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Vegetate, 9th & O Streets NW - Final Service 11/28

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I received this today from my neighborhood listserv. I'm happy to have another restaurant open in my 'hood:

Vegetate opens tomorrow. Our first week of business will be a reservation only preview week for people who signed up for our mailing list and the Shaw community list. This is to ensure that we can seat everyone who has been
patiently waiting for us to open. Our seating is limited; if each of you were to arrive at the same time, or the same day, we would not be able to seat you. And the last thing we want to do is turn people away.

The hours for the preview week are Tuesday through Sunday from 6pm-11pm. Call  202.232.4585 to make reservations. 

Brunch service will begin the weekend of the 29th.
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I'm trying to get in for Saturday, but can't get anyone to call me back on the reservation. :lol: My call keeps ending up in the kitchen.

Anyway, I hope they win out on getting their liquor license; the church's argument is specious. Is there anyone here in that ANC that can give them a leg up with their commissioners?

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Since I always read vegetarians complain that restaurants do not accommodate them (even steak houses), I need to bitch that there is not a single fleck of meat on the menu. As an omnivore menus like this make me feel oppressed that they are so insensitive to my tastes and beliefs. :lol:

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Since I always read vegetarians complain that restaurants do not accommodate them (even steak houses), I need to bitch that there is not a single fleck of meat on the menu.  As an omnivore menus like this make me feel oppressed that they are so insensitive to my tastes and beliefs. :lol:

My thoughts exactly. We should lead a demonstration outdoors. Although... looking at the menu, this stuff doesn't sound bad
Chili Risotto Croquettes, Red Pepper Marmalade  10

Corn Zucchini Beignets, Tomato Creole Sauce  8

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I finally tried Vegetate for brunch today, and I was really dissappointed. The food lacked flavor. We tried the cornmeal pancakes, the vegetable egg strata, home fried potatoes, and the tofu bacon (for kicks, we are not vegetarian and had never had a tofu/meat dish). The best thing by far was the tofu bacon. The rest was bland and pointless. The cornmeal pancakes would have been okay, but they were fairly dry and were served with only 2 tablespoons of syrup, no butter. Some preserves or fruit butter would have helped a lot. The vegatable egg strata was more like a dry bread pudding that tasted only of garlic. The only vegetable was a small bit of leek. Some of the bread had not even been touched by the egg. The home fried potatoes were fresh and had a great texture, but again no flavor.

The tofu bacon, on the other hand, was very flavorful, and I would definitely order it again - if they had given me any other reason to return.

The strangest part is that Vegetate does not have salt and pepper on the table, I assume in an attempt to imitate restaurants with chefs who season perfectly. This omission just emphasizes the blandness of the food.

Great space, interesting concept, if only they would do justice to vegetarian cooking by using recipes that contain flavor.

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The tofu bacon, on the other hand, was very flavorful, and I would definitely order it again - if they had given me any other reason to return.

This is probably something they bought, not something they made from scratch. You might be able to find it at Whole Foods or another venue that sells soy products--online maybe?

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I know for a fact it is made from scratch.

that's impressive. how do they do it? do they start with the bean or use something else as the base?

also, avoid the tempeh at all costs. i don't think it's vegetate's fault per se, it's just that tempeh is devil spawn.

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I would like to try Vegetate again, as I am very hopeful about the recent changes. I had read somewhere that they had obtained daily liquor licenses for some times. Does anyone know the details on that or whether you are permitted to bring your own wine?

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Of course, only Mr. Redd can provide the definitive answer. Maybe we can ask him between sets when he's spinning a "Prince v. OutKast" night at the Black Cat! (Which, by the way, has Food for Thought, one of the most vegetarian/vegan-friendly cafes in the city.)

Sorry for the delay in posting. To answer some of the questions:

You are correct on the pronunciation--nothing fancy or unusual.

The tofu bacon is just marinated extra firm tofu that has been frozen for texture and then smoked with hickory chips and flash fried.

FYI-Ramps arrived last week and Sidra & Derrick paired them with fava beans for a wonderful and simple cold salad.

Definitely looking forward to the Prince vs Outkast party @ Black Cat. It has been over a year since the last party.

Thanks for the support and interest. It has been extremely tough and frustrating for us not having our liquor license.
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we were awarded our "stipulated" abc license three weeks ago. please stop by and have a glass of wine, signature cocktail or beer.

we will have our cockatail, wine and beer list on our website soon.

I can attest to the greatness of their cocktail selection. My new favorite drink of all-time is a Vegetate signature cocktail. I don't recall the name but it is gin with fresh squeezed apple-ginger juice. Oh my, that is a nice drink.

