Friday, July 31, 2015

Showing My Big O Face On The Top Of The World Eating Donuts

Joey Box of Donuts
Time To Eat The Donuts!

      I think the entire city is conspiring against me. It's as if the city concocted an elaborate game of Hansel and Gretel and trying to fatten me up. I'm not sure what the end game is, but I'll enjoy the ride. To give you some background, first, the amazing Passion Flour (post coming soon) opens what I think is the first vegan french bakery in the country, perhaps the world. Now, Big O Donuts opens and fills the biggest void for salt lake's ample vegan options. If you're wondering vertical diner tried their hand at donuts with mixed results and the short lived and far away and now defunct station 13 had decent donuts. But I think Murs captured my delight of biting into a Big O donut, "I'm on top of the world eating donuts It's a motherfucking cheat day, so what". I guess my cheat day spread since I couldn't get just one.

Coconut Curry Donut!

I go coo coo for coconut curry!
     I know I've been silent so perhaps you don't remember but I take donuts seriously. From Ronalds, Mighty Os, Dun Wells, Voodoo (post coming soon!), Vegeria, Cinnamon Snail and Donut Friend (post coming soon!). I've been around the country tried just about every vegan donut I can get my mouth around. I even have a semi-regular donut  dealer. I know, I have a problem, but that's the first step, right? Perhaps you have a donut problem as well and I'm just an enabler. If so, you should stop reading now. I'll even put in another photo to give you a chance to abandon, kinda like Grover's "The Monster at the End of the Book". You don't want to read on.

Lemon Basil
Zesty and Basily!
     If you made it congrats, you'll be rewarded because Big O Donuts does not disappoint. But how do they compare to donuts in other cities? Ronald's and Dun Well are the best donuts I've had. Ronald's is the quintessential and best donut in the country. Dun Wells is a close second. What I like about dun well is that they are the new face of donuts experimenting with off the wall flavors. Good thing both are far away from me and my mouth. The problem is Big O donuts are on par with dun wells. Their donuts have a nice and light airy that your teeth can sink into. The smell of whatever oil they are frying is present but not overwhelming. The glazes are a perfect complement to the donut. 

Donut Friends! 
Donuts In The Park! (stolen from their facebook)
     The bad news is that they don't have a physical location yet. However, this seems like a good thing so I don't have to start wearing suspenders to keep my pants up. The good news is that you can find them every Sunday at the People's Market (1050 south 900 West) from 10 am until 2 pm or they sell out. It's right at the International Peace Gardens, which is worth the visit alone, even if England's has a weird bust of Margaret Thatcher.  They're also working to get into local coffee shops and cafes to bring the donuts . Oh and rumor has it they are working on cream and jelly filled varieties. Now some jumping jacks to burn off the donuts you're going to get on Sunday. It's better to plan ahead. I'll leave you some more motivation.

Spiced Chocolate 
Umm, Ginger And Donuts, Will You Marry Me?
Maple Pecan
Who Took A Bite Of My Donut?

Monday, August 4, 2014

The Best Restaurant In The Galaxy: Philly's Vedge

Grilled Seitan with Swiss Chard,  Whipped Tahnini, Pickled Turnips and Za'atar
Words Won't Do This Dish Justice.
    Wow. I know you're thinking I'm being hyperbolic, but I'm not. Okay, you twisted my arm. I confess. While I haven't been to any other galaxies or universes, I've been to some of the finest vegan places across the U.S. Fair enough? Not to mention, I just came back from a vegan european vacation, sampling some of Europe's finest cuisine (Berlin's Kopps, La Mano Verde and Lucky Leek. The food was awesome, world class even but still not on the same level as Philly's Vedge. Want more proof? We left the east coast mecca of vegan dining, New York City, and took a two hour train ride to the City of Brotherly love just to eat at Vedge. Okay, we did get to visit a haunted house inside a former prison as well. I wanted to see how Vedge stood up to Europe's cuisine as well as the best places we could experience in New York. I didn't get to everywhere in New York City that I wanted (sorry Dirt Candy and Pure Food and Wine), but Vedge still holds the distinction as THE best vegan restaurant in the world. There happy now? But I dare say that if I even get a chance to experience another galaxy, Vedge will still be impressive. Just look at the pictures and dishes that follow.

