Vegan restaurants seem to be popping up all over Pittsburgh nowadays, and even though we're not vegan in the slightest, we have really been enjoying these new spots like Onion Maiden in Allentown.
I've always thought it takes more creativity and skill to make restaurant-worthy vegan dishes than meat dishes, and Onion Maiden definitely gets this right.
Vegan Food Comes to Allentown at Onion Maiden
The vibe at Onion Maiden is what I'll call heavy metal meets biker meets hipster. You might feel like you're not wearing enough black when you dine here, and there are a few small scratches on the wall that our waitress noted came from her friends' studded jackets.
The soundtrack in the background is heavy metal. But the fact that the restaurant serves amazing vegan food brings a little hipster to the party at the same time (and yes, we know that sounds really wrong, but work with us here).
The menu is entirely vegan and includes appetizers, mains, a tots and nachos section, and vegan hot dogs. Also of note is that the restaurant is BYOB ($1 fee per person) and cash only.
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Our waitress was incredibly helpful with my tree nut allergy, recommending dishes and double checking everything with the kitchen. We wish more places would be as careful as they were!
The Kind of Place Where You Order a Little of Everything
We decided to order a mix of things, starting with the Burning Witch soup and the For Whom the Egg Rolls dish.
The soup was hardy and spicy with squash, carrots, red lentils, and chili. A base of tamarind and lemongrass flavors as well as some fresh cilantro on top kept things fresh and bright.
The egg rolls were fried light and crispy with crunchy veggies inside and duck sauce on the side.
For mains we went with the Coffins and Fist Full of Curry. The curry was very rich and thick with coconut milk, noodles, carrots, potatoes, and green beans.
The curry was served with a plate of bean sprouts, basil, and lime which amped up the flavor. We would have loved it spicier, but we added some Sriracha which was perfect.
The Coffins was our favorite dish of the night.
This dish started with a scallion pancake that was thin, crispy, and flaky. On top of the pancake was some jackfruit covered in a sweet and savory soy-based sauce, and on top of that some crunchy cabbage and cucumbers.
Sauteed kale cooked and seasoned just right was served on the side. This dish had a great combination of flavors and textures, and some Sriracha on top complemented it all.
We were too full for dessert but they do have a beautiful display case of vegan baked goods including twinkie-esque cakes and cupcakes.
If you're vegan or into heavy metal or even if you just like creative vegetable-forward food, you should definitely plan a meal at Onion Maiden. They also do a Sunday brunch which we would love to check out soon!
Onion Maiden is located at 639 E Warrington Avenue in Pittsburgh's Allentown neighborhood.
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