ALLI: Want to go to a movie?
MATT: I don't know what's out.
ALLI: We could see Red Dawn or Life of Pi. I read Life of Pi, it's really good.
MATT: I'm not really in the mood for those.
ALLI: ... Frankenweenie's playing at New Hope.
MATT: OOH, want to go see that?
ALLI: ... Sure.
MATT: What about food?
ALLI: Let's go to this cheap Middle-Eastern place. I'll blog it.
We drove to the cheap Middle-Eastern place and sat in the car staring at it.
ALLI: You want to go to Roat Osha.
ALLI: If we can skip Frankenweenie we can go to Roat Osha.
2650 Hennepin Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55408
Other than the fact that Minneapolis should probably get all that dangerously slippery sludge off the streets, we had a great experience here. Sometimes it's nice to just sit down and share a lovely meal with the love of your life.
The menu at Roat Osha doesn't exactly make it easy to know what's vegan. Your server can help you figure it out, but it helps to know that none of the curries'll work. You have the sense to stay away from dishes with meat in the descriptions. Otherwise, ask your server about your order before you place it. This is Uptown, after all. They know what vegan means around here almost better than I do.
Because Matt and I stood outside in the cold taking pictures of the face of Roat Osha for 5 minutes, I ordered hot Jasmine Tea for $3. At first it tasted like your average boring tea. Then it got bitter. Then it got bitter-er. Then I couldn't finish it. Oh well. You win some, you lose some. And by lose, I mean push to the edge of the table hoping your server will take it out of your range of vision.
Our Fresh Salad Rolls, which you can order vegan, were $6 - even though the ones with 2 types of meat in them cost the same and the veg versions have no meat replacement. Nor do they have the peanuts promised in the menu. That's a little silly. But alas. The rolls were yummy in spite of themselves! I didn't even miss the tofu other restaurants cram into their spring rolls. These ones come jam-packed with noodles, lettuce, carrot, cilantro, and mint, and you can dip them into a cucumber sauce and a sweet and sour-tasting sauce. The crunchy, cold roll holds together well enough that you could use your chopsticks to gobble it up in 3 separate bites.
The Sweet Cashews Delight with mock duck set us back $11.95. They let you chose your spice level from 1-5 on every dish, and we went with a 3. The heat was there, but barely. If you have the gumption to try more, I'd suggest a 4 or 5. It comes with hot, crunchy, perfectly cooked bell peppers, celery, onions, snow peas, carrots and scallions, smothered in peanuts and a chili cashew sauce. The dish was good, but not great. I found the mock duck a little too TVP for my tastes, and the sauce wasn't too exciting.
Much better was the Pad Thai with tofu for $12.25. We ordered this one at a 3 too and felt the same way about its spice level. Next time I'm gettin' fours. BUT. You guys. I don't usually get Pad Thai because of the eggs, you know. But this - vegan, obvies. And SO TASTY. It's got rice noodles, soy sauce, bean sprouts, scallions, cilantro, crushed peanuts, carrots, and lime, and every single one of those unique flavors and textures gel like Magellan. The tofu is alright - better consumed in a bite with other accouterments than alone. Plus? The noodles are PRE-CUT. Yes. You read that right. The chef actually makes the noodles short for your eating convenience. No slurping or dropping food here! Genius.
Then... dessert. Okay, no, I don't eat sugar or dessert anymore. But this happens to qualify for things I'm okay with: Fried Thai Bananas, five bucks. Vegan! Can you even believe it? They come with ice cream, but that's easily left off if you tell your server you don't want it. They're not really sweetened, and that's what I love about them. They let the sweetness of the bananas carry the flavor. In fact, it didn't even really taste like a dessert. It tasted like a warm, creamy, gooey mess of nature's candy. Warning, though: see the syrupy liquid drizzled over the bananas? That's honey. So when I said Uptown knows vegan better than I do, I was lying a little. Just let your server know to send the honey the same way as the ice cream. Orrr watch your husband meticulously spoon every last drop off the plate after the bananas are gone. Either's good.
I do know what they look like, in case you were wondering. Fingers!