Thursday, July 29, 2021

Vegan Food in Hagerstown, MD

Since going vegan, my primary purpose and joy when traveling is to eat all the things.

Recently, I took a weekend jaunt to Hagerstown, Maryland. Why? Because they had a vegan restaurant on Happy Cow.


Not to knock Hagerstown, but

it really isn't anything especially special. It's a town. People live there. There are places to go and things to do, but there are not a lot of "attractions," so to speak.

 Look: There's a river.

But that was fine with me, because I am attracted to food first and foremost, so "Hub City" as Hagerstown is known, had plenty to keep me entertained.

The first night, we picked up takeout from Evergreen Chinese Kitchen. Evergreen is NOT a vegan restaurant, but they are vegan friendly. We ordered Broccoli with Garlic Sauce, Vegetarian General Tso's Chicken, and Ma Po Tofu.

Broccoli with garlic sauce is my go-to order at my local Chinese restaurants, so I figured this was a safe bet. Sure enough, it was the familiar favorite I expected. Nothing exciting, nothing disappointing. You want to talk exciting, though? The General Tso's chicken was AWESOME. 10/10. I'd never had General Tso's but I am definitely a convert now. Seitan chicken nuggets soaked in sweet-n-spicy sauce? Yes, please! Unfortunately, the Ma Po Tofu was a flop. In fact, it was disgusting. We both tried our best to give it a fair shot, but after a few chunks of soggy, flavorless tofu, we called it quits and went back to eating the chicken.

In the morning, we hit up the restaurant immediately outside the hotel doors: Burger King.

Yep. Glamorous. I know.

But hey, don't knock it until you try it. You could do a heck of a lot worse than hashbrowns, French toast sticks, and piping hot coffee (not pictured).

For dinner, we ordered from Hummus Mediterranean Grill.


Holy cheese balls, guys.

This place was bomb.

We ordered a falafel wrap, a falafel bowl, roughly ten gallons of baba ganoush, and some fries. We ate it all.


Then on Monday, we went back for more.

I don't even know how to tell you guys how impressed we were with this restaurant. It has, hands-down, the best vegan-friendly menu I've ever seen. I don't just mean the assortment of food, I mean the actual menu itself. Everything vegan is marked vegan. Everything. Even the obvious stuff, like tomatoes. So you don't have to guess about anything. If it says vegan, it's vegan. If it doesn't, it's not. Super clear.

To make it better, they went to the trouble of veganizing their "magic sauce."


I have never in my life  seen a restaurant offer its specialty in two versions side-by-side. Blew me away. They really put thought into the vegan experience and wanted to make vegan food they could be proud of. That's a beautiful thing.

And, as if the phenomenal food weren't enough, the staff is outstanding. Everybody greets you. Everybody smiles. Everybody wants to make sure you get everything your heart desires. They accidentally gave us the non-vegan sauce on our first visit, but they caught their mistake, apologized, and rushed off to remake it without us having to say a word. On our second visit, somebody walked up to me just to say I had a beautiful smile. It's like the picture-perfect diner in your favorite warm-fuzzy TV show. Love them. LOVE THEM. Highly, highly recommend.

Finally, before we left town, we dined at the all-vegan cafe that had drawn us to Hagerstown to begin with.

Antiox is a health-focused vegan cafe and juice bar. Their pride and joy is their selection of fresh-pressed juices, each crafted to support your health in one way or another. 

But ain't nobody got time for juices when there's an Almond Joy smoothie on the menu, so that's what we ordered. 

We also tried two of their wraps, both of which were thicc

 

And not to sound like a stereotypical Millennial vegan hipster, but they had the best avocado toast I've ever met in my life. Thick-cut toast slathered with perfectly ripe avocado, loaded with vegan parm and fresh veggies that make you hope you never reach the last bite. 

 

I know it might sound lame to go out for avocado toast, but for reals....it's at the top of my list when we go back. Add on the soup of the day, and you have yourself a feast.

The final verdict? Hagerstown is probably not going to be the vacation of a lifetime. But if you ever find yourself within an hour or so of Hub City, do yourself a favor and visit Hummus Mediterranean Grill. While you're there, walk a couple of doors down to Antiox and snag yourself an avocado toast, like the self-respecting vegan that you are.

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