Vegan Brunch at Asylum (and my house!)
I can't believe I never heard of it until now, but a bar in the ultra-hip Adams Morgan neighborhood has a weekend brunch featuring extensive vegan options. As soon as I heard, I had to drag my boyfriend along to check it out!
Asylum is nestled between an array of other late-night hostpots on 18th street. A wrought iron fence by the entrance leads you to the downstairs level, where a pool table and brick walls surround the crowds by the bar. The upstairs features blood-red canopies and gothic light fixtures along with a second long bar- this is where the brunch takes place. When we got there around noon a waitress rushed up to tell us it would be a 20 minute wait- then came back 2 seconds later to seat us. This place is busy, but the tables turnover fast.
The menu has two sides- one vegan and one non-vegan. They make it clear that the vegan side is completely vegan, ie, even the worchester sauce for bloody marys contains no animal products. I also overheard a waitress telling the table next to us that the vegan brunch items are prepared in a separate kitchen from the other stuff. Very thorough! The menu featured a southwestern take on brunch, with tofu huevos rancheros, a scrampled tofu wrap with black beans, and assorted standard fare like french toast, soysage and pancakes. I opted for the huevos (although a texas toast breakfast sandwhich was tempting as well.)
The food came out fast and the portions were huge! Mine was a corn tostada layered with tofu scramble, salsa and soy cheese. It was served over black beans and fried potatoes. I was skeptical- the tofu looked undercooked and the salsa looked watery- but it was great! Subtly spicy, crunchy and filling. Total perfection for a hangover meal, or in my case a good start for a busy day. And when I looked up from wolfing the whole thing down, the boyf was pleased with his bacon breakfast wrap as well. We will DEFINITELY be back.
And speaking of brunch, I had the most perfect homemade brunch saturday as well. No pictures (alas!) but let me just tell you. I took half an everything bagel and half a raisin bagel, toasted each and spread with soy cream cheese. The everything bagel got topped with avacado, cherry tomatoes and red onion, the raisin bagel got strawberries. So simple, and oh-my-goodness was I in heaven. I don't think I'll ever go a weekend without this combo again.
Oh, and in other brunch news, Isa Chandra Moskowitz is coming out with a new brunch book! (Who hasn't heard that already, but still. ) I'm so psyched!