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Issue Date: November 2007

A Taste For: Fried Vegetables

Kate Bigam

It’s the classic refrain of mothers everywhere: “Eat your vegetables!” For most kids, greens were merely a roadblock on the route to dessert. For many people, that distaste has carried into adulthood. But it may be time to rethink that stance. A number of Cleveland restaurants have uncovered a secret that carnival workers have known for eons: to make anything more palatable, deep-fry it. These greens are so good (that’s good-tasting, not necessarily good for you) that you might be tempted to skip dessert altogether. 

Fried Zucchini
Vue, 49 Village Way, Hudson
Served up on funky white dishes, Vue’s Parmesan-sprinkled appetizer ($7) is so light and airy it becomes difficult to remember there’s a vegetable underneath the breading. The zucchini spears are accentuated by a garlicky, tomato-based romesco dipping sauce so good it will make even the most anti-condiment diners want to bottle it up. (330) 650-1883,

Fried Green Tomatoes
Fat Fish Blue, 21 Prospect Ave. N.E., Cleveland
If you’re hungry, order up, because this Southern sampler from Fat Fish Blue is large enough to share with friends or order as an entrée. Five lightly breaded, palm-sized tomato slices, nearly half an inch thick, are served alongside a hearty portion of collard greens, corn salsa and Cajun mayonnaise ($5.59). As part of Fat Fish Blue’s completely trans-fat free menu, this could almost count as health food. (216) 875-6000,

Tempura-battered Green Beans
The Flying Fig, 2523 Market Ave., Cleveland
Finally, there’s a sophisticated replacement for french fries. Long, skinny and deliciously naughty, The Flying Fig’s crisp tempura green beans with curry yogurt sauce ($6) offer the perfect blend of salty and sweet. You could eat the beans alone, but the dip is to-die-for, reminiscent of creamy honey mustard with a hint of pineapple. A little bit sticky and a lot crunchy, they hardly taste like regular green beans, but they sure do taste good. (216) 241-4243,  

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