Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Breakfast at Fair Grounds in Iowa City: Great Taste…Less Killing!

My recent trip to Iowa City had no end of breakfast delights. I secured a comforting omelet at an old favorite, The Hamburg, No. 2 [see blog post]. And took an opportunity to rediscover another Iowa City institution, Lou Henri [see blog post].

The last morning, on my way to catch a bus out of town, I visited Fair Grounds Coffeehouse and Bakery, conveniently located across the street from the Megabus stop and just around the corner from the Greyhound/Burlington Trailways station.

Fair Grounds is a nexus of vegetarian/vegan breakfast items, with a dizzying selection of egg-free, cholesterol-free, dairy-free waffles and french toast. Gluten-free waffles are available upon request as well. Sadly, things like pancakes, waffles and french toast aren’t my cup of tea, but I did spot a breakfast burrito on the menu which looked promising.

With scrambled tofu, roasted potatoes, homemade vegan mockstarella and sour cream, and fresh salsa in a spinach tortilla, the breakfast burrito is formidable in size and scope. All together, the flavor and texture reminds me of a spicy potato salad. I rather like it! Quite creamy inside, but nicely balanced with bite-size chunks of potato. Pieces of carrot and celery are an unexpected bonus; perhaps from the salsa? The overt yellow hue of the scrambled tofu likely comes from turmeric, which my taste buds appear to agree with. For the portion on the plate it's a good valve and all the breakfast you'll need to order.

Feeling curious I also tried the grilled tempeh, marinated then grilled in maple syrup. Salty like Parmesan, slighty sour, great texture, the light touch of maple syrup complements. A good protein source. If you like tempeh, then this should please you. Being a dyed-in-the-wool crispy bacon eater, it doesn’t come close to satisfying that desire.

After beholding the breakfast burrito I realized my error in ordering a side of Fair Grounds homemade grilled toast, with sides of hummus and butter. Still, I had to try the wonderfully creamy hummus. A exceptional amount of tahini went into this, so much so that the rich taste of ground sesame, paired with tart lemon juice is a real eye-opener. This is a great hummus!

I’d come back here without reservation to sample their coffee and to try the few savory waffles that pique my interest. Oh! Be still my craving stomach.

Fair Grounds Coffeehouse on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

Vegan Chef said...

awesome review! sorry that you love bacon so much. :)