Budget Beat

Lunch Under $10 at S.E.E.D. Cafe in Madison Improvement Club

Madison Improvement Club is always a good spot to catch a Phenomenal Flow yoga or Party on a Bike spin class. More recently, they've opened up a health nut restaurant inside that they're calling the S.E.E.D. Café. According to the owners, S.E.E.D. stands for sustainable, edible, and entirely delicious, but on our visit we were hoping that it wouldn't doesn't taste like a bunch of under-seasoned seeds like a lot of other health food.

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Almost every plate on S.E.E.D.'s menu is between $7-9 dollars, so you've got options with a mix of dietary considerations from vegan and vegetarian to gluten free to carnivore. However, meat-eaters shouldn't expect a big ol' juicy cheeseburger because it's still a café inside of a health club. Wraps, sandwiches on nine grain bread, salads and fresh squeezed juices are all made to order and ultra-fresh. Plus, if you're on the go, they also offer pre-made salads that you can grab quickly and head out the door.

We tried the $8 "You're So Keen" quinoa patty sandwich with a side of vinegary cucumber and red pepper salad. The sandwich was all right, but definitely lacking in flavor, despite the chive mayo and red pepper tapenade. We loved our side salad though, which was bursting with oregano and vinegar flavor. Truthfully, we ate it first and then used the remaining dressing to jazz up the quinoa patty.

If you're trying to stick to budget, stop lunch there and get a water. If not, splurge on 10 ounces of fresh-squeezed juice for $5. And for dessert, a vegan cupcake. You'll blow your budget -- but probably not your diet.

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Heather Hoch is a music, food, and arts writer based in Tucson. She enjoys soup, scotch, Electric Light Orchestra, and walking her dog, Frodo.
Contact: Heather Hoch