheatgrass.  It was exactly what I needed but was a rather watery drink.  The apples added a bit of sweetness to the wheatgrass bitterness but I think something to thicken it up would have ratcheted it a bit.

The other pilot with me said he totally enjoyed his tofu scramble sandwich which came on the same french bread and that he would definitely go back, even if I wasn't with him.  Now that's an endorsement from a staunch omnivore.

Vegetarian Restaurant by Hakin on Urbanspoon

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