Worth the Drive
Posted on 04 / 14 / 2013
We saw this place on Happy Cow, but weren't going to go so far from the highway for a veg-friendly place. The night before we were burned by a veg-friendly that had taken most of the veg off the menu. But then we saw their billboard on the highway, and it said vegan, so we decided to try it, because when do you ever see billboards for vegan anything?
It was maybe fifteen minutes from the highway, but easy to find and well worth the drive.
I ordered three entrees because I couldn't decide - calaloo, tofu escoveitch and curried palm hearts. They were all delicious, as were the cabbage and plantain sides and even the rice. The food was salty, but not unbalanced. It was heavily spiced (though not very spicy, to me, though I like spice a lot) and well-spiced. The salt was high to balance and complement the spice. I'm not a salt person, but it was delicious and well-done.
The best thing, to me, was the staff. Everyone was happy, and they seemed to enjoy being at work. They were kind to each other - really kind and caring - and to everyone who walked in, from regulars to delivery men to first-time customers like me. It seems like the kind of place where drama and pettiness are not tolerated. I know that's a strange call to make, but it was really striking to me. When I left, the server who took my order (we took it to go) shook my hand and asked my name and everyone around wished me a good day - not canned, or like they had to, just like they were happy to pass along their good cheer. It was so nice to see in a college town where the kids are often "too cool" for niceties.
They had no gluten-free vegan desserts, but they did have vegan desserts and said that they sometimes have raw cheesecake.
Definitely try this place! LOTS of vegan options, knowledge of gluten-free, very tasty!
I think this place would have five cows if Happy Cow allowed five cow ratings for non-veg places.
FOOD, atmosphere, staff