Of course, as schedule often has it, we got in too late on Sunday to make it over to Darbster and they're closed on Monday and Tuesday. I've been living out of the hotel room with a fridge full of salad, veggies, Daiya, Tofurky and Amy's.
I'm in a full service Hilton and luckily I was also able to get a microwave. This situation was ideal since my copilot had friends he hadn't seen in a long time and spend the few days with them leaving me to my in room culinary skills. (Reheating). Aside from a can of Sirracha Peas, (think Wasabi Peas), I've been pretty good about the calories and quality of foods so Darbster indeed was a treat.
I've usually ordered off the menu since the specials are raw or on the pricy side but tonight I made an exception. The other reason is I can't make up my mind. I want the soup, I want the wings, I want this that and the other thing. I want a tempeh rueben and a cheeseburger. My waiter was Drew and we had quite the conversation about vegan foods around the country. I've definitely put Evolution Food in DC on my list. It's not only nice to eat at a 100% vegan place where I don't have to ask any of the incessant 500 questions about chicken stock or egg in the ingredients but nice to relate to another vegan. Comparing vegan mac n' cheese dishes across the country just doesn't happen every day. I don't think you necessarily have to be a vegan to work in a vegan restaurant but there is that warm fuzzy when you ask and the answer is yes. There's also live music and the gentle tones of acoustic guitar and a wonderful rich voice set a nice backdrop for a mood of relaxation.
|I'm sitting inside, the bar behind and to the right of me and the|
outside dining room through the doors.
I thought about my family back in NYC dealing with Sandy's wake but since we live on high ground in Manhattan survived relatively, no not relatively, we survived unscathed. Sometimes you're just lucky and as someone very wise once said, "I'll take luck over skill any day." Guilt assuaged.
Tonight I went for broke and ordered two of the 4 specials. I passed up on the Tempeh Tacos (cooked) and went with the raw Stuffed Peppers and onion rings. The onion rings intrigued me as they were also raw. They looked cooked though, don't they?
|There were six but that first one was in my mouth almost before the plate hit the table.|
|Lousy picture. Hopefully my next iPhone will have better macro capabilities but|
you can get the idea of how big each pepper is.
It was an interesting treatment of the Gardein, (much of the protein at Darbster is Gardein), chicken cutlet, pounded flat and rolled around sautéed onions, green and red and peppers. The peppers and onions, while bringing color and variety of texture to the dish, didn't add much in the way of flavor. It was served over a bed of delicious black beans and light fluffy jasmine rice covered with a Guajillo chili sauce with a touch of cilantro. The dish was beautifully presented and the flavors all worked well together. The Guajillo sauce had a nice earthy tone and a trace of heat but had a bit less depth of flavor than I would have liked to really put the final wow/zing on the whole thing. It was a good enough dish and if I had a table of four I'd order it because it would nicely compliment other dishes with its interesting and different taste. It was a ton of food, (I took half back to the room), certainly a shareable portion and with the rest of the menu beckoning, although glad I ordered it, I'd look to the rest of the menu on my next visit.