Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Eating Sticks and Twigs

My friend Kelly and I went out for dinner today and tried a new downtown restaurant called Stix n' Twigs Café (yes, they know enough to include the accent aigu over the "e" in "café" but don't know that an apostrophe should go wherever one has left off a letter in a contraction so that "and"--missing both the "a" and "d"--would be written apostrophe "n" apostrophe). The subtitle on the menu says "Innovative Organic Cuisine," and I didn't know quite what to expect from that.

We met there at 11:30 A.M., and it was already full--although it's not a terribly large space. The door is flanked by two windows looking out on the street, and in each window is a built-in table with two stools pushed up to it (Kelly and I sat at one of those). There is a sitting area with couches and bookshelves, and on either side of that are a few tables--maybe half a dozen total? There is a counter at which to pay or to order from the "service case," and the employees prepare beverages and desserts behind the counter and get into the kitchen from a door at one end of the counter. The restrooms are at the back of the room.

The owners did a terrific job renovating their portion of the old building and creating a tastefully decorated, inviting, relaxing space. Outside, they chose tumbled bricks set in a random pattern more appealing than the even, predictable, pink/tan bricks of most of downtown. Inside, the paint colors are muted, the wood is stained dark, the light fixtures are modern pendant lights, the walls feature artwork created by local artists, the floor is a marble-y green tile, and the men's bathroom has candles on the toilet tank and a fun stone sink (that slants down from the front toward the wall where the water disappears in a long slit against the wall) with a pump bottle of "stress-reducing" soap. They even replaced some of the sidewalk outside with what looks to be black slate. I was impressed.

And the food was fantastic, too. Kelly ordered their burger: "organic vegan burger with wheat, nuts, and beans and spices sautéed and served on a bun with tomato, lettuce, pickle, and lime vegenaise." I had the Cobb salad pita: "avocado, chicken, vine-ripened tomatoes, bacon, bleu cheese, and romaine mingled with vinaigrette, garnished with egg, and served in a pita." I really liked them both (Kelly let me try some of her burger) and was tempted to try the peach "krisp" that was one of today's dessert offerings, but I was just the right amount of "full" from the reasonable portions that they served us.

Based on the fun atmosphere and the tasty items that I tried today, I would happily make a return visit to Stix n' Twigs Café (and would do so even more quickly if they would write it "Sticks and Twigs Café"). The menu itself is enough to bring me back; I found plenty of unusual items that I'd like to return to try sometime (including toasted quinoa vegan soup, coconut curry chicken salad, beet and chevre salad, and rustic Moroccan goat cheese tart). They were even kind enough to give me a copy of the menu to take home!

There's also the healthy, earth-friendly appeal of the place. This is what the owners write about themselves on the front of the menu: "Endeavoring to bring you whole foods without artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. Organic foods grown without chemical herbicides, pesticides, or GMOs (genetically modified organisms). Striving to use green products using renewable sustainable sources that are compostable." (That is followed immediately by this: "Hebrews 1:3--"The Son . . . sustaining all things by His powerful word." It might be the first menu I have seen with a Bible verse featured on it!)

I like having a variety of options from which to choose when we feel like dining out, so I'm delighted to add this to the list of restaurants in the area. You wanna try it out? Let me know, and we'll schedule a dinner date! (Forewarning: Stix n' Twigs is open from 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. Monday through Friday, so do try to be hungry during those time spans, please.)

1 comment:

  1. Hmmm...the hours of operation seem to be mostly during the hours I'm at school. Perhaps we can plan a lunch date for Christmas vacation or next summer?