Garden Café, Woodstock
Best place to eat on the cheap in 2012: Garden Café, Woodstock
If you prefer tempeh, falafel, and polenta to chicken, beef, and duck, the vegetarian fare at Garden Café in Woodstock is sure to sate your palate. While we can all appreciate the quirky veg-cafes from which your fakin’-bacon is served by hip college kids in PETA shirts (with a side of New Age philosophy, hold the politics), this eatery proves you can dine meat-free in a sophisticated setting. Although not all meals are exactly cheap, you’ll find some options that are very reasonably priced, especially for the high-quality level of the food.
The menu varies with seasonal produce, but the earthy homemade Southwest Black Bean and Roasted Sweet Potato Burger ($9.50, plus $1.50 for vegan cheddar) is available all year. A far cry from floppy frozen bean burgers, this patty’s flavor is so similar to an actual hamburger you’ll question your taste buds. For an ethnic twist, try the grilled curried tofu and mango sandwich, loaded with caramelized onions, roasted red peppers, and spiced aïoli, served with a Dijon-vinaigrette mesclun salad ($10). Don’t leave without trying the must-have warm chocolate brownie ($7) for a delectable dessert.