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Review

Plum Bistro

Written by

If you took away all of the tables and chairs at Plum Bistro and popped in some big mirrors, the space would look exactly like one of those fitness studios where people spend $35 to do pretend ballet for 55 minutes. Plum isn’t full of people doing choreographed kettlebell pliés, but it is a crowd-pleasing vegan spot where, if you get a cocktail, you’ll spend about the same amount on a hearty meal.

Bring anyone here, even a group of meat-eating friends who prefer to ignore that tempeh and almond milk exist. Plum will show them that, yes, vegan can mean Frankenstein-foods like BBQ plant loaf and jackfruit plant balls, but it also means familiar dishes that just so happen to be vegan, like a bowl of delicious gnocchi or an avocado and squash-loaded leafy salad.

Chona Kasinger

The menu has a ton of variety, but there’s a common thread of Cajun-inspired flavors. If you’re not here to be healthy, you should order the Spicy Cajun Mac ‘N’ Yease, which looks like elbow noodles poking out of a pile of mushy tofu but tastes like Stouffer’s evil twin that you secretly like better. Other greasier options include a reuben with pastrami-spiced tofu, fishless tacos, and pizza (skip the pizza). Unless you try to pass off an appetizer as a meal, you’ll leave Plum satisfied without needing to swan dive into a bag of mini pretzels the second you get home.

Especially if you’re not vegan or vegetarian, it’s rare to find a plant-based restaurant you’ll want to visit more than once, but we find ourselves returning to Plum for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There’s just something fulfilling about eating tasty food that happens to be vegan in a moody cement room. Kind of like that sense of accomplishment at the end of your workout class, except you’ll never have to have to pick up a kettlebell.

Food Rundown

Spicy Cajun Mac & “Yease”

This cylindrical mound of yeasty macaroni needs to be on your table. It’s creamy, a little spicy, and always part of our order. It’s the best dish here.

Avocado Roll

This maki roll stuffed with pickled vegetables and served with a blob of chipotle aioli is a great reminder that seasoned sticky rice and seaweed are never a bad idea.

General Tso’s Cauliflower

This is sweet, spicy, and you can’t really taste the actual cauliflower. You can decide whether that’s a pro or con - but we like it either way you spin it. Beware that it’s only available at lunch and Happy Hour, though.

Vegan Rueben

Acidic pickled cabbage, toasty rye bread, and thousand island dressing are enough to trick you into thinking this is a real pastrami reuben. Sure, it’s made with tofu, but still feels very deli-like.

Fried Oyster Mushroom Calamari

We wish this tasty fried mushroom snack wasn’t called “calamari” because it doesn’t really resemble squid, even a little bit - but we love the crunchy breading and lemon aioli to dip them in.

Tempeh Vermouth

The tempeh vermouth is our favorite entree here. It’s a big, comforting plate of herby seared tempeh, smashed potatoes that blur the line between home fries and a mash, and roasted broccoli. While the potatoes could use more flavor, the briny olives are there to help.

Buffalo Portobello Burger

This is a portobello cap breaded, fried, tossed in buffalo sauce, and sandwiched between a bun with ranch. So, yeah, it’s going to be good. But beware that this thing is a greasy mess to eat, and the sogginess of the fries on the side can vary.

Veggie Monster Pizza

They’re not kidding with the name “Veggie Monster:” here you’ll find a buckets-worth of barely cooked kale, onion, mushrooms, peppers, and broccoli on top of a fake cheese pizza. Unfortunately, it tastes kind of like a lesser version of a Daiya pie from Whole Foods. Stick with another entree instead.

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