Sunday, February 26, 2012

Hearty Vegan Fare at Cafe Indigo….Concord, NH

Cafe Indigo
128H Hall Street, Concord, NH

Oh, how I wish Café Indigo was closer to Portland, Maine because I would go, probably too much for my own good. Sarah, my best friend from Providence College, and I decided that it had been way too long since we had seen each other. So we met in Concord at Cafe Indigo and stayed for 2 1/2 hours catching up on life!

It was a windy day yesterday driving through New Hampshire and the sky was like a floating painting. The clouds were picturesque above the tree line.

These are the picturesque clouds:

MY Experience
Rating: 5 of 5
The atmosphere is pretty quiet with soft music in the dining area. It's not your typical cafe. It's a bakery, lunch shop in a commercial building with the food prep area in the back. When you first walk in there is a freezer with vegan dinners and veggie patties, etc. There’s also a fridge and a bakery counter to buy goods and order food.

The specials are listed on a small chalk-board by the counter where you place your order and then seat yourself, much like Local Sprouts. There’s a plethora of tables for parties of two, but also a few larger tables to accommodate bigger parties. They have colorful artwork on the walls that make it a warmer feel.
Both of the times I've stopped at Cafe Indigo the staff has been extremely helpful. There is a younger woman that works the counter who is sparky and attentive. 
My Food
Rating: 4.6 out of 5
So the greatest thing about Café Indigo is a vegan diner can eat virtually everything on the menu.

There aren’t appetizers listed on the menu, but I’m sure if you wanted something first you could ask. I actually like the fact that there aren’t appetizers because my meal was filling and Cafe Indigo is a place where you need to get dessert.

Sarah ordered the Homade Veggie Burger and thought it was delicious. I was persuaded to go for The Rachel, their vegan ruben, and I’m happy I did. I will say that the veggie burger had a more organic, earthy taste to it comparative to The Rachel. It tasted like something you would want during the summer right off the grill. It was comprised of rice and black beans, along with other veggies.

The Rachel was also delicious and consisted of a seitan patty, which made it a pretty hearty sandwich. Seitan = lots of protein. The coleslaw and special sauce were also very tasty. Both dishes were served with blue tortilla chips.

When I go back I will probably try the ToFishy or Falafel Burger. (We are going to Burlington in May so I will be back soon!!)

I think this is the category where they get major points.

Since Café Indigo is most known for their Carrot Cake, and it’s sold at the Portland Whole Foods, I decided to try their other baked good options. I purchased two cookie bars, one chocolate chip and one oatmeal raisin. Much to my surprise I found the chocolate chip fabulously sweet, a bit too sweet. Don’t worry, I still ate it. Sarah loved her chocolate chip cookie bar as well. The oatmeal raisin cookie bar was basically like I had died and gone to heaven. It was so good.

Last year when Joe and I were traveling to Burlington, we planned a detour to Café Indigo. We picked up a classic Whoopie Pie, which I also highly recommend. They also have, cupcakes, regular cakes, carrot cake and more!

Sarah and I both had water. There was the option for organic soda, but we skipped it for the H2O.

Cookie bars.

Carrot Cake at Whole Foods

Below is the most updated menu on their site. They also have a brunch menu listed, but for some reason my computer couldn't download the image. 
Art credit: Cafe Indigo

MY Logistics
Rating: 4.6 of 5
Ranking this category is actually kind of funny because I actually drove two hours from Portland, Maine. Sarah was driving up from Massachusetts and had about an hour to drive.

I’m giving this category a 4.6 because unless you know exactly where the location is, it’s a bit hard to find. Once you know where it is it’s as easy as Vegan Pie. It's actually pretty  close to the highway exit from I-93.

The café is located in a commercial park. Use your GPS to find the address and once you enter the parking lot take an immediate left. Follow the road until you see the Café Indigo sign on your right. Once you’re in front of the cafe there is more than enough parking. 

For one veggie burger with chips, one vegan Rueben with chips, 3 cookie bars and one pumpkin whoopie pie the bill came to about $25.00. There is a tip jar by the counter which you will want to include in the total price because of the extra effort the staff puts in. 

Rating: 4.73 of 5

think the vegan dessert is the best thing about Cafe Indigo. That being said, I haven't gone enough times to really find my "favorite" food. It's a Cafe, so you're not going to find elaborate vegan dishes, just hearty fresh fare.  For me, it's the perfect place to stop or order from on the way to something else. If you're around Concord, you're lucky, because it would be a good place to find cheap food when you're too lazy to cook. Stop by Cafe Indigo if you get a chance and make sure you look for their sweets at Whole Foods!

AND as a bonus, Sarah gave me this purse from bungalow 360. I thought it was adorable. 


