square meal

photo by Anne Jansen

The Northstar Cafe is one of my all-time favorites here in Columbus, Ohio, and their Square Meal is at the top of my list. The beans are spicy and flavorful, and the organic brown rice underneath it is a hearty base. The avocados and sautéed red peppers and onions add flavor and substance. Plus, the salty strips of tortilla chips provide a savory crunch that tops off the meal. If you visit Northstar, you should give this one a try!

HUBba HUBba

photo by Anne Jansen

I stopped in for a hearty lunch at Hopworks Urban Brewery, aka HUB, after hiking around in the lava tubes at Mt. St. Helens. It turns out they make a mean burger. I ordered their House Burger with their house-made veggie patty (consisting most prominently of black beans), which was served on an onion cheese bun. It was delectable, but still not as good as the house-made organic root beer! It had some serious bite to it, but also had a crisp sweetness to it. If I lived in Portland, I’d be a regular at HUB.

photo by Anne Jansen

naturally delicious

photo by Anne Jansen

These black bean enchilladas from The Natural Cafe in Santa Barbara, California, are not only delicious but also vegetarian. In fact, the entire menu offers a wide variety of options for vegetarians and vegans alike. This is not to say that meat-eaters will have to go without — in fact, the grilled chicken pita (pictured below) proved more than satisfying for one of my dining companions. The portions are more than enough, and the prices are highly competitive. The Natural Cafe is one of my all-time favorites.

photo by Anne Jansen

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