Posted by: Antonia Ciccolo | September 9, 2010

Vegan Food for the Planet in Ithaca

I was excited to be back in Ithaca for a few days, to visit my alma mater (Cornell University) and to experience the vegan additions to the area where my vegan interest began. I tried two restaurants that I had never been to, surprisingly. My trip started with a birthday dinner for one of my friends at Bandwagon Brew Pub in the Commons. This underground pub has a wide variety of menu selections with multiple vegan options. Only in Ithaca would a brew pub have over five vegan options. They even had a note at the bottom of their menu that said any menu option that doesn’t have meat, can be made vegan. I ordered Zucchini cakes… and then the Spinach Salad as my main course (without the cheese and with the raspberry vinaigrette on the side, of course). I rarely order salad but I wasn’t very hungry so I took advantage of the protein-filled spinach leaves.

The next morning, I went back to the Commons for Sunday brunch. I found out that an all-vegan restaurant opened in Ithaca just months after I graduated, so I had to try it. The restaurant is called Food for the Planet serving dinner from 5:00-9:00 Thursday-Sunday, lunch from 11:00-2:00 Monday-Friday and brunch from 10:00-2:00 Saturday and Sunday. The brunch menu included:

  • Tofu Scramble – scrambled, local tofu, vegan cheese and a side of potato kale hash
  • Breakfast Burrito – rice, beans, tofu scramble, vegan cheese, salsa, pico de gallo, cilantro sauce and sour cream
  • Crepes with Fruit and Soy Cream – filled crepes with creamy filling, fruit topping, a drizzle of maple, and a dusting of cinnamon
  • Stack O’ Pan Cakes – comes with earth balance and maple syrup
  • French Toast – multi grain bread dusted with cinnamon and powdered sugar. Comes with Earth balance and maple syrup
  • Soy Yogurt Parfait – with fruit and pecans
  • Raw Crepe with Cashew Cream – comes with fresh fruit

Dinner options include: Lasagna, Burrito Deluxe, Mac Un Cheese with a variety of starters and salads. The lunch menu is pretty extensive too with sandwiches, burgers, wraps, salads, etc. Since I visited the restaurant during brunch, I tried the Breakfast Burrito (picture below) which was unbelievable. The vegan cheese tasted just like cheddar cheese and the tortilla was nice and sweet. I wouldn’t say the tofu scramble tasted exactly like scrambled eggs but the consistency was similar and it was pretty tasty – and I’m picky with tofu.

At the end of my meal, they offered me a variety of vegan desserts (including Chocolate Crème Brulee, Raw Pecan Pie, Lemon Cheese Cake, Brownie a la Mode, and a variety of cookies), which all sounded amazing, it was hard to try just one. I decided to go with the Chocolate Crème Brulee which tasted just like chocolate mousse with a crystallized top. I would recommend this restaurant to anyone visiting the Ithaca area: vegans and non-vegans alike.

Other meals in Ithaca included a Falafel wrap at Stonecat Café in Hector and an Avocado and Tofu wrap at Mate Factor in the Ithaca Commons. I also tried a carrot, ginger, beet, apple, and cucumber juice at Matte but it was a little too strong for me. Maybe I was too used to Green Juice.

I still have never been to Moosewood Café – Ithaca’s famous vegetarian restaurant. I even own the cookbook! My next trip to Ithaca will have to include a Moosewood visit. I’m dying to go back: Ithaca is the most vegan-friendly small town I’ve ever been to.

Breakfast Burrito at Food for the Planet

Chocolate Creme Brulee at Food for the Planet

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