Exporting vegetable-focused V Street to D.C. may be just the opening salvo for Philly restaurateurs Richard Landau and Kate Jacoby, who tell Eater they may also export experimental sandwich shop Wiz Kid to the area.
The vegan power couple behind award-winning Vedge last month announced plans to bring their global food bar, V Street, to the Apollo development on H Street NE in late 2017. Bringing fast-casual sibling, Wiz Kid, along for the ride appears to now be on the table.
“We’re all about making people rethink vegetables,” Jacoby said. “You can do anything under the sun with vegan. Korean street tacos, Chinese food.”
Set to debut June 1 next to the flagship V Street, Wiz Kid puts a vegan spin on Philadelphia’s iconic cheesesteak, loading its potato rolls with shredded mushrooms, seitan, fried onions, pickled pepper relish, and rutabaga wiz. Additional menu items include the KFT (Korean fried tempeh sandwich), and a Reuben with sauerkraut, pickles, tomato, and caraway.
Wiz Kid’s concise menu has been teased inside a Whole Foods Market in Philadelphia while its brick-and-mortar location gets up and running. Landau confirmed that he’s in talks to plant additional Wiz Kids into one or more Whole Foods in the District, though he declined to discuss specifics.
“There is interest down there, so we will see. We don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves,” said Landau, adding that their D.C. debut has been years in the making.
V Street is the dressed-down sibling to Philadelphia’s Vedge, considered one of the top vegan restaurants in the U.S. (Landau was a semi-finalist in the Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic category at this year’s James Beard Foundation Awards).
Landau said D.C.’s V Street will have an expanded noodle bar section, with the capability to whip up twice as many (four to five) noodle dishes as its predecessor. He billed the dan dan noodles — featuring five spice mushrooms, zucchini, and red chile-sesame sauce — as a “destination dish.” Another hit: the za’atar grilled corn with zhoug butter and grilled tomato, as well as charred broccoli salad with togarashi, burnt miso mayo, and “fried rice.”
The D.C. location will also be bigger, accommodating up to 65 patrons; there’s even an opportunity for patio dining. “We’re in a narrow, little Colonial Philadelphia town home,” Landau said of the existing space. “In D.C. we’re working with new construction.”
Having just returned from Vietnam, the duo is full of ideas they got while snacking on the street. “We aren’t trying to reinvent falafel or anything — just get inspired by great flavors and capture the soul of the street,” Landau said.
The original V Street just nixed lunch service and is moving to a dinner-only model. The plan is to replicate those hours in D.C., with dinner nightly and brunch on weekends.
“We hear brunch is a big thing in D.C.,” said Jacoby.