Last weekend went with some friends again to Everlasting Life Cafe, which was named Best Vegan Restaurant in DC for 2013. The food is really flavorful and well seasoned; good enough that you may excuse your customer service experience there which may be less than ideal. Every trip to Everlasting seems comes with its own amusing anecdotes that you can tell your friends about later. For this most recent trip we had checked what time they closed online because our last visit resulted in us squeezing in an order at the last minute. Their website said 9 pm, but when we arrived, friends noted that their sign said 8:30 pm. Determined to still get some grub we headed in the restaurant around 8 pm. Glad we did that because we ended up staying well past 9 pm and they had no signs of closing shop when we finally left. When we arrived to order we were told to wait a bit and then we explained to our friends how to make their plates from the hot or cold bar, which was confusing on the first visit. This was my first time staying in the restaurant to eat the food, and besides the good grub I also enjoyed the playlist of early 90’s R&B which was the soundtrack for our meal.
Despite the fact that you may or may not make it in time to get some food depending on whether or not they choose to close earlier or later, and that there are no signs on the food and so you have to point to things and ask the server (who hopefully knows) for certain dishes, going through the drama of getting food on your plate becomes worth it when you finally can sit down and eat. There aren’t too many raw options, but there are really good salads in the cold bar and they also make juices and smoothies. The vinaigrette kale is to die for, love the artichoke salad, garlic spinach with sesame seeds, cucumber tomato salad, curried chickpeas, and black beans. The hot bar has cooked vegan food and friends tried and gave two thumbs up to their veggie “steak” with mushroom gravy, collards, cornbread (which looked amazing), mac n’ cheese, and vegan carrot cake. Everything is super affordable and you get large portion sizes; enough sometimes to save a little food for the next day. I enjoy the food, but still yearn for at least one raw or vegan spot in DC that has excellent customer service, sit down dining, and a slightly upscale ambience. Until then, Everlasting Life Cafe is definitely on my list of places to dine occasionally, and if you are in DC I recommend you give them a visit and try it. -XoXo Raw Girl
For more details on the location and menu offerings on their website: http://www.everlastinglifecafe.com/