Saturday, August 20, 2011

Best Vegetarian Cafe in Denver - WaterCourse

FA Rating: FF
PRice: $-$$

My Coloradoan friend excitedly took me to WaterCourse (Denver: Uptown), a vegetarian (vegan friendly) restaurant with a fun menu.

We started off by ordering some tea. As an avid coffee addict, I'm not as up on the tea world as some, so I'd never seen this cute tea situation before:



They put it in these things and give you a timer for the steeping, and then you place the container on your cup and it comes out until you take it off and the stop thingy comes down. It's simple really, but I was impressed, and the tea was quite good.

Cortney has a thing for the seitan wings, or at least a thing for buffalo sauce, so we got a serving of those.
Seitan Wings - $8.25 - served with celery and vegan ranch

Seitan, up close and personal

They were a bit airy and, well, it's just the nature of getting fake meat that it's not quite meat satisfaction, but they're a handy excuse to eat ranch. The vegan ranch was a little weak, but I expected as much, and it was one of the better vegan ranches I've had. The buffalo sauce was quite hot and tangy, and they also come in BBQ or Teriyaki if you want them sweeter than hot.

If you order a sandwich or wrap, you get two sides, so we both chose the tomato bisque for one of our's.
Tomato Bisque

It was delicious. I'm not historically much of a fan of tomato bisque, but Cortney assured me it was the way to go, and she was right. It was rich and creamily flavorful. Mm.

Cortney and I both had the Po Boy. She got it with the portobello mushroom cap option, and I went with the fried artichoke hearts. She had already had both and knew the portobello was better, but, being an asshole, I had to go with the one I'd never had before anyway. You can get the portobello grilled or fried in crispy polenta, and the artichokes are always fried. We also both got fries for our second sides, as we wanted to try the chipotle (non-vegan) ranch and have something extra to dip into the lemon caper aioli that comes with the Pos.
Portobello Mushroom Po Boy

Fried Artichoke Po Boy

There was a little too much breading for my taste, as I would've liked more artichoke shining through.  Cortney says the portobello mushroom didn't have too much breading. The bun was supposed to be a sweet potato bun, but I couldn't really taste that, and the bun was a little too thick as well, so that this meal was a weigh-downer. It was all tasty though, and the coleslaw was nice on it.

The fries aren't my favorite style: a bit too thin and somewhat too cooked (5/10), but the chipotle ranch was delicious and the lemon caper aioli was awesome. I was in dipping sauce heaven, smearing every combination of sauce on my fries and into my sandwich. Good times.

We got this chocolate cupcake to go to share for dessert later that night. It was so fucking rich and dense, I could see why Cortney found it necessary to buy it to drive it back to Fort Collins.

Chocolate Cupcake - A cupcake actually worth eating

WaterCourse on Urbanspoon

Other points of interest on the menu:
-If you go for breakfast, which is served until 5PM, you can choose sweet potato homefries for the side for your omelettes!

-I'd go for the Toulouse Omelette: Broccoli, smoky portobello mushrooms, artichoke hearts and swiss cheese

-Banana Bread French Toast: Battered, Grilled, and Topped with Maple Roasted Walnuts. Served with syrup and fruit.

-Nachos: White corn chips covered in refried beans, asadero cheese, topped with pico de gallo and avocado. Served with green chili. Substitute chipotle aioli for cheese to make them vegan.

-For Vegetarians who miss Fish Tacos: Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos:
Three tacos full of marinated sweet potatoes, black bean, peppers and onions and topped with cilantro lime slaw. Served with avocado, jack/cheddar blend, and homemade salsa.

-Portobello Cap: Polenta encrusted or grilled portobello mushroom cap topped with chipotle aioli and served with grilled carrots, rice, refried beans, and avocado.

-Salads:
-The Three Sisters
A blend of mixed greens and romaine lettuce with grilled zucchini, fire roasted corn off the cob, black beans chopped with chili and lime roasted pepitas, and peanuts. Served with chipotle ranch.
-Ruk Kora: Fresh arugula with carrots,fresh beets, edemame, cucumber, oranges, and goat cheese topped with tamari roasted cashews, black sesame seeds and crispy soba noodles, tossed in yuzu vinaigrette
-You can also build your own salad, and their list of ingredients is extensive and awesome, including, for instance, maple roasted walnuts, chile and lime roasted pepitas and peanuts, artichoke hearts, butternut squash, fresh asadero cheese, and tempeh chorizo, just to give you an idea.