Reviews written by Sara Andrews

I'm vegan
Registered on Aug 8 10
 

Alchemy in Madison, Wisconsin
Aug 8 10

rating star

This is a really great place for a late night snack and a good beverage. I like the decor/atmosphere and it's a nice place to go with a date or a small group of friends. They are definitely more vegetarian friendly than vegan, but they do have a few really delicious vegan items. I had the wasabi green beans and the sweet potato fries (without the dairy containing dip). They also have some more items for the less strict, my boyfriend had a simple grilled cheese sandwich and garlic mashed potatoes which he very much enjoyed, and I believe they had a few other things that fall under the vegetarian category.

Oh, this place is cash only but they have a fee free ATM which is highly unusual for any bar and their food prices were super reasonable!

Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream in Madison, Wisconsin
Aug 8 10

rating star

Although this place is obviously very diary heavy they still throw a carrot to us vegans (and/or lactose intolerant people). I've tried 3 or 4 of the vegan options here now and they all have been very good. They let you mix the flavors if you want more of a variety and every time I've checked there have been at least 5 dairy free choices.

The Dandelion Food Cart in Madison, Wisconsin
Aug 8 10

rating star

I've managed to get over to this elusive "white whale" of a vegetarian restaurant a number of times and have always been very pleased with the outcome. There's plenty of lovely people watching and such to be done while sitting outside near the capital, so really inclement weather might be the only issue if your place of business isn't nearby.

One of the other reviewers is correct though that it is hard to hit this place at the right time. It's a rare treat when I can check to see if it's there at the right time. I wish they were closer to campus but understand they probably have a good market where they tend to locate now.

The last time I went there I got a barbecue (vegan) sandwich with a sweet potato side and it really made my day. They also have natural sodas (Blue Sky I believe).

Definitely worth seeking out if you are downtown!

The Green Owl Cafe in Madison, Wisconsin
Aug 8 10

rating star

I really really love the green owl. We are regulars there and probably go 3-4 times a month. The staff is always really friendly and the service is timely even when they are very busy. I haven't loved everything I've tried there, but I haven't disliked anything. My least favorite (vegan) item is the vegan schnitzel, but I adore the crabby cake po boy and am always really impressed with the vegan desert selection (I haven't had the same experience as one of the other reviewers, they have almost always had 1-3 vegan options for desert - but we tend to go mon-thurs, or lunch so it might be they are just running out). I've tried many of the specials and have liked them all.

It's also really a great place to take non-vegs because the food is relatively familiar. This may be a down side with some vegs because many of their selections are at least described as "meat-alikes" or substitutes. This is really just a marketing disagreement so please don't let it stop you from trying the dishes. They also have daiya cheese, which so far to me is the only tolerable vegan cheese option.

They just expanded the menu and I've very happy with the changes they made.

Monty's Blue Plate Diner in Madison, Wisconsin
Aug 8 10

rating star

I really liked this place a lot before I went completely vegan, their vegetarian options are really fabulous, the absolute top option being the meatless loaf of the gods. While they have many vegetarian choices their vegan options are pretty slim. I lucked out the other day and their special was able to be made vegan (a fabulous mixed greens, corn, beat, avocado salad with lemon vinaigrette) - the vegetarian version includes feta cheese. For vegetarians they also have a variety of breakfast egg options (my former favorite being the zucchini pancakes).

Their vegan french toast was a real disappointment and insanely priced for basically what turned out to be two pieces of bread. This is an odd thing as everything else on their menu is appropriately priced for what it is. They have also been out of soy ice cream the last few times I've been there (um demand exceeding supply which is good and bad). If you are there on the right day they will make a vegan shake which is awesome.

I generally get the vegan shoplifters sandwich which is a very yummy tempeh sandwich that inspired me to make a similar dish at home (strangely, sans tempeh - my version is just portebello mushrooms, onions, and avocado on good french rolls). If I'm not in the mood for this dish though I generally don't go.

For people who are with a mixed group (veg and others) this is a good place that will make everyone happy.

Mother Fool's Coffee House in Madison, Wisconsin
Aug 8 10

rating star

I really love Mother Fools. They have a great variety of teas (my stomach and coffee don't mix) and vegan baked goods (from East Side Ovens in Milwaukee). If you are a coffee drinker the soy milk is no extra cost. I wouldn't really count on going here for a meal (they do usually have an excellent soup option (created by the owner of the Green Owl) - always vegan), but great for breakfast or a late night snack. I really do like the atmosphere and their ever changing art displays. They also periodically have live music and other events and I've heard some fabulous music there. If you are not in the mood for music in the evening you may want to check their website in advance to see whats happening there.

Sunroom Cafe in Madison, Wisconsin
Aug 8 10

rating star

This is a really nice place for a mixed group (of vegs and non) and is very easily walkable from campus. They have lots of vegetarian options and maybe 3-4 vegan options on the menu all the time which some vegan/veg specials rotating in and out. My formerly favorite (I am now vegan) veg sandwich was a tomato, mozzarella, basil. For vegans they have a good hummus plate, tofu scrambler, soup, they always have vegan chili. Nice beverage selections. I've never seen any vegan desert options or baked goods, which is a slight bit disappointing. To their credit their food has a good homemade feel, very fresh ingredients.

Do not try to come here on Saturday morning unless you are willing to wait. They are a super popular brunch location.

Beans & Barley in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Aug 8 10

rating star

I have been going to Beans and Barley for a very long time and their service and food has always been consistently good. I no longer live in Milwaukee but almost always try to stop there when I'm in town. As several others have mentioned their tofu scrambler is the best I've had anywhere (I did buy the cookbook with the recipe and have made it at home as well, I highly recommend seeking that out). In fact it pretty much spoiled tofu scrambler any other place I go because I always compare it to B&B and it always falls flat. This was the first place I ever had tempeh and I really enjoy their tempeh, tomato, and lettuce sandwich (available with vegan mayo).

They also make fresh squeezed veg juices and I'm a huge fan of carrot/celery/ginger. It's pricey but its worth it to not have to clean your juicer.

The one criticism I would agree with is that their menu has barely changed at all since I started going there 10 years ago. As busy as it is in there more of the time you can't really blame them for keeping what works.

As a grocery it used to be more unusual and really for that area (by foot) its still decent, but the prices tend to be a bit on the high side for the convenience of not having to driving/busing/biking to one of the co-ops. Fortunately some of the items there are becoming more mainstream and can be found in many major chains. They do have some unique gift items there though and a great selection of greeting cards (not walgreens variety).

Cafe Manna in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Aug 8 10

rating star

This place is very close to my parents house which makes it an easy choice. The food here is excellent and the presentation is always stellar. Their menu is very well labeled and the staff is knowledgeable about the ingredients. The staff on the whole has been above average especially when it comes to actually knowing whats in the food. They have a nice balance of vegan and vegetarian items. I am vegan and have always felt like I had plenty of options.

This place is not inexpensive, it's not over the top either but I tend to reserve it for more special occasions. Most entrees run between 10-15 with specials tending a bit higher. This is a lot for vegetarian food but it's clear they put effort into their ingredients and prep so it's not unreasonable. My meat-eating brother has eaten here many times with us and hardly complains at all. ;)-