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Posted at 11:11 AM ET, 09/20/2012

D.C. VegFest sprouts up in Yards Park on Saturday


Doron Petersan, Sticky Fingers' owner, goaded competitors in last year’s cupcake-eating contest at D.C. VegFest. The contest, hosted by the Columbia Heights bakeshop, returns to this year’s festival. (Photo courtesy of Compassion Over Killing).

D.C.'s veggie scene is showing off just what it can do with a little tofu and a lot of spirit this weekend at D.C. VegFest, the annual food and nutrition fair that’s slated for Saturday at the Yards Park.

The festival, hosted by the Vegetarian Society of D.C. and Compassion Over Killing, has walked the line between being a health fair and a kind of “Taste of” festival of the area’s vegetarian-friendly restaurants.

Among the eateries you can try this year are a number from the Going Out Guide’s summer Essential Vegetarian Eats story, including Loving Hut, Pete’s New Haven Style Apizza, Sticky Fingers and Sweet and Natural. You’ll also find Puree Juice Bar, Amsterdam Falafelshop and Pennsylvania’s pretty awesome dessert purveyor Vegan Treats.

A sampling of the fare: Pete’s will serve penne with tomato, eggplant and basil; Bread & Brew offers vegan nachos, Everlasting Life Cafe will bring its popular vegan fried chicken and mac and cheese and Puree will be serving its cold-pressed juices as well as a raw lasgana. (Bring cash: Food will be priced at $6 to $10 a plate.)

Samples will abound at the festival too: Widely available commercial brands such as Daiya, Coconut Bliss and Field Roast will be handing out bites. Gluten-free? This year’s product exhibitors include a number who are catering to the wheat-free set as well as vegans.

The festival had been held on the George Washington University campus for several years but moves to Yards Park this year to accommodate its growing fanbase; the venue change will also allow such new activities as Bread & Brew’s new beer and wine garden. Between feedings, check out talks from vegan cookbook authors including Terry Hope Romero (whose “Viva Vegan!” offers meat-free spins on traditional Latin American cooking), or Rich Roll, a vegan ultra-athlete and author.

Or you can simply join Sticky Fingers' annual cupcake-eating contest and call it a day.

By  |  11:11 AM ET, 09/20/2012

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