Address: 845 Lancaster Avenue, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
Rating: ★★★★ (4) out of 5 stars
Food: Organic, vegan
Atmosphere: Warm, modern décor
Parking: Street (parking meters)
Service: Friendly, with food served fast
Price Range: $
Unique Feature: All vegan selections, Villanova ‘Wild Cards’ accepted
One new Lancaster Avenue eatery has crafted a menu that is sure to turn the heads of local residents and college students. Though I am not a vegan, I thought it only fair to give The Vgë Café (pronounced ‘vee-gee’) a try.
I arrived on a Thursday afternoon with an empty stomach, excited and ready to break my perceptions of how good a vegan meal could be. As I walked in, I was impressed not only by its modern décor but also its clientele: a varied group of diners, both young and old. And though there’s not a specific children’s menu offered, I witnessed a mother cutting up and feeding a wrap to her toddler.
As I approached the counter to order, I was instantly greeted and asked if it was my first time at Vgë Café. After briefly speaking with the cashier, he asked what I would like to drink. Given the organic-driven experience of the restaurant, he explained my options, including a soda-fountain station with healthier, sugar cane sodas. After trying Cherry Sugar Cane Soda, I couldn’t tell the difference between it and a more familiar sugary brand product.
After ordering and paying for my meal, I took a seat at the window, looking out on Lancaster Avenue. After about five minutes of listening to ‘easy listening’ radio in the background, the cashier/server brought my food over to me. As a starter, I decided on the Vegan Mac & Cheese. Served warm, the dish was prepared up to vegan code: animal/dairy-free. Though the vegan cheese had a smooth and flavorful taste, the actual macaroni pasta fell a bit flat overall.
Moving forward, I dove into my entrée, the Vgë Burger. Piled high with various vegetables, the ‘meat’ is actually homemade lentil flax, served on a fresh whole wheat hamburger bun (with broccoli served on the side). My main disappointment was not the taste but the actual temperature of the sandwich; my first bite was greeted with a lukewarm-to-cold center. Because of this, the vegan cheese that I paid extra for ended up defeating its own purpose. The lentil flax was a tad flavorless at times, but after adding organic ketchup, the sandwich proved to be a worthy substitute to a beef-based burger, and as a massive meal, the Vgë Burger guarantees that the customer is getting his/her money’s worth.
Before heading out, I wandered past Vgë Café’s dessert display case and treated myself to a Chocolate Oreo Cupcake. Sticking to their promise of using vegan-only ingredients, the velvety cupcake completely hit the spot and satisfied my sweet tooth.
As I left Vgë, it’s hard to deny that my ill-conceived perceptions of a Vegan’s diet had no doubt changed. Though you are sacrificing some of the taste, the overall sense of healthiness and balanced nutrition certainly make up for it. I’ll be sure to come back very soon, and try one of their impressive salads that I’ve been reading such good things about.