Blue Corn Cafe

  • Veg-options Veg-options
    ( 3 reviews )
Contact
919-286-9600
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9th St, near Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA, 27705

Serves meat, vegan options available. Latin American cuisine with a handful of lacto-vegetarian dishes, some can be made vegan upon request. Displays art by local artists. Open Mon-Thu 11:30am-9:00pm, Fri-Sat 11:30am-9:30pm.

Categories: Lacto, Beer/Wine, Mexican, Latin, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Non-veg

3 Reviews

First Review by AdamDaum

Fabulous Food, Service and Selection - Edit

This was our first visit to a Blue Corn Cafe, so we were only going based on other reviews and after reviewing the online menu (which is slightly outdated as I learned the recently changed parts of the menu). I can honestly tell you that we were very impressed. Even my difficult to impress husband, who doesn't typically agree to eat ethnic foods of any kind (the spices just overwhelm him) was delighted and impressed and said this is his new favorite restaurant!
I am a vegan for medical reasons and my husband is an omnivore. Therefore, we sampled items from each side of the menu.
I opted to order three appetizers (two to share, one was a stew just for me), with a happy hour vegetable taco and my husband ordered the dinner special and I ordered the Cuban Happy Hour Taco for him to expand his palate.
The first appetizer was Island Nachos. A very generous serving of fresh nacho chips, topped with tomatoes, black olives and artichokes. For an additional charge of $1.50, they substituted a very generous portion of Daiya Mozzarella cheese for regular dairy cheese. They also provided a cup of salsa that was so thin it looked like you could drink it, but I wouldn't recommend that. That stuff was hot! I didn't care for the salsa and that was probably the only thing about the nachos I didn't like.
The second appetizer was the Plantain Sampler. With this one, if you choose to order it, be certain you have already informed your server that you are vegan. One of the sauces normally served with this platter is a combination that includes mayonnaise. This can easily be left off, or in situations like ours, easily pointed out so the omnivores can enjoy it while the vegans can safely tuck into the mango purée sauce. The three versions of plantain include a savoury deep fried chip form, another savoury that was fried and mashed then fried a second time. The third and final style is the wonderfully sweet fried plantains that I and my family have loved since our first bites.
At first I wasn't fond of either of the savoury versions, but I finally found a use that brought the taste of both to the front and made them sing. The tomatoes and lettuce served with the plantains sang backup for the chips and my stew was the complement to the mashed fried plantains.
The stew was amazing. Black Bean and Sweet Potato Stew, served with sliced avocado floating on top is vegan to start so requires no modifications. I highly recommend this dish.
My husband chose the dinner special which was a chicken and cheese stuffed pupusa with honey chipotle glaze served with rice and sweet plantains. I realize that this is a vegan and vegetarian food finder, but I know I'm not the only vegan that has to share the dinner table with an omnivore. His take on the entire experience, as I already mentioned, was pure pleasure and he was blown away!
All in all, I would give Blue Corn Cafe Five Stars except Happy Cow won't allow anything above Four Stars for restaurants that serve meat.

Pros: Fabulous food, Daiya Cheese on request , Terrific Service

Cons: Horschata is not dairy free, A loyalty program would be nice, but that's small

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Surprise vegan cheese! - Edit

I was a tad iffy when I was choosing a restaurant with some of my friends while we were in Durham. We were trying to stay on one street in particular, obviously the road this restaurant is on. We ended up just sitting down outside and I was surprised when I was given the menu. There were several options that were marked as vegetarian, but they did not specify as to whether they were vegan. Because it was Mexican food, I was not as concerned as I would be otherwise. When talking to our server, she lit up when I mentioned being vegan, offering Daiya cheese at no extra cost, as well as adding guac to my order of enchiladas. She was incredibly knowledgeable, which was refreshing. Also, the food was awesome!

Pros: Knowledgeable staff, Decent food

Cons: Unclear menu

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Highly recommended - Edit

Excellent food, nice decor, relaxed atmosphere, good value, what more could you want?

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