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Irregardless Cafe

As promised, some pictures from last night’s dining experience.

We went to The Irregardless Cafe, a small restaurant in Raleigh, NC priding itself on local, fresh food and musical talent.

This evening we were serenaded by the smooth jazz stylings of keyboardist Mike Jones. The volume was just right, and even with several other groups of patrons on all sides, you could still hold a conversation without strain, which is important when you’re catching up with family. :)

The menu was extremely helpful in noting the many vegan and gluten-free options. I’ll let their own descriptions do the talking, with a couple comments. Everything was delicious. I hope you’re able to enjoy it vicariously through this bit of “vegan food porn.”

MIDDLE EASTERN PLATTER – A Middle Eastern appetizer featuring a scoop of hummus, tabouli, and butterbean pâté. Served with grilled pita wedges & pitted kalamata olives.

{We all delighted in the still warm pita bread and the tabouli, which Dad commented seems not as easy to find in the standard grocery stores as it is in the Northeast.}

GRILLED VEGETABLE BIRYANI (vegan, gluten-free) – Grilled portabella mushrooms, zucchini, squash, onion, peppers and asparagus. Served on brown rice with a balsamic reduction.

{Wow! This was my main dish. The mushroom cap had been marinated in balsamic vinegar and was wonderfully meaty. The dish as a whole was rather oily, but the pronounced smoky grilled flavor was amazing. The brown rice was actually more of a pilaf, but quite good and not at all a disappointment.}

SHEPHERD’S PIE (vegan) – Vegetarian casserole layering vegan short crust pastry dough with red bliss mashed potatoes splashed with chop tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley, and bulgur wheat, sliced pomegranate marinated carrots, sauté sliced cabbage with onions, celery, and fennel, garlic wilted spinach. Baked and served topped with a shitake mushroom miso gravy.

{More of a shepherd’s stack than a pie, this was my Dad’s meal. I tried a bite — very hearty and potato-rich. It was consumed in the blink of an eye. LOL.}

ACORN SQUASH CASSOULET (vegan, gluten-free) – Slow roasted acorn squash stuffed with a melange of roasted fall vegetables, served on a bed of black turtle beans spiced with cumin, roasted red beets, & tomatoes/white navy beans spiced with grilled pineapple, roasted gold beets, & carrots. Served with fresh roasted corn/green pea/red bell pepper salsa.

{My brother-in-law had this. Probably the biggest dish of the evening. It looked like something I’d make at home. My sister had a seafood risotto primavera, gluten-free, but decidedly not vegan.}

APPLE AND RASPBERRY CRISP (vegan)

{My choice of dessert, the only vegan one on offer. Served rather hot, I had to let it cool a bit first. While not really that crispy, it was yummy and not too guilty a treat. The strawberry garnish won the berry battle as far as flavor was concerned, the raspberries having completely melted into the apples, mostly just contributing some color. A black coffee or two was the perfect finish.}

5 Responses to “Irregardless Cafe”

  1. Ali says:

    WOW! All looks -so- good! (And so much like Erin made it.)
    We have store tabouli where I am, however we only eat our own
    homemade. Just one of those things.

  2. River says:

    That acorn squash, veggies and bean dish was exactly the kind of thing my dh and I like – although there looks enough there to feed the two of us for a week. OK, I exaggerate. But it would feed two of us and still have some left over :) And that vegetable biryani looks fantastic too – something else we would enjoy. I shall start experimenting!!!! Thanks for the good pics and the description. What a great restaurant.

  3. Linda says:

    Hallo, as a predominantly vegan follower of calorie restriction I enjoy reading your blog. Would you consider posting your recipe for the high-protein peanut chocolate crunch fudge mentioned in your previous post? I am always on the lookout for healthy vegan bars such as these.

  4. Erin says:

    Thanks, Ali. :) Do you have a favorite tabouli recipe or just wing it?

    River, let me know what you come up with, and if you blog about it, feel free to drop your link to the post.

    Linda, I hope to do so within a few weeks. (I didn’t write anything down the first time.) Word of warning though: they’re not low-calorie nor low-fat.

  5. Oh my that acorn squash looks so good! I have never eaten vegan or gluten free but I’m all for testing out the waters. Everything looks so tasty.

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