Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Eco-Vegan-Vegetarian-Carnivore Friendly Haven

As a vegetarian, it can be difficult to find restaurants that will satisfy my culinary demands as well as my meat eating friends.  For example-Outback Grill last weekend...I'm not paying $10 for an iceberg lettuce salad!  One of my co-workers (he's a vegan) told me about a restaurant in Arlington (VA neighborhood right outside of DC) called Toscana Green (Grill).  So one of my friends and I decided to check it out one night after happy hour.

Sorry I didn't get any pictures of the interior but picture a smaller, cozier restaurant with lots of booths and various shades of green...really cute :) It wasn't crowded and our waiter was incredibly attentive.  Both my friend and I just drank water (boring but healthy) and munched on some whole grain bread appetizers.  I didn't try the oil-so I can't pass judgement:
 Finally our meals came.  I love the idea of pasta but pasta typically upsets my's too heavy for me!  But when I saw raw zucchini pasta with basil marinara I knew I had to try it!!
The dish was super yummy but the marinara sauce was a little watery yet the fresh basil was an amazing addition to the sauce.  I'm going to add fresh basil to all of my tomato sauces!! But I was still really hungry after I finished all my meal (and I hardly ever finish a restaurant portion meal).  I need some non meat protein and fat (so I might have snacked on some hummus when I returned home).

My friend ordered the curry risotto which included mushroom, onion, and carrots in a curry cream sauce over brown rice.  
I stole a little bit and I loved it!  Typically I'm not a huge rice fan (I prefer to get my grains in the form of  The curry tasted amazing: not too heavy and creamy and complimented the veggies and brown rice perfectly.  I'm definitely going back to Toscana Green and sampling some of the other vegetarian/vegan dishes.

What's amazing about Toscana Green is the variety of options!  There are pasta dishes, entrees, salads, soups for every diet including carnivores, vegans, vegetarians, gluten free, raw foodies, etc.  It's the perfect place for a mixed group of culinary demands.  Prices were typical for a more casual DC restaurants (I paid around $15 for my entire meal including tip).   Though my pasta was not super filling, I loved the flavors of my dish and the risotto.  And I definitely have a couple ideas for my next meal at Toscana Green: the asparagus risotto caught my eye.

Do you eat a different diet from your friends?  And if you do, how do you pick restaurants that everyone will enjoy??


  1. I've never had raw pasta. Did it actually taste like pasta?

    I'm really lucky that most of the restaurants that my friends and I go to seem to have healthy/vegetarian choices. I'm not a vegetarian, but I do eat that way a lot of the time.

  2. Wow this place sounds great! I've never tried zuccini noodles and they've always intrigued me.
    Basil in marinara sauce is the best... It's so fresh!
    Next time you go, you know to plan a dessert outing right after... ;-)

  3. This restaurant sounds great -- I'll have to stop by next time I'm in Arlington. I never order pasta because it's usually heavy and greasy but this sounds fantastic and fresh.