Getting Creative with Plants
Omnivores and vegetarians alike raved about the "TLT" and Reuben sandwiches, both created around marinated and baked slabs of the vegetable protein tempeh; house-made rye bread that's almost garlic toast delectable helped a lot. You won't miss any animal-sourced fat in the dainty baguette, which holds up surprisingly well in a Vietnamese-style pickled veggie sandwich with garlicked tofu. Vegan baked goods are a big selling point here--it's impressive how many varieties of savories and sweets fill the display case. A few standouts include super-sweet cherry almond cookies and an iced peppermint doughnut with minuscule flecks of real mint leaves baked in for flavor that's authentic but not overpowering. Note of caution: vegan shortening can harden cookies to the point you may want to dip them in your coffee, chai, or cocoa (with coconut or almond milk as the "cream").
We all agreed that only vegans are likely to love the Lunch Room's mac and cheese, because they're not as accustomed to the creamy rich cheese version as the rest of us are. It looks almost right (if a little dry), because butternut squash in the sauce summons up an almost Velveeta orange. Yet even if you could divorce yourself from cheesy expectations, the taste is a bit sour and odd.