October 29, 2013

Seitan Worship at Tree House Vegetarian on South Grand

Vegan chefs are masters of manipulating plant oils and other fat sources for richness, but can they ever equal the thick layer of deliciousness that lies beneath a crispy duck skin or the ribbon of marbling that runs through a rib eye? We entered Tree House on a quest to find the fat. Could these chefs achieve creamy richness armed with only seitan and soy cheese?

Keep reading: Cheryl Baehr's review of Tree House restaurant on South Grand.

Photos by Jennifer Silverberg for the Riverfront Times.
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Obaachan's -- or Grandma's -- udon soup is a bowl of noodles, vegan dashi, red miso, cabbage, shiitake mushroom, scallion, tofu and a side of kimchi. Here, it's seen with the optional hard-boiled egg.
Obaachan's -- or Grandma's -- udon soup is a bowl of noodles, vegan dashi, red miso, cabbage, shiitake mushroom, scallion, tofu and a side of kimchi. Here, it's seen with the optional hard-boiled egg.
Like everything else here, the jambalaya is vegetarian, made with smoked spicy vegan sausage, brown rice, bell pepper, tomato, celery, garlic and onion, and served with cornbread.
Like everything else here, the jambalaya is vegetarian, made with smoked spicy vegan sausage, brown rice, bell pepper, tomato, celery, garlic and onion, and served with cornbread.
The Brussels sprouts salad is made with with red and green cabbage, fresh Thai basil, cilantro, mint and sweet chile vinaigrette.
The Brussels sprouts salad is made with with red and green cabbage, fresh Thai basil, cilantro, mint and sweet chile vinaigrette.
The "Roasted Duck" is made with sticky rice, scallion oil, carrot-daikon radish pickles, an Asian glaze, and spicy kimchi.
The "Roasted Duck" is made with sticky rice, scallion oil, carrot-daikon radish pickles, an Asian glaze, and spicy kimchi.
The "Tree House Truffle Trio":  Vegan coffee toffee, toasted coconut, and toasted walnut varieties.
The "Tree House Truffle Trio": Vegan coffee toffee, toasted coconut, and toasted walnut varieties.
The "Roasted Duck" is made with sticky rice, scallion oil, carrot-daikon radish pickles, an Asian glaze, and spicy kimchi.
The "Roasted Duck" is made with sticky rice, scallion oil, carrot-daikon radish pickles, an Asian glaze, and spicy kimchi.
The Brussels sprouts salad is made with with red and green cabbage, fresh Thai basil, cilantro, mint and sweet chile vinaigrette.
The Brussels sprouts salad is made with with red and green cabbage, fresh Thai basil, cilantro, mint and sweet chile vinaigrette.
Like everything else here, the jambalaya is vegetarian, made with smoked spicy vegan sausage, brown rice, bell pepper, tomato, celery, garlic and onion, and served with cornbread.
Like everything else here, the jambalaya is vegetarian, made with smoked spicy vegan sausage, brown rice, bell pepper, tomato, celery, garlic and onion, and served with cornbread.
Obaachan's -- or Grandma's -- udon soup is a bowl of noodles, vegan dashi, red miso, cabbage, shiitake mushroom, scallion, tofu and a side of kimchi. Here, it's seen with the optional hard-boiled egg.
Obaachan's -- or Grandma's -- udon soup is a bowl of noodles, vegan dashi, red miso, cabbage, shiitake mushroom, scallion, tofu and a side of kimchi. Here, it's seen with the optional hard-boiled egg.
"The Roots" is made with beet syrup, ginger liqueur, aquavit, lemon & honey syrup.
"The Roots" is made with beet syrup, ginger liqueur, aquavit, lemon & honey syrup.