Thursday, October 10, 2013

TownHall Vegan Night

First things first...let's pick a winner of the two tickets to the Great Lakes Brewing Company and Parkers Grille and Tavern tasting on Tuesday, October 29th. Thank you to everyone that entered the giveaway. Using, the winner is.... Comment #2- 6502Programmer. Congratulations! Email me by Monday to claim your prize, or another winner will be selected. Didn't win? You can purchase the $35 ticket by calling Parkers for reservations at 440-933-9400.

I want to share a recent dining experience with you. The (relatively) new TownHall in Ohio City contacted me and invited me in to try their Vegan Night menu. Every Monday, TownHall features a special vegan menu, with all sorts of items. I was intrigued. I am not a vegan, and only had a brief stint as a "vegetarian" for a while. I shy away from menu items listed as "vegan", and typically feel as though they lack flavor and creativity at many restaurants. I am pleased to say that TownHall surprised me, and I actually enjoyed some of the menu items that we sampled.
I was invited to bring a guest with me, and we decided to share a few smaller items so that we could sample more dishes. Our server suggested the Black Bean Hummus ($6) with red pepper, jalapeno, and wheat flatbread.
My friend wasn't a fan of this, and I thought that it was decent but not something that I would order on my own again. It was an interesting and unique twist on hummus, but flavor-wise it wasn't too exciting. The wheat flatbread was a little chewy too.

We also ordered the Vegan Veggie Flatbread ($10) with organic tomatoes, cremini mushrooms, fresh chiles, and vegan cheese.
The amount of flavor from the toppings and sauce on this flatbread surprised me. The fresh jalapenos gave it quite the kick (too much for my friend). The dough was a little gummy and hard to cut through, but held up well to the toppings. I couldn't quite get over the texture of the vegan cheese (very gooey and felt like it stuck to your mouth), but it was creamy and tasted great. I would eat this again, but probably not over a non-vegan flatbread option at TownHall. However, it was much better than my first experience with a TownHall flatbread.

Our last small plate that we shared was the Tofu Etouffee ($12) with blackened tofu, tomatoes, onion trinity, and brown rice.
This dish ended up being my favorite of the meal, and I would order this on my own again. The blackened tofu had such great spicy flavor, and the curry sauce over the rice packed a punch too. There was a lot of heat going on in this dish, so it isn't for the faint-hearted. It reheated well the next day too.

What's a vegan tasting with trying dessert? They have the most adorable pastry chef on staff, Liz, and she came out to our table to talk about her inspiration for their desserts. She is vegan, and seems to really enjoy playing in the kitchen and finding ways to make food healthy and fun. There was a vegan cookie, and the Black Forrest Cake available that night. Bring on the chocolate!
This ended up being my least favorite dish of the night. Coconut is a common ingredient in vegan desserts, and this just tasted like too much coconut and not enough chocolate. Also, the texture was a little dry and tough.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by our experience, and even found some dishes that I would order on my own again. I also want to try the Faux Pho and the Pan Roasted Corncake. A great beer list (and Craft Beer Night) rounded out our meal.

So, what are your thoughts on vegan food? A few area restaurants are starting to cater to this crowd, and it's nice to see. We also ended up eating at Deagan's that Wednesday evening, which is Vegan Night. "R" really enjoyed their Vegan Paprikash.

If you are vegan, gluten-free, or just interested in trying something new--- head out to these Vegan Nights and you may find yourself pleasantly surprised as well. Any other restaurants that you know of that do vegan food well?

1909 West 25th Street
Cleveland, OH

Disclosure: I was invited in to taste a complimentary sampling of TownHall's Vegan Night menu. My guest and I enjoyed our experience, and the opinions stated above are 100% my own.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for including this - I'm always looking for new vegan places! I love Flaming Ice Cube and Pura Vida for good vegan food.