Restaurant Review: The Green Owl Cafe

Friday, April 30, 2010

So being fairly new to Madison, I have discovered that this city has a great love for good food and eclectic restaurants. Even before I went vegan, Julian and my favorite restaurants in Los Angeles were all vegan places, and there was literally one on every corner of that city! Now, there are restaurants on every corner (I read somewhere that Madison has the largest restaurant:people ratio in the country!), but not very many strictly vegan/vegetarian ones. In fact, the only one we have come across thus far is called The Green Owl. That’s not to say that it’s the only place in town I can get a good vegan meal, because there are TONS of places that I have had amazing dishes at, but this place is unique in the city for being the only meat-free zone in Madison! I discovered this place as I was looking through Yelp for any vegan bakeries or restaurants, just to scope out my options here. The place had amazing reviews, was apparently very new (only opened a month before we moved here!), and the menu looked amazing. It also looked like someplace that a meat-eater could go and be perfectly satisfied as well. So, on a bitter cold Friday night, we ventured in to this adorable little nook in the heart of town.

I must say, I was pleasantly surprised when we walked in. There was not an empty table in the place, and it smelled delicious!! Clearly, business was good! And the only way a restaurant has good business is if the food is good! We waited about 15 minutes for a table (we could have sat at the bar, but it was right next to the door, and it had just begun to snow, so it didn’t seem like the best idea!) and were greeted by the sweetest server! She fully explained everything on the menu, and we both ordered a beer and started with their Mediterranean Platter, which was a gigantic platter of warm soft pita, vegetables, and four different dips ranging from hummus to muhumarra. Every single bite was incredible! Then, our main courses came out. We decided to just get sandwiches, because we wanted to save room for dessert. I got an “Italian Beef” Sandwich, and Julian got the “Crab cake” po’ boy. We tried a little off of each others, and both of our plates were cleaned off pretty quickly! Julian loved his crab cakes made of tofu (even though he insists he hates the stuff…hahaha), and my seitan beef with delicious pickled veggies was definitely something to write home about. Well, it came time for dessert. Of course, we had to try the nightly special, which was a vegan grasshopper cheesecake, complete with whipped ‘cream’ topping and all! With every bite, I melted a little more into my seat as the smooth creamy cheesecake literally melted away in my mouth with just the perfect amount of minty-ness.

Amazing food, amazing service, great atmosphere, what’s not to love about this place?!?! I’m writing because I am hoping that maybe at least a few people from Madison will read this (I’m sure all my followers are not from Wisconsin), and that they will have an opportunity to experience this absolutely amazing restaurant. Please support this local gem, let’s hope it lasts. This city needs amazing and unique food that the Green Owl brings!! Check it Out!!!!

Delicious-looking Empanadas:

Mouth-watering Gyros:

Vegan Lava Cake I'd do illegal things for:

Vegan Marshmallow Mud Pie...yum!:

All photos used are from the Green Owl Facebook Fan Page


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