redemption song

after our major bummer at the belgian cafe on wednesday, i somehow found myself back there last night. how did i end up in there, the same week so many expectations were shattered like a vegan peanut brittle, you might ask? well, last night i was scheduled to work until 5pm and my new friend and (as of yesterday) ex-co-worker anabell suggested that hey, why don't i stay till 7, help her close and then we can get a drink after work? was she treating? no. what was in it for me? i got to pick the location of the potential drinks. because she was also at the vegan dinner/downer, i suggested we give the belgian another shot, i knew that the seitan wings would not disappoint and i felt i owed it to myself and my fellow vegan to give the restaurant a chance to win us back.


unbeknownst to them, the belgian held in their hands a chance for atonement. and atone for their vegan sins they did! i started things off with the Obama-gang '09 beer. (apparently it is now called "inauguration ale" due to some legal issues?)

this belgian dark ale with 6.20% ABV, a limited edition run by the Ommegang Brewery in New York, was created to celebrate Obama's inauguration. i'll be honest and say that i ordered this beer based on name and wit alone, and it delivered, much like our new president. i've thought about it long and hard and i do believe this is one of the best beers i've ever had. dark in color and rich in flavor but still light and smooth on the palate with faint hints of chocolate and nutiness on the tongue (much like our new...nevermind), this beer was the perfect thing to drink while we waited for our food.

and the wait wasn't long before.....ta da! inventive and well prepared vegan food, was it really that hard, guys? we shared some (sub-par) "pomme frites" with a vegan basil aoli and smoked ketchup. give them a fancy name and description on the menu (double fried, fresh cut, blah blah) and they still couldn't get these fries right. i overlooked this due to how extremely pleased i was with the other two dishes.

the seitan wings are basically a crowd pleaser, hands down. crusted in corn meal, fried and smothered in spicy bbq sauce! paired with a little salad, some celery and the same vegan aoli served with the fries, these little nuggets of goodness tasted like success. one complaint - the vegan aoli is basil infused which isn't my first choice of flavor to go with hot wings. two complaint - make these wings hotter.

i'm so very pleased to have a new dish in my life, welcome to my stomach, stuffed tofu!!! this time, the fancy description rang true! "tofu marinated in Spaten Optimator, stuffed with dried cherries, cashews, cilantro, & garlic. served on a bed of sesame spinach" the tofu was crispy on the outside, succulent on the inside, the stuffings surpisingly got along well enough to party in my mouth inside their warm bath of beer.

nice work belgian, but next time, don't bring me down before you pick me up!

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