Also, the roasted edamame are a nice twist on the bean. Vegetate veggie burger are homemade and have a nice bite to them. The truffle fries that accompany the burgers... decadently good.

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Agreed on the drinks, the burgers and the fries. I really loved the fries, crisp and truffly. wub.gif And the fresh ginger juice/ale that goes into some of the cocktails is fantastic - nice and spicy.

In the midst of a cold, I also really enjoyed the simple garlic soup with a dark, flavorful broth.

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Join us every Wednesday from 7-9pm for our Wednesday special: Vegetate's mini burgers are $1 while DJ Dave Nada spins.

Tonight, and every Thursday, small plates are half-price from 6-8pm. This is a great time to sample our menu, and this week we have new small plates that highlight the season: an Organic Oyster Mushroom and Baby Chard Salad, Grilled Organic Asparagus wrapped in Nori, and homemade Dumplings in a Chamomile Cilantro Broth. We have also just added a Wilted Path Valley Endive Salad with Chevre, Arugula Emulsion, Toasted Chickpeas & Balsamic.

All Specials are available at the Bar and in the Second Floor Lounge ONLY.

We're also highlighting strawberries with a delicious new dessert: Blue Corn Biscuits and Organic Strawberries with Rosemary Cardamom infused Coconut Milk. There is also a new Basil Coconut Macaroon with Mango Sorbet.

And if you haven't been here since we got our liquor license, try one of our fresh squeezed juice and herb martinis or an organic wine from our boutique list here:


Mountain Dome Brut NV (Spokane, Washington)

Gramona Cava 2003 (Spain)


El Cipres Torrontes 2006 (Argentina)

Terrapin Cellars Pinot Gris 2006 (Willamette Valley)

Ransom Riesling 2005 (Willamette Valley)

Sineann Chardonnay 2006 (Oregon)


Avondale Cabernet Rose 2006 (Paarl, South Africa)

Devil's Corner Pinot Noir 2005 (Tasmania, Australia)

Amira Syrah 2004 (Paarl, South Africa)

Foxglove Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 (California)

Avondale Pinotage 2006 (Paarl, South Africa)

Jigsaw Pinot Noir 2005 (Willamette Valley)

Glaetzer "Wallace" Shiraz Grenache 2005 (Barossa Valley)


Lemon Thyme
Charbay vodka, fresh squeezed lemonade and thyme

Lime Rosemary
Charbay vodka, fresh squeezed limeade and rosemary

Grapefruit Mint
Charbay ruby red grapefruit vodka, fresh squeezed grapefruit juice and mint


Vanilla Lavender Martini
Charbay Tahitian Vanilla Rum with lavender flower soda

Orange Blossom Cosmopolitan
Belvedere Pomara?cza vodka with cranberry and lime juices

Green Tea Cool Out Martini
Charbay green tea vodka, lemon juice and agave nectar

Gin & Ginger
Tangueray gin, apples, ginger, lime juice and splash of soda

9th Street Iced Tea
Belvedere Cytrus vodka, our iced tea and Chambord


Brooklyn Summer Ale
Brooklyn Lager
New York

Clipper City Gold
Baltimore, MD

Wolavers IPA (organic)

Wolavers Oatmeal Stout (organic)

We look forward to seeing you.

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Special Vegetate True Cost of Food Event Thurs June 28 @ 6:30 pm

Please join the Sierra Club for a special True Cost of Food Campaign restaurant outing.


Thursday, June 28th

6:30 p.m

1414 9th St. (cross street is P St) in D.C.'s Shaw neighborhood

The special event will cost $15 per person. It will feature a buffet of several delicious dishes made with locally and sustainably produced vegetables and fruits. Chef Caesare Assad will give a short talk on Vegetate's efforts to support local farmers and to provide environmentally sensitive food choices, with brief comments by proprietor Jennifer Graham Redd.

Space is limited, so please sign up soon if you'd like to attend. Please RSVP to Susan Prolman at


To learn more about the Sierra Club's True Cost of Food Campaign, please visit


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This sounds hauntingly close to "Caesar Salad."



LOL. Maybe that's why upon her arrival she permanently 86'd our grilled caesar salad.....actually it's pronounced "chez-a-ray" like Desiree.

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The heat and steam are seemingly turning to crisp air and colorful leaves. Thus it seems an appropriate time to introduce myself and the changes at Vegetate restaurant. I moved here in May as the new chef. I have previously worked in culinary consulting in Cape Cod, Colorado, Oklahoma and spent time traveling abroad, finally landing in a place to call home.

