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Go West

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Vegan nachos
Credit: Mark Hancock

You’ve forged through Chesapeake traffic and arrived due north of the craziness that is N. Western Avenue area, and frankly, you deserve some vittles.

On the east side of the road you’ll see a pleasantly modern and clean structure that looks much like a temple or sanctuary. Although you won’t hear any chanting, you will be greeted with positivity and feel incredibly calm and ready to relieve the post rush-hour jitters.

Start off with one of the St. Vincents (recently added to the menu). The rosé ($7) and brut ($5) are priced per glass and offer a crisp respite. You’ll find both pair well with most menu items or stand-alone if you’re only in for happy hour.

The
brut shows nicely with the vegan nachos ($12). Made with black beans,
cashew cheese and the kicker — roasted chiles — you won’t even realize
the dairy products are absent. For added yum-factor, the dish boasts
guacamole and a side of green chili sauce for a kick.

The
zuccha chips ($6), flash-fried zucchini sprinkled with sea salt, is a
great partner with the rosé. A winning combo of salty and sweet, and the
perfect palate preparation for any entrée.

It’s
hard to decide which salad to try, so if you’re with someone who
doesn’t mind sharing, get the chopped grilled asparagus, lettuce, goat
cheese and spiced almonds, all tossed in a red wine vinaigrette
($6-$10). For your second choice, the Brussels sprout salad ($7-$12) is
summer on a plate.

The
blanched Brussels sprouts, dried apricots, toasted almonds and shaved
Parmesan is all tossed in a garlic-red wine vinaigrette that works to
create a light and surprisingly filling meal. The tart vinaigrette, sweet apricots and crisp Brussels provide a multidimensional dish. It pairs wonderfully with the brut.

If
you’re in for lunch, you’ll have the option of some sandwiches. The
house-made veggie burger ($10) is absolutely not your average soy-based
alternative. The patty is concocted from black beans, brown rice,
roasted beets and carrots, and might be tastier than a traditional
burger. Don’t believe me? You’ll just have to try it.

Your
plate comes with a side (get the sweet potato fries) and veggies for
dressing your sandwich, as well as some house-made sauces to try on your
burger. Try this with the brut, as well.

Craving some animal protein?

The
organic half chicken ($19) is pan-roasted and comes with mashed
potatoes and green beans, or the fish tacos ($14), spice-rubbed flounder
with jicama slaw and tomato relish. Both the brut and rosé pair well
with chicken and fish.

If
you have room for dessert, the chocolate-cherry crème brûlée ($8) is
pure decadence — a chocolate crème infused with dried cherry essence.
The plate of warm chocolate chip cookies ($8) comes with a glass of
milk, and sometimes it hits the spot to end the meal with a traditional,
feel-good treat.

So, next time you’re battling N.Western
Avenue during the lunch or dinner rush, feeling stressed, pop into West
for a Zen-like retreat with food and drink. It’ll stave off the traffic
anxiety and leave you feeling centered and satisfied.

Oklahoma
Gazette’s restaurant review policy is to highlight the positive
aspects, and include constructive criticism regarding food, ambience or
service when appropriate.

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