BEST VEGETARIAN RESTAURANT - 2000
Being a vegetarian in the Twin Cities requires a lot of hard work, constant vigilance, and a good dose of paranoia: Some restaurateurs simply don't seem to believe that there are people who don't want chicken in their food. But there's no need to be defensive at the Birchwood. Just sit back in the minty-fresh Fifties décor and munch happily as plate after plate of zesty salads, interesting specials like chickpea croquettes on a summer-squash sauté, or vegetarian pizzas whiz your way. Carnivores may think that vegetarians lead lives of difficulty, denying themselves the table's tastiest treats. But the Birchwood proves them wrong with lushly indulgent desserts like moist pineapple-upside-down cake, ethereal banana cream pie, and spicy fresh peach pie. And since the cafeteria-style setup directs you to dessert first, be advised that all of the aforementioned also make great appetizers.