Photo courtesy of Leila Sleiman.

Leila Sleiman is the co-founder of VegFest—Pittsburgh’s largest vegan festival—which was held for the first time this past summer. According to Sleiman, 4,000 people, vegan and non-vegans alike, attended the outdoor festival that featured some of the most amazing restaurants, many under the radar.

Most recently Leila organized a vegan Thanksgiving fundraiser for the humane society called VegFeast. She was also instrumental in getting a Mayor’s proclamation for Meatless Monday and is working with the school districts to advocate for meatless meals.

Her best meal last week? Not surprisingly, vegan.

My best meal last week was Randita’s, hands down.

 I’m a fan of chef Amanda Burk and the weekend specials she whips up. I always try to pick up or dine in on the weekend because their specials are always changing—and always just so good.

Last weekend, they had a Reuben casserole. I am not a fan of faux meat but the thinly shaved, perfectly seasoned seitan on a rye breadcrumb crust with sauerkraut, roasted zucchini and Thousand Island dressing topped with melted cheese (vegan, of course) was just amazing.

 I had it with a roasted vegetable salad with a lemon tahini dressing and finished with a coconut pie. My boyfriend and I split the pie but really, we should have gotten our own. The meal was divine.

 I actually like to order the coconut pie to go and top it with coco-whip cream to make it a diner-style experience!

 If it’s not the weekend and I’m in the area I always make it a point to stop for lunch. My favorites are the BLT—but I think they took it off  the menu for the fall.  I also love their nachos and veggie burgers.

 Randita’s makes everything in-house—from their veggie burgers and “cheese,” which are made with almonds or cashews. Vegans and veg-lovers know how good this food can taste and everyone who has not had vegan food should go. They will be surprised!

Looking for other Pittsburgh foodies’ best meals? Click here.

Leah Lizarondo is a food advocate, writer and speaker. She is also the co-founder of 412 Food Rescue, an organization that seeks to eliminate food waste to make an impact on hunger and the environment. She is the Chief Veghacker, recipe creator and curator at The Brazen Kitchen, where she writes about food and food policy. She writes about the intersection of food, health, innovation and policy.