The sure-fire sign of a good meal is an empty plate and a couple of resting forks. This was one such meal.
Cafe Blossom, a vegan cafe and eatery nestled between on Columbus Avenue near 82nd Street, is a stylishly casual neighborhood restaurant. Dim lighting, deep mahogany tables, large windows, and pleasant acoustics, a perfect set-up for a quiet weeknight unwind.
Chris and I began the meal with a cup of the soup du jour, a warm tomato fennel soup garnished with a dollop or vegan sour cream. The soup was velvety and rich with licorice-like notes that counterbalanced the sweetness of the tomato base.
Chris ordered the soy bacon cheeseburger-caramelized onions, tapioca cheddar, soy bacon, grilled mushrooms, lettuce, tomato, chipotle aioli, on a sesame bun- which we both agreed was about as good as any faux cheeseburger we’ve ever had. The grilled mushrooms offered a nice char taste to the somewhat soft soy patty. The crispness of the bacon also added in another textural layer. This coupled with the spicy aioli and the tapioca cheddar was quite a competition of flavors. Luckily the sesame seed bun was dense enough to hold this massive burger together and unite all that was going on into one dish. The accompanying sweet potato fries were spot-on; slightly dark, very well seasoned, and addictive. We left none behind.
I chose the quinoa salad as I just recently discovered the nutty goodness that is quinoa (I know I’m late here!). This surprisingly hearty dish, a mix of black beans, quinoa, roasted sweet corn, diced peppers, watercress, toasted pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, mango guacamole, and poblano dressing, offered an array of textures and flavors for a curious palette such as mine. I especially enjoyed the ample scoop of fresh guacamole, slightly fruity thanks to the mango, and the salty element of the sunflower seeds. The best part of my choice was that it left me with enough room for dessert. I love meals that satisfy without over-stuffing….
Because this carrot cake happened. Chris took charge and placed an order for Blossom’s house made vegan cake and we are thankful. This cake was dense, moist, and remarkable spicy, rich in cinnamon and nutmeg. The icing was creamy, and sweet, with the usual cream cheese tang. I have no idea how Blossom so masterfully recreated cream cheese frosting sans its namesake but they did. The spice of the cake and the sweetness of the icing were a very happy marriage and they sit ever so nicely in my sated stomach.
Happy Tuesday Night.