Good Eats: Veggie out at Ann Arbor’s Seva

We recently ate at Zanzibar when we visited the University of Michigan Museum of Art. I reported about those experiences here at The Urbane Life, and Eric suggested that we have more Ann Arbor reporting to do when commenting on that post.
I aim to please, so I thought I’d tell you about another one of our favorite places to eat in downtown Ann Arbor—Seva.

Ann Arbor,Seva,vegetarian restaurant,Michigan

I always say that Seva is the vegetarian restaurant to take people that claim to be real meat-and-potatoes fans.
The food is, as advertised, fresh and imaginative. Plentiful platefuls of Seva’s award-winning vegetarian cuisine and maybe something from the restaurant’s full bar are more than enough to make even the most hardcore meat eater happy, while also offering those following Vegan or gluten-free diets plenty of choices for a great meal.
More after the jump

Tim and I started our meal with an order of yam fries and spicy dipping sauce. The appetizer billed as Seva’s most popular menu item arrived at our table plenty hot and quickly disappeared between the two of us. The slight sweetness of the fries perfectly complemented the creamy and spicy dipping sauce, which reminded me a bit of a spicy remoulade.
We’ve always enjoyed Seva’s pasta dishes, and Tim’s spinach-based Ravioli Capriola from the day’s special menu was no exception. Dressed with fresh diced tomatoes and accompanied by a couple of large wedges of garlic bread, the dish reminded us a bit of another favorite we’ve both ordered from the regular menu in the past—the Ravioli Cardinale with a tomato-sherry-cream sauce, broccoli and mushrooms.
I ordered a spicy orange-chili stir fry from the special menu that day at Seva. The plate was beautiful when it arrived at the table, with its vivid rainbow of veggies that included red and yellow peppers, mushrooms and broccoli over organic brown rice and dressed with a fragrant sprig of rosemary and a small bunch of purple grapes. I loved this dish. The veggies were fresh and cooked just right—crisp and not overcooked. The meal was plenty spicy enough to please a spice-lover like me and plenty plentiful enough for me to take leftovers home for another full meal.

Seva,Ann Arbor,Michigan,vegetarian restaurant

Seva also has a couple of enchilada meals on their regular menu that we’ve ordered and especially enjoyed in previous visits. Enchiladas Calabaza is another Seva best seller, and I’ve ordered these enchiladas with butternut squash, cream cheese, green onion and chilies filling more than once.
We usually don’t have room for dessert, but because we had a late lunch and didn’t plan to eat dinner, we indulged in a couple of desserts to take home and eat later. Peanut butter cake and an apple spice cake (a Vegan option) packed up nicely in recycled paperboard containers and tasted great when we ate them several hours later at home.
Seva opened in Ann Arbor in 1973, and the restaurant’s Web site says Seva is now the highest volume vegetarian restaurant in the Midwest.
The site also explains the origins of Seva’s name. It is an adaptation from French and Spanish greetings “comment ca va” and “como ca va”—which roughly translate into English as “how’s it going?” The site also says that the restaurant’s name recalls Hindu words meaning “service” and Hebrew words meaning “satisfaction”.
The location at 314 E. Liberty is between South State and South Main Streets, making it a few short blocks from the University of Michigan campus as well as major shopping and entertainment destinations in downtown Ann Arbor.
What are some of your favorite Ann Arbor haunts?

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  • http://www.photowanderer.typepad.com Tim Marks

    As a dedicated meat eater I can vouch for Seva. The food is fantastic. They don’t try to make it taste like meat. They just make really good tasting vegetarian fare. Go, you won’t be disappointed.

  • Brandon

    I’m a bit of an anti-vegetarian. I don’t mind them really, I guess. Just kinda like meat. That said — I love this place! The food is great, yes, you can get full without meat! Nice write up — definitely one of the main spots for good food in Michigan!

  • http://www.midwestguest.com DominiqueKing

    Tim-I do appreciate the fact that Seva fully embraces the fact that it is a vegetarian place and concentrates on making really great food-rather than trying to make something that mimics a meat dish.

    Brandon-Well, between both you and Tim, you’ve proved my point that dedicated meat-eaters…and even anti-vegetarians (!) will be happy with a meal here. It took me a couple of tries to talk Tim into going, but once there…he’s been happy to return more than once :)