This is Part I in a multi-part series I’m calling “Vegan Brunch Throwdown,” in which I review each vegan brunch in Connecticut (seven!) then pit them head to head in a no-holds-barred, fight to the death over who has the best tofu scram, pancakes, and tempeh bacon. Fun, right? See Part II here.
ION and I have a love/hate. After a couple of so-so dinners last year, and one bonafide bad experience, I’ve been a little gun shy. But, a recent salad lunch special was lick-the-container good, there are some new menu items, and the occasional to-go cupcakes the size of my head have been consistently delicious.. maybe with all the new competition, this long-time local veg spot has stepped up it’s game. Either way, when a Sunday morning I-need-brunch-now craving hit, ION got itself a
second third fourth fifth chance.
ION’s brunch is limited – they offer a couple breakfast-y specials, along with the full lunch menu, fancy-looking lattes, and the always available fresh juices. My dining partner (YES IT WAS MY MOM) and I went for each of the brunch specials – whole wheat pancakes with blackberries, served with tofu scramble and tempeh bacon, and the breakfast burrito (stuffed with tofu scramble, beans, avocado and cashew parm, topped with tofu sour cream and salsa).
Guys, this brunch was everything brunch should be. The pancakes were crisp on the outside and tender on the inside, and the blackberries were decidedly fresh. The tofu scram was super tumeric-y, bright yellow and warmly spiced, just how I like it. Taters were perfectly cooked with tons of herbs. Tempeh bacon was sweet, savory and super crispy, amen.
Despite the lukewarm coffee refill and bathrooms that could use a little attention and a good scrubbing, the experience was a good one. Servers were sweet, food came out fairly quickly (though we were in no rush, of course – cardinal Brunch Rule Numero Uno), and the atmosphere is funky and fun, as always.
ION is a vegetarian restaurant, but most items (and all desserts) are already vegan and everything else is easily veganized – just ask for non-dairy cheese or tofu sour cream.
And so, ION has won it’s way back into my
pants heart with brunch. Yes, I’m that easy.
Just keep those cupcakes coming…