Portabello Carpaccio:  kolhrabi slaw, caper bagna cauda and truffle mustard
Did Someone Say Truffle Mustard?
    I've been a fan of Rich's cooking going back to horizons. The grilled seitan, from the hot kitchen, is the quintessential dish that would win any meateater over and is one of the few items left over from horizons. The smokey, meaty seitan is a dream come true. I haven't had anything that's quite as good. Vedge wanted to rethink vegetables and the seitan dish almost got the axe from the menu, but it's one of the few dishes that made the cut. The Portabello carpaccio, from the vedge bar, is the perfect example of what vedge is about. The Portabello is given the star treatment with ti's meaty and earthy flavor complemented with the truffle mustard and capers. I'll be honest portobellos like hummus are a vegan's worst enemy since everyone thinks it's all we eat. Vedge  shows how it's supposed to be. Decades of remorseful portobellos linger in my past.        The way that Vedge works is that it's a small plates. This means the portions are smaller, but you get to try a few different dishes sampling the cold dishes (vedge bar,  hot kitchen and the freshness of the dirt list). We've covered the first two, so let's move over to the freshness of the dirt list.

Fingerling Fries With Worcestershire Sauce
Move Over French Fries!
    Just like the grilled seitan, the fingerling fries represent the ever impressive dirt list, a rotating list of fresh produce from local farms. Again, the spotlight is on the vegetables and, boy, are the potatoes banging! If you think you had decent french fries, you're wrong. Hands down this is the best potato dish I've had. It's okay you can stop drooling and get cooking since the recipe is in Vedge's cookbook. One of these days I'll cook through the whole thing. I wouldn't be upset if you stop reading and book a trip to philly or settle for the cookbook and post the results.

Cheesecake Quince Gel, Butternut Pecan Ice Cream And Port Glaze Honey Smacks
Cheesecake and Ice Cream
     Not only is Vedge the premier place for food, the desserts are world class, too. While Rich is the master of the kitchen Kate, Rich's wife, is the pastry wizard behind the equally impressive dessert list. The hardest part is making a decision. What I will recommend is get the cheesecake. Kate makes a cheesecake like I've never had before. I'm not sure if she sold her first born to Rumpelstiltskin for the recipe, but it's out of this galaxy, or at least this world. This is how perfection tastes.

Hearts of Palm, Buckwheat Crepe, Tandoor Tomatoes and Curry Creamed Cauliflower
You Have My Palm Heart, Baby.
      Now that you have the a taste for what vedge offers you can't accuse me of hyberbolic, right? Those were just a sampling of what Vedge has to offer. More proof like the hearts of palm above from the hot kitchen, a perfect melding of exquisite and exotic flavors that complement each other.  

Wood Roasted Rutabaga Salad with Grilled Trumpet Mushrooms, Charred Onions and Pistachios
One of the best salads I've ever had.

      If you follow along, I'm not big into ordering salads, though Terry Romero's Salad Samuri might up my salad making game. Vedge is so good, I'm forced to challenge my assumptions. The results were impressive. Bite after bite, I was left savoring while trying to discover what made this dish so special. I'm pretty sure it's the smoked mushroom and charred onion that made this dish sing. It's as if you cooked a salad out on the campfire with the pistachios adding a nice texture. If every salad was as good as Vedge's, I could order a salad as a meal. Just don't tell anyone, I said that.

    Peel N' Eat Lupini Beans in Piri Piri and Fried Garlic, Pickled Curry Cauliflower, Mixed Green Olives with Fennel and Preserved Lemon
Lupini Beans Start The Meal!
     One of the changes from my last visit to Vedge was the for the table menu. I've never had a lupini bean, so I couldn't resist, especially with the punch of the spicy piri piri sauce. These were so delightful that they could displace edamame as an appetizer. Similar style with the husk on the outside coated in a savory spicy sauce with a tasty morsel inside. They stole the show, but I must confess that the olives were the unlikely hero. I'm not an olive person. I generally find them to salty and not much more beyond salty, kinda like eating a soft salt lick. However, the green olives at Vedge had complex flavors. Not to salty and enough of the fennel and lemon to perk up the flavor. The pickled cauliflower rounded out the meal with curry crunchy. Cauliflower seems like tofu letting the curry flavor to come through.

