I admit it.
I have lived in Connecticut my entire life, and I’ve barely spent any time in the “Quiet Corner.” Not because I don’t like quiet corners. I love them, actually. I work at a library.
I just haven’t had any compelling reason… until now.
Vegan CT Jr. had a day-long tournament at UCONN, so I decided to spend the day exploring the area and trying out a few rumored-to-be-fantastic veg spots.
Since we had to be at UCONN at an unnaturally early time, I stopped for breakfast at the Dog Lane Cafe, located in the new “Mansfield Center” development – (aka a Disney town they dropped onto the UCONN campus).
I had heard a rumor that Dog Lane Cafe has was pretty veg-friendly – true! Not only was the menu huge, with veg options clearly noted, but the people there were SUPER nice and offered to customize anything I needed. Love that.
Veg options included a variety of sandwiches and salads, plus veg chili that sounded awesome. The cafe also had some tasty-looking baked goods labeled “dairy-free.” I didn’t have any, but always check to make sure that includes eggs (most people don’t consider eggs “dairy).
I was looking for something light, so I had a chocolate peanut butter smoothie – made with almond milk (soy milk also available) and added vegan protein powder. It was quite delicious, but I did not take a picture because, well, it’s a brown smoothie. Use your imaginations.
After a vigorous morning of hiking, lunch was badly needed, and there was only one place on my mind.
I’d heard amazing things about Heirloom Food Company and was so very pumped to get the chance to visit. Also, I discovered where Danielson (said like Mr. Miagi) is. Bonus.
Holy crap you guys. I walked in Heirloom Food Company and never wanted to leave.
The menu is huge, and mostly vegan, with gluten-free options. And it all. sounded. amazing.
(cue gratuitous menu pics)
Salads, sandwiches, burgers, wraps, baked goods – so many vegan options I literally could not decide. I stood there for a good 10 minutes with my jaw on the floor and then the nice girl behind the counter told me to hurry the f*ck up cuz I was holding up the line. True story. (ed note: Readers new to Vegan CT – hi! Also, this is a joke, no one at Heirloom Food Co. has ever used a swear word, ever.)
I finally ordered the Beta Burger – lentils, onion, garlic, beet, brown rice, and almonds with herbs, topped with melted cheese, all the veggies and a special vegan dill ‘mayo’ on a sprouted bun. And then my brain exploded.
So, so good. I ordered with deliciously melty vegan cheese (duh). The burger had the perfect texture, crumbly and moist and slightly sweet. The strong flavor in the dill mayo really balanced the more mellow burger. Tons of fresh, crunchy veggies on top. I want it again, right now.
I also got this chocolate chip cookie that was probably the best chocolate cookie I have ever had, in my life, vegan or non. I kid you not.
Buttery, melty, fall apart in your mouth goodness.
I also ordered two GF muffins (lemon and berry) for breakfast the next day. Vegan CT Jr. half-devoured his before I could even get a picture, so I’m going to assume that meant it was good. My lemon muffin was excellent – tart, crumbly and moist.
Heirloom is a super cute place. Lots of tables, comfy chairs, and beautiful art on the walls (and for sale). Everything I tried was fresh and delicious, and I will definitely be back to try more. Heirloom is open for breakfast and lunch, with a full juice and smoothie menu – baked goods and specials change daily.
After the meal, I spent some time at the UCONN dairy barn visiting with these babies and considered different ways of breaking them out and running free with them through the fields and wreaking all sorts of havoc (just kidding, NSA. I swear).
Don’t worry guys, I don’t eat anything you’re making.