I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Cafe Indigo is hands-down your best bet for Sunday brunch in the state of New Hampshire. If you are within driving distance of Concord, and it happens to be the 2nd or 4th Sunday of the month, you have no excuse not to check it out! I stopped by with my mom a few weeks ago and it was better than ever.
Brunch hours are from 10-2. Of course, ever the procrastinators, Mom and I showed up at CI’s door slightly after 1:30. Nonetheless, we were greeted with a smile and seated promptly. I was also happy to see that new trays of food were still being brought out to the buffet table despite the late hour.
The way brunch works at Cafe Indigo is pretty awesome. There is a buffet table of sides, salads, and desserts, from which you can take as much as you want, starting as soon as you’re seated. Also included is your choice of one entree from their brunch menu, which they cook and bring to your table later. (You can also order additional beverages and a la carte items if you wish.) Finally, they have a coffee counter with a pretty decent selection of organic teas and coffees — all self-serve with unlimited refills.
This basically all adds up to A WHOLE LOT OF FOOD. Fortunately, if you ask nicely they will give you a take-out box for your menu-item leftovers — which is great for me, since I always seem to fill up on the buffet before my order even arrives!
Buffet table offerings!
I sampled a little of everything from the buffet spread: cole slaw, black bean and corn salad, hummus with blue corn chips, pea salad with “bacon bits,” and a slice of corn bread. All of these were as awesome as they look, but my favorites (as always) were the cole slaw and the pea salad. Not pictured: the pasta salad I tried on round 2. It was herbed but vinegar-free — a pleasant surprise, since I’m not crazy about vinegar-y pasta.
The only thing that I didn’t get a chance to sample was the gluten-free sesame noodles. I remembered them from last time and wanted to try them again, but sadly, they were all gobbled up by the time I got there and were the only dish that went un-replenished. That’s what I get for showing up at 1:30!
I must have been to brunch at CI four or five times by now and every time I get the huevos rancheros, which are just stellar. This time, however, I decided to break out of my rut and order the sampler plate.
Cafe Indigo brunch sampler plate
The sampler plate is exactly what it sounds like: miniature versions of three of their other five brunch menu choices (the only two you don’t get to try are the huevos rancheros and their version of the Ruben). They also throw in two sides: rosemary potatoes and a sausage patty. Here’s my take:
- French toast: This one surprised me! The toast had a really convincing “eggy” texture which many vegan French toast interpretations lack. Bonus points for using cinnamon swirl bread. We all know my cinnamon obsession ;)
- Cornmeal pancake: A solid “good.” I kept finding myself wondering why they made it out of cornmeal. Still tasty, don’t get me wrong, but I wish it had been less, uh, cornmealy.
- Tofu scramble: There are a thousand versions of scrambled tofu, and while this may not be the best one out there, it’s a contender for sure. There was no boxed-scramble taste whatsoever, the texture was spot-on and the vegetable selection was just right. Basically, it was delicious without having to try too hard. I nearly forgot I was eating tofu ;)
- Rosemary potatoes: It’s hard to go wrong with rosemary potatoes! These were a great complement to the rest of the meal. My only adjustment would be to make them slightly less greasy.
- Sausage patty: Surprisingly, this was my favorite thing on the plate! Tender, mildly chewy texture + savory flavor with just the right amount of sweetness = best breakfast sausage you could ask for. It was very clearly homemade, and that is in no way an insult! No frozen boxed patties here.
Mom opted for my faithful standby, the huevos rancheros.
Cafe Indigo's Huevos Rancheros
The rosemary potatoes are the same as the ones on my plate, the eggs are not! The ranchero-style eggs taste totally different – they’re made with some seitan thrown in, I believe, as well as a different veggie/spice combo. Served with black beans, avocado, sour cream, and pico de gallo. If you miss huevos rancheros from your pre-vegan days, this will hit the spot.
Mom and I had both polished off two plates of buffet items and about 1/2 of our orders when we decided to box up the rest and try dessert!
Cafe Indigo desserts!
I tried a ginger crinkle, a small piece of chocolate cake and a cupcake version of their delicious lemon poppyseed cake. Not pictured: Mom snagged the last piece of their award-winning carrot cake. I’d had it before and already knew how good it was, but I was more impressed that Mom (who is a serious carrot-cake aficionado and not a vegan) was impressed! She especially couldn’t believe how cream-cheesy the frosting tasted.
After dessert and the check (did I mention we got $3 off for being facebook fans?!) and one more trip to the coffee station for a refill on my tea, I checked out the bakery take-home items for sale.
Cookies/scones/bread for sale!!
There is also a fridge full of other goodies, including cheesecake, homemade seitan, Cheezly (all the way from across the pond!), whoopie pies, and cake by the slice (including a gluten-free version of the famous carrot cake).
NH has precious few all-veg restaurants, and Cafe Indigo is at the top of the heap for quality, value and mindfulness. I think it’s really important to support them and show them that the demand for vegan food is still high! If you haven’t been to their brunch yet, DO it! You can go this weekend ;)
Cafe Indigo is located at 128 H Hall Street in Concord, NH. http://www.cafeindigo.com/