Friday, February 02, 2007

Vegan Dining Out @ Acoustic Coffeehouse

Well, it's finally Friday, and I found myself in the mood to go out and eat today. As you know, it's not always easy to find vegan food (other than plain old salads) in a lot of restaurants. That's why when I DO find a place that has something that I CAN eat, and something that is delicious, and they don't give you any attitude because you want this or that left off of your food to make it vegan, I try to support them and get the word out about them. So today I ventured to a local place that I like to eat called The Acoustic Coffeehouse.

It's a funky place located here in Johnson City, TN that serves coffee, all kinds of beer, and a menu of some really good food. I used to eat here a lot back when I was vegetarian, because if you're vegetarian then they REALLY have quite a few things for you to eat. Their Vegetarian Lasagna was always my favorite before I switched to veganism. Maybe I should share SusanV's Vegan Spinach & Mushroom Lasagna recipe with them. Who knows? They might add it to the menu.

They just recently added a large performance venue right next door. They have live music booked almost every night. And on the nights when there's not anything booked, people frequently just wander in and pull out musical instruments and gather around the microphone and perform. You never know what you'll see really. Since it's close to the college, there are usually lots of students in there studying, although I never have figured out how you study with music playing. So I don't fit in exactly, but I like to pretend I do. It's fun to go there sometimes in the evening and just plop down on the couch and fire up the old Mac laptop and enjoy their free wi-fi connection. Anyway, it's a groovy place. I guess the furniture there could best be described as "rustic", as you can see in the picture of my food below, but it all works together to give the place its atmosphere. Their website shows all of the upcoming acts, and you can pretty much get an idea of what this place is like from the pictures and info there.

I ended up ordering what I eat there almost every time now, since going vegan. The Acoustic Burrito is just a burrito filled with black beans & rice, pico de gallo and roasted red peppers. It normally has cheddar cheese in there too, but I, of course, ask them to leave that out. It's all heated up in one of those great big green tortillas, I assume the color comes from spinach or something like that. It is extremely delicious and it has a lot more flavor than something similar that you might pick up in one of those chain burrito places that seem to be popping up everywhere.

The Acoustic Burrito also comes with some chips & salsa on the side, and I don't know what it is about their salsa, but it is my most favorite salsa of any restaurant in town, and that's including all of the mexican places. I've never asked, and I don't know if it's homemade or not, but MAN that stuff is good. I have been known to go there and just eat an order of chips & salsa. They are really good.

I realize most people reading this probably live nowhere near this place and will never be able to visit. But I just wanted to demonstrate how it's possible to stick to a vegan diet, even in smaller local restaurants. There's usually lots of options other than salad if you just get them to leave off an ingredient here and there. And sometimes the local restaurants seem to be more willing to do that because I guess the employees of the big chains are probably trained that there's only one right way to make something, so they are more wary of straying from the "approved" recipe.

I'm not a big coffeehouse person, but I guess it's pretty common for them (the locally owned ones anyway) to offer some vegetarian (or vegan!) options. I've got to travel to Savannah, GA (in April, I think) for work, and I'm already scoping out the places I want to eat, and the places that I CAN eat. So far, I've got three places that I want to try, and one of them is a locally-owned coffeehouse. I'm kind of excited about it, and I will, of course, do some posts here on the blog about what I eat there.

So that does it for Friday. I guess it's just a few more hours until the weekend officially begins.

Thanks for checking in this week and I'll see everybody back here on Monday.

Have a great weekend!


Mikaela said...

The coffeehouse sounds great! :)

Anonymous said...

MMMM yummy.......I am not sure if you have a Salsarita's in Johnson City but that have a excellent burrito that is almost identical to the one in your pic. I think I will go there for dinner tonight!!! There salsa is wonderful as well..........JD

raising_kahne said...

hmm...I live 'pretty' close to the coffeehouse, so maybe if Im up close to there someday, I might get to try it out. Did you have to actually ask if the dish was vegan, or did it already say it on the menu?? It looks like a place that would definately suit me!

I have one question, I know that when you posted your lunch about the PB&J you said Kroger's brand of PB was your favorite. Is it th ekind they grind theirselves and put it in a plastic tub, or is it in a jar?? Our local one has it in tubs, and I was wanting to know how it was before I bought it.

Melanie said...

My husband has mentioned that he likes the place, I've never been there although I pass it almost daily as I play "Mom-Taxi" for my daughter and her boyfriend, who lives practically right behind the place. It never even occured to me to go in there, as I thought it was basically a nightclub type of venue...guess I should have paid attention to the whole "Coffeehouse" part of the name, right? Might stop in sometime, then. ~Melanie

kennyboy said...

You should definitely check it out. It's "different", but in a fun way. I think any clubbing atmosphere that might have been there has probably moved next door into the larger performance area. The main part just seems more like someone's living room. Extremely casual. It's fun. Take your laptop too because they've got free wi-fi.


Eliza said...

Great work.