3.2 / 2 votes

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Cafe/coffee shop with American foods and a few labeled vegan options

Restaurant, Coffee/Tea/Juice

Offers a tempeh sandwich, tofu scramble and more. Also sells vegan gelato/sorbet.

Added by conde.kedar on Mar 3 10 (last updated Feb 19 12)

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UPDATE: This is one of few, vegan-friendly coffee shops with outdoor seating in New Haven. It's a good place to get a cup of tea and lounge around; food-wise, it's not that great, but it does have a couple unusual offerings.

They usually have at least two or three vegan baked goods. While my vegan walnut chocolate chip cookie ($2.50) was decent (it could have been a little softer and chewier), I have had nice small cupcakes (~$2 a piece); that said, most of the baked goods seem a little dried out, a little too crispy, or a little too gooey (for example, their chocolate brownie bars). For sheer quantity of vegan baked goods, Cafe Romeo is on par with Claire's Corner Copia, but falls short of Edge of the Woods. Romeo also usually has one or two vegan sorbet and gelato offerings, which is cool.

Food-wise things are mixed at best. My tofu scramble ($3 + $3 for added vegetables) was horribly bland and basic. It consisted of uncooked tofu, doused in some olive oil, with some spinach, mushrooms and roasted red peppers added by my request (for an extra charge). It was so bland that I couldn't even bring myself to finish it.

Cafe Romeo, you can't make tofu scramble like this. Proper tofu scramble will use garlic, turmeric (for coloring), chili and maybe even some garam masala. Or you could do a tamari soy sauce scramble. Look up some recipes (there are hundreds, if not thousands, on the web). Otherwise, it'll look like you put absolutely no effort into making your vegan dishes.

The tempeh foccacia ($7) shows some signs of creativity, such as using green apple slices along with other sandwich vegetables, but the bread was too heavy, the tempeh needed to be marinated in some kind of sauce, and the sandwich just felt overly dry. In general, it needed more sauce; a pesto mix with tomatoes could have added sufficient moisture, or even a portabella in a soy marinade could have helped.

Lastly, Cafe Romeo is, as of this writing, the only place in New Haven that makes pizzas with vegan cheese. I got a large with three toppings (only $10 for November's special rate) and it was pretty decent. The crust was overly thick at the outer edges, and overly crisped, though. In general, you don't find the same quality control at Cafe Romeo as you would at Frank Pepe's or even Brick Oven. Romeo uses Follow Your Heart (I think) and they would definitely improve by upgrading to Daiya.

Cafe Romeo could stand to benefit if it added vegan breakfast sandwiches. Maybe some seasoned tofu, fakin bacon or veggie sausage on a toasted bagel? How about Daiya vegan cheese or some nut cheeses? This would make for a great, unusual product, and would also comprise an entire meal, for around $5 (if you're pricing things properly).

The service is consistently unfriendly and borderline curt. I don't know what's up with that.

As it stands, I'd come to Cafe Romeo just to chill and drink some tea, and maybe get a vegan baked good. I'd be reluctant to order their food again, however.


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The tofu scramble I ordered was horrible! Bowl of uncooked tofu with olive oil and the excess tofu water. My sister and I were disgusted.

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Non-Smoking

Wheelchair Accessible

Prices

$$ - average

Payment

  • MasterCard Visa

Cuisines

  • American

Features

  • Brunch
  • Large Group-Friendly
  • Outdoor Seating
  • Wi-Fi

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Hours

7am - 9pm

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