Lately, finding parking in downtown Jerusalem has become a difficult task. The renovations and one-way streets make it worthwhile to just hop on a bus or taxi, or when I'm really in a rush it's often faster to simply walk from place to place. While I'm not usually one to complain, after spending thirty minutes looking for a parking spot and with my partner and I were growing hungrier by the minute, a good old kvetch is justified.
Although I consider my self a devout carnivore, today I was making my way towards the Village Green, a strictly kosher Vegetarian heaven situated in the heart of the city. Over the years I probably passed this restaurant at least a thousand times and, meat eater that am, never walked in. To be honest I was anxious to find out why all of my vegetarian fiends have been raving about the Village Green.
After making our way through the crowd and locating a vacant table we decided to sit back for a couple of minutes and plan our culinary route. There are no waiters at the Village Green and the food is served “Cafeteria Style”, meaning that each diner receives a tray and assembles his/her own meal. I found that this method holds both advantages and disadvantages. On the upside, one gets the opportunity to choose exactly what one wants, starting from the side dishes through the salad ingredients. On the down side, when the place is crowded, the line and wait can be a bit annoying.
We started off with a tasting of the vegetable soups which I heard so much about. The butternut squash, lentil and cream of broccoli soups were excellent. Made fresh every day, thick and seasoned properly, the soups at Village Green definitely lived up to our expectations.
While carving out a slice of the zucchini lasagna, long time vegetarian and owner, Barry, says that “the food he serves is the kind of food he enjoys eating himself”. We also enjoyed a tofu burger topped with a creamy peanut sauce and a perfect potato “latke” made in honor of Hanukkah. For me one of the highlights was the salad bar, a large variety of freshly chopped vegetables and warm dishes allows one to literally assemble their own meal. When tasting the dishes it was evident that at Village Green they don't compromise when it comes to clean and fresh produce. In addition the Village Green offers an impressive array of quiches, pies, pasta, salads, sauces, tofu dishes, stir fried vegetables and the list goes on and on.
My partner mentioned that from now on he won’t look at vegetables merely as a side dish but rather as a main course. I don’t think I am ready to give up meat just yet, but the Village green definitely proves that vegetarian and even vegan dishes could be filling, satisfying and most importantly tasty.
33 Jaffa St, Yoel House, Jerusalem