Since yesterday was a holiday in the United States I decided to hold off on posting a vegan recipe until Wednesday but I wouldn’t leave you hanging so I thought I’d share some more goodies from a local vegan cafe.
This is kind of a big deal since there are just about NO vegan places to eat in Ploiesti. There are a few places that have a couple vegan items but most of them are the same vegan meat alternatives we have in our fridge or freezer so why pay the markup, right?
But this place, Cafeneaua Nației, has a few completely vegan dishes made from scratch. They have a few of the well-known vegan meat alternatives like Mici and Schnitzel but they have quite a few surprises like the chickpea pancakes we had last time, which you can read here.
This time around we chose a few different dishes and one that’s already become an old faithful dish, the pureed lentils and rice dish with caramelized onions served on top.
To start we tried something other than beer and water. I chose a ginger lemonade with fresh ginger which was very delicious and refreshing, which was much appreciated on one of the last days of this European heatwave. He ordered a green smoothie that came with kale and apple and carrot and a bunch of other stuff that was…okay for me but he loved it.
It was another nice day out and we decided to eat outside this time, enjoying the late afternoon sunshine.
When the hubs and I go out to eat we usually each pick an item or two–starters and/or entrees–and then we share them. It’s so rare to find vegan places that we’re both eager to try a few items so unless it has beets or avocado in it, I’m definitely going to taste his and vice versa.
This time we chose the leek and tofu quiche and it was delicious. It needed a bit more seasoning which was easily achieved with the salt and pepper provided on the table. If there was a complaint it would be that the vegan quiche was cold. Next time I’m going to see if they can heat it up a bit before serving because I have a feeling that will highlight all the flavors much better.
Next was the really delicious pureed lentils and rice with caramelized onions. This dish is so dang good that I couldn’t resist ordering it again. It tastes a lot like rice & beans but the lentils are so creamy and flavorful and this time it was very hot which is exactly how I like my food!
The thing I like about Cafeneaua Nației is that they have a daily menu which is based on the fresh food delivery service they use. Ingredients are fresh which is nice and the menu is often changing and on this visit, there were plenty of items that weren’t on the menu last time.
I opted for the mushroom stroganoff served with rice. Again it needed some salt and pepper but the dish arrived to the table piping hot and the mushrooms were well-cooked. The sauce was creamy with the perfect thickness to coat the spoon and stick to the rice without feeling too heavy.
He ordered an Asian style vegetables and rice noodle dish. The vegetables were cooked to perfection and the cashew sauce was AMAZING. The noodles weren’t sticky and the dish had just a dash of sesame oil to bring it all together. I think I might have eaten more of his dish than my own. Even the zucchini was cooked perfectly, not soggy or watery like zucchini can be sometimes.
It was another good visit and the only thing I would say this place needs is a bit more seasoning on the dishes. Our waiter was friendly and he spoke English even though it wasn’t entirely necessary, and answered our questions with ease.
Cafeneaua Nației is probably my new favorite place to eat locally.
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