Mexican, Italian, Ethiopian, Irish, and Greek are all such different cuisines. When choosing a “best of” it came down to a matter of our personal tastes and what vegetarian options each restaurant had to offer when we were able to visit. It was difficult to compare each and a most enjoyable chore over the course of the year. A nod must go to Addisu Ethiopian Restaurant in Lancaster for being runner up.
Like the restaurants that we take time to rate, we aren’t considering national chains like P.F. Changs, Pizza Hut, Benihana or Loving Hut. Extra consideration goes to places that are trying to incorporate foods from local sources.
This year we give Green Bowl in State College the Pennsyltucky Veggie Awards for Best Ethnic Restaurant. This restaurant stocks local veggies from Greenmore Gardens and each month has been featuring a few different special items. One of two Mongolian grill styled places in the area (Chen’s Mongolian Buffet near Boalsburg is the other), you pick from an assortment of toppings, which include proteins, vegetables, noodles, nuts as well as sauces to accompany them.
I reviewed Green Bowl earlier this year and shared in great detail the care they go to for vegetarians, vegans, and people with specific food allergies. Sauces are clearly marked if not vegan, separate cooking areas if you so choose, and a bounty of fresh vegetables go into exactly what you make of it. I suppose this might not be award worthy if you make a lot of foolish choices when selecting what you wish to have cooked but I can’t think of anyone who would do that to themselves.The Hoisin, Thai, Black Bean, Teriyaki and Orange Ginger sauces are all great flavors for the Asian Fusion theme. Frequent veggie options of Sugar Span Peas, Bok Choy, Water Chestnuts and Baby Corn with a few Peanuts or Edamame allow for enough variations right there. If you factor in huge hunks of Tofu, Rice Noodles, making it all into a bowl, a soup or a wrap… I think you can see the combinations are endless.
As I congratulate Green Bowl as Pennsyltucky Veggie Awards’ – Best Ethnic Restaurant, I will take the lead of the one chalkboard in the restaurant that shares the employees’ sauce combination suggestion. Pennsyltucky Veggie suggests, 1 scoop Peanut Sauce + 1 scoop Thai + 1/4 scoop Super Hot + 1/4 scoop Ginger Soy = sheer delight for your taste buds.Do you have a favorite ethic restaurant that you want considered for the Pennsyltucky Veggie Awards in 2012? If it’s in central PA (see map here) and has regular vegetarian menu items, 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!