I love it when restaurants come up with new, seasonal menu items so you can go back to your favorite spots and try all their new offerings. Busboys and Poets, one of D.C.’s quintessential restaurants, known for its liberal views, socially conscious events, and literary atmosphere, often debuts new dishes, and this summer it introduced some its best dishes to date.

Let’s start with the new appetizers: creamy, tangy baba ghanoush made with smoked eggplants, nutty tahini, lemon, garlic and olive oil, is a meaty tasting dish, with its smoky, tart flavor profile. Served with pita bread, it is perfect for sharing as an appetizer, along with the new tabbouleh salad, a light, earthy salad comprised of quinoa, parsley, and tomatoes.

The real of highlight of the new dishes is vegan crab cake (meat eaters: do not scoff at this dish it is unbelievable!!!). The soft texture of the tofu, infused with strips of grilled nori, old bay, and other seasonings, results in a crispy, hearty cake that is bizarrely similar to an actual crab cake. Vegetarians: it is pretty life-changing. I get it every time I go. It comes with veggies, and if you are like me, get a side of fries too and you’ll be having the best dinner ever. The Mediterranean pasta is another new dish, and also a winner, with angel hair pasta, asparagus, and crispy garlic bread on the side.

For dessert, there is new vegan Oreo cheesecake that will have you asking repeatedly why is this dessert so good? No really, WHY? HOW? A fruity parfait is also on hand for something lighter.

In conclusion, this summer is the time to re-visit Busboys & Poets. Peruse the book selection, attend a poetry reading, and most importantly, sample the new summer menu items.