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Restaurant Review: Saffron in Minneapolis

March 4, 2010

Jeff’s birthday was a couple weekends ago, and to celebrate, I took him out to eat at Saffron Restaurant and Lounge in Downtown Minneapolis.

When I made the reservation I mentioned that I was vegan and asked if they’d have any problem accommodating me. They said it was absolutely no problem. When we got there, they noted that I was vegan, and brought me a menu with items checked off if they were or could be done vegan. Those items were:

  • Baba Ghanoush
  • Yellow Lentil Dip (SO YUMMY)
  • Giant beans
  • Olives/picked veggies
  • Fried Cauliflower
  • Green salad with fried pita chips (delicious)
  • Beet Salad
  • Entree: Vegetarian feature (changes often)

Green Salad

Winter vegetables with chickpeas in a beet vinaigrette

The atmosphere is relaxed, but upscale and romantic. We got a nice corner table with a full view of the restaurant and had just a wonderful time.  The salad had fried pita crisps on it, over which Jeff and I basically fought.  And my winter vegetable medley was out-of-this-world good – which is saying something considering I don’t even usually like beets and this dish was full of them!  Either I just thought I didn’t like beets and I actually do or Chef Sameh Wadi knows how to prepare them just right!

One thing to note about this place, just so you’re warned, is that there are some pretty gross things on the menu: veal, foie gras and lamb brains (BRAINS!!) for example.  That said, it’s not like they make you order that stuff. :-)  And I appreciated them accommodating me without making it seem like it was a huge hassle, and for making something that was healthy, balanced, and full of vibrant and delicious flavors.  I’ve been to a lot of nice restaurants where the chef seems to have no idea what a vegan would want to eat, so I end up with something pretty bland and uncreative – and usually lacking a good protein.  Saffron’s chef knows what he’s doing in a kitchen and clearly is familiar with vegan and vegetarian fare.  Go check it out if you live in town, or stop by if you’re visiting!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 4, 2010 8:42 pm

    BRAINS!!! EW!!!

    That sounds like such amazing service and accommodation. I wish all non-veg restaurants were this friendly!

  2. March 5, 2010 5:34 pm

    I love it fancy meaty places are so accommodating to vegans. The beet dish looks fantastic. I didn’t think I like beets until having a delicious borscht at a place in Memphis that offered to prepare me a delicious vegan meal despite the lack of options on the menu. Now I heart beets!

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