Saturday, July 2, 2011

Bartertown Diner

While going back and forth to downtown Grand Rapids lately, I have been watching the birth of Bartertown Diner with anticipation. I ate their Friday night; it did not disappoint. It was worth the wait to experience Grand Rapids’ second all vegetarian restaurant. As stated on their website, Bartertown Diner is a vegi/vegan/raw, worker owned and operated diner. The goal of the restaurant is to promote fresh, local ingredients along with a positive, fair working environment.

My server was very helpful while I made my food selections and answered my questions about which foods were locally sourced. Most of the food is local. The staff is all paid the same wage and each have a say in how the business is run.

They feature China Rose tofu, Michigan grown beans, and vegetables from Ham, Ingraberg, and Mud Lake Farms. They even use Founders Dirty Bastard ale in a marinade. On Friday, I enjoyed the popcorn tofu bites with house-made cocktail sauce as an appetizer. My entre was the nightly special: Dirty Bastard beer, garlic, and maple marinated tempeh with garlic scape mayo, avocado, and greens sandwich with a side of root chips. For dessert I had the raw strawberry pie. All were delicious; the menu is very creative.

Bartertown only accepts cash, so plan for that when you go. Also, if you are like me and save part of your entre for later in order to have room for dessert, be sure to bring your own container for leftovers. I think it is a good idea to bring your own left over containers to any restaurant. No need for extra containers either cluttering your cupboard or sitting in the landfill.

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