The combination of the 2011 Indy Weekly ‘Best of the Triangle’ and Triangle Restaurant Week has provided a ‘for the people, by the people’ directory of restaurants deemed relevant to try. I recently visited The Remedy Diner (RD), the Best of the Triangle 2011 winner for Vegetarian friendly in Wake County. RD exudes such enormous eccentricity that it’s begging to be an early 90’s movie cliché’ via Reality Bites or any other Janeane Garofalo film. The ‘way out’/anti-conformist motif, staff, and clientele really add to this interesting impression. Let’s be fair…our waitress was very engaging and menu-helpful; but be wary: the slogan of ‘curing what ales you’ is no joke; the booze is stiff and is sure to sanitize your inners.
The 2-sided menu is ~75% vegetarian, so you can bring that inflexible, carnivorous date in for a bite, while accomplishing one’s own veggie interests. To start, we had the Buffalo Non-Chicken Wings with vegan ranch. This is the most deceptive soy meat substitute I have ever eaten…it was amazing. The texture and flavor was extremely close to the real deal. The buffalo sauce was spicy (as it should be), and the vegan ranch tasted more like a dill-y yogurt sauce, but was complimentary. For entrees, we sampled the herby non-Meatball Sub (vegan “meatballs”/mozzarella/marinara). The texture was not as moist as beef, so I did have to request additional marinara to dress it up for finishing. The Under the Volcano (buffalo non-chicken, gorgonzola, veg’s on Kaiser) was also ordered. The Buffalo non-chicken appetizer is by far the best thing on the menu – so why not just get it on a sandwich. I recommend RD do more entrées with this chicken substitute. With different marinades – imagine the menu possibilities… Lastly, we gave a meat entrée a spin, the most popular, according to the waitress, being the Turkey Pesto (turkey, bacon, avocado, pesto, sourdough). You’ve got Boar’s Head, you’ve got my attention. I love their product. I think it’s very ironic that a vegetarian restaurant has such robust, flavorful bacon…it was a delicious medley (but it is bacon). Also, the majority of the menu is editable by an ingredient or two to meet vegan dietary needs without compromising the intended flavor.
All in all, RD deserves their award. As a vegetarian/vegan, you’ve got a variety of entrees ready made for your enjoyment without having to cross your fingers the staff remembered to omit the cheese or substitute this with that. As a relapsed carnivore, I was content with my overall experience. Give soy a chance, man.