Hello veg-heads! Dan Sponseller here on assignment with Kaylyn Rhoads for our first VegTable food blog adventure. We’ll be bringing you reviews of restaurants around Columbus approximately every couple weeks. We’ll look at how veg-friendly the restaurant is, how clear the menu is identifying vegan options, the service, knowledgeability of staff, atmosphere, and of course the quality of the food. We hope our reviews will encourage restaurants to consider vegan options and clearly indicate those on their menus. And we hope they encourage you to seek out great vegan food and support those establishments that are supporting us! The more we support them, the more likely they will be to increase their selection, the more veg-curious people will be likely to try them, making an all-around better food culture here in Columbus. Thanks for reading and we love feedback! Our first stop was at Acre in Clintonville.
Known as a great place to get great, healthy food, Acre has much locally-sourced and organic food, and you can get it quick at their drive-thru or dine in. We chose the latter so we could pore over the menu and daily specials (see photos). If you look closely, the menu has a key in the lower right corner indicating dishes that contain gluten, dairy, and peanuts. However, there are no vegan designations as such. We’re hoping to change that : ) Because the menu was not clear about it, we had to ask the counter person about dishes that might contain eggs or honey. One of the nicer options is that tofu is available for many of the dishes. But we did have to ask about which dishes that listed dairy could be made without. Luckily they were very flexible about it. You order and pick up at the counter, and there is a water filling station with glasses, utensils and condiments. No disposable items except the napkins! The place is open, clean and bright, with many tables and windows.
Here’s the breakdown and review of the individual dishes:
–Mediterranean wrap: served cold, it has quinoa salad with black bean hummus. You have the option of ordering tofu or extra veggies with the wraps and bowls at no extra charge. We opted for the tofu, as suggested by the server. Not a taste explosion, it was still good and filling. An oversight: the regular dish contains feta, but the dairy icon is not listed next to it on the menu. This came with a side of yellow corn chips (good and crisp) and salsa (very fresh and tasty with noticeable cilantro).
–Thai bowl: served warm, it was actually lukewarm, but that may have been because it had cooled off by the time we got to it after taking pics and writing notes. The peanut sauce was good, the brown rice filling, and the cauliflower and broccoli tasty.
–Bangkok peanut slaw: served cold, this was one of the specials on the board near the entrance. Just as big if not bigger than the Thai bowl, it was a couple dollars less, and very good. Cabbage, kale, carrot, chickpeas, cherry tomatoes (all those “k” and “ch” sounds!), with mango slaw and peanut dressing, it screamed fresh, healthy, and tasty. You can add tofu for $2 more.
–The Vegan Farmhouse Chili was top-notch: hearty and tasty, with mushrooms, tomatoes, veggies, and just the right amount of spice. It was a good belly-warmer for a snowy day.
We treated ourselves to dessert and got the peanut butter brownie. The description says it has no wheat or dairy, but doesn’t mention eggs, so we asked. Safe! As is the Superfood bar we didn’t get to try. The brownie was nicely chocolatey without being too sweet, and just the right amount of moistness. The peanut flavor was not too obvious, but was a nice side note.
Other notable items: the soups change daily and are sometimes vegan.
Acre also carries the Impossible Burger, one of the few places in Central Ohio to do so. We left full and happy and will definitely return to sample the nice variety of healthy, local, organic, vegan food!