Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A Plant Perfect Surprise in State College, Pennsylvania--Aardvark Kafe

I'm choosing to start this story with a food photo. 

Such good, good food.

The kind of food that should be available in every restaurant in America, if not the world.

A house made black bean burger with crunchy veggies, raw onion, house made hummus and BBQ sauce all tucked into a whole wheat wrap. A side salad with a house made NO OIL dressing.

Are you falling out of your chair yet?

Meet Brandon, a chef in a small pizzeria in State College, PA. Not the kind of place that you would expect to be the first Plant-strong restaurant in America, at least that I know of, but it is.

See how this guy kind of has a halo around his head? Well, that means he's some kind of angel, at least in my book.

What exactly was I doing in State College, PA? 

Getting my parents the heck out of New Jersey after Sandy blew in and blew out their power. What a crazy disaster! And still no sign of power at their abode, so this past weekend my brothers and I concocted a plan to get them to the relative warmth and safety of my house in Ohio. My sister-in-law Ruth, an avid reader of HGK, waited for four hours on two separate gas lines just to get the fuel to get my parents out of  The Garden State. I was actually hyperventilating as she was texting me what was going down as she was waiting for gas. We literally didn't know if they were going to be able to make it out of there.

But make it out of there they did, so my husband and I and two of my kids drove east to the half way point between my parents house and mine: State College, PA, home of Penn State.

Let's just say that the food that I was going to consume last weekend did not make it high up on my priority list. I just wanted my parents outta there.

By the time we got to State College it was late, and dark and I wasn't feeling particularly ambitious. I was happy to find "a pizza and salad place in college town" just like my brother suggested. I'm a fan of an app called "Trip Advisor" and I decided to use it that night to make life a little easier. I can't exactly remember what happened next, but all of a sudden I was like, "Hey, there's a Vegan restaurant in this town, and they also serve . . . pizza!"

But not just your standard "Vegan" restaurant, mind you, because that would not have been fantastic enough (joking!). Aardvark Kafe had a "plant perfect" menu.

Evidence of God?

I think so.

The dinner was perfect. I'd eat this wrap a few times a week if this restaurant were in my town. And the dessert was something so easy, so perfect in it's simplicity, that I must share it with you. Apple slices drizzled with a blend of balsamic vinegar and high quality (think Vietnamese from Penzy's) cinnamon, served with more of the mix on the side.

A perfect ending to a perfect meal.

Thanks Brandon!

Aardvark Kafe
906 W. College Avenue
State College, PA 16801

So what's going on in your town? Any Plant-strong or Plant-perfect (Vegan with no-oil) restaurants or menus or even menu items cropping up? If so, please list them here in the comments section.

And to everyone still suffering from the aftereffects of Hurricane Sandy, know that I am thinking about you and hoping that your lives return to normal very, very soon!
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