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Restaurant:Sweet Pea, Tallahassee, FL

Concept:Locally owned and operated vegan restaurant using local and organic ingredients as much as possible. Currently, their seasonal produce is from Full Earth Farm in Quincy, FL and Green Industries Institute in Monticello, Fl.

Menu:The menu includes mostly sandwiches with awesome sides like sweet potato fries and veggies with homemade hummus. They offer a weekend brunch with special mimosas, and serve house made lemonade and iced tea; they also serve some good selections of cerveza. And let’s not forget the house-roasted coffee, which is always fair-trade and organic. Here is their Facebook menu page for more info: http://www.facebook.com/spctally?sk=app_117784394919914

During one of my recent trips to Tallahassee, I finally made it a point to check this place out. They opened up right before I left town last summer, and I have heard some pretty great things about it since. David, my boyfriend, accompanied me and I think he enjoyed it just as much as I did. Although it’s located on a fairly busy street, the wide open grassy lot across the way creates a fairly serene atmosphere for outside dining, which is just where we sat; if David knows one thing about me, it’s that I’ll always choose outside seating at restaurants, if available.

Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pictures of our meals! So hopefully my menu descriptions will entice you to try it for yourself. Or, you can check out their Facebook menu page: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.205173239548341.56537.123951997670466&type=3

I had the Falawesome Wrap with a side of veggies and hummus, and it was absolutely delicious. If you haven’t guessed by now, it is a wrap filled with falafel, and topped with a lemon-tahini sauce, cucumber, tomato, onion and lettuce. You have the option of choosing a whole wheat wrap, a pita or a gluten-free brown rice tortilla. The falafel was nice and crispy on the outside, but not too oily; I’ve had a lot of falafel and very few restaurants get it right! There was also just the right amount of tahini sauce to break up the potential dryness of the chickpeas. This wrap is simple and tasty. I also had an iced coffee, which was flavorful and smooth. Whoever is roasting the beans in there is doing a great job – keep it up!

David had their black bean burger with sweet potato fries. The burger is a black bean-quinoa patty, which was very moist and held together nicely.  It’s served with tomato, onion, lettuce and stone ground mustard on fresh Ciabatta from the local bakery, Au Peche Mignon. And of course, the sweet potato fries were awesome. Both of our meals were under $10, making this place just as affordable as any other café and, it’s vegetarian/vegan…options which are hard to find in many cities. I thought the portion sizes were perfect – not too much food, but just enough to satisfy. Well worth your dollars.

Sweet Pea is small and quaint. The tables and chairs are used, the walls and floors are worn, and the kitchen appears non-existent! But they make it work. And so efficiently too, on many levels. Using local produce and food as much as possible, and converting their food trash into compost bins are all processes that create sustainability. We need more of these businesses and I hope to see this restaurant grow, in popularity as well as in size, as a means to maintain this sustainable food movement. 
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