Carrots Cooked Shawarma, Black Lentils, Roma Beans, Tomato Olive Stew and Green Harissa
     I've never thought I would have a vegan shawarma. I would have loved to see carrots roasting on a spit outside of the window like the greek place on South Street. Well, I didn't get to see it, but these carrots were perfectly tender and beautifully charred (sensing a trend?). The beans and the kick of the harissa made this dish pop. 

Brussels Sprouts, Shaved & Grilled With Smoked Mustard
Baby Cabbages All Grown'd Up! 
    The first time the special one and I went to Vedge we were under strict orders from my mom to order the Brussels sprouts. On the second trip, I couldn't turn them down. Grilled and shaved, in case you're a foe of the sprouts you could pretend it's a salad. Either way, this dish would convert the brussels sprouts averse into believers. The smoked mustard just makes compliments the smokiness of the sprouts. Bonus: the recipe is in the Vedge cookbook, but didn't turn out as good as it did in the restaurant.

Ice Cream & Sorbet Du Jour
You Scream, I Scream.
    Since the rotating cast of ice cream and sorbet flavors change, they weren't listed on the menu so I can't recall what the flavors were. What I do remember is that Vedge makes some of the most inventive flavors I've come across like eggnog, tequila chocolate and gingerbread. It's hard to pick just three.

Apple Cider Donut with Cranberry Jelly, Horseradish Cream and Apple Cider Shooter
Did Someone Say Donut?
     See? I'm not making this up! Kate makes not only world class cheesecake, but is willing to take chances. I mean horseradish cream?! This felt like a challenge from the kitchen, I dare you to make horseradish into a dessert as everyone snickered. Kate threw down this delightful dessert that surprisingly worked. They almost reminded me of the apple cider donuts we used to get down at  farm in Jersey.

Saffron Corn Salad, Indigo Rose Tomato, Fennel Pollen and Quinoa
Did Someone Say Saffron?
       I know what you're thinking another salad. To be honest, I was trying to try new things on the menu. Despite being lured to the sweet potato or the salt roasted golden beets, we decided to try something new. Not to mention the allure of having something with saffron, one of the most expensive spices in the world. The dish didn't disappoint, but I kept thinking about the wood roasted rutagaba salad. Good, we made it. Now what are you waiting for? Book a flight or plan a layover and sample some of the best cuisine your mouth has ever tasted. There's a reason Vedge is ranked as one of the top restaurant's in the city. Now head over to open table and book your reservation you won't be disappointed! 

Vedge Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Thursday, May 15, 2014

She's A Mannaiac, Mannaiac On The Floor

Bangers and Mash: 
organic fennel and pumpkin seed sausages on a bed of parsnip & carrot mash served with cavalo nero on a red wine, leek & thyme jus
It Ain't London Without 'Em!
     Let me first get two things out of the way and then I can move unto the food. When looking at happycow, Manna was at the top of my list. The special one even picked it out when she was looking at restaurants. Manna seems to be the premiere vegan spot.

      Now, London is such a confusing place to navigate. Not only are the streets and building not labeled (like most of Europe), but asking for directions isn't that helpful because even Londoners seem confused about their city, at least the ones I asked. Because of this, a list of maybe 5 places, including a vegetarian bar, we only made it to Manna and another place called 222 Veggie Vegan for their lunch buffet, but without a camera so no review. (In short, it wasn't impressive, but the dinner menu looked more exciting). Just like Savuers we were close to the building, took a left instead of a right (thanks to a neighbor) and ended up near the park and lost in london. Well, not lost but not at our destination. We gave up that night and went to a hole in the wall indian place.Guess what? It was the some of the best indian food I've ever had. Perhaps it was karma I was tasting. Later that night under the glow of a computer screen, I memorized the streets and even made a map to make sure our next trip and last night in London would be a successful.

