BEST VEGETARIAN-FRIENDLY RESTAURANT Minneapolis 2002 - The French Meadow
2610 Lyndale Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55408
The French Meadow's tempeh Reuben ($7.50) has long been the subject of vegetarian cult worship, with its seared, sparrow-brown rye crusts, chewy, salty center of piquant Swiss cheese, biting sauerkraut, and perfectly spicy sauce. Hell, meat eaters have even been known to cross over in pursuit of the thing. Then they rolled out table-service dinner with a wine list (many organic), beer, all the beloved vegetarian soups and salads, and entrées like pan-fried udon noodles with sesame-roasted buttercup squash, and tempeh Marsala. (What's tempeh Marsala? A big plate of pan-fried tempeh cutlets in a wine sauce with shiitake and oyster mushrooms, served alongside an abundance of roasted-garlic mashed potatoes and tender sautéed kale. For $12.95.) There are still a few glitches--even with the table service, it still feels a bit too much like the giant bakery it is. But if you care about the Earth and your palate, French Meadow should be at the top of your list, both for their honest-to-goddess vegan dinners and for their continuing commitment to organic and sustainable production. Plus, if you eat all your yummy tofu, you get to pick from that delectable pastry case for dessert--and that's a cult we don't have room to get into here.