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Photo Files: A Classic Vegan Valentine

Vegan Heart Chocolates from Rose City Chocolatier - I definitely was  not expecting these. They're dark chocolate made with beet sugar. Delicious! It looks like they have Corporate Gifts on their site too! So far my favorite one is the Coconut Chocolate right below the red heart shaped piece above. 
Joe and I wen to Figa for dinner. It was a great night out and a place we had wanted to try for a while. The atmosphere has a small neighborhood type feel. He ordered the fish and I got the Black Bean Cakes with Tomatillo Salsa Verde. The sauce was pretty amazing. The menu is meat oriented, however, they seem to be accommodating to veg and gluten free diets. Prices are normal for Portland, Maine and can be a bit on the expensive side. They also have homemade sorbet on the menu but I saved it until next time so I could enjoy a piece of my vegan chocolate heart. 


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Vegans are Everywhere

Sometimes it gets lonely in the vegan world when you are the only person that chooses not consume or use anything animal in your family, business team and/or social circle. I even forgot how comforting it is to have someone share in my veggie opinions every now and again.  I’m not complaining. I know that the choice to surround myself with carnivores is my choice alone.

Yesterday, while I was having my blood drawn as part of annual check-up, a younger-looking nurse commended me on being vegan. She stated, “I wish I could be vegan. But I really just love dairy.” Then she started listing all of the diseases that I decrease the risk of acquiring because I follow a vegan diet.

It was really flattering, especially for me – a person that doesn’t push, but truly believes in the ideals of veganism. Thank you for not rolling your eyes or pronouncing that my lifestyle is anything less than healthy.

On another note of loneliness, I receive the Wall Street Journal every morning at work. Today as I was browsing through the paper pages I noticed an article titled, The Delivery Guy Who Saw Lin Coming. I’m not a basketball fan, but I will be attending a Big East game this weekend thought the article looked interesting. The article states that Ed Weiland, the 51-year-old FedEx delivery guy who lives in Oregon, “Saw Lin Coming” after the stars time at Harvard.

Silly me, vegans are everywhere. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

My Paper Heart & Weekend Catch Up

Yesterday I celebrated a makeshift Valentine’s Day. It was makeshift because to avoid the couples out to dinner in Portland, I will actually be celebrating Valentine's Day on Thursday. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Portland's food scene – it happens to be a food mecca and restaurants are packed most of the time. Check out the Food Map

The postponement of my cupid day holiday did not go over well with the ladies in the office. I showed up to work in a full black outfit and was immediately attacked with a pink heart and matching paperclip to be worn the remainder of the day. Practically a feelgood scarlet letter. (See photo below).

My Paper Heart - Go Team.

I’m hoping for easy sailing to a table set for two on Thursday. Missing the Valentine’s crowd and beating the Friday night rush. Whichever way you celebrated Valentine’s Day, I hope if was lovely and full of, well, love.

So, clearly I haven’t blogged in a while. Why? I don’t have a good excuse. The best thing I can conclude is that I was in PJ’s for 90% of the weekend watching this show. I can’t even mention the name because it’s so addicting. I want to watch it right now and I can’t because I have to blog and do other important things! Ugh. I’ll give you a hint. There are maids, butlers and a family with three young girls that all have English accents. Thank you, PBS. Thank you.

The other exciting thing I did this weekend was my taxes. Just kidding. Was book a trip to Vegas. Oh Vegas, a place I never actually thought I would go. A place I never really wanted to go except to check something off my bucket list. Which is exactly what I’m doing. I thought Yosemite or Key West or Austin and landed on…Vegas.

Hello sunshine and pool bar and fun sparkly dresses.

A little Google search will tell you that the owner of Wynn hotels is a VEGAN. Or is according to most of the articles via the web. All of the restaurants in his hotel offer a vegan option, which I am super excited about. There was a brief moment after booking the flight that I was seriously considering which granola bars I would be packing each day for this trip. Now thanks to Steve Wynn and Tal Ronnen I have found myself in a Wynn-Win situation.

More to report on Vegas as it gets closer.

The last thing I will share with you tonight is general applause for Starbucks. I would like to thank Starbucks for finally bringing The Two Mom’s in the Raw Bars up to good packaging standards in their stores. I had given up on these bars for about year due to the air in the packaging - which made the bars stale. 

This morning as I ordered ice coffee, I reached down and randomly grabbed the bar hoping it would be edible. To my surprise it was actually soft! It may be a fluke, but I really hope it’s not. The bars are Vegan and one of the only bars I like not made with dates. But seriously, what’s with all the darn dates in vegan bars?

Dates make my mouth swollen and I feel like semi-crying every time I eat a bar that has it as the main ingredient. It’s unfortunate because I enjoy the taste of Larabars. All of the Larabars have dates. Boo to dates.

That is all for now. Have a wonderful evening!