Saturday, October 27, 2012

Inn Season In Michigan

Nestled in Royal Oak, a suburb not far from Detroit, is a small wunderkind of a restaurant: Inn Season Cafe. I got the tip from my gracious host that it had options for vegetarians and vegans and used local organic ingredients. I didn't realize though that when I opened the multiple page menu that almost everything in its pages would be vegan. The menu notes: All of our food is prepared without the use of animal products unless otherwise noted on the menu. Aw yeah!

Now that the world (i.e. menu) was my oyster I set to the task of narrowing down what to order. Did I want something uber-healthy and "granola" sounding like the macro combo with brown rice, kale, adzuki beans and sea vegetables in a shiitake miso sauce? Maybe Mexican or a stir-fry? A burger or soup and salad? The menu seems to have it all.

I decided to go with the Harvest Squash Risotto from the specials menu which featured squash, kale, leeks, onions, roasted garlic, arborio rice in a white wine and squash sauce and topped with a cheddar/mozarella daiya blend. The flavors melded nicely with the sweet richness of the carmelized garlic and the al dente rice was perfect. Also, the dish was massive, easily enough risotto for two people.

Not realizing I was going to be served such a large entree and eager to try one of the 6 vegan salad dressings  Inn Season Cafe offers, I ordered their basic Cafe Salad which featured a mesclun mix with marinated onions, grape tomatoes, cucumber and sunflower shoots with a side of thousand island. 

When I was looking up directions, I came across a review online that raved about the chai tea and its fragrance. Intrigued, I ordered a pot and wow did it fill my senses with warm, sweet and slightly spicy aroma  and flavor.

I ended up getting a to-go box for my leftover risotto and silently wept that I couldn't possibly eat dessert and passed up on even looking at the dessert menu for fear of not being able to say no. I'm hoping to go back before I leave with a smarter game plan that gets me to dessert because their opera cake looks amazing!

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