On Wednesday, a couple of my old roomies and I decided to try out a Vegan/Vegetarian restaurant located in the North Park area called Spread.
The restaurant was simple and small, definitely very personable. The owner greeted us with a pitcher of water filled with fresh cut flowers from that morning (sorry didn’t get a picture, he took it away too fast). After being introduced to the menu and the ingredients, we finally decided on ordering 2 different drinks- I picked the sangria, and Jen picked the Chocolate Cherry Mojito; and the last 3 dishes- Bruschetta, Risotto, and Papardelle (fresh made pasta!). Details on the menu below.
I have to admit that the best part of the meal was the drinks. My sangria had freshly squeezed orange pulp in it and the fresh fruit flavors were awesome. I’m kind of a fruit snob. I like my fruit flavors to be fresh, not added in syrup form. Jen’s Mojito was quite fruity as well. Even though it was supposed to have some chocolate flavors in it, the only difference I could taste was the alcohol since it had purple potato vodka in it.
Since Spread chooses to serve their dishes one at a time, to encourage sharing, we all had a taste of each dish (well, ok, maybe a little more than “a taste”). The Bruschetta had a very strong garlic spread, but not in a bad way, it was quite flavorful. The vegan bread was crispy on the edges and toasted with olive oil. The garlic scapes were softer than typical sauteed asparagus, but were unique and made a pretty presentation.
Next came the risotto- made with one of the first grains ever eaten by man, or so they claim. I’ve never had farro, but it reminded me very much of a wheat berry or earthy brown rice. I must say that none of us were impressed with the dish. The “creaminess” of the risotto only existed because of the amount of oil added to the dish and the grains had too much of a bite to it making it taste almost undercooked. The dish was overpowered with lemon and salt making it hard to taste any other flavors in the dish. I felt super thirsty after eating it.
Finally we had the pappardelle pasta made with red carrots. I really liked the texture of the fresh pasta. And the macademia pesto was tasty for about the first couple of bites. Thereafter it was overly rich and I honestly didn’t taste rose petal. Unfortunately it was so rich that Jen and Esther felt like they would throw up if they had to eat the whole thing.
Overall, I enjoyed my experience at Spread but am not sure I would go back again . I have yet to find a Vegan/Vegetarian restaurant that doesn’t try too hard with the dishes. It’s a shame, because they have such unique and fresh ingredients in the dishes. Overall I’d rate it 2.5 stars / 5…and I know, I’m always a little stringent with ratings, but it takes a lot of impress me.