Friday, May 13, 2011

2 Lunches at Sprig & Vine

Sprig & Vine is a little off the beaten path for me, but it's the kind of place that I go out of my way for.  It's also the type of place that when you go once, you wind up wanting to return soon and often.  Whether it be to revisit something you loved and didn't get enough of, try something enticing that you didn't get a chance to order, or share the great place with friends- there's no shortage of excuses reasons to make your way to Sprig & Vine.

Sprig & Vine is everything a restaurant should be: attractive, peaceful, clean.  Their food is outstanding and VM & I love when Jackie is there because besides being friendly and efficient, she always remembers that I we have an unnatural affinity for ketchup (and Sprig & Vine uses fancy ketchup; I suspect they might make it themselves) and that we like straws.

We started out with an order of their kennebec potato fries with grain mustard aioli (and ketchup thanks to Jackie!); these are outstanding and not available during brunch, so be forewarned.  This might have been the best order of these shoestring fries we've ever had here, and that's saying alot.  The fries were pleasantly seasoned and it was hard to choose a favorite we used both.

As lovers of spicy food, we ordered the horseradish hummus with olive oil, dill, and rainbow carrots.  We were initially disappointed that it didn't come with pita by default, but the carrots were great- not to mention awfully attractive.  For all you wimps out there, note that it wasn't very spicy; order with abandon.

For lunch VM chose a previous favorite, the edamame falafel wrap with black sesame tahini and pickled vegetables on a whole wheat tortilla; it was as delicious as she remembered.

However, once she got a look at my spicy Vietnamese cauliflower banh mi with carrot, cilantro, mint, jalapeno and lemongrass aioli on a baguette, she couldn't help but to suggest a half/half sandwich swap.

I've never had banh mi before and I cannot believe what I've been missing; the tastes, textures, and flavors were extraordinary.  We knew immediately that this was our new favorite sandwich at Sprig & Vine.

Okay; there may have been dessert too.

Only a few days later I had the opportunity to revisit with friends and we started off the meal by sharing some appetizers.  The edamame falafel with black sesame tahini and pickled radish was delicious and beautifully presented; everyone at the table loved it.

The sauteed fresh green garbanzos in the pod with sea salt appetizer was utter craziness.  Similar to edamame, but crispy and with garbanzos!  They were a little messy to eat; I, in particular, couldn't quite get the hang of shelling these gracefully, but they were very tasty.  If you want to try something different and don't mind looking a little messy amongst friends, definitely give these a try.

We also had an opportunity to try an item that isn't on the menu (yet?): pulled mushrooms on housemade tortillas with a spicy aioli.  Hearty and texturally different from anything I've eaten as a vegan, these were gobbled up by everyone at the table, even those that normally eschew mushrooms.  Non-vegans would never believe this rich dish is meat-free.

For lunch, it did occur to me to order the banh mi again, but I couldn't resist the deep pumpernickel bread of the caraway-crusted tempeh reuben with thousand island, pickles, and sauerkraut.  It was the star of the table, with three of five ordering this epic offering.

When I relayed my meal to VM days later, she blurted out, "We are going back there for more of that cauliflower sandwich.  And fries."  So see you very soon, Sprig & Vine.


  1. I loved the lunch we had there, but their dinner, Corn Crusted Tempheh was phenomenal! By far, the best vegan restaurant in that neck of the woods!

  2. Anthony, I am a huge fan of Sprig & Vine but I can't help but to point out that there isn't much vegan competition in "that neck of the woods"!


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