Repress the flesh
A roundup of vegetarian-friendly restaurants with full flavor
Published: June 1, 2011
Seva 314 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor; 734-662-1111: What's that you say? The restaurant our readers voted as the Best Vegetarian Restaurant this year has cheap eats? Well, the pastas, couscous dishes, quesadillas and portabella burgers are more expensive, sure, but there are some less expensive choices. You can get tofu rancheros ($9.25), eggs veracruz ($10.95) and the joint's classic burrito ($9.75) — "unchanged since the '70s." For $9.95, you can get a "veggie Reuben," a tempeh-lettuce-tomato sandwich, or a char-grilled tempeh burger. For the enthusiastic vegetarian, any meal for less than $10 at Ann Arbor's premiere veg-head restaurant is definitely a deal. Breakfast served all day.
Sprout House 15233 Kercheval, Grosse Pointe Park, 313-331-3200; $: The Sprout House folks are serious about their health and finds nutrition to be key in a long life. A sort of organic grocery, with produce, vitamins and health and beauty products, this place does a thriving carryout business in sandwiches and refrigerated prepared dishes. Offering vegan, organic dairy, organic chicken, soy cheese and vegetarian options, the store has preservative-, growth hormone- and antibiotic-free foods. Live healthy.
Taste of Ethiopia 29702F Southfield Rd., Southfield, 248-905-5560; 2453 Russell St., Detroit, 313-567-6000; $: The temptation is not to dwell on the Ethiopian bread, good as it is, but to see it as the vehicle for delivering the various we'ts (stews) and t'ibs (sautes) to your mouth. The flavors cooked up are so deep and so true, you may suspect you've never really experienced a lentil or a collard so intimately, and at unbeatable prices.
The Treehouse for Earth's Children Health and Holistic Center 22906 Mooney St., Farmington; 248-473-0624; $$: The Treehouse, which has occupied an unprepossessing blue-and-white building in the less affluent part of Farmington for 18 years now, evokes immediately all the stereotypes about very-health-conscious food. But set the setting aside, and you can find some tasty, inexpensive, certified organic meals at the Treehouse. The place is undogmatic about everything except "organic" and "no meat," serving both raw and cooked, vegan and eggs. There's even a salmon sandwich.
Woodbridge Pub 5169 Trumbull St., Detroit; 313-833-2701; $$: Woodbridge serves what may be the best vegetarian burger in the city, the "Stevers McFever," named for the owner's folk-singing pal, and it's a deal at $8. It could help lay a foundation for Whiskey Appreciation Night (Thursday), with $2 off all whiskey shots, or the bottomless mimosas for brunch — from noon to 4 p.m. — for $11. Open from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily.
ZamZam 11917 Conant, Hamtramck; 313-893-9902; $: Value is a term that gets tossed about often, but ZamZam could easily find itself pictured next to the word in an illustrated dictionary. There isn't an item on the menu more than $10, the portion sizes are significant, and the food is enjoyable. Our three-person party has been able to leave on more than one occasion with bags full of leftovers and bellies bursting with joyfully obtained discomfort for less than $40. Each meal comes with either rice or naan, though given the low cost and large portions, it's easy enough to enjoy both in a sitting, especially if those at the table share.
Special thanks to editorial interns LaKeidra Bronner and Ally Levine for their assistance researching this column.
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