Thursday, April 26, 2012

Vegan Columbia: Lamb's Bread Cafe and Good Life Cafe

For my birthday we hit the two Vegan restaurants in the greater Columbia area.  For dinner, we went to Lamb's Bread Vegan cafe:

They've got a strong cosmic-African-love vibe outside:

And inside as well.  It's a low-key setup where the menu is Soul Food oriented and offers different proteins (e.g., vegan versions of beef tips, rib, chicken nuggets) and sides (e.g., cabbage, yams, broccoli) posted on a whiteboard as well as vegan versions of popular sandwiches (e.g., reuben, cheesesteak, BLT, chicken salad).  The night we went, it just one friendly man behind the counter.  We ordered there and he would prepare and bring out the food when it was ready. 

I'd love to know why Lamb's Bread is a vegan restaurant (most vegan restaurants profess their reasoning on their websites and menus, usually for health and/or ethical reasons).  The only explanation on the back of the menu was: "Lamb's Bread Vegan Cafe was established to assist the raising of human vibrations in preparation for the inevitable cosmic shift through a high frequency vegan cuisine." Unfortunately, it's still not clear to me why they choose to cook only vegan food (I'm kind of thinking health?), but in the end, I guess it doesn't matter.  I certainly appreciate that they're doing it.  Again, it's nice to eat at a restaurant, knowing I can eat anything on the menu.  The cafe also had this interesting huge altar in the middle of the place with a lot of African arts and sculptures:

For my dinner, I got the beef tips plate with collards, sweet potato souffle, and rutabaga with a pineapple & ginger lemonade, while Paul tried the Reuben:

I enjoyed my plate--really tasty, home-style food, and needless to say, I'd didn't miss the meat.  The pineapple & ginger lemonade was really bright and refreshing--I loved the pineapple and ginger.  And the Reuben was delicious as its own unique sandwich, though having eaten real Reubens before, this didn't quite taste like a Reuben--besides the salty tender pastrami, it was missing the sauerkraut and the flavor of thousand island dressing.  Hands down, best Reuben in my book is still from Native Foods.

Velina ordered the Philly Cheesesteak with red potato home fries:

She LOVED the red potato home fries and I agree, they were really good.  I don't normally get home fries, being a hash browns addict myself, but these were dynamite.  The Philly Cheesesteak was again, delicious as a unique sandwich on its own, but having eaten plenty of Philly Cheesesteaks as a kid, I wouldn't say anyone would mistake this vegan version for a real one.

Unfortunately, they were out of dessert.  So we headed to the only other vegan place in the greater Columbia area, Good Life Cafe.  Not only is this place, vegan, it is also all organic and raw.  Which means all ingredients are organic and that basically nothing is baked, cooked, or even heated above 115 degrees.  We arrived 20 minutes to closing but we grabbed two desserts to go.  One was the cinnamon roll:

I really enjoyed this--the flavor was awesome, really cinnamony.  Again if one is expecting a Cinnabon, they will not be fooled with this cinnamon roll.  But as its dessert, it was delicious.  The "roll" part was a firm, sticky "pastry" of various nuts, sweetener, and some kind of flour?  It kind of reminded me of the filling in baklava (another one of my favorite delicious desserts).

We also grabbed a mocha cheesecake:

Yum--the mocha flavor was really good. And frankly if it didn't get un-chilled in the car ride home, it might actually come close to fooling someone into thinking it was the real thing, like a lighter version of cheesecake.  The only downside to Good Life Cafe is the sticker shock--understandably as an organic and raw cafe, their ingredients and labor are going to be much, much more expensive than standard cafe fare.  But to me, as an occasional treat, it will be worth it.

Overall, I loved my birthday food fest!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. & I enjoyed the "cosmic lounge" tunes @ Lamb's Bread!

  3. uh... lamb's bread's mission statements reminds me of the instructions that come with electronics. written in taiwan, by taiwanese people. "do not use toaster in the event of remaining with the storm, beware the cause of electric shock."
    anyway, those desserts look... um, interesting. i won't say for real cuz it was your bday and you liked it :D

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.