Definitely Room For Improvement
Posted on 05 / 07 / 2012
Having lived in Seattle with so many places to go for vegan food, I'm probably pretty biased now that I'm back in Southern Illinois. It's wonderful that Longbranch exists in this small college town and offers more than a just a handful of veg/vegan options, but I've eaten there a few times and always end up a little disgruntled.
The entrees I've ordered generally consist of veggies and tofu served with either rice or couscous. The plates are HUGE - but the grains always comprise about 75% of the meal. With such a small serving of veggies, there's barely enough for one serving let alone any to share with your dining companion. Most places you go, you usually end up taking half of the meal home because there's just too much eat in one sitting (unless you split the dish with a friend).
Like others have mentioned, they no longer serve breakfast after 4pm. My omni husband and I used to eat at Longbranch at least once a month because it was a place we could mutually settle on since he loves breakfast food. Well, not anymore. As a result, this is May and I've eaten there once - alone.
While a handful of options are marked as "vegan"/"can be made vegan", the dishes wind up having about half the ingredients for the same price. No vegan cheese or sour cream substitutes (not that those items are the healthiest things, but it would be nice to have the option). They make a house veggie burger but not a vegan one. They offer portobello mushroom caps as a burger... but really, that's about on par with your typical steakhouse line of thinking of vegan fare. :P With so many recipes online and so many pre-made burger options available at in stores/co-ops, it's sad that Longbranch chooses to put so little effort into considering vegan fare.
They tout themselves on the local community radio as being "fresh, local, organic"... but then the ketchup on the table has HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP!?!
The service, though, has always been great. Friendly, courteous, professional. And I'm sure the drinks are good, I just never go there for coffee myself.
Friendly staff, Great bulletin boards
Small veg portions, HFCS?!, Vegan options leave room to be desired