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Headin' for vegan

The Foodie column

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POSTED: April 18, 2013 3:12 p.m.
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VegHeads offers flavorful vegetarian and vegan fare in — of all places — a former burger joint.

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For the buzz my vegetarian friends gave about the new VegHead's downtown, I would have thought the place would be packed for lunch on a Friday.

Hmm, I'm looking around — and it's just me.

I ordered, noting the irony of the last time I stood at this downtown counter. That was several years ago and the restaurant here then was Tim's Burgers, about as far away from a vegetarian concept as one can get.

I selected a hummus and avocado gluten-free wrap and a side of peanut pasta. Next time, I'll go with dishes that offer more textural variety and more veggie ingredients.

Why? Besides the chewy wrap, the entire meal was pasty to the palate; not much to crunch. The flavors were good, the avocado fresh, but in all, the combination was just too similar in character.

That's the challenge for vegetarians, and I get that. It's hard to remain compliant to a dietary choice and still get the same oral satisfaction you would derive from a meal laced with meat proteins. I love hummus (there's always some in my fridge) but even with a passion for the stuff an entire wrap of it might be too much for non-vegheads.

The peanut pasta salad is billed as having orecchiette pasta, peanut butter, sesame seeds, carrot, onion, chopped spinach and assorted seasonings. It sounded delicious. Sadly, my portion was gummy, was mostly peanut butter with a smattering of chopped spinach. The carrot, sesame seed and onion were barely visible. The addition of those colors and those textural bits and less peanut butter would have made this an awesome dish.

Next time, I'll try the Thai cabbage slaw: Shredded Napa cabbage, red cabbage, carrots and red onion tossed with an Asian-inspired ginger vinaigrette. I've also got an eye on roasted Italian veggies: Red and green bell peppers, cauliflower, spinach, onions, capers, garlic and oregano.

This Asheville, NC-based restaurant goes great in that mountain city where vegetarians' devotions run deep and passionate. I still think the Whitaker Street location is off the beaten path for this concept but time will tell.

35 WHITAKER ST., 912/232-4834, VEGHEADSSAVANNAH.COM

James Beard winner coming to Savannah

Facebook nearly blew up one night last week when an Atlanta publication broke the news that chef, author, restaurateur, television personality and James Beard Foundation Award winner Hugh Acheson is opening an Italian restaurant in Savannah in 2014.

Consumers may know Acheson best from being a judge on "Chopped," or from his popular Georgia eateries: Five and Ten and the National in Athens, or Empire State South in Atlanta.

While Acheson only acknowledges that the location is two stories and "in a former ice plant," locals may quickly identify that as the One West Victory development. Demolition has begun inside that building, located on the south side of Victory Drive between Bull and Barnard streets. Read the bit from Atlanta Magazine online atatlantamagazine.com.

Tap takeover at Green Truck

Fans of Sweetwater beers will want to hit this takeover of all six taps at Green Truck Pub on Wednesday, April 17, 5 p.m. A brewery rep will be on hand to dish out Sweetwater SWAG and give away a trip to the brewery.

ROSE Public House ribbon cutting

This newest addition to the Broughton Street dining scene will celebrate with a grand opening, ribbon cutting and food drive on Tuesday, April 23 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Meet the owners, Rex Osborn and Sue Else, and taste the menu from Chef Michael Rafferty. Guests are asked to bring two cans of food for America's Second Harvest food bank.

 

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