Progressive Denverites tend to speak of Colorado Springs in hushed tones. But, while Colorado Springs is the home of Douglas Bruce, Larry Liston and Focus on the Family, it's also the home of open-minded institutions like Colorado College and the Colorado Springs Independent, and some great veg food. On a recent visit to the Springs, I stopped by two of my favorite veg-friendly restaurants in the area: Poor Richard's and Adam's Mountain Cafe.
Poor Richard's is located in downtown Colorado Springs, on North Tejon. The namesake of local businessman and activist Richard Skorman, Poor Richard's is four establishments in one: a bookstore, a restaurant, a toy store, and a wine, chocolate and coffee bar.
Poor Richard's restaurant offers a number of veg options, including a veg reuben, veg burgers, spinach mushroom lasagna, and vegetables with tofu. However, Poor Richard's is best known for its pizza, which has a wonderfully crisp, New York style crust. (The crust is available in white, whole wheat or, for $2 more, spelt.) The slices are advertised as "giant" and they are indeed generous, covering the better part of a dinner plate.
For those who enjoy a salad with their pizza, the #1 meal deal ($8.75) includes a three topping slice along with a house salad (romaine lettuce, chickpeas, black olives, steamed green beans, tomatoes, cucumbers and feta cheese in a balsamic vinaigrette) and a fountain drink.
Diners may enjoy their meal in the restaurant, on the patio in front of the restaurant, or in the wine bar or bookstore.
Poor Richard's Restaurant
324 1/2 North Tejon
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
Adam's Mountain Cafe
Adam's Mountain Cafe is located just west of Colorado Springs, in nearby Manitou Springs. The Cafe specializes in vegetarian entrées, although the menu is not entirely vegetarian (poultry and fish are also served). Adam's Mountain Cafe is affiliated with the Slow Food movement, and prepares its dishes fresh for each order. Service is friendly and attentive.
On a recent morning visit, I tried the potatoes with vegetarian red chili and two eggs. Sliced red potatoes were layered with a thin red chili sauce and melted white cheddar cheese, and topped with scrambled eggs and scallions. My companion had the Busboy Special: two large whole grain pancakes served with maple syrup, scrambled eggs and and an array fresh fruit (sliced strawberry, kiwi, banana, apple and pear).
In keeping with the Cafe's focus on vegetarian cuisine, the special on the morning of our visit was a vegetarian quiche containing tofu and vegetables. Sesame crusted tofu is available as a breakfast side, and the chai is served with either soy or dairy milk.
Lunch and dinner entrées include Harvest Crepes, a Tofu Melt sandwich, Orzo Mediterranean Pasta, Senegalese Vegetables, and Tibetan Vegetables (available with the sesame crusted tofu).
Adam's Mountain Cafe
934 Manitou Ave
Manitou Springs, CO 80829