We are happy to announce that the winter menu is here! Check it out, and be sure to come in and try something NEW!
Grab one soon and enjoy your free meals through the end of January 2014!
We’re rolling out new breakfast and lunch/dinner menus this week.
You’ll notice them by their nifty borders, the red indicating breakfast, and the two-sided black indicating lunch/dinner. Our hours have been re-seamed, as well, and we’ll be filling in the former 3-5 p.m. void with lunch/dinner service. Breakfast, as usual, will be served from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday.
The content of our menus hasn’t changed much from their last incarnations, save the trading of biscuits and gravy for a breakfast sandwich. You can still order the Chickpea Melt, Tofu Rancheros, and other old favorites along with the Pretzeldential Sweet, Havana Panini and any new options you may have taken a shine to.
To start the day off, the Direct Trade Coffee Club coffee we get is now available for $2 a cup, after tax. We’ve talked to the people at DTCC and feel that offering coffee by the cup is best for everyone involved. Those who only want a cup won’t have to pay $3, there will be less waste, and we’ll still be able to offer excellent, fairly sourced coffee directly from farms we can build relationships with.
For smaller bites, we’re bringing back a sauteed greens appetizer. Collard greens are sauteed with grilled onions and tempeh sausage and drizzled with a cajun spiced aioli for $8.
On the sandwich menu, our new breakfasty sandwich is called the Johann Sebrunchtian Bach, and comes with jalapeno peanut butter, a seasonal jam, tofu omelette, tempeh bacon, and dairy or vegan cheese on Little Rooster’s wild rice and onion bread. The Pretzeldential Sweet has marinated tempeh, caramelized onions, creamy coleslaw, vegan havarti cheese spread, and sweet BBQ sauce on a homemade pretzel bun. The Havin’a Panini comes with sweet and smoky marinated tofu, pickled root veggies, vegan cheese and homemade mustard on a hoagie bun with a side of Cuban style black beans. And on the side of all our sandwiches, you get Garden of Eatin’ blue corn tortilla chips (unless you’d like to upgrade to a featured daily side for $1).
You can also count on favorites like the Chickpea Melt, the Michigander, Tofu Rancheros and $2 Tacos sticking around for a while. There will be more raw plate specials showing up on our board, too, now that more fresh veggies are becoming available from our local farms.
We really hope you enjoy all the new items we’ve come up with, just as much as the old standbys. Lunch hours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, and we’re extending brunch to 3 p.m. on Saturdays, so expect changes to that menu in the near future, too!
Do you know how it was prepared?
Do you know where to get those ingredients yourself?
These aren’t questions we expect every guest to be asking when they eat at Bartertown Diner, but they are easily answered. Food education has always been a main focus at Bartertown, and some of our workers are extending that focus beyond the dining room.
Collective member Matt “Dubs” Wrobleski, has been hosting “Cooking with a Bartertown Chef” classes at 6 p.m. Sundays at Tree Huggers, located at 947 Wealthy St. SE, for a few months now. More recently, Dubs has been holding similar classes at the Seventh Day Adventist Church, located at 100 Sheldon Blvd. SE.
“No fees, no sign up. Just show up, watch, learn, snack, ask me anything, offer to buy me a beer or a food truck,” he said. “They’re pretty casual. Classes at the Adventist church are more of a here and there thing, though I’m working towards making them more consistent.”
Dubs’ main focus in each of these classes is to show how simple and efficient eating a plant-based diet can be, along with eliminating the ideas that a vegan diet requires a lot of work or that only rich people can afford it.
“When I was jobless, I survived off of potatoes, onions, rice, and beans,” he said. “I had to budget.”
But even those with gainful employment can appreciate the benefits of anchoring meals with basic mainstays.
“…like making meatballs or burgers out of a grain, a bean, a binder, and flavor. Or cheese sauces made from oats, wheat flour, and sunflower seeds,” he said.
Eating healthfully is important, too. And when it comes to nutrition, Dubs maintains that sprouted grains have a lot to offer. He has led demonstrations in sprouting everything from garbanzo beans, to lentils, to quinoa.
“I recently did a demo in long sprouted wheat and we got into an open discussion about its versatility,” he said. “You can take that sprouted grain and eat it as is, or you could grow it into wheat grass and use it in smoothies or feed it to your cat. You could dehydrate it at 104 degrees and grind it into sprouted flour. You can even submerse it in water and make a ferment called rejuvelac.”
Kombucha tea is growing in popularity, and often sells out quite fast in the diner’s front deli case. Dubs has held one kombucha class in the past that he intends to expand into multiple workshops, providing attendees a SCOBY for starting cultures of their own.
The classes Dubs has led and those he and other collective members have planned for the future aren’t aimed at scaring up any business for the restaurant, selling you some sort of product, or playing off your emotions to encourage veganism, although most of the products used are available within Tree Huggers, harvested from local farms, and used in dishes at Bartertown. The main goal is to educate people on food and turn them on to the benefits of an efficient, plant-based diet, purely through rational demonstration.
“We have approached a point in mankind’s development where we have to switch to a more efficient method of resource consumption,” Dubs said. “It’s about humanity as a whole, whether you love animals or not. On the personal level, learning to cook a vegan diet will give you a better understanding of food, and how little you need if you prepare it in a fashion that maximizes nutrition.”
Of course, saving money, time and the earth’s resources aren’t the only benefits with this sort of diet.
“You are limiting or eliminating your risk of dying from a number of degenerative diseases,” Dubs said. “Heart disease, diabetes, cancer, etc… plus all these other problems developing as we slowly slip away from nature.”
It was Hippocrates, the father of western medicine, who once entertained the idea to let food be thy medicine. Dubs maintains that this opinion works both ways: treat your food with care and knowledge, and it will offer the same to you.
If you’ve been by our restaurant in the past few weeks, you may have noticed that the space south of Bartertown is starting to change. The Bloom Collective, “an infoshop and lending library providing resources to inspire radical social change,” is settling in nicely, and has a grand opening planned for March 9.
Before the infoshop opens, the Bloom Collective is hoping to raise money to pay down some rent and construction expenses. They’ve hit over 40% of their fundraising goal and recently received a promise of up to $2,000 in matching donations for every donation that comes in this week. Watch their video and learn more about what a donation means to them here.
Bartertown is very excited about this new neighbor, and our collective hopes that many others will come to use and appreciate the Bloom Collective often, once it is up and running. Memberships are offered for a sliding scale of $15 or more per year, allowing members to check out materials. The Bloom Collective also organizes, facilitates and/or cosponsors radical events in the community and provides a safe space for radical political ideas to form, evolve, and circulate.
There will be more details to come on how to help the infoshop out.