Saturday, April 6, 2013

Lunch at Good News Cafe

I had the afternoon free to fill with crazy antics yesterday like going to the bank, dropping my bike off to get set up for some riding this week (temps in the 60s... YAY!), and shopping for groceries, so I decided to take the opportunity to visit a place new for lunch since I haven't written a restaurant review in quite awhile.  I was headed west from New Haven on Rt. 63 and decided I'd continue my scenic jaunt out to Woodbury so I could visit Carole Peck's Good News Cafe.  

This is a "farm to chef" type restaurant which features an extensive selection of locally grown produce, artisinal cheeses, and grass-fed beef on their menu.  They even had antelope as one of the entrees.  While I'm not in favor of eating animals no matter how humanely they lived, I had always heard that the menus here were vegan-friendly and could easily be adapted, so I decided to find out.

The daily soup du jour is always vegetarian, and the luscious Tomato and Wild Rice Soup that was on the menu during my visit was easily made vegan by omitting the locally produced chevre crumble that would've gone on top.  The crunchy, peppery papadum that it was served with made a nice contrast for the velvety smooth soup.  A cup cost $6.

As I scanned the menu for veganable items, I noticed a rice and bean burrito served with guacamole and pico de gallo that could easily be veganized by omitting the cheese.  But I felt like I wanted more than starch for lunch and instead looked to the list of salads for inspiration.  I found it in the Wilted Baby Spinach Salad with Warm Red Globe Grapes and Pineapples, Sauteed Shiitake Mushroom and Tofu.  As far as I could tell, this was entirely vegan on its own, but I made sure to mention that to my server just so there wouldn't be any surprises when my plate arrived.

I was happy to find a substantial amount of spinach along with a decent pile of tofu and mushrooms.  I had never had a savory-sweet combination like this before, but the flavors contrasted perfectly and left me feeling satisfied.  And now that I've eaten warm grapes, I'm going to make a point of incorporating them into some of my own recipes!

It's always nice to discover something new and exciting on a menu at an omnivore restaurant that strays from standard vegan offerings, and I'm happy I made the trip.  

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