Wedged between the hot dog stands and sandwich shops on Public Square, this tiny vegan oasis offers hungry vegetarians greater choice beyond the usual meatless options. The menu isn’t particularly imaginative, but it is big enough to cover three meals (and snacks) Monday through Saturday, serving standbys like hummus and smoothies alongside meat-free versions of burgers, paninis and other comfort food classics.
The Flaming Ice Cube is better at some things than others; the meat-substitute dishes tend to have more flavor than the traditional veggie offerings. We liked the smoothies best (14 flavors, $3.49 for a 12-ounce serving). These nothing-but-fruit drinks boast fresh flavor without any syrupy sweetness from added sugar, and when soymilk is added, there’s no chalky aftertaste. The strawberry banana and berry berry versions are good bets.
This eatery claims to have one of the best vegan burgers ($8.45) in the country, but it didn’t blow us away. The flavor on the soy-based sandwich comes mainly from the toppings: It’s doused in vegan mayo, ketchup and mustard and served on a fluffy bun. Perfect for someone who’s more excited about the condiments than the actual sandwich. The hot buffalo appetizer ($8.95) nails the thick, smoky heat of a traditional buffalo-style chicken salad without the actual poultry, and the Asian vegetable wrap ($7.45) with spicy peanut sauce was good enough to finish. Skip the desserts (even a 7-year-old rejected the oily red velvet cupcake) and stick with a smoothie to sate your sweet tooth.
There are only seven tables here and though friendly, service can be painfully slow, especially during lunch. Busy diners on a limited lunch break may want to go somewhere else.