Where to Bite Vegan – Veggie Galaxy [Cambridge, MA]

The bold flavors in the Balsamic & Red Wine Gravy make the grilled housemade seitan a delicious dinner, whether served over arugula, as pictured, or their fresh sourdough.

After biting into a sample at the Boston Vegetarian Food Festival of Roasted Butternut Squash and Onion pizza, I realized it was time to make a long overdue trip to Veggie Galaxy.

Hardly a secret, this all-vegetarian diner, where nearly everything has a vegan alternative, on Massachusettes Ave., was the perfect way to celebrate the beginning of Vegan Month.

Unlike some vegetarian restaurants, the menu at Veggie Galaxy strives to recreate classic American favorites, with healthier, meat-free versions.

http://veggiegalaxy.com

Recommended Dishes: Pictured at top is what you get when you order the Open Faced Seitan Sandwich, with greens instead of bread and the sweet potato mash instead of mustard baked beans. My version is the lower-cal choice, but what matters in this dish is the bold, sharp gravy, and the way it compliments the bed of sauteed rainbow chard and carmelized onions under the seitan.

The Open Faced Seitan Sandwich, after I started digging in. Here, you can see the vibrant rainbow chard, the caremlized onions, and the fresh arugula I mixed in with the seitan.

The Not-So-Good-Bite: Unlike what many of us have grown accustomed to with vegetarian food, “light” isn’t a driving factor in the menu. Vegan cheeses are nearly equivalent to whole milk dairy cheeses in terms of fat and calories, and they’re a staring component in many of the dishes. Dairy-milk cheeses are also an option, for the non-vegan diners. With an extensive, in-house vegan bakery, coconut-based ice creams, and daily, gluten-free cakes, it can be easy to confuse natural with healthy. But do all of those options really make for a not-so-good-bite? It depends how well you can deal with temptation.

The Good Bite: A gluten-free breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert menu rounds out this all vegetarian and vegan restaurant’s offerings for the rapidly expanding world of restricted diets. If what I had for dinner the other night looks tempting, try the Open Faced Tofu Sandwich, which swaps out the whole wheat protein with a gluten-friendly protein.

The Best Bite: Even diners who aren’t vegetarian, vegan, dairy, or gluten-free, will be eating something they feel good about at Veggie Galaxy. Every day, a variety of specials appear on the menu. When I dined at Veggie Galaxy, the Seasonal Vegetable Entree of the Week was a thick-cut sweet potato dish. and the Blute Plate Special was pumpkin fritters. A weekly seitan cutlet, daily salad, grilled cheese of the day, and a soup of the day, are all ways that Veggie Galaxy showcases what is local, seasonal, and inspired.

The Soup of the Day – a Roasted Corn and Tomato Basil Soup. The sweet whole kernal corn balances the acidity of the tomato broth, and made for the perfect start to a healthy, vegan meal.

Because both Veggie Galaxy and Veggie Planet are members of Cambridge Local First, a group of Cambridge businesses focused on developing the local community, you can be sure that every bite off their ingredient-focused menu is quality.

Find Somerville’s vegan and organic Taza chocolate in the desserts, Cambridge Brewing Company’s beers on tap, along with loads of other locally-sourced ingredients. Veggie Galaxy has a seal of approval from the Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts, and makes certain that all ingredients, menu-wide, are low-impact and high-quality.

Keep an eye out for extra posts in the coming weeks, as I celebrate Vegan Month and challenge myself to elimniate more animal-products from my diet.

Melanie

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