GQ's critic likes his veggies - and Philly's Vedge

Watermelon radish with fava beans from Vedge.

When last heard from, GQ restaurant critic Alan Richman was assaying Philly cheesesteaks

Now he's come home again for vegetables.

Not the "vegetables" from his childhood in Elkins Park and Upper Darby, which were disliked. They were "prepared by dumping them in a pot of boiling water," he writes.

In the May GQ, Richman proclaims that "the vegetable era has arrived" and he shouts out a number of spots across the country where chefs have unlocked "the genetic code for transforming vegetables into satisfying main courses."

Richman praises Vetri (1312 Spruce St.), of all places. Pasta and meats may have put Marc Vetri and company on the world dining map, but Richman was impressed by the simplicity of the Brussels sprouts. "I recall them served cut up, seasoned with a splash of sherry vinegar, and fried crisp," Richman writes.

One of the contemporary vedge masters is Vedge (1221 Locust St.), which Richman named to his five favorite  restaurants for vegetarians. Chef Rich Landau's Salt-Roasted Golden Beets also are at the top of Richman's list of "Five Dishes That Will Make You Forget About Beef."

"We are entering a time of equal-opportunity eating - vegetables have achieved parity with meat and fish, inconceivable throughout most of my lifetime," Richman writes. "They have taken their place at the center of the plate."

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