The restaurant, a respite from fast food at one of the city’s busiest intersections, is an unpretentious cafe that seats about 50 people with a farm-to-table theme.
It aims to serve at least 50 percent local or organic food, our waiter told us. He was patient, kind and helpful.
The vegetarian restaurant offers a seasonal menu with vegan and gluten-free options and modifications. It has starters, soups, greens, sandwiches and main courses.
When owner and veteran chef Shawn Weed opened the restaurant last fall, he said he promised hearty vegetarian food that could satisfy carnivores – comfort vegetarian food.
The tasty, steaming pot pie, $13, certainly delivered. It’s capped with a puff pastry, and was the star of our recent dining experience, an early dinner on a Friday evening.
A side of zucchini, sautéed with onions, accompanied the main dish. Although a little bland for his taste, “they have a good cook on them,” my dining buddy said.
The pie, a satisfying and harmonious blend of potatoes, mushrooms, onions, carrots, peas and corn, with a truly comforting creamy sauce, could rival any meaty shepherd’s pie for flavor.
On the other hand, my dining companion would recommend ordering condiments on the side for the cheeseburger, $10. The mustard especially overpowered the other flavors.
It arrived as a pretty plate with the quinoa, beet and black bean patty dressed with avocado, cheddar, lettuce and tomato on a saucer-sized bun. Pickles and potato chips came on the side.
Unfortunately, the patty was not firm enough to eat hand-held in the bun.
If you order the buffalo cauliflower appetizer, $8, we also suggest ordering the hot sauce on the side for similar reasons. On our plate, the cauliflower swam in it.
The blue cheese dressing, which did come on the side, was chunky, fresh and delicious.
The chopped salad, $10, both vegan and gluten-free, was also yummy, if a little ordinary.
It came with a light touch of zippy vegan chipotle ranch dressing painted on the colorful plate of tomato, cucumber, onion, corn, black beans, green chile, sweet potato and crisp blue corn tortilla strips.
The white peppermint chocolate bark, $5, was a tasty dessert, with a subtle blend of peppermint in the rich, creamy white chocolate. The bowl of candy was more than enough to share and “absolutely amazing,” according to my dining buddies.
Another dessert, the peach blueberry crumble, $6, came with a generous topping of crunchy granola, steaming fruit underneath, and an unexpected dash of what smelled and tasted like cardamom. A generous spoonful of the ice cream of the day, a strawberry vanilla, came on the side.
The lunch and dinner menu are similar with a few more options for dinner. Some items seemed pricey, but promising.
The dinner menu included the vegetable Napoleon, $13, a mélange of eggplant, squash, portobello mushrooms and other vegetables in a balsamic reduction sauce and the chicken-fried cauliflower and waffles, $12, both attractive choices.
A meatless-meatloaf, not gluten-free, appears as a sandwich for lunch, $10, and as a plate with cheddar grits and sautéed vegetables for dinner, $10.
The vegetarian enchiladas, $11, on both menus, have earned kudos from other diners.
The cafe, wallpapered with giant photos of golden fields of grain and rustic barns, was clean and bright even on a rainy day.