RVA Restaurant Review: The Empress
It’s not every day you…
Walk into a new restaurant, where the owner says “You look familiar… are you on twitter?” (Yes. I am)
Meet an Abe Lincoln impersonator (I have his card, if you need a president at your next function)
Eat gluten-free Seitan (which, if you’re new to Seitan, is typically a wheat based meat substitute)
So Thursday night was quite a night.
Brittany and I went to a vegetarian meet up at The Empress, where we got to try some of their vegetarian menu options. It was a great way to try things out!
We started off with a Spinach & chickpea salad, with a warm mushroom ragu. I’m not a mushroom fan, but I loved the spinach and chickpeas.
We also had some rice noodles with some sort of peanut sauce. It wasn’t spicy, (like mine) but the noodles were good.
We ate those along side of some fresh grilled veggies. The apsaragus was my favorite, but the peppers + hummus were a good combo as well.
The must unique part was the gluten free seitan. The owner of the restaurant is a celiac, so The Empress has an extensive GF menu. I’m not a seitan expert, but it tasted different than expected. It was more like an oatcake, with the flavor of a black bean burger. (It had some spices to it, which I think reminded me of my beloved black bean burger.) These were served with carrots (which were good but nothing special) and greens, which I didn’t really care for.
I’m not sure that The Empress will make it into my regular rotations of restaurants, but I think it would be a great pick if you were gluten free, or looking for some new vegetarian options. I’ve also heard they have a great brunch, so I might have to stop in again for that.
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