Uncle Al picked me up at my office and we arrived at Beets Cafe around 1:00 (he recommend we not go right at 12 since it gets a little packed during peak lunch hours). There were plenty of open tables at this point so we grabbed a booth and browsed the menu. Since he had been there before, he suggested a few items and we opted for sharing multiple plates instead of ordering our own individual entrees.
Note: I warned him before we dug in about all of the picture-taking about to go down...
The first thing he recommended was their "Beets Me" juice. It's a blend of beets, carrots, apple, and ginger. The color is fantastic!
This was my first time drinking any kind of juice with beets in it so I wasn't sure what to expect. He assured me before I ordered it that it did not taste like grass (like other juices I've tasted before)! It was actually quite tasty! Since it contained apples, it was sweeter than I expected. It was served at room temp and I probably would have enjoyed it even more if it was blended with ice and a tad cooler...but still a good drink overall!
Next, he suggested I try their curried carrot soup. It contained carrot juice, orange juice, pine nuts and cashews, miso, ginger, garlic, lemon, spices, and crystal salt.
In contrast to the beet juice, I expected this to be warm...it was not. It obviously did not click with me that this is a raw restaurant and nothing is cooked/heated. After the cold shock wore off, this soup turned out to be delicious! It was probably my favorite part of the meal. Next time I go, I'll be ordering the large bowl of it instead of a cup.
After the soup, we went for the Nori Rolls. These were similar to little sushi rolls, filled with "mock tuna" pate, vegetables, and sprouts, served with tamari dipping sauce (you won't find any gluten-packed soy sauce here)! According to their menu, "mock tuna" is a mixture of almonds, sunflower seeds, celery, onion, kelp, lemon juice, herbs and spices. You can get your Nori Rolls filled with that or sliced avocado. I wanted to try something new and different so we opted for the "mock tuna" filling.
It was extremely pretty to look at it! This roll was very very crunchy (I'm guessing it's from the nuts in the "mock tuna") but I thoroughly enjoyed it. It reminded me of a veggie roll at a sushi place, so it was pretty normal tasting for me.
Next up were the entrees. We ordered the Pizza Rustica and the Taco Plate.
The Pizza Rustica is made on "a sprouted sunflower seed, hemp crust generously topped with seasoned almond nut cheese, zesty tomato sauce, marinated mushrooms, sweet peppers, crispy onions, olives, fresh tomato, basil, spices, and crystal salt, served with a petite Caesar salad." Keeping with the theme, this pizza was uncooked. It was a cold pizza with a soft crust (not crispy like most thin crust pizzas, but I'm sure that's because there is no flour in it). Even though it didn't taste like a traditional pizza and had quite a different texture to it, it was very flavorful and I ate most of it ("Oh, you wanted to share Uncle Al?").
The Taco Plate included "three crispy corn taco shells filled with a veggie ground meat, topped with shredded lettuce, salsa and drizzled with cashew nacho cheeze, served with "sunflower beanz" and a choice of side salad." We went with the Cabbage Kraut side salad. Once again, these tacos were cold as well, but I didn't mind it. My favorite part of this dish was the cashew nacho cheeze. It reminded me a little bit of thousand island dressing. And the taco shells themselves were extra thin and crispy. They were a little messy and hard to keep together while eating, but most crunchy tacos are like that!
Surprisingly, they offer cooking classes at the restaurant every so often. I'd love to learn how to "cook" vegan and explore these other options, but the classes can be a tad pricey...just like their food. For all of the above, our bill was about $50 (before tip).
Overall, I loved our visit to Beets Cafe and I most definitely want to return to try out other dishes on their menu. They have an ELT (their version of a BLT) but it's made with crispy eggplant instead of bacon and served on an almond sunflower flatbread. Their smoothies and desserts also sound very appealing to me! Vegan Chocolate Mousse...sign me up.