Saturday, July 11, 2009

Veggie Awards

Every year, VegNews magazine conducts a survey. Readers (and non-readers) weigh in their opinions on the "best" vegan restaurants, products, websites etc. In order to make it onto the ballot, a nominee has to have received a significant number of votes in the previous year's survey.

Unfortunately, this tends to favor restaurants that are in large cities, simply because there are more people who have had a chance to visit. I often find myself thinking that I know of at least ten other vegetarian restaurants that have much better food than the ones that are nominated. The same goes for vegan products and websites. For that reason, I am assembling my own "Veggie Awards," based loosely on the categories from VegNews, for readers who are looking to try something new.

Disclaimer: I have nothing against Veg News and the Veggie Awards. In fact, the Veggie Awards issue is my favorite issue of Veg News and I think that having this rating system provides a great service. I just want to put my own opinions out there.


Best Restaurant: Dragonfly Neo-V (Columbus, OH)
Inventive haute cuisine made with vegetables that come straight from Dragonfly's backyard garden.

Best Vegan Brunch: Great Sage (Clarksville, MD)
Lavender-cardamom pancakes, red pepper and caramelized onion tofu quiche, orange cinnamon buns... Greate Sage delivers sweet and savory breakfast items with a creative flair.

Favorite Vegan Bakery: Brunie's Bakery (Baltimore, MD)
More than 100 different vegan desserts, including cakes, pies, cookies, cheesecakes, brownies, lemon bars, whoopie pies, seasonal items, raw options... Brunie's does it all and does it well.

Favorite Vegan Cupcake: Oh Sweet Mama's Vegan Bakery (Northampton, MA)
Huge, moist cupcakes with a variety of fillings and frostings, artfully decorated.

Favorite Vegan Chocolate: Butterfly Bakery (Montpelier, VT)
Rich vegan truffles in four flavors: spicy apricot, raspberry orange, coconut and rich dark chocolate covered in cacao nibs.

Favorite Vegan Milk: So Delicious Coconut Milk Beverage
Creamy coconut milk, available in "plain" and "vanilla." It's like drinking liquid ice cream.

Favorite Vegan Cheese: Dr. Cow's Tree Nut Cheese (New York, NY)
Tangy, raw nut-milk cheese, made from the same procedures used to make real cheese.

Favorite Vegan Cream Cheese: Bagel Rising (Boston, MA)
Tofu "smears" in 6 flavors, without any hint of soy aftertaste.

Favorite Website:
Wiki-style database with over 9,000 restaurant listings from around the world. Allows users to create profiles, rate and review their favorite veg-friendly restaurants.

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