Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Review of Musical Forest Cafe

Word is out in the southern Connecticut vegan community that there's a new vegetarian restaurant in town, and I finally had a chance this afternoon to seek it out.  Imagine driving along nondescript Route 5 in North Haven, strip mall after strip mall, interspersed by gas stations and fast food joints, and then suddenly you come upon a bright green yard sign proclaiming:  "Vegetarian & Vegan Cafe."  Wait, WHAT??!!  This would probably have caused me to do a double-take and drive off the road had I not been on the lookout for it.
Instead, I safely turned into the parking lot of the Music Center which is where the Musical Forest Cafe is located.  If I hadn't known there was a cafe inside, I would have been very confused.  Needless to say, if you drive up and see teens in t-shirts and Converse hightops carrying guitars and amps, you're in the right place.

There was a nice homey vibe here that made me wish I was a teenager learning to play guitar because I'd think it was The Coolest Thing Ever to have a vegan cafe right where I take lessons. The owner, Mark, is very friendly and accommodating, and is open to ideas since they've only been open for 2 weeks and he wants the place to be successful. 

The menu is basically a veganized cafe menu with burgers, grilled cheese, paninis... I had the empanadas for a little variety. There was also a curry dish which I probably would've ordered if I hadn't made curry for lunch. Everything comes with a choice of 2 sides (pasta salad, black bean salad or coleslaw) - I took 2 slaws because I wanted some veggies, and Mark gave me a free sample of today's special which was Jumbalaya. 

Everything was good, though I might've added some more seasoning to the empanada filling. I appreciated the hot sauce that came with it.  Next time I have a curry craving, I'll be sure to go back.  I was informed that there will soon be vegan desserts available, including Carrot Cake and gluten-free brownies, which I will also have to give a taste test very soon.  

Thanks, Mark, for adding another vegan dining option to the New Haven restaurant scene!


The Musical Forest Cafe said...

Thanks sooo Much Mary for trying out our place! We had no idea that you planned on writing about your visit. It was a pleasure and we were truly honored to see your review! Looking forward to expanding our menu items as well as providing live entertainment on our stage starting in August. Hope to see you back! Mark and Mary

Mary Lawrence said...

Thanks, Mark! It was nice to meet you, and I look forward to coming back to try the new items on your menu!