Since the flavors of chicken salad, Italian sausage, Philly cheese steaks, and chicken-fried Philly Oreos never stray far from the basic flavors of their protein bases, your mouth can get bored very quickly. Today's Groupon will give it a nice change of pace: for $5, you get $10 worth of meatless, milkless, and guiltless deliciousness to go from Zizi's, a vegan eatery that serves healthy and flavorful American favorites and ethnic cuisine from its Gold Hill Pavilion storefront. This Groupon is good for take-out only.
When you first walk into Krazy Fish, it’s apparent that the restaurant’s staff has had some fun with its moniker. Murals of giant sea creatures colorize the walls, and mannequins swim in green-tinsel seaweed and reefs of faux-pearl necklaces. But, like Charlotte magazine says, “as soon as you’re sipping the restaurant’s icy hibiscus, ginger, and honey agua fresca or digging into the tender, citrus-flavored ceviche appetizer, you’ll barely noticed [sic] the odd plastic fish hanging above your table.”
Krazy Fish’s eclectic menu teems with fresh seafood, southern-inspired comfort fare, and bowls of Asian noodles. The kitchen staff infuses pan-seared swai with spicy wasabi and sprinkles with cilantro grown in the backyard garden. Seven types of salsas enliven the tacos, including the tropical pineapple salsa. Krazy Fish also offers three TVs for game watching, a wide selection of beer, wine, and mixed drinks, and is available for private events.
Firestorm Cafe & Books is a staff-owned cooperative with a thoughtfully assembled menu comprised of organic and locally sourced vegan and vegetarian fare, tea, and coffee. Tempeh gyros fuel chew machines with grilled tempeh and veggies in tzatziki sauce on hot pita bread ($6.50), and the Pacific curry wrap mellows appetites with fresh vegetables and fruit that, like most advanced board-riders, surf on waves of creamy curry dressing ($5.90). Layered with maple-baked tofu, tomato, spinach, and thin-sliced red onion, the maple barbecue panini ($7.90) equips palates for the looming army of signature world-conquering cupcakes ($2.20) and daily baked double-chocolate brownies ($2.20). The café's organic teas and coffees—concocted from ethically traded Counter Culture Coffee beans—tidily conclude meals and accompany readings from the bookstore's collection of independently published novels, treatises, and important refrigerator notes.
Captained by a chef with 20 years of experience and employing authentic ingredients such as galangal, lemongrass, and fresh coconut milk, Thai Herb packs its menu full of blandness-defying southeast Asian classics. Diners can start their meals with a serving of steamed basil-lemongrass mussels ($6.95) before moving on to house specialty pra raam chicken, a succulent dish showered with cashews and drenched in peanut sauce ($10.95). A team of heat-hardened firefighters ushers out the slab of crispy spicy duck, which dresses a piquant quackbird with mushrooms and bell peppers ($15.95).
Though the menu at Lambsbread Vegan Cafe may appear to be the same as at any soul food place, things aren't what they seem. That's because the chefs don't use any animal products when they make their dishes. They use tempeh, seitan, and vegetables to create options such as the Spare No ribs, mock BLT, and tempeh Reuben. These come paired with complementary sides, such as the okra gumbo, kale, and curry potatoes, all of which are made with no animal products.