Jalapeño Cashew Cheese Croquettes
With Ranch Dipping Sauce!
     As I mentioned, Manna was at the top of our list. Not only that but we worked hard to find it. When we finally made it, we were relieved. However the relief was short lived, the service was some of the worst I've ever had in my entire life. After seating us and taking our orders, the wait staff never came by, never refilled drinks and practically ignored us. So much so that it took an hour before even bringing us out check, despite people who came in after us getting their bill and leaving. I'm not sure if it was lingering resent for losing the revolutionary war. Or perhaps, the tip of 18% is automatically added to the check that the servers don't have to try very hard. Whatever the reason, it's sad because it distracts and maybe even sours from the food and what could be a wonderful, yet expensive, experience.

Nachos Especial
Not Yours! 
     With the air clear, let's move on to the food. We started out with the appetizers. The special one went with the nachos and I went with the jalapeno cheese balls (or croquettes, if you're fancy). I had high hopes for the cheese balls, jalepeno and cheese sounded delightful. However, like most of the food, it was wonderfully presented, but lacked spice. The nachos came out and looked impressive, but again didn't seem very spiced. While I dispelled the rude Parisian myth, I can confirm that English food is kinda bland. It's as if the English haven't discovered their spice jar yet. If they did, (and the service improves), manna could be quite impressive. But who am I too judge? Perhaps, the english like it that way, but for a spice loving person I was a bit disappointed. I might have a plan to move to london and open up an awesome highly spiced restaurant and show the English how good food can be! Wanna back me on kickstarter and send me a visa?

Spicy? No!
    We were left thinking that maybe we choose the wrong appetizers. The entrees would have more of a bite to them, at least the fajitas. I've never had bangers and mash before so I'm not sure what to expect, but for the uninitiated, it's sausage and mash potatoes and gravy.  Manna served it up with onion ringers on the top. I was excited to try it, but to be honest it was bland even the gravy or jus. The fajitas would save us, right? How could you not spice Mexican food? The fajitas come out with guacamole and cilantro rice, but didn't have much to it. The cheese sauce was more like a cashew puree than a flavored cheese sauce. 

Berry Cheese Cake and Chocolate Ice Cream

    While the entrees and appetizers were a bit of a disappointment, the dessert was refreshing. The cheesecake had a great texture and had a nice, almost, but not quite berry fruit leather topping, which was a unique way to put the cheesecake together. The ice cream was also quite good, not on the level of the Berlin desserts, like Kopp's Semolina Balls, La Mano Verde's flamed at our table creme brulee, or caramel nougat cake from Lucky Leek, but we didn't know that yet.

manna's special spiked hot spicy apple drink 
      The drinks were another hit, kinda. We ordered the spiked version of their spiced hot drink. Made with cinnamon, oranges, lemons and cloves, this drink hit the spot, but we're pretty sure they forgot to spike it. The other drink was some kind of spiked ginger drink that doesn't appear to be on their menu. We didn't get to try any others because our servers forgot about us. Oh well. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Who's House? The Vegetables' House!

Mushroom Pate With Onion Jam
And A Bottle Of Wine!
     Saveurs VegetHalles was a site for sore feet. It is located in a business and shopping part of Paris, but close to the Seine and Louvre, yet it was feat to find. Let me defend myself. It's down a side street, which we went down at first with the numbers getting smaller and smaller, but then I concluded, without going to the end of the street. The building number is 41, that it couldn't be down this street, right? It also doesn't help that Europe is lackadaisical in numbering their buildings.  No matter my reasoning, boy was I wrong. We walked around, even went into a hotel and asked for directions, but in the end we found it. Perhaps for the second time. I even put a photo of the outside in case anyone experiences my same fate. Luckily for me, the special one is patient with me as I try to navigate foreign lands in the quest for vegan eats.

