The Veggielante is on a mission to spread the word about places to order good, meatless grub. Check out this week's pick.
Destination: Sanctuaria (4198 Manchester Avenue; 314-535-9700)
Neighborhood: The Grove
Cuisine: "All Latin flavors"
Overview: Sanctuaria's Chef Wil Pelly has a passion for creating vegetarian and vegan dishes, seeing the task as a challenge. The restaurant's cuisine encompasses all Latin flavors, from Cuba to Spain to Mexico, and while vegetarian options are common in this cuisine, Pelly puts his own unique spin on them. Sanctuaria's spring and summer menus will be geared towards more vegan and vegetarian-friendly options, so be on the lookout for a new menu when it starts getting warm.
Highlights: Pelly's vegetarian chorizo ($10) is not on the current menu, but when it is, it might fool you into thinking it's actual meat. Pelly uses a combination of black beans and carrots to create the "chorizo," and serves it with rice, fried plantains and a curried broccoli purée. This dish is a playful twist on his mother's classic Cuban recipe, and is also vegan and gluten-free. Look for it on the restaurant's spring menu.
Pelly's black bean stuffed piquillos ($8) is a traditional Spanish dish. Five piquillo peppers are roasted and stuffed with black beans and mozzarella cheese, and topped with a chipotle vinaigrette. Though not vegan, the piquillos are gluten-free, and a filling and healthy option.
Another popular vegetarian dish is the black bean croquettes ($8) served over the restaurant's homegrown vegetables. New to Pelly's spring menu will be pan-seared vegetarian tamales ($10): three vegetable-stuffed tamales, served with madeira onions and a passion fruit gel. Both are vegan.
Gut Check is always hungry for tips. E-mail us!