The Independent

Twin Cities, Minnesota


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The regular menu is great, but you should try the brunch buffet! Awesome.

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I enjoyed the mock-pork sliders for happy hour. Good size portion, fairly tasty overall, and the waiter was very helpful and friendly in trying to make sure it was vegan-friendly. The hummus plate was just "alright" at best, you need to take off the sundried-tomato/feta cheese spred (they dont have a vegan option for it). I had them put it on the side for my non-vegan wife who enjoyed it as she loves feta, but the hummus plate is way over-priced for what you get at $9. Go for the happy hour options. Interesting atmosphere, I sat on the patio balcony.

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I saw an ad recently that the Independent had a new menu "with expanded vegetarian and vegan offerings". We went there the other night, and were kind of disappointed. While the waitress (who was very friendly and helpful) knew what could be veganized, nothing was labeled as such, and the options weren't that great. We ended up getting the hummus (without the sundried tomato & feta), which was really great, and the vegetable stir fry with mock duck added. This was AWFUL. It was like they just put noodles & veggies together and coated them in soy sauce. The mock duck was practically straight out of the can - no seasoning, nothing. And it was $13 or something. We hardly touched it. I'd go back for appetizers (the hummus), but that's about it.

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We had heard many good things about their drink menu and happy hour specials, but were wary of the food choices. Only one item on the menu is listed as "vegetarian", but after asking a few of the usual "Does this pasta contain egg?" and "Does the curry sauce have shrimp paste or fish sauce?" questions, our very helpful and friendly waitress (who was running back and forth to the kitchen to find the answers) told us that the chef was willing and able to adapt whatever she could to be either vegan or vegetarian.

Obviously quite a few things on the menu were, by their nature, un-vegifiable, but it was a good sign that she knew the nature of our questions and made the leap on her own.

Well as it turned out, the drinks were fabulous (although at expected Uptown prices), and the mock duck curry was quite good. Not the best in town, but generously portioned, with a colorful assortment of perfectly cooked bell peppers and onions.

It won't become my first choice for veg food in Minneapolis, but it's nice to have another option in Uptown. That option being open almost as late as Little T's doesn't hurt either.

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