Végét'Halles omelet with spinach and mushrooms of Paris
You say Crepe I say Omelet
     After wandering around the city, the host greeted us and asked in French if we had reservations. All I heard was reservation? My response, no. After asking if he spoke English, he said no problem and found us a quaint table in the back. No small feat since the entire place creeping to capacity. See how awesome and accommodating Parisians are! To reward ourselves for our navigation skills and persistence, we ordered a nice bottle of rose wine and two appetizers to start.
     Not everything in the restaurant is vegan, but the majority is vegan and the menu is clearly marked. After pursuing the menu we went with the mushroom pate and omelette.  The mushroom pate was chilled and interesting. Not quite as impressive as  Le Protager du Marais (I haven't located the pictures!). The onion jam was a nice addition. Not sure if that is how it's traditionally served or not, but proof that veganized version of french cuisine can be just as exquisite. The Omelette was equally satisfying, though a little on the dry side without the gushing of vegan cheese found in the crepe of Loving Hut. I'm sure there's a fine point of the difference between them, but they seam quite similar to me. 
Escalope Of Seitan With Mushroom Sauce 
Vegan Meat and Potatoes 
    Like the Loving Hut,  Saveurs VegetHalles showcases how awesome meat substitutes can be. After the long wandering walk, we wanted something hearty, delicious and satisfying. The special one choose the escalope of seitan with mushroom sauce, paired with brown rice some potatoes and perhaps a risotto. The texture of the seitan was delicious and complemented with the creamy mushroom sauce. Exactly the type of meal you want after a busy running with your heads cut off trying to take all that Paris has to offer. 

Athletic Plate (Chicken Cutlet, Seitan Pepper Steak vegetable skewer shrimp with pineapple & lemon) 
Vegan Meat Lovers!
     Yup, I got the athletic plate. What I really call it is the vegan meat lovers plate. The seitan steak was identical to the special one's plate, but this was a good thing. The cutlet was a decent fake chicken was a tangy dipping sauce. I tried one of the pineapple shrimp, the pineapple was awesome, but the shrimp was a little too much for me. Not in a bad way, but I've never liked seafood to begin with so this wasn't super appealing to me. I did give it a try, though, so I get some points for that, right? Remember this is coming from someone with one of those sophie's vegan seafood dishes in my freezer for almost a year now. I'm too scared to try it. Lucky for me, the special one loved it and ate the rest and I may or may not have gotten some extra seitan out of the deal.

Café Gourmand; coffee, chocolate hazelnut cream, carrot cake, fresh fruit salad
     After that meal, you might be judging me for getting dessert (and to be honest I was stuffed), but I do it for you, my lovely readers. And maybe for my sweet teeth. No matter, I couldn't pass this dessert up. It had portions of every dessert on the menu, kinda like a dessert version of the athletic plate. Every restaurant should take this approach, call it the kitchen sink or whatever. What it does is that it makes  it easier to choose because you get to sample everything.  Plus as an American in Paris, the coffee...err so tiny you have to drink it all day. The hazelnut cream was the stand out of the plate and was an excellent way to finish out the evening.
Saveurs VegetHalles Outside
Don't Get Lost! 

Friday, May 9, 2014

I'm Loving It At The Global Vegan Empire Loving Hut

 Savory Crepe Filled With Cheese And Mushrooms
So delicious! 
     Okay, so I teased you thinking I was going to review one of the best restaurants I've ever been to, Le Potager du Marais, but the pictures don't seem to be on my computer so I might have to do some digging. Moving over to the global vegan empire of loving hut might be a little bit of a disappointment, but I was impressed. Since this is my first post about Paris, after covering the amazing Berlin with Lucky Leek, La Mano Verde, Mio Matto and Kopps (and the Berlin vs. Paris battle of the vegan grocery store), Let me first counter the myth that Parisians are rude. Not only were Parisians awesome, but incredibly friendly and helpful. And it was delightful to be vegan in Paris. Not only was vegan paris day going on, but a plethora of compassionate restaurants to choose from. While it might be surprising we choose Loving Hut (we don't have one here in Utah so that was a draw) and not to mention that it was one of the only places on the menu that had a vegan savory crepe on the menu and a cheese plate. Crepes are ubiquitous all over Paris, and seems like the quintessential Parisian treat, so I had to indulge, even if it's owned by someone calling herself a Supreme Master, but with food this delicious I might be willing to follow. 

