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Posted at 12:03 PM ET, 11/30/2012

Galaxy Hut’s menu goes vegetarian (but don’t worry, the tater tots are safe)

Galaxy Hut announced it over Facebook this month in typically succinct fashion: “New menu.” But the attachment explained it all: the beloved Arlington watering hole’s menu had gone vegetarian.

Though the new selection of deliciously artery-straining bar foods looks largely unchanged — there are still cheesesteaks, burgers and barbecue sandwiches — everything is now made with faux meat, and diners have the option of making anything on the menu vegan with Daiya cheese.

The D.C. area has a handful of vegetarian and vegan restaurants, but Galaxy Hut may be the only one serving a whole menu of veggie pub fare. “I expected some feathers to be ruffled, and sales to go down in the short term. But I’m really proud of the menu,” says Lary Hoffman, who owns Galaxy Hut and the nearby Spacebar.

Hoffman, who was a vegetarian for 10 years, says he changed the menu to focus on what the restaurant does best.“When people did talk about our food, it really was vegetarians and vegans.”(The Hut’s veggie cheesesteak, pictured above in the Post’s gallery of essential vegetarian eats, is totally decadent.)

When you’re vegetarian, Hoffman says, “You don’t always want to eat curry. Sometimes you want a chili dog. It’s a niche thing. We’re not a fancy place. Vegetarian food doesn’t have to be fancy, it can be vegan comfort food.”

Carnivores can still get beef hot dogs, beef chili and pork bacon — “dead stuff” in the parlance of the menu — as by-request-only substitutions for vegetarian items, but the kitchen avoids cross-contamination by preparing the dishes on entirely separate cooktops.

By  |  12:03 PM ET, 11/30/2012

Categories:  Bars and Clubs, Restaurants

 
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