Best Vegetarian Restaurant - 2004
Readers' Choice: Natural Fact Deli
Here's the thing about vegetarian restaurants: All the better if they're not vegetarian restaurants. Just because you don't ingest animal, that doesn't make you some sort of party-pooping, Debbie Downer stick-in-the-mud who can't have a good time and share a good meal with your carnivorous compadres. (And if you are, we're guessing your digits pop up in few 314-programmed cell phones anyway, in which case go directly to Best Place to Eat Out Alone.) You're just picky, or political, and the meat eaters in your circle will not only overlook that but downright applaud your culinary acumen when you take them to Everest Café, the six-month-old Nepalese eatery (St. Louis' only) located in downtown's middle-of-nowhere section (only in St. Louis). Here all tummies find ginger- and garlic-infused satiation among the mo-mos (Tibetan-style dumplings, stuffed with either mixed vegetables or ground pork), tofu sag curry, dal (puréed lentils), lamb and chicken curry, and a dozen other entrées that resonate with the peculiar, appealing, irresistible flavors of turmeric, bay leaves, nutmeg, coriander, cumin, cinnamon.... Proprietor Devi States and his wife Connie can guide your whole party through the menu, even suggesting certain appetizers and platters all can share -- including hard-core vegans, as dairy appears only in drinks and desserts. Kinda makes you want to buy the world a Coke (which Everest carries as well).