Monday, November 7, 2011

Broadway Cafe

2157 Briarcliff Rd. NE, Atlanta, GA 404/239-0888

Last night my grandmother, mom and I had dinner at Broadway Cafe at the intersection of Briarcliff and Lavista roads. This is a vegetarian restaurant that includes dishes with egg substitute, fish and soy "chicken" or "sausage". The menu is all over the place - Italian pasta, pizza, Indian vegetable dishes, blintz souffles, Mediterranean fare, Southern cole slaw, "grown up mac n' cheese", Thai stir fry and English style fish and chips. While I'm generally disapproving of crazy mixed menus, I'm willing to overlook it in Broadway Cafe's case and consider it a place where anyone can find something he or she likes.

The reason I'm adopting a lenient attitude about the menu is because I had a great experience here. I chose the Mumbai vegetables ($12.95), the "chef's specialty", a blend of herbs, spices and lots of healthy stuff - green beans, red bell peppers, onions, cauliflower, tomato, red potatoes, etc. I don't know why the menu doesn't just label this as curry. It's definitely curry, and it's definitely delicious. Just the right amount of hot spicy, perfectly cooked vegetables, a smattering of fresh chopped cilantro on top. The sauce was on the thick side (a good quality), and was as good as you'd get in an actual Indian restaurant.

My mom ordered the Mediterranean platter ($9.95). This is supposed to be an appetizer, but is large enough to make an ample meal for one. Dark fried falafel, hummus, roasted eggplant and peppers, with a Turkish style chopped salad. Lots of good stuff here, and plenty of pita to pair with all of it. Everything was fresh.

We ended with another odd addition to the menu - beignets. Broadway Cafe's beignets are small, about the size of a silver dollar. When you order the dessert ($3.95), you get a whole plate full, maybe a dozen total. They are still doughy in the inside, coated with powdered sugar. They taste like they're really bad for you (read: they are heavy and sugary and addictive). Twelve sounds like a lot, but I'm telling you, you'll finish them off.

Our female server was cute and enthusiastic, but she forgot about us for a while after she delivered our entrees. Mumbai vegetables made me suck down the water, and my glass was empty for quite a while before our waitress resurfaced. There was also a young male host, who ran to the door and held it open for us when we entered and exited. Very pleasant, I'll say that much.

The decor is fairly simple - wooden booth and tables, cartoonish paintings of the New York theater district and well-known Broadway shows. Nothing fancy, just casual and unprepossessing.

Verdict: A nice neighborhood find.

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