You don't have to self-report as vegan or vegetarian to appreciate the increasing variety of plant-based dishes at our region's restaurants. Here are a few we've tried or hope to.
Vegetables are typically served on the side with an order of wings, but at RÜT BAR & KITCHEN, they're the star of this first course option. Cauliflower, specifically, gets transformed into crunchy wings with your choice of buffalo or Thai dipping sauce. And if that doesn't appeal, try any of the eight other Restaurant Week options at this totally vegan South Hill spot.
Some restaurants twist themselves into knots to disguise veggies as meat but HONEY SOCIAL CLUB & EATERY does the opposite, heightening the inherently savory potential of mushrooms for its vegetarian meatless meatloaf. The texture is spot-on for this choice of entrée with a side of sweet potato hash and tangy topping of barbecue sauce made from Laughing Dog Brewery beer.
Deconstructed dishes can be a lot of fun, with all the best parts of a dish served in an unconventional way. NORTH HILL ON GARLAND's deconstructed jalapeño popper is more of an open-top pie featuring a baked pastry shell filled with whipped cream cheese topped with fire-roasted jalapeños. A drizzle of huckleberry reduction adds an ideal sweetness to this vegetarian first course option.
If you think life would be less creamy without real dairy, you have to try IRON GOAT BREWING's fettuccine Alfredo entrée option. This vegan dish subs cashew and butternut squash for the cheese in the sauce and adds fried butternut squash ribbons and roasted garlic pepitas for texture.
The classic Napoleon can be a short-stack dessert of puff pastry layered with cream filling, but the definition has grown to include layers of savory items, too. OSPREY RESTAURANT & BAR is offering its vegetarian and gluten-free version as an entrée with roasted portobello, yellow squash, zucchini, onion, eggplant and tomato plus plenty of gooey melted mozzarella cheese.
Llapingachos are potato pancakes like you've never tasted before. Coeur d'Alene's 315 CUISINE serves this crunchy vegetarian and gluten-free first course option with a Salvadoran cabbage-based relish called curtido, a zesty chimichurri aioli and tangy cotija cheese.