Veggie Girl: Mandala Tea Room

Brunch at Mandala Tea Room. (Photo by Oliver Polk.) By Megan Irwin

About a month ago a commenter asked me where he could get a decent vegan breakfast in this town. I intended to answer his question the following week, but breakfast seems like such a weekend thing and my weekends are usually filled with a heavy schedule of drinking too much, staying up too late, sleeping in and watching basketball. Not a lot of time to go out to breakfast in there.

Lucky for him, and for you, my dad came to visit on Sunday which means I was up before 10 and eating brunch at Mandala Tea Room by noon.

Mandala is one of the rare all-vegan restaurants in town and I've enjoyed dinner there many times (the vegan BLT is one of those perfect sandwiches I find myself daydreaming about at random times), but never brunch.

The menu has a decent variety -- pancakes, waffles and tofu scrambles (substituting for omlettes) on the breakfast side, and an array of sandwiches on the lunch side. You can check the menu out here.

Overall, this is probably the best vegan breakfast you're going to find in town. There are other places that are veggie friendly and serve breakfast, but the menus are pretty egg-centric.

As far as what I ordered, it was as satisfying as any regular pancake I've ever eaten. In fact, if anyone knows where to buy blue corn flour let me know -- it was good enough that I might even exert the effort to make it myself at home.

I had the Hopi blue corn griddle cakes (a blue corn, animal free pancake), and my friend had the macro continental breakfast, which was brown rice, adzuki beans and sautéed greens. My dad had waffles. I think he was a little skeptical of the place at first -- he's an ex-rancher turned high school teacher and about as far from a tea drinking yuppie as you can possibly get -- but he liked his meal. And his tea, which on Sunday was an iced yerba mate.

(Personally, I find the tea list a little daunting. I enjoy a good green tea, but I'm not really into the whole tea house culture so I'm never quite sure what to order. Those of you who actually know what you're looking at here, I'm sure will be impressed.)

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