giveaway / restaurants

Birthday Dinner at a Martini Bar and Giveaway Winner!

First of all, congratulations to Jacquie for winning the Four Sigmatic giveaway! I’ve emailed you to get your info so your medicinal mushroom drink kit will be on its way to your doorstep soon!

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Last week I turned the big 3-0 and the SO and I wanted to drive up to Cleveland to enjoy a delicious, vegan night on the town. First, we stopped at one of our favorite restaurants, The Root Cafe, for the best damn tempeh sandwich in town, “The Culture.” We should have called first, because they ended up being out of tempeh. Again. Yes, this was about the 3rd time we’ve arrived at the place disappointed to learn they didn’t have any tempeh. Seriously disappointing.

Because their menu doesn’t have a whole lot else in the way of spectacular vegan fare, we decided to try somewhere new. I had heard that the Clifton Martini Bar had a separate vegan menu, and it looked great! We sat outside, sipping Malbec and a grapefruit-gin cocktail (mmm…) while we waited on our food.

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My dude got the Chickpea Meatballs over rice noodles (because their wheat noodles had egg in them – thankfully our waitress warned us). The meatballs themselves were pretty flavorful and had a satisfying chewiness.

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Bummed after learning they no longer served the Butternut Squash Ravioli, I half-heartedly ordered the Spinach Tofu Lasagna. Craving something Italian and herby, I was expecting the “tofu noodles” described on the menu to be noodles made from tofu, because common sense. Imagine my surprise when the above plate came out. This dish is literally slabs of tofu with marinara, spinach, and some sautéed veggies strewn about.

The dish tasted just fine, but to someone who hasn’t eaten a lot of tofu it would have been a super-weird texture and taste experience. The tofu was barely seasoned and the whole dish just seemed like a lazy attempt to put something vegan on the menu. Disappointing.

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The restaurant redeemed itself with its Chocolate Creme Brûlée, which was FANTASTIC. Made from soy milk and “chickpeas” (which I’m assuming means aquafaba), this stuff was really great. It was only slightly crunchy on top, but the puddling-like texture was wonderful and the flavor was spot-on.

If you ever get a chance to eat vegan in Cleveland, swing by the Clifton Martini Bar for dessert!

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