Executive chef Vipul Bhasin brings more than 18 years of global cooking experience to Coriander. Eschewing many modern marvels of meal making, Bhasin cooks his cuisine with traditional Indian appliances such as the tandoor oven, the kadai cast-iron pot, and the Aishwarya Rai smoldering gaze in his one-man quest to put microwave repairmen out of work. This passion for tradition is reflected in Coriander's décor: adorning the brightly painted walls are handmade tapestries representing different regions of India, including an astonishingly lifelike one that resembles a parking lot outside an Indian restaurant (look closely and it almost seems to move). Patrons can also unfurl the bamboo blinds between each of the restaurant's booths for a stronger secret-sharing shield than stage whispering.
Taking to heart the idea that three is a magic number, the owners of Mugshots CoffeeHouse dedicate themselves to a triple bottom-line business model that supports people, profit, and the planet. Organic direct trade beans constitute the whole of the steamy coffee and espresso drinks served by the baristas, and locally raised, earth-friendly foodstuffs comprise each hot sandwich found on the menu. Much of the money generated by the brisk bean trade goes toward charities of both local and international origin. When not welcoming community organizations for meetings or fundraisers, the venue shows off its artsy side with film nights, open mics, and staged readings of VCR instructions.
The rhythmic sound of a chopping knife behind the counter at Saladworks means that someone has just ordered one of its entree-size signature dishes. Under the customer's watchful eye, the staff preps each bowl of greens to order, slicing veggies and grating fresh cheese every day. These greens get tossed with protein options such as chicken or roasted turkey, and housemade croutons and bacon add a crunchy texture. A white or wheat tortilla can embrace these ingredients for a handheld meal, making for easier eating while driving to work or directing runners to steal third.
Santa Fe Burrito's cooks assemble fresh ingredients daily to fill made-to-order burritos with generous portions of chicken, turkey, shrimp, vegetables, beans, and tofu. Menu options range from traditional burritos with black beans and cheese to ultimate burritos stuffed with Adobo shrimp, chicken chili, or turkey burger.
It’s easy to focus on what Sweet Freedom Bakery leaves out: dairy, wheat, preservatives. It’s better to focus on what they include: agave nectar in the vanilla chocolate-chip cupcakes, tapioca flour and unsweetened applesauce in the double mint-chocolate-chip cookies. Everything is vegan and gluten-free, plus allergy-friendly: the bakery uses no peanuts or corn.