Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tuesday Reviews Day: Harrison Street Coffee Shop

Richmond, Virginia has a number of excellent restaurants where vegetarians can eat happily, and it even has a few that are totally vegetarian. One of those restaurants is Harrison Street Coffee Shop, at 402 North Harrison Street near VCU.

Harrison Street has been serving up tasty vegetarian food for years now. They specialize in sandwiches, and have a selection of salads and homemade dressings to go along with them. They also feature a special of the day (usually a sandwich, but not always), a side of the day, and a soup of the day, all featured on their chalkboard menu. As the name implies, they also have wonderful coffee and tea. Vegan desserts abound as well - things like vegan peanut butter cups and avocado fudge. Mornings, they serve breakfast, and weekends, they do brunch.

For me, it's all about the sandwiches, though. Such sandwiches! It's incredible the amount of flavor a vegan sandwich from Harrison Street has! The barbecue tofu sandwich has tofu that is toothsome and delicious (not soft, like tofu sometimes can be) and spicy, with vegan coleslaw soaking into the bread. The tempeh artichoke  sandwich has a delicious lemon-tahini dressing on it. They have creative sandwiches like the "full throttle chipotle zeppelin" which has smoky, spicy tempeh, avocado, lettuce, tomato, sprouts, and their spicy chipotle sauce. The food is always fresh and the atmosphere is very cozy and laid back. People stay for hours drinking coffee, reading a book, typing away on their computer, or talking.

When I visited last week, I tried two specials of the day - a vegan fried "fish" sandwich and a side of the the vegan mac and cheese. The sandwich and the mac and cheese came out hot and fresh. The fried "fish" was actually crispy, bread-crumb-crusted tempeh. The texture was great. The roll was toasted and spread with a tartar-type sauce. The veggies were fresh and flavorful. The mac and cheese was very convincing as vegan mac and cheese goes. I think it probably had nutritional yeast in it, giving it a cheesy flavor. Aaron took a picture of my meal with his iPhone. I would have many more photos of meals eaten at Harrison Street Coffee Shop, but each time I eat there, I wind up devouring half the meal before I even think to snap a photo. You'll notice that only half the sandwich is visible in this shot. That's because I am eating the other half.

I absolutely love Harrison Street Coffee Shop. The food is consistently good, and vegans are spoiled for choices there. The specials and weekend brunch keep things interesting. The prices are also reasonable. The fried fish sandwich with the mac and cheese was around $7.00.

You can read more reviews for Harrison Street Coffee Shop on Yelp or Happy Cow.

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