My morality needed a boost as I found myself surrounded by friends and colleagues hunting high and low for vitamin releasing blenders and adhering to diets making them as alkaline as a Duracell battery. So I made a decision that for one meal I would skip the meat and “eat what food eats”. This philosophy drew me to Sadie’s Diner and Juice Bar, a well-established vegetarian diner in the King West area.
I entered with a brave face in hopes that the astute staff wouldn’t turn on their radar and call my bluff by detecting the trace amounts of pork by-products circulating in my blood from a bacon binge a few nights before. The waitress was a hip version of Anne of Green Gables, sporting some very flowery pants and a personality that matched. A discussion about the merits of brewed coffee versus lattes followed and I felt a little more confident that my cloak and dagger attempt at portraying a clean eater was actually working.
I sat and stared at a menu offering some decent and classic breakfast dishes but with tree-hugging substitutes such as “fakin” and “fauxsage”. In the end, I settled for the Huevos Rancheros: Two eggs over easy on corn tortillas with salsa, refried beans, guacamole & cheddar cheese for $12. It was calling my name as it had no reference to either the above mentioned imposters of something called “vegan cheese”.
As I sipped my coffee (I don’t use dairy..so there), I looked around and made a few interesting observations:
1. There are pez dispensers (with numbers trumped only by the Paper Moon cafe in Baltimore) encased in the walls.
2. Pieces of irony are scattered across the restaurant and included pig salt and pepper shakers, a replica of the Simpson’s Lard Lad and a really mean looking chicken as the April picture on a calender hanging on the wall. Perhaps the latter was not ironic, because a word bubble inserted over the chicken could easily say “Take my eggs, but don’t touch my breasts!”
3. Stunning artwork by struggling artists, jaded lovers and cautious optimists adorn the walls.
My breakfast arrived. The tortillas were crispy, the eggs were a bit over done (I need that ray of sunshine when I cut through the yolk…hmmmm…sounds like a cool theme for a painting) and the salsa, beans and guacamole were just ok, maybe because it couldn’t hide behind breakfast meat.
A plethora of juice combinations, in raw or smoothie form and starting at about $4 are available to complement any meal. They are juiced fresh without the help of David Wolfe, the Adam Duritz meets Jim Rome looking “longevity” expert, and his nutribullet…. but that’s another story. Additions include vegan supplements such as:
Maca Powder: for increased energy & strength – $1.50
Sprouted Golden Flaxseed: fights cholesterol, natural source of antioxidants - $1.50
Spirulina Powder: mega-source of vitamin B12 - $1.50
Veggie Greens: a day‘s worth of fresh veggies in one scoop – $1.50
or…Vegan Protein Powder – add to any smoothie for extra oomph!
Raw Hemp Protein – $2
Brown Rice Protein – $2
Pumpkin Seed Protein – $2
VEGA Complete – $4
Joking about my meatless meal aside, Sadie’s is a neat place with a decent menu. There is passion in the food, the walls, the art and the staff. It’s neat, hip and cool with a fresh decor and an ok vegetarian menu. In the end, a fun switch from the everyday temptation of farmland friends but not so good whereas I’ll consider giving up the sinful flesh. Or maybe I’m just afraid of that damn chicken.