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Reviews (1)

First Review by ericgoldman

Gourmet Vegetarian in an Unexpected Place - Edit

I still have a hard time wrapping my head around Mineral. It's an upscale vegetarian restaurant located in Murphys, a small and out-of-the-way Sierra foothills town. There probably isn't another all-vegetarian restaurant within 60+ miles in any direction. When Mineral first launched in 2007, it aimed for the high-end vegetarian connoisseur flush with dot com money. In 2008, during the last crash, it revamped into a more mid-scale vegetarian restaurant/cafe, broadening its audience and becoming a place where we felt comfortable bringing the kids for lunch.

The boom must be back on, because Mineral has abandoned its mid-scale orientation and is back to positioning itself as a high-end gourmet vegetarian restaurant. The good news is that the food remains excellent, with extraordinary attention to detail, and the prices are reasonable (compared to Bay Area prices) for the quality of the food and presentation. We had the Mineral Burger (an excellent burger), the "Land Scallops" (a tofu dish), the Watermelon Salad and the Green Papaya Salad, and we devoured everything from all plates before they went back. Total cost at lunch was about $65.

Unfortunately for us, Mineral has lost any pretense of being a kid-friendly place. Even if the menu options look passable to kids, the tastes are just too sophisticated for most kids' palates. I understand that not all restaurants cater to kids, but it's an issue when we're on a family vacation. The server basically warned us when we walked in with Jacob and Dina in tow, asking us discreetly if we'd been to Mineral before as a way of trying to signal that it wasn't a kid-friendly place. It's even more strange because the proprietors were warm and gracious towards our kids and let them watch the laborious presentation of each dish, which our kids totally enjoyed.

For now, assume Mineral is an adults-only place. Murphys has better kid-friendly options just across the street if you're on a family vacation. If you're on an adults-only vacation and you haven't tried Mineral, I highly recommending taking the trip to Murphys for a meal. It's worth the detour.


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This page has been viewed 459 times since Aug 2007.

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