The Ultimate Vegan Soup Shop + Cafe Green With Vegan Author, Tracye McQuirter
Hey ya’ll! I arrived in southern Tennessee last night after completing my vegan food tour of the entire state of FL (in about two weeks) and the one and only vegan restaurant in Alabama. I’m now going to be here for a few days while I get caught up on my overdue blog posts (as you might have noticed, I’ve just begun writing about DC — starting…now…or just after I finish blabbering on about stuff that has nothing to do with DC). I’m staying with my friend Eric and we’ve decided that, while I’m here, we’re going to juice fast. GULP. I opted in for two reasons, 1) I completed a six-day juice fast just before hitting the road for this trip. It wasn’t bad at all.. aside from the weird sensation of never chewing. Anything. So I have a little bit of experience here and felt okay giving it another go; 2) I’m on a food-focused road trip across the country. Haha. My body, I think, could use a tiny break from the faux meats and sugary … oh so deliciously sugary desserts that I stuff into my face at least once a day. In the name of spreading the good vegan word, of course. I have gained a little bit of weight in the last six+ months so I know my body is telling me that I’m overdoing it. So here we are on day one of the cleanse (I think I’ll go about a week or so… and then get back on the road) and day one of catching up on as many blog posts as physically possible.
Okay, alright, already. Enough about me let’s talk about food for a while. Wait, wait, wait… did I just decide to spend condensed time periods writing about amazing food while not eating ANY of it?! Oh someone please shake some sense into me. Ha! ;) Okay.. here we go.. Washington, DC!
I’m starting with my two favorite vegan eateries in DC, which include an all-vegan soup joint and a vegan cafe with all the fixins. First up, Souper Girl. Cute name. Amazing food.
Souper Girl – 100% vegan
314 Carroll St, NW
Washington, DC 20012
I. Love. This. Place. I mean it. Their soup, and pre-made cold items, are fantastic, I love how they present their store image and brand messaging across all media fronts, their website is easy to navigate and answers all the right questions, and the service is just wonderful. I’ve never experienced a restaurant quite like Souper Girl before – a help yourself/buffet style with a wall lined with many different soups and all the fixins, including vegan croutons, crushed peanuts, and chopped chives. You can also pick up a piece of bread and they’ll warm it up for you, and add a dollop of vegan butter too!!! Mmmmmm. (GargleSplat to you, juice fast!)
I had the Thai Peanut Noodle Salad, a bowl of the Creamy Double Bean soup, and a cookie. The Thai Peanut Noodle Salad was extraordinary. It had just the slightest kick of spice, some chopped up carrots, shallots, and (I think) a raw cashew cream of some kind. Delicious. The soup… well… ah’em… I need to clear my throat to say ….
THIS IS HOW YOU DO SOUP, PEOPLE!!!
…sorry for yelling. But I won’t take it back. This place KNOWS soup. The one I had was un-friggin-believable. Jazzin’ with flavor and the croutons.. oh heavens to Betsy don’t even get me started on how INCREDIBLE these croutons are. Suffice it to say, you’ll want to have lunch here every – single – day. The warm bread, hot OR cold soups, salads, wraps, and drinks. Please, I cannot go on or I might start to cry, I miss it so much. Here, just look at some more pictures, please. ;)
After stopping at Souper Girl I had just enough time to find parking in downtown DC before my scheduled dinner with Tracye McQuirter, author of By Any Greens Necessary. Tracye and I first met a few years ago when I assisted her with the social media aspect of her book launch, via Vegan Mainstream. It was so lovely to work with Tracye via the InterWebs but we had never met in person. Since working on her book launch we stayed in touch and decided to meet up when I’d be in the DC area. Tracye chose one of her favorite vegan restaurants in DC, Cafe Green.
Cafe Green – 100% vegan
1513 17th Street NW
Washington, DC 20036
Tracye ordered one of her favorite Cafe Green meals, Yellow Curry Road to Bali – organic Dahl made with potato, carrots & onion, with sautéed bell peppers, green beans, and basil in yellow coconut curry sauce over brown rice. I tried a bite and oh my woooord, is this dish fantastic. Per my notes, this dish defiiiiiines culinary perfection.
I had the Gnocchi di Riso – East meets West fusion, pairing chewy gluten-free rice dumplings with mushroom, broccoli, and scallion; simmered in a Thai basil-infused light coconut cream sauce. The description makes it sound pretty good, right? And darlings, it IS good. Whoa! So far on my journey I’ve had three different installments of vegan gnocchi. Cafe Green’s version is currently ranked number one.
Tracye and I split a side of Green’s nut-free and gluten-free Mac ‘n’ Cheese. Delicious.
We finished with a slice of heavenly cheesecake. I think it was one of the specials of the night and unfortunately I didn’t write down the name of this one. But it was excellent. Cafe Green has an abundance of desserts on their menu and honestly, my impression is that you just can’t go wrong with any of ’em.
We snapped a quick pic together, along with the owner of Cafe Green!
I was in DC for just under a week. Given the limited vegan breakfast options I decided to go back to one of the only places that offers vegan brunch and breakfast noms, Cafe Green! I ordered a tofu scramble with a pancake, bacon, and sausage. Along with a green juice to jump start the day. It was great!
Have you been to either one of these restaurants? Got a favorite meal of theirs? Spill it! ;)