Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Delicious Destination: Candle Cafe - Upper West Side

Saturday afternoon I finally tried Candle Cafe on the Upper West Side. It was wonderful! The Cafe is a vegetarian/vegan restaurant that serves only plant-based, organic foods. According to its website, Candle Cafe also tries to source ingredients locally whenever possible. The restaurant also has a full-service bar with all sorts of organic wines and cocktails that would make for a great date night or girls night out.

Both my friend and I were looking for a nice brunch so we could talk about her job options, and this was the perfect place. Healthy, delicious dishes in a very classy but understated atmosphere. We splurged a bit and shared an appetizer and dessert, on top of our entrees and iced coffees.

To start, we had the heirloom tomato avocado tartare with lime dressing and wonton chips.

If you're a tomato or avocado lover (oh hey, I'm both), then you'd love this dish. The tomatoes were nice and firm, providing a great textural contrast to the silky smooth pieces of avocado. The dressing made it a light appetizer with a healthy dose of good fats. Both of us loved this!

My friend got the avocado quinoa salad with quinoa, corn, cucumbers, avocado, and pumpkin seeds served with mixed greens and a chipotle dressing.

I didn't taste it, but she raved about it. And she's not even vegan or vegetarian!

I got a special, the vegan huevos rancheros, which was comprised of a tofu scramble with tomatoes and onions on top of corn tortillas with guacamole, salsa, and vegan sour cream.

This dish was so, so good. It was exactly what I want in a brunch dish: filling and slightly indulgent without being an insane calorie bomb. I need to figure out how to make a tofu scramble so I can replicate this at home. I could see myself eating this any time of day!

Like I said, we splurged a bit! We shared the seasonal fruit crumb pie a la mode, which was strawberries and peaches with vegan vanilla ice cream.

I don't normally eat pie, despite loving it, simply because it's SO buttery normally that it leaves me feeling gross and greasy. This pie was perfect! It wasn't too heavy, and you could taste the nuts and oats that made up the crumb part of it. The fruit wasn't drenched in syrup so its natural flavors really stood out.

I'll be back!
I will be dragging my boyfriend to the cafe soon since it's close to my apartment and the food is amazing. He's always skeptical of vegan/vegetarian restaurants, but once he tries it he becomes a fan (this happened with Peacefood Cafe in the West 80s after he tasted their phenomenal chickpea fries!).

Although I'm not vegan (I'm a pescetarian who avoids most dairy products; yes, I know, I'm difficult), I love vegan or vegetarian restaurants that focus on creating healthy and delicious dishes with fresh, local produce. I try to eat a plant-based diet, so I am always excited when I find a great restaurant that fits that.

Mason says: "can I go next time?"

No comments: