The Other Critics

Ring-a-Ding-Ding: Vedge Gets Three Bells; Birra Bowl Is ‘Food-Blog Bait’

• In a rather glowing review of all-vegan restaurant Vedge, Craig LaBan calls chef-owner Rich Landau one of the city’s “most innovative and exciting chefs,” for his dynamic shift from “saucy seitan-slinger to vegetable whisperer.” In the next breath he calls Vedge “one of the most exciting restaurants” he’s visited this year. The roasted portabella mushroom, he writes, would be his “go-to rebound plate” if he ever stops eating meat, and marvels at “tender sheets of roasted eggplant… rolled braciole-style around a pureed stuffing of smoked eggplant, cauliflower, and jasmine rice.” The only foreseeable disappointment was a beet terrine, that was “overwhelmed by smoked tofu and avocado.” [Inquirer]

• Adam Erace checks out Dubh Linn Square’s location and Cherry Hill, and finds that the Irish-inspired affair’s menu, with its cheese steak spring rolls and its blackened ahi tuna with wasabi cream is “a little chain-restauranty at times.” Though the whiskey chicken boxty “lacked the kick of booze,” the dish was saved by its “incomparable lightness.” However, “there was no saving the Guinness beef stew.” [Courier-Post]

• Trey Popp takes issue with “food-blog bait masquerading as culinary creativity” at Birra with its signature Birra Bowl, which he calls a “gimcrack novelty for our lard-ass age.” On the other hand though, he writes, the pizzas “anchored by thin crusts with just the right amount of crackle, are terrific.” [PhillyMag]

Ring-a-Ding-Ding: Vedge Gets Three Bells; Birra Bowl Is ‘Food-Blog