Since I knew I was going to spend all of Memorial Day weekend here in DC, I decided to try and make the most of it. I’ve got plenty of trips coming up this summer and I’ve been in NY a lot for work recently, so I wasn’t really that bummed to actually get to spend time at home. Besides, I saw a bunch of friends, went to the movies (hate to say it, but even though Hangover 2 was THE SAME MOVIE as the first, it’s still a toss up whether or not Bridesmaids was better…sigh), and ate at some of my favorite restaurants. I also had a few DC firsts – including finally heading over to the Atlas District on H Street in NE. It’s an up and coming neighborhood with lots of new restaurants – but I’ve been particularly interested in trying Sticky Rice. My friend Diane was game to join me for dinner, so off we went. The decor inside was fun, but we decided to sit outside on the roof deck and enjoy the weather.
At first glance, it’s easy to see the menu has lots of vegan (ve) and vegetarian (v) dishes, with ‘v/o’ along side many others. ’V/o’ stands for ‘vegan options’ and means that the dish can be veganized upon request.
For example, we ordered the Bucket of Tots as an appetizer, and while the tatter tots clearly came from a bag, the sauce was made fresh and veganized by swapping out regular mayo for veganaise. It was actually only two ingredients: veganaise and Sriracha hot sauce. We also got an order of the Tofu Lettuce Wraps, already vegan by default.
The filling for the lettuce wraps consisted of crispy tofu and stir fried veggies. I ordered the Veggie Tofu Medley as my entree, and it turned out to have the same tofu and veggies combo from the wraps, but served on top of thin rice noodles. I didn’t realize it at the time I ordered, but honestly didn’t mind because it was so good.
Another entree I considered was the Dirty Vegan, also a tofu and veggie noodle dish, but made with a peanut and coconut milk sauce. Noodle choices include soba-buckwheat, udon and thin rice vermicelli (pictured above).
I found out that Diane, who isn’t vegan, loves fake meat. She chose (unprompted) to get the Mock Chicken Szechuan bowl, which was served over white rice instead of noodles. I got to sample a piece of the mock meat, and while it was by no means bad (the sauce was very good) I just don’t think I’m a mock meat girl. I keep trying it, hoping one day I’ll like it, but I just don’t think I will. If watching out for gluten, it’s important to read labels or ask what it’s made from. While many mock meats are made using soy or textured vegetable protein as the base, others use vital wheat gluten so it’s important to check.
Despite being really hungry when we sat down, I think our eyes were a bit bigger than our stomachs when were ordered. We both barely put a dent in our bowls. Come on, they are huge – and part of the reason why this place is such a bargain. One bowl could easily feed two people and at around $10 each, you really can’t beat it. As we boxed up our leftovers, Diane taught me the proper way to close a Chinese to-go container. Who knew?
I’m looking forward to going back to Sticky Rice, there are so many dishes I still want to try. Besides the Dirty Vegan, they had a decent assortment of vegan sushi which I’m pretty curious about. DC Noodles is still my neighborhood favorite, but Sticky Rice definitely provides some stiff competition for my heart…and stomach.