Birchwood fits in the mold of Common Roots, another eco-friendly, local, sustainable cafe. This means rotating menus based on what's available from some farm in Wisconsin, composting all its waste, and offering various sorts of grass-fed animals on the menu, sadly (feeding livestock grass, while better than other alternatives, is still not sustainable).
Anyway, I found the food here to be mixed, on a whole. The black lentil soup was too watery and plain for my tastes, and its accompanying side bread was also too chewy (and, at $3.50, it was extremely expensive for the portion size). But the vegan burrito with tofu and local vegetables was delicious and extremely colorful (however, slightly pricey at $10). The thing that made it stand out was the sweet potato puree with chili, which acted like a cheesy-spicy salsa to add zing to the vegetables. Finally, the Mexican hot chocolate with soy was decent, but not properly mixed and not sweet enough for my tastes ($3.50).
Like Common Roots, there was only one vegan entree available, which is a shame, considering the place has an emphasis on local and sustainable food; unlike Common Roots, there were NO vegan desserts or baked goods, which was a major downer.
Prices are on the higher side. The service was friendly, but mostly do-it-yourself, which entails carrying hot liquids and soups to your own table in a crowded environment. Servers only bring out the main courses.
The place seems to get extremely packed on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., mostly by the brunch crowd of hung-over college students and uber-sober senior citizens. Strange bedfellows a brunch does attract. Get there early if you want an indoor table; I was able to eat outside only because it was fairly warm, if overcast and gloomy.
On a whole, if this place had more vegan food options, and slightly lower prices, it would be a wonderful, quaint, cozy neighborhood cafe. As it stands, it falls short of its full vegan potential.