SmartMonkey Foods/Catering

at Food Front, Whole Foods and Daily Grind, see

Being the lone vegan in an office full of Mad Cow-infected carnivores allows me to be the taste-tester of all things not made of flesh. So when the folks at Smartmonkey Foods, a local vegan/raw catering company, dropped off a box of deliciousness, it was all mine! Vegan/raw pizza crust, marinara sauce, cosmic herb dressing... all of these were very flavorful and great, but it was the brownie that stole the show. While the words "carob" and "raw" don't exactly make a brownie sound delicious, Smartmonkey's carob brownie is one of the single best desserts I have ever eaten in my life. It's a perfect balance of nuts (dates, brazil nuts, walnuts), vanilla bean and enough carob to imitate the absent chocolate. EAC

La Villa Lunch Buffet

719 SE Morrison, 872-9696

Sick of the standard Indian food buffet, but still want to eat a whole bunch of food? Try La Villa's lunch buffet, which offers eggplant moussaka, rice and lentils, chicken noodle soup, falafel, spinach pie, chunks of lamb and chicken, and a salad bar with olives, baba, hummus, tabouli, tomatoes, cucumbers, and a bunch of dressings. Everything is fresh and fabulous, although the moussaka, drenched in a thin tomato sauce, is a must. The buffet satisfies vegetarians and carnivores alike, and does all this for only $6.95. KS


612 NW 21st, 223-8169

Yes, Muu-Muu's is hip and trendy. But it also has great food. The house salad is huge, dressed with a tangy vinaigrette and crumbles of bleu cheese for a small price (I only mention this because there is a lack of good salads in town). The steamed broccoli with tofu, white rice, and peanut sauce is cheap, somewhat healthy, and really great. The Elmer comes with their famous mashed potatoes, chicken, and a smart, not-too-heavy gravy. In addition, they make tangy drinks with fresh juices, fresh mint, and real ginger ale. KS