Author Archives: bethyurich

About bethyurich

I love food.

Treehuggers Cafe by Beth Yurich

Intrigued by the name, I wanted to try this little restaurant in an unlikely area on Bagley Road. Be careful not to whiz on by, because it is tucked far back next to a fitness club, in a small strip mall. My friend and I went for lunch, but they are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and they serve breakfast all day. I am not used to having so much choice, let alone three veggie burgers to choose from. Treehuggers Café has a Black Cactus Black Bean Burger, which is black beans and black-eyed peas and on the spicy side. They also serve a Chick Pea Burger, that is ground chick-peas, with spices and fresh coconut ginger sauce. The waitress compared the flavor to hummus. I settled on a White Rhino Old Oat Tree Burger, which is ground oats, nuts and spices. It was served with a mango chutney and a side dish of carrots with a hummus dipping sauce. They usually have two sides to choose from, but they already sold out of the coleslaw, which is vegan! The burger was tasty with a nutty flavor, and with the mango chutney it was light and sweet tasting, although next time I am going to see if I can get whole grain bread. My burger was served on a home-baked bun but was white flour. The menu states that they make their bread fresh everyday and much of it is vegan. My friend got the Rock Hopper Penguin Organic Chicken Salad Wrap, which was free range organic chicken, spices, red globe grapes, candied pecans, in a lemon tarragon vinaigrette. She said it was fresh and tasty, and was able to finish it even though it was enormous. I guess that says it was good.

It will take me months to get through the whole menu at the Treehuggers Café, considering so much of it is vegan or can be made vegan. Seven salads, ranging from fruit inspired, to grain and pasta, plus a marinated bean salad, are part of the offerings. You can order homemade soups, rice bowls and wraps, as well as giant panini’s. And don’t forget breakfast served all day. You can get oatmeal, granola, organic buckwheat pancakes, breakfast panini’s and an omelette.

If you still have room for desert, there is a case full of cookies and cakes, scones and muffins. They serve coffee, fresh, what they call butterfly, iced tea and smoothies. You will not go away hungry after eating at the Treehuggers Café, 1330 Bagley Road, Berea, 440-342-4901.

On a side note, the Treehuggers Café buys in season and from local farms.

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Lago-Vegetarian Mondays by Beth Yurich

I want to thank Laura Taxel for inviting me to write about vegetarian dining in Cleveland. I have been a vegetarian for 25 years, and there has never been a more exciting time for veggies to dine out than now. I look forward to sharing all kinds of fun places you can enjoy, with or without, your meat eating friends.

Lago Restaurant & Wine Bar in Tremont hosts vegetarian Mondays. Along with their regular menu, they offer a nice selection of vegetarian and vegan meals.  For us vegetarians this is great, because there aren’t a large number of fine dining restaurants we can enjoy. The offerings on the menu are numerous, even many appetizers such as an antipasti platter, grilled flatbread and a few other scrumptious sounding selections.

My group decided to forgo appetizers and order salads instead. I got the vegan caesar since I never get to have caesar salads. It was a combo of oven dried tomatoes, romaine lettuce and roasted red peppers. The dressing was a not heavy but had a creamy texture. My friend ordered the vegetable canneloni salad and it was amazing. The arugula and red peppers were wrapped in pasta and presented like a spring roll. The dressing was a  lemon vinaigrette, and balsamic vinegar was drizzled around the plate. Both salads were delicious, but the pasta arugula was so different, we voted it best. Here is a photo of the winning salad

Here is a photo of the winning salad

There were three of us so we ordered three different entrees, although it was hard to narrow it down. We decided on the vegetable pizza with roasted crimini mushrooms, grilled tomatoes and goat cheese; the grilled marinated tofu with white beans and roasted red pepper in balsamic reduction; and the vegan risotto with brussel sprouts and roasted garlic. The pizza had nice flavors going on, with the roasted mushrooms and a few caramelized onions and the cheese. The crust was thin and soft, not crispy, making it a perfect texture. The risotto was wonderful combo, with the sweet taste of the garlic, and the bitter of the brussel sprout.  The grilled tofu was light and refreshing, the reduction sauce a perfect addition. The waitress offered sharing plates when we were served, so we were all able to enjoy all the entrees. Everyone had a different favorite.

We ordered both vegan desserts – molten chocolate cake and vegan trifle. You can also order from the main dessert menu which has a goat cheese creme brulée and an olive oil cake – very intriguing. The molten chocolate cake won hands down with its rich fudgie sauce and the melt in your mouth cake.  The trifle was tasty as well. It had a tangy macerated fruit sauce and a nice, not too sweet cake. So if you aren’t a super sweets person, the trifle would be perfect.

The executive chef Josh, stopped at our table to thank us for enjoying his vegetarian meals. Our waitress did a good job anticipating what we needed. The entire staff is friendly and ready to serve.  All the entrées are around $18, the salads $8, the pizza was $10. If you are looking to not spend a ton, you can still enjoy visiting Lago for vegetarian Mondays. I felt you could share the pizza and get two salads. That would make the meal $12-$14 per person and I don’t think anyone would go away hungry.

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