VegWeek, which kicks off today, is Compassion Over Killing’s challenge to omnivores to experience one transcendant, soy-filled week of vegetarianism.
Here’s how it works: You pledge to try going seven days without eating animal products — regardless of whether this story made you reconsider Easter dinner — and local restaurants will offer you deals to aid your noble effort.
Although there are some old favorites on the list of restaurants participating (Amsterdam Falafelshop is offering a small falafel and fries for $6.50), this really amounts to a fine time to get out and try the new veggie offerings that have popped up across town, including at some shops dishing up vegan sweets.
On my shortlist: Dangerously Delicious Pies, which opened last summer on H Street NE, recently started making all of its fruit pies vegan (pies with apple are the only exception). I’m particularly excited about DD because, as a vegetarian, I have avoided pie my whole life because it’s often made with that rarely discussed pig fat, lard. The shop is offering 10 percent off the vegan slices and pies if you mention VegWeek.
Pete’s Apizza locations in Arlington, Friendship Heights and Columbia Heights are offering 25 percent off vegan offerings (the perpetually packed pizzeria offers the tapioca/arrowroot-based Daiya cheese on many of its pies, as do many local pizzerias lately); I’m mildly obsessed with the salads.
In Takoma Park, Capital City Cheesecake opened a year ago with a menu that included vegan cheesecakes from the get-go, and anyone who has eaten a few tofu desserts around here knows that the house-made variety is hard to come by (many restaurants offer vegan desserts from these guys). The shop is offering 10 to 15 percent off purchases of vegan desserts and vegetarian options (despite the “cheesecake” moniker, you can get sandwiches, too).
Finally, a couple of restaurants are forgoing discounts but offering new dishes. Dama Pastry is well-known as the shop for goodies (including several vegan ones) baked up by Almaz Dama (who was mentored by former White House executive pastry chef Roland Mesnier). The Ethiopian cafe and restaurant is also a veggie haven, with surprising mock-meat versions of traditional beef tibs, kitfo and chicken doro wat. This week, it’ll unveil new dishes for VegWeek.
And finally, coffee shop Telegraph Station in Alexandria unveiled its first real vegetarian and vegan options this month, including a vegan Vietnamese-style bahn mi sandwich, salads and hummus sandwich (that’s in addition to its juice bar, for all you juice-cleanse types).
VegWeek continues through Sunday; check out the rest of the specials here.