Vegan Cheese Sampler Plate
Yup, A Cheese Plate in Paris! 
     The savory crepe was perfection and gushing with cheese and mushrooms. This was exactly why we wanted to visit Loving Hut, not only was it close to the subway, but it provided the perfect Parisian experience. To top things off, we started with a vegan cheese sampler plate. How's that for cliche, Huffington Post? The cheeses were awesome and provided a good tasting of what I believe to be vegusto cheese, something we don't get in the states (or at least in Salt Lake). Yes, it was good just by itself or even better paired with the crusty slices of baguette that accompanied the dish. Back when I went vegan, I never thought I would be eating vegan cheese by itself. The only thing missing was a glass of wine, which unfortunately the loving hut is a dry restaurant.
New York Crisps
Crispy, Crunchy and Yummy! 
     Beside the cheese plate, we decided to try the crispy breaded chicken aka New York Crisps. In my opinion the fake meats from loving hut are one of the the reasons I like that place. If that's not your thing, there's still plenty to love at loving hut. Breaded and fried fake chicken with a tangy tomato dipping sauce.Sometimes simple is just what is in order.Not to mention, this taste like the real thing, so much so I bet you could fool a meat eater just like Beyond Meat did on Good Morning America. 

Killer Quiche!
    With the appetizers figured out, it was a given that the crepe had to be ordered. We almost ordered two but decided to branch out into the rest of the menu. The vegan quiche caught my eye. I'm pretty sure I haven't seen a vegan version on any menu ever so we decided to give it a go. The quiche was delightful, like a bunch of crepe pilled on top of each other, but denser and without the cheese. I was pleasantly surprised, but damn if that savory crepe didn't keep eyeing me. Luckily, the special one and I switched plates so we could share each meal.
Durian Fruit and Taro Sorbet 
Durian Fruit
      I'm always willing to try new things. To be honest, I love it and it's no secret that my sweet teeth always have room for dessert. I've never heard of durian fruit before, so I had to give it a try. They had a lot of other flavors, but I went with the two unique flavors I found, taro root in purple and durian fruit the yellow. When I ordered our awesome server asked me if I ever had it.  I hadn't and he warned me that some people don't like it. Not to mention, it's banned in asian hotels because it's so smelly. While the sorbet didn't smell, I loved the funk that it had, kinda like the sour beers that I've been all about lately. The special one didn't care for it that much, but I would get this again. The taro root was also delectable and was like a sweet version of the root. 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Bjorn Identity The Prequel: The Return of Kopps

Fried Pumpkin Filled Raviolis Topped With Daikon And Radish
This dish was the star of the night.
     Move over Matt Damon and enter Bjorn, the real Bjorn. The last post featured Bjorn, the rockstar chef, who is behind the all vegan Italian place Mio Matto, above the all vegan grocery store, Veganz. However, before there was Mio Matto there was Kopps. This is where Bjorn sharpen his knife. To be honest, this was the must visit restaurant that I picked out from Just from looking at the menu and reviews, Kopps seemed to be focus on veganizing popular German dishes. I'm not sure why Bjorn left or if he still has any involvement here, but whatever the reason the food at Kopps is still outstanding.

Starter Spread
I wish I could remember exactly what this was!
     The special one and I make a perfect team. We divide and conquer the menu. I went for the the 4 courses while she ordered off the menu. The only thing I was kicking myself for (and I still am) is not doing the beer or wine pairing with the 4 courses. When (not if, since everyone needs to go at least once), do me a favor and order the wine or beer pairing. German beer and wine deserves every accolades it gets. I bet you didn't know germany was known for their wine. See, you're learning something new everyday. 
Egg Salad
Food flashback, AMAZING!
      I'll be doing this in order, but keep reading until the end because the desserts might overshadow the food. Well, I said *might*. To start, the server brings you some sort of spread. Pretty awesome since I might have got a wee bit lost heading here and may or may not have had to go into an internet cafe to look up the address. I can not confirm or deny this, but it was worth the trouble. I would just print out a map for future reference so you can guide yourself since europe tends to not number streets/builds. Just a forewarning. Anyway, back to the food. Along with the spread, the special one got the egg salad. I know, it doesn't sound fancy but damn this was the best egg salad I've ever ate. I even talked to the server about it afterwards. I believe they used rice as the egg substitute, perhaps like a risotto. Someone should figure this out or translate one of their cookbooks, because it was amazing. I might have said that twice but this dish deserved it.