My culinary roots focus on Indigenous native foods, with emphasis on local and seasonal availability. I won't philosophize too much, but my goal is to bring people together to celebrate the harvest, enjoy, and relax. My sous chef Mike and I have been experimenting quite a bit, trying to keep things interesting. Thus, I have written a new dinner menu and keep it constantly updated with new surprises.
There's a new lounge menu with house made bar bites, outstanding seasonal cocktails, wines and beers from small producers, and our fresh juices. I'm a bourbon fan, so we've got that too. Happy hour is 6-8 Tuesday through Friday and we have great DJs lined up.

Sunday night is Chef's Night where I create a handwritten menu from Sunday morning farmer's market shopping. Sunday night dinners have become a time for me to really get creative; we also offer _ price wine by the glass, which is well worth the visit. Here's the scoop: http://www.washingtonian.com/blogarticles/...bites/5519.html -ignore those comments from my mom.

I just wanted to send a simple invite. Trek over, check us out, and say hello.
We serve dinner 6-10pm Tuesday - Sunday.
We're offering a 3 course fixed price option Tuesday-Friday 6-7pm for all you early birds. Enjoy any small plate, large plate, and dessert for $25.
The bar is open late on Friday and Saturday and you can eat there until 11pm.


Chef Caesare` Assad
Vegetate Restaurant and Lounge
1414 9th st nw.
Washington DC 20001


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I had a touch of sadness leaving Vegetate last night, because I love so much about this restaurant. I love the concept, the menu, the small beer list, the well-chosen wines, the super-nice and uber-cool owner, the sit-down restaurant in an area that benefits from one, the fact that vegans have a place where vegetables are treated as a cuisine unto themselves, and not just afterthoughts or side dishes. I love the fact that Vegetate exists.

Which is why I felt sad, because I just didn't love my meal. Vegetate comes across as a neighborhood restaurant, but has a cold, linear, unfinished feeling that doesn't lend enough warmth to the dining rooms (this perception was probably amplified because the weather is turning colder). The dishes themselves are interesting, and have the potential to be quite good, but are extremely expensive at the "Bites" and "Small Plates" levels - the "Large Plates," from what I saw last night, and from what I've experienced in the past, seem to represent the best value at Vegetate.

From the Bites section, the Walnut Eggplant Pate ($5, vegan) was a very good take on chicken liver, but was so miniscule that it had a caviar-like preciousness to it, coming with only four tiny little sweet potato chips and a couple small pieces of crouton-like bread. On the other hand, the Petite Grilled Cheese ($6) was one of the best grilled-cheese sandwiches I've had in awhile, made with Vermont cheddar, bitter greens, and shallot butter on sourdough bread. It was hearty, but quite a tease because it was indeed petite, and six dollars for a half-sandwich without condiments isn't cheap.

From the Small Plates section, a Pan-Seared Cauliflower Gnocchi ($8, vegan) was incredibly skimpy, with about eight overcooked little pellets of gnocchi placed atop about a tablespoon of cauliflower puree. The food cost that went into this dish could not have been more than fifty cents. A much broader dish, and the dish of the night, was the Roasted Root Vegetable Gratin ($10) which was served oven-hot with thin slices of various roots, a house-preserved tomato sauce, and a bit of aged gouda cheese to bring it together. This is the type of dish that Vegetate is capable of producing, and the type of dish that would put this restaurant back on people's radar.

Also from the Small Plates section was a Poached Egg and Roasted Mushrooms ($10) on toast with cider-braised cabbage. This dish worked on paper, but just didn't knit together even though the egg was properly runny, and the mushrooms were a good mix (hen of the woods, etc.) I think maybe the egg needs to go underneath the mushrooms, rather than sitting on top of everything - perhaps it's more a visual impression than anything else. A side order of Hand-Cut Fries ($5, vegan) tossed with chipotle oil and chives needed to see a bit more time in the frier or perhaps some hotter oil, and I'd consider adding just a few crystals of exotic salt to the mix.

This was not the best showing for Vegetate, but as I'm typing this, going over all the details of the dishes, it really drives home the fact that this restaurant is trying to do the right thing, and that it has so much potential which I believe is still unrealized.



P.S. Gooldaegee run at midnight

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I'm sad to say that Vegetate will be closing this month, and if I'm interpreting OpenTable correctly, this coming Saturday will be the final service.

Thanks to an insider, I was forwarded this letter from Dominic and Jennifer.

Vegetate filled an important niche, and this city has been richer because of it.

Thank you to everyone at Vegetate for the good times I've had there, for what you've represented, and for the charities you've actively supported.



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I've been there a few times with visiting vegetarians but the place is a bit out of the way for anything resembling a walk-up crowd. I do hope that they find a better location. I was at Sunflower Vegetarian in Seven Corners over the weekend and my companion and I wondered why there were few real vegetarian restaurants in this area when the demographic would be likely to encourage that type of cusine.

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