Happy Friday, people!
As you all recently know, I achieved a goal of mine by climbing to Caraiman Peak which is in the Bucegi Mountains in Romania. It was a wonderfully thrilling and terrifying experience and you can read all about it here.
But though the trip was mainly about climbing the mountain, it’s always nice to make the short drive to Sinaia and visit what has become a vegan staple in the area, Ramayana.
Ramayana isn’t a vegan restaurant, unfortunately. But it’s the only place you can get any vegan food that’s not a burger. There are quite a few places where you can eat with your non-vegan friends and family, if you never get tired of eating the same old vegan burger. Ramayana is, or was, the only place you could get more than one vegan food option and after a complicated first visit, things have only gotten better.
They have several starter options including my favorite, Tikka Masala Mushrooms which are grilled and seasoned to perfection. They also have hummus and the obligatory grilled vegetables, which they do better than most of the places I’ve eaten in Romania. There are a few curry dishes as well, which are really good and you can even order at different spice levels.
So of course we stopped there the night before the climb because it’s familiar and fun, playing American hits from the 80’s and 90’s which is kind of my jam. The weather was nice and it was the perfect way to calm my nerves for the next day.
Then after the climb we decided, after a few hours of resting and napping, to take a small walk and see if the place we saw online actually served vegan food. Sometimes you’ll see the vague “vegan friendly options” on a menu when you search online, only to get there and find they mean they serve, salad, fries and grilled vegetables.
Snow Restaurant was off the beaten path and…served actual vegan meals. Not just sides to mix & match into a meal, but three options.
There was mamaliga which is Romanian polenta served with perfectly sauteed cabbage, sausage with grilled mushrooms, a pasta dish with vegan meatballs and even a burger. We went with the sausage and mushrooms, mamaliga and cabbage. And then more mamaliga and cabbage.
It was surprisingly delicious and well-cooked. It lacked a smidge of seasoning but that was easily corrected with salt & pepper, and some Tabasco sauce for the cabbage, because I am American and that’s how I eat cabbage. Almost always.
I love it when you find something new and vegan and it’s delicious. It was the perfect reward after a day spent battling the sun and wind, and my own fear up the mountain.
If you find yourself in Sinaia, check out Ramayana and Snow, both catering to vegan diners on a level not seen by any other eateries in town.