Luna Azul

Brattleboro, Vermont

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Luna Azul is a hidden gem in the heart of downtown Brattleboro. I must have walked past it a dozen times without noticing it. The storefront is fairly small and unassuming. The inside of the restaurant is a mix of modern and whimsical, a refreshing departure from the sombreros and morracas that dot the walls on many a Mexican restaurant.

The menu at Luna Azul is also refreshingly different from most Mexican restaurants in the US. My appetizer was a plate of plantain chips, served with fruit guacamole. The plantain chips were crisp and perfectly salted. The fruit guacamole had the same basic structure as ordinary guacamole (whipped avocados), but the addition of fruit chunks gave it a subtle level of sweetness.

For my entree, I sampled the Quesadilla Luna Azul and the Tinga Pueblana. These dishes were made vegan by substituting Daiya for dairy cheese and seitan for meat. Both dishes were outstanding. The Daiya melted nicely in my quesadilla, and the faux meats were seasoned perfectly. I topped off my meal with a wonderfully refreshing watermelon martini, which was made with fresh watermelon purée, muddled mint leaves and gin.

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