The Green Owl Cafe in Madison, WI calls itself a vegetarian restaurant, but lucky for vegans, most of the items on the menu are already vegan, and everything is clearly marked. And as we found out, the food is delicious and non-veg folks will love it just as much and find many familiar dishes ranging from nachos to buffalo “chicken” to biscuits and gravy.
Saturday was sunny and in the 60s, and the cafe has a small patio so Chris and I copped a squat outside and soaked up the rays. It was one of those days where it’s impossible to be in a bad mood.
My first inclination was to order the Vegan Schnitzel, if only for the fact that it would allow me to say the word “schnitzel” but I was worried it would be too heavy. We still had Sol D’Licious in Kenosha and Native Foods in Chicago to hit up, after all.
So I thought Crabby Cake Po’Boys with a side of kale crisps might be a better choice. The crabby cakes are mushroom and tofu based patties, and for the po’boy they add lettuce, tomato and chipotle rémoulade. Yum! The patties weren’t overly mushroom-y and the rémoulade added some zing with a good crunch coming from the lettuce. I like that they serve them slider-sized, so they were easy to hold and I didn’t lose too much out the sides.
The kale crisps were definitely crispy but slightly oily. They melted in my mouth and were a great alternative to a more typical side like fries or a side salad. Green Owl also offers roasted rosemary-garlic potatoes or quinoa salad for sides. You actually can’t even find fries anywhere on the menu.
Despite the variety of dishes (Middle Eastern, Cajun, African and Mediterranean to name a few), Chris also ordered a southern style dish. The Jambalaya includes rice, red beans, vegetables and marinated baked tempeh with corn bread on the side. The flavor was awesome; make sure to check out his full review on Everyday Tastiness.
Since we had barely stepped foot in the door before going back outside to be seated, I headed in to hit the restroom and scope out the rest of the space. There’s a bar just to the left and two walls full of (mostly) owl decor to the right and it’s all adorable. Modern wood paneling and green chairs gives the space a very earthy feel and I especially love the back dining room (see photo) with birch trees on the walls.
The friendly service, charming decor and delicious food all made our time at The Green Owl Cafe well worth it.