Vedge, Philadelphia, PA does Gluten Free

Since my move here to the Philadelphia area, about three years ago, I have literally been dying to try Vedge and what it offers to its gluten free patrons. The problem was finding someone to go with me. My family and friends either heard the word "vegan", "city" or maybe it was the expense, but either way, no one wanted to explore this so-called "gem" with me.

There is really no need to even bother going through the number of awards Vedge has earned. Therefore, skipping over all the halla-bullo, I finally found a partner in crime to at least entertain the menu for the night. 

Upon arrival, the hostess was pre-educated about my gluten allergy and kindly asked if both guests wanted to refrain from gluten or just myself. I was actually caught off-guard, I had never had anyone even consider that I might not be the only one choosing to be gluten free. As we were escorted to our table, the interior of the restaurant appeared to expand right before our eyes. What a gorgeous establishment- hardwood floors, high ceilings, and massive windows! 

We were seated in the corner, which I actually preferred - right next to the full sized fireplace. What a lovely evening this was shaping up to be. 

I asked the waitress for her recommendations on dishes and pretty much closed my eyes and went in blinded. We started with the smoked carrots. 

First of, presentation is impeccable! I almost did not recognize the carrots. I actually initially thought they were beef jerky, thinking to myself, "wait, is this not a vegan restaurant?" The carrots were situated right on top of a white bean purée mixed with sauerkraut.

Delicious! The carrots were cooked to perfection and the white bean purée was creamy and luscious! I would say this was unanimously the favorite dish of the evening. 

Next, the chef sent out a roasted Brussel Sprout and spicy mustard dish.

Intense! The smoked sprouts - again cooked to perfection and the mustard sauce was pungent! 

Moving to our first warm dish of the evening...the eggplant braciole with salsa verde. 

Eggplant being on of my favorite foods, I was a tad disappointed in the dish, it was lacking real flavor. To me, the dish was bland and a bit on the mushy side. 

The next dish was ordered only because of the number of online reviews and recommendations stating the best dish of the entire menu would have to be the fingerling potatoes.

These little potatoes turned out to be my guest's (a non vegan) favorite dish of the evening.  I personally, typically prefer sweet potatoes over the basic potato, but I must say these guys were crispy and delicious. I won't lie - I went back for seconds.

One of the last dishes we tried was really the experimental dish of the night. I was trying hearts of the palm for, what memory serves me, to be the first time. 

The hearts of palm was resting on top of a saffron sunchoke purée. This dish was not a fan favorite. The taste I got from the dish was more like a burnt taste than a satisfying taste. 

Onto the salt-roasted golden beets. This dish tasted nothing like it's component ingredients,  but rather, it reminded me of my mother's tuna salad. I liked this dish, but I did not love it. 


The last dish of the evening was the most disappointing. The dirt list for the evening included a spicy sweet potatoes (as mentioned above, my favorite). I was expecting a spicy dish, especially since the staff warned us it would have a kick to it and instead, I found the sweet potatoes to be a bit on the sweeter side of things.

By the end of theses dishes, I was feeling dissatisfied and opted out of experimenting with the dessert menu. 

Will I return to Vedge? Perhaps, because I'm just not sure how I was left so unsatisfied but everyone else raves about this place. Personally, I think I could have made it better, and in fact have made better dishes that are less costly in my own kitchen. Sorry Vedge, you have not lived up to my expectations. My heart has not been won over and I will not be adding Vedge to one of my go-to-places. 


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