Vegan Brunch Follow-Up

In the throes of having The Plague (or whatever has been taking out the entire Lehigh Valley one sick person at a time, for a week at a time), I managed to pull myself out of bed and sweat pants to make good on our reservations for the Vegan Brunch I was so gleefully looking forward to. 

WORTH IT.

Enjoy a little food porn. Hopefully you already had lunch or else this is going to make you hungry. Fair warning. Thank you to Wendy (Balasia and The Honey Underground) and Misi (Diver Catering) for a spectacular spread. Also thanks to our impromptu server Alex for being adorable.

Indian Breakfast Tostada (old favorite): “a crisp indian cracker topped with curry scramble, brown basmati rice, masala potatoes, soysauge and karachi dahl”

vegan brunch at Honey Underground/Balasia: Indian Tostada

Indonesian Fried “Chicken”: “a dish of delicately prepared seitan served over peanut noodles touched by lemongrass and ginger, served on a bed of organic greens”

vegan brunch at Honey Underground/Balasia: fried "chicken"

The dishes were served with a tasty homemade hot sauce – the way to my heart, of course. It was tangy, a little sweet, and had a slow heat that crept up my palate at the end. It burned, but it didn’t linger. I asked Wendy to jar the sauce and sell it so I can put it on everything. Cross your fingers.

Balasia + Honey Underground + Diver Catering brunch.

As with any meal served at the Honey Underground, the atmosphere celebrates talking to your table neighbors. Everyone walked around gawking at dishes and asked each other how they liked their meals. Happiness and smiles had by all.

The numbers are in: everyone unanimously wants this to happen again. If another brunch date it set, you can count on me to tell you as soon as I know!

EDIT: Wendy told me they are planning for another one, perhaps in March!

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BRUNCH IS BACK: Tummies Everywhere Rejoice

If we’ve ever met in real life, even just for a few minutes, I’ve probably talked about a few things: how delicious broccoli is when roasted; how do shar pei’s get so many wrinkles?; how much I love Sundays and why brunch is the best meal of the week.

Today I’m happy to tell you that the last part is happening, back with a vengeance.

If you live in the Lehigh Valley, you must know who Chef Wendy is. If you don’t, pay attention. Go get a pen and paper and write this down.

 Wendy is owner and executive chef of Balasia/The Honey Underground. The former used to be a brick and mortar business (in a fancy old victorian house in Emmaus, PA), and now shows up at every farmer’s market in the Valley to provide us with tasty lunches and take-home food. The latter is a supper club – a hip pseudo-restaurant that sets up on weekends in a firehall that gets transformed into a calming, candle-lit sit down eatery.

Well, we can all joins hands across America because Wendy is bringing back the best meal, on the best day. I can clearly only be talking about one thing: SUNDAY BRUNCH.

Sunday brunch was actually how I became familiar with Wendy and her food. A few years ago, we would wait all week for Sunday to approach so we could go to Balasia (then in Emmaus), sip coffees and organic juices and sparkling waters. Order meals that were so beautiful in presentation, the first time I saw one of Wendy’s dishes I exclaimed, “I feel like I’m eating a sculpture, a work of art”. 

Everything vegan, organic, local as often as possible… it was a meal to be savored, eaten slowly and shared by passing full forks across the table. It was so fun to bring out of town friends there, and even they would say things like, “I wish there was a place like this Brooklyn”.

 And let’s not forget to mention another culinary superstar on the scene who will also be a part of this meal, Misi from Diver Catering. She will make a fool of anyone who thinks vegan sushi is boring, flavorless or unappetizing. You can hire Misi for special orders and occasions, and also find her at the Steelstacks Farmers Market which is (new and!) every Saturday from Noon-4pm. Once again, proof that food can be, and most definitely is, art.

This upcoming brunch is a one-time event, though hopefully enough interest will mean more and more could happen in the future. I hope to see you there!

INFO ON HONEY UNDERGROUND/DIVER CATERING SUNDAY BRUNCH

  • Sunday, January 29th 2012
  • 11am – 2pm
  • RESERVATIONS ONLY
  • Call: 484.330.6405
  • Or respond on the FACEBOOK PAGE
  • Cost: $25.95 per entree; includes a healthy cocktail & hot coffee/tea
  • At the Honey Underground, Hereford PA (past Emmaus)
  • More info and directions on the site
You can view a detailed menu on the FACEBOOK event page.
AND enjoy live music from this year’s winner of the LV Acoustic Contest, Kwesi Kankam. (Exactly the sort of voice you want to hear at a meal like this!)
(Thanks Lehigh Valley Mirror for this video)