4th Street Grille Nachos in Williamsport
Thinking about mainstream vegetarian appetizers in our area brings to mind a lot of heavy and fatty nibbles. Jalapeño Poppers, Nacho Chips smothered in beans and salsas, Spianch Artichoke Dip with little bread wedges are all regular chain restaurant foods and they feature prominently in a lot of locally owned places too. Lighter fare includes things like Moo Shu Wraps, Fresh Veggies with Hummus, and sometimes Fruit & Crackers along with a Cheese Plate.
Mad Mex's Pennsyltucky Tofu
Vegetarians can, and sometimes are forced to, make their entire meals out of a restaurant’s selection of appetizers and sides when dining out. This can be just fine if the dishes are not too heavy, prepared in a healthful way and the diner is not hoping for an entrée. One impressive exception to that is the second runner up for this award, Mad Mex’s Pennsyltucky Tofu
. It comes out like a full sized potion of Genral Tso’s Tofu and is a big enough appetizer for at least 4 people to split.
Luna 2"s Tomato Bruschetta
This year I give my Pennsyltucky Veggie 2011- Best Appetizer
award to Luna 2 Woodgrill
in State College for their Tomato Bruschetta
. The fresh and healthy portion of 5 bias-cut slices of crostini are covered in fresh basil, garlic, balsamic vinegar, olive oil and tomato. Even in the middle of winter this appetizer is garden fresh and a bargain at $5.50 ($7.00 if you add mozzarella).
What, you might ask, makes it any better than the same priced appetizer at the related location Faccia Luna?
Faccia Luna's similar bruschetta
The price is identical, portion comparable, fresh toppings almost the same but the presentation and preparation of the crostini is better at Luna 2. The bread is merely toasted at Faccia Luna and becomes easily saturated and breaks in two upon handling. Luna 2’s crostini handle the toppings better and are more firm, we are assuming they may be wood fired, grilled or at least coated a bit with olive oil, and are a more resilient nosh.
I highly recommend all of Luna 2’s vegetarian appetizers and if eaten at the bar Monday – Thursday from 5-7 they are half off! That is some great food for rock bottom prices. The Artisan Mac & Cheese comes out quickly, piping hot and scrumptious. The Tuscan Hummus with Veggies & Grilled Flatbread serves a voluminous portion of creamy hummus with toothsome dippables.
Luna 2 Artisan Mac & Cheese, Bruschetta, Hummus Plate
Luna 2 is doing quite a few things right, this is their second Pennsyltucky Veggie Award for 2011, they also scored for Best Portobello in the region.
Congrats Luna 2 Woodgrill (restaurant review in full here) for being awarded Pennsyltucky Veggie 2011 Best Appetizer.
Do you know of a Pennsyltucky restaurant whose Appetizers can beat this one in 2012? If it’s in central PA (see map here) and is a regular vegetarian menu item, let me know and I will include it in the judging next year! Drop me, Pennsyltucky Veggie, a line or feel free to leave a comment!