On a recent girls night, a fellow vegetarian and I headed to Café Green, a newly opened vegan café in Dupont Circle.Nestled in a charming row house with ample outdoor seating, Café Green is in a prime location on the main drag of 17th Street. The space is bright, open, clean, and pleasant. The servers were attentive and friendly.
The prices? Shockingly affordable. Typically, I expect a healthful meal to be pricey, but I was surprised at how low the prices were. Salads like Caesar, spinach avocado, mango kale, seaweed, and Asian sesame, ran $5 to $7. Entrees like gnocchi arrabiata, veggie paella, summer veggie chili, ratatouille and quinoa ranged $10-$12. A full meal for less than $20 in Dupont Circle? Hard to come by.
So, Vegan food. Having tried the Vegan thing a few years back, I knew to avoid all “cheese” and “chicken.” Because, they’re fake, and frankly, nothing in the world can be as good as real cheese. So, entrees like chili cheese fries and mac-and-cheese were a definite no. I settled on the veggie dumplings with sesame peanut butter and soy tahini dipping sauces. The dumplings were delicious—perfectly prepared and equal-if-not-better to those served at an Asian restaurant. The sauces had great flavor.
With my dumplings, I had the seaweed salad—a mix of marinated seaweeds in a sweet soy dressing topped with cucumber, carrot, bell pepper, and onion. It was fresh, but the dressing had the funkiest taste and I had trouble eating it, to be honest.
Similarly, my dinner date had the veggie burger platter—a vegan patty on a whole wheat bun topped with cheese, lettuce, and tomato and served with a side of fries. She lamented the bizarre flavors of the burger and the seasoning on the fries.
The bitches say: C+. The disparity between the dumpling deliciousness and the other entrée failures leaves me questioning what to think about Café Green. However, it’s close, cheap, healthy, and affordable, so I may go back to investigate the extensive menu further.
1513 17th St. N.W., Washington, D.C.