Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Northampton Vegetarian

My husband and I don’t have ‘favorite’ restaurants or family vacation spots – we like to try new places, and although we do go back to certain neighborhood restaurants again and again, there are so many in our immediate area that we can’t become regulars anywhere.

But through years of driving to Vermont to ski or visit our youngest daughter at camp, we’ve made a habit of stopping in Northampton, Mass. We have a college friend who lives there, the town is really cute, and it’s right off the highway. And every time we go there, we eat at the vegetarian restaurant, Haymarket Café.

This time, we were determined to try another place. There are several vegetarian and vegetarian-friendly restaurants in Northampton, but one was packed, another didn’t look so great and we found ourselves, once again, in front of Haymarket.

At breakfast and dinner, waitress service downstairs means you can sit and wait for excellent coffee or the basket of warm sourdough bread, served with herbed olive oil. At lunch, you order at the open kitchen and bus your own table. Small price to pay for delicious food.

Filling entrees like a warm rice salad with tofu and veggies, plus a green salad with chickpeas, olives and roasted pepper, or cold soba noodles with a peanut sauce, and the same side salad, are a filling dinner, for only $5.95. You can also get two of three: soup, salad and half a sandwich, for $6.50.

Particularly good sandwiches include a tempeh burger with roasted red pepper, a Portobello sandwich with gorgonzola and tomato and our family favorite, hummus and avocado. We got the idea from Haymarket and make it all the time at home.

I am also partial to the Greek artichoke stew, with rice and cannelloni beans, and the arroz a la Cubana, with black beans, fried egg and plantain. I’ve yet to try the wild mushroom risotto, shephard’s pie or linguini in Romesco sauce with Swiss chard, so I figure we can stop here at least four more times before I repeat a dish.

We may never eat anywhere else in Northampton.

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