Sunday, September 08, 2013

"The Lunch Room" -- a Vegan Restaurant

Vegan hash and bagel with cashew spread
Today for lunch we tried The Lunch Room, a new vegan restaurant at Kerrytown near the Ann Arbor Farmers Market. Very convenient as the market today was host to the Kerrytown bookfest where we started our morning. We were quite hungry and appreciated the quick service. Once we put in the order at the counter, our food arrived at the table without much of a wait.

I admit, my culinary expectations for The Lunch Room were pretty low. Vegan food has never seemed too appealing to me, unless we are talking about a vegan side-dish to go with meat or eggs. However, my choice of hash, mostly vegetables with seitan sausage, a spicy soy product, was in fact delicious. The non-meat texture of the seitan wasn't important as the morsels were quite small. The potatoes were crunchy from being perfectly fried and the other vegetables weren't overcooked, so they had a little crunch too.

Len enjoyed his bagel with cashew spread and tomato; he drank his coffee black, preferring not to try the almond milk they offered as a whitener. Bagels of course are always vegan, and cashew spread is its own thing.

My main problem with vegan food -- that it tries to masquerade as meat and cheese -- wasn't an issue here. Some of the other things on the menu look as if they have this problem. I wish the restaurant would offer more variety of traditionally vegan dishes made just as they always are without any pretense. I'd like to go back and try some of their sweet pastries with afternoon coffee -- I always drink black coffee so I won't even miss real milk or cream.

Our friend Pam's interesting sepia-toned photos of New Zealand decorate one of the walls of the restaurant, a very pleasant, newly decorated space. We ate at the restaurant's tables in the quiet courtyard between the various Kerrytown buildings.

Update: I checked the Lunch Room website -- Sundays they serve only breakfast, so there are a variety of sandwiches and main courses on the regular menu that I didn't know about. I would like to try some of them, like the Pad Thai and Thai slaw at some point.


~~louise~~ said...

I have a tendency to avoid proclamations of Vegan when I happen upon a menu that "flaunts" it Mae. There are so many dishes and foods that are naturally Vegan, say that bagel for instance, there is no need to make a statement unless like you say, the dish has been prepared especially for those who choose it. I also think offering "real" milk as a choice for coffee should be an option.

Thanks for sharing, Mae...

Mae Travels said...

Louise, this restaurant is entirely vegan, so they CAN'T offer any milk. Their vegan rigidness was almost enough to make me stay away! The explanation on the "Why Vegan?" page of their website is dogmatic, and I don't buy it. I'm not in favor of dogma. Anywhere. Ever.

But the food tastes better than I expected. So I won't be dogmatic either.

~~louise~~ said...

I give you credit, I may not have been so understanding.