On the agenda this summer are multiple tours of Virginia universities as my younger daughter contemplates her choices entering her senior year of high school. This week, we decided to tour the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg.
As is customary when touring a college, you must sample the cuisine of a local restaurant! A quick Google search of “vegan friendly restaurants near University of Mary Washington” resulted in several choices, but none as appealing as Baba Ganoush Mediterranean Grill. Google said it was ½ mile from campus, but it was literally right across the street on route 1.
Walking up to the restaurant, we noted the outdoor seating, and were greeted by an eclectic decor inside featuring beautiful lighting. The staff were super friendly, and even shared samples of the day’s special: an eggplant dish that happened to be vegan. Although delicious, I had my heart set on the falafel! This restaurant serves 2 versions: Egyptian and traditional. I opted for traditional.
Falafel can be served as a wrap, plate, or bowl, and I chose the bowl. I had already explained to the person helping us that I was vegan, and as always, I was a bit worried that my meal would arrive at the table with something I couldn’t have. But I had no need to worry! My bowl arrived with a bed of rice, which was wonderfully sticky and seasoned with cumin, 4 traditional falafel balls, a side of salad, and two different tahini based sauces. He also included a sample of house made hummus and a piece of Egyptian falafel! At $8.95, this meal was a steal. I couldn’t even finish it all. Everything was super fresh and absolutely delicious!
You may be wondering what the difference is between traditional and Egyptian falafel. I did, too. They explained that traditional falafel is made from chickpeas, while Egyptian falafel is made from fava beans and has sesame seeds, too. Both were yummy!
Although I didn’t ask if any other menu items are vegan, they do also have vegetable Korma, Sagg, and Biryani on the menu. I may have to try one of these dishes next time, along with their dolmas. My daughter really enjoyed Mary Washington, so I’m anticipating another trip there in the near future as she finalizes her choice of schools. Hopefully I will get my chance to try something new!
If you happen to be traveling on I95 and are driving through Fredericksburg, you should definitely stop here for a meal. The food is outstanding, the service is super friendly, and the value is very good. We mentioned our dining experience with the reps in the admissions office at UMW, and they offered their eager approval! It’s a favorite of theirs, too. I will definitely be back!
I love finding new places to eat, especially while traveling. This restaurant is definitely worth visiting!
As always, I hope you all are safe and healthy.