Feeling “Zen” at G-Zen: a vegan love story

A couple of Friday’s ago, my friend/sorority sister N and I headed out to Branford for a Vegan culinary experience.  I learned the restaurant through a vegan cooking demonstration I went to the week before at the Viking Center. The head chef Mark Shadle whipped up some “to die for” meals and appetizers and I wanted more. 

And I wasn’t disappointed.

The restaurant sits on a slight hill, so as you are driving towards it, it sort of feels like a beacon in the night.  And it’s calling you to come try it out.

Before I entered, I was honestly not thinking that the restaurant would be attractive inside. I was thinking more of a place where a Birkenstock wearing, tree hugging person may go. I know, stereotypical, but what do most carnivores/omnivores think about vegetarians and vegans?

Being a vegan flirter myself, I was truly impressed with the interior design. The restaurant truly invites you in. There is a community table at the center of the restaurant, and if you sit there, who knows what interesting people you will meet? We ended up in a dark nook in the back that was illuminated with candles and dim lights. The furniture was very sophisticated–with an edge. To my left, a friendly statue of Buddha was looking at me from the window sill. Now, I am not Buddhist, but there was something comforting about having him there. I was almost like he was saying I would have a wonderful experience.

Now onto the food. Both Soror N and I had drinks of course: my chosen beverage was a glass of reisling, while she had a signature mixed drink (a purple haze). Both were outstanding! 

Next up was the food. We both ordered the Garden Guru, which allows you to pick four different sides. I ended up choosing the spankopita, corn bread, black bean patty, and sautéed greens…Yum!!!!!

After I finished the meal, I was satisfied and full, but not feeling “weighed down”.  That was definitely a plus, because it left room for a slice of vegan cheesecake with pomegranates. Don’t you just love the presentation?

Soror N ended up trying the chocolate cream cous cous terrine that I had during the cooking demonstration, while I decided to try out a cup of their homemade chai. Something about the hibiscus made the drink wonderful! I could drink that every night:)

During our dinner, we were able to talk to a few people who are not vegans/vegetarians, but thoroughly enjoyed their experience. I think that truly speaks to how good the food really is. You know it is hard for some meat eaters to go a meal without meat. I definitely will be going again and I hope if you are in the area, you will check them out. You will be happy you did:)

The link for G-Zen:http://www.g-zen.com/

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