Thursday, November 10, 2011

Engrained Cafe - ASU Campus, Tempe AZ

My sister recently sent me an invitation to attend a talk and book signing by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. My niece is part of the School of Sustainability at ASU and their school organized the entire event.  I was pretty excited to check out the lecture and the venue. I was also very excited to get my copy of The Vegan Table autographed! The room itself had a seriously modern flair. The high ceilings make it feel even bigger than it is. They use sustainable materials throughout for decorating and functional purposes. It's quite an impressive place.

Engrained Cafe's goal is to reduce their environmental footprint by educating, sourcing locally (must be within 150 mile radius) and using eco-friendly products in the cafe.

I had the opportunity to speak to Executive Chef, Jerome Fressinier about the evenings menu and Engrained's vegan offerings. He told me that about 20% of their menu offerings are vegan, 25% more are vegetarian. I'm hoping the percentage of vegan offerings will go up as plant based foods certainly leave less of an environmental footprint than their animal based counterparts. But it is a good start!! I'm super excited to see such an emphasis on sustainability as it is one of the top reasons I love vegan cooking and eating!

This was my first visit to Engrained. It was a special event with all vegan food. They did a wonderful job with presentation and flavor, so I am looking forward to going back and trying the restaurant on a normal day. They are open for breakfast and lunch (11am-4pm Monday - Friday). They also offer catering options. I'm amazed and impressed at the effort put forth by the students who put this event together and the staff at Engrained for providing delicious vegan food that looked and tasted good by vegan or omni standards.

The tasting menu for this event provided a really nice diversity of ingredients and presentations. How I forgot to bring my regular camera is beyond me, so forgive my cell phone images, they certainly don't do the beauty of the food justice.

So be good to your body, be good to your planet and be good to the animals by getting yourself some local, sustanable and vegan awesomeness and Engrained.

Apache Fry Bred Sample Tube, Corn Coulis Tofu, Singh's (local farmer) Moringa

Singh's Tepary: Almond Hummus, Heirloom Sun Dried Tomato, Queen Creek's Olives

Potato Onion Present, Engrained's Catchup Amaranth

Vegan Brownie

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