Vegetable Terrine with Tomato Compote  and Leek Oil 

   Up next was my first course, the vegetable terrine with tomato compote and leek oil. To be honest, I'm not sure what a terrine was or a compote, but this was perfection. I figure a terrine is kinda like a lasagna and compote is a fancy way for saying sauce. Perhaps I'm wrong.
Celery Soup and Caramelized Apple
Soup For You! 
Pumpkin Soup
Tempura Carrot!
     It was early October and lightly raining so these two soups hit the spot. The special one is a fan of halloween so we wanted to get as much pumpkin food stuff as possible. The celery soup was a light and refreshing with a clean, crisp and creamy taste. The pumpkin soup had a nice hearty rib smacking taste. I wish I could remember what the drizzle on the side and on top was, perhaps a balsamic. The tempura carrot was interesting and made for a beautiful presentation. Both tasted as good as they look, just ignore the shadows. It's kinda dark inside and intimate so kinda awkward to take multiple pictures inside when the first don't turn out. Speaking of the inside, it's as beautiful as their presentations indicate. They had these old doors on the roof and framed mirrors that really made the place stunning. 

Inside of the Restaurant
How cool?
     Now moving on from the soups to the main courses. When the fried pumpkin raviolis or perogies as they called them, I believe, came out. I couldn't stop staring and my fork keep invading the special one's plate. This dish was outstanding. I don't think I ever had fried raviolis, but this needs to happen more often. Not to mention this sauce that was drizzled over them. Again, I should've taken notes, but alas I didn't. Scroll back up and look at that fantastic dish. This was the cherry on top of the german dining experience.
Fried Pumpkin, Pumpkin Roam and  King Oyster Mushroom Risotto
You say Risotto, I say risotto! 
     Oh, man. Did I mention we were on a pumpkin quest? Well, this was what we were after. I haven't had many risottos, but this was awesome. A little on the small side but it had a perfect texture and the pumpkin foam really made the flavor pop. I generally treat rice as something to put something else on top of, but risotto gives rice the center stage with the pumpkin and mushroom playing the supporting cast. I wanted a second helping, but the best was to come. 
Semolina Balls, Pear Coriander Seeds Ragout, Hazelnut And Chocolate cream
Time to make the Semolina Balls!
     I know what you're thinking semolina balls doesn't sound delicious. Well, guess what you're wrong. This was like a donut. You know those donut holes from Ronald's? Well, these are even better becuase they had this hazelnut cream inside and the pear coriander ragout brought everything together. There might have been a fork battle goiing on between the special one and I, these were awesome. This was a perfect dessert after taking train after train with pastry case of berliner donuts in each station. 
Molten Lava Cake
A Chocolate Explosion
    Once we got over the awkward feelings of a waiter coming and delivering the cake and a little chocolate boat filled with chocolate. The server went and poured the chocolate boat into the middle of the cake and viola! the cake collapsed! Death by chocolate! Pretty rad, almost as rad as the flamed at our table creme bulee from la Mano Verde (also in Berlin!). I don't think either one of us, had this before. The cake was dense and moist with an explosion of chocolate swirling about. Imagine if mashed potatoes were a desert and cake, this is as close as I can. The candied fruit also made for excellent presentation. It's hard to say what was the ultimate restaurant in Berlin. I'm not sure I can make that determination, unless you want to fund me to go back on another trip. Berlin is definitely a city we want to visit again and again. Hell, I would be down for living there for a few months. I even read about a couple who sold their house and travel the world living for a few months in each city.

Coconut Balls
Time to make the coconut balls!
    We must have raved to the server enough about the food or maybe this is a common occurrence at Knopps, but the server came out and brought us these coconut balls the chefs was trying out. It might of had a better name than coconut balls, but it was delicious. What makes Kopps stand out is their attention to detail, marrying perfect flavors to mingle and brought together with excellent presentation of the food. Not to mention the intimate and exciting decor. Kopps is a must visit. And yes, it's all vegan! 

Foyer of Kopps
If you encounter this, it's a sign of good things to come! 
Menu of Kopps
My note taking system revealed!

Checkpoint Charlie
Not Real Troops

Berlin Wall Crumbling