Seedz Cafe

The DeMun neighborhood in Clayton is one of our favorite areas to meander around on a gorgeous spring evening. Plenty of trees and flowers in bloom and a plethora of places to drop in for a drink and a bite. The newest spot to open up in the area is Seedz Café, a quality vegetarian/vegan eatery for those who want something light and delicious and plant-based.

The space itself is on the small side but comfortable, with plenty of light-thanks to the streetside windows. There even are window seats and pillows for those who want to take in the neighborhood vista while they dine.

The food menu at Seedz is small but varied, with something for most any palate. There are creative vegan and vegetarian takes on a variety of cuisine, not just a series of salads or dishes that merely sub tofu for meat. Of course, there are plenty of organic juices and smoothies available, as well.

We decided on the Tempeh Reuben ($10), and the Raw Pad Thai ($12) for our repast. Before meat lovers even ask, the answer is no: Tempeh does not taste like pastrami, and this version of the venerable deli favorite is not a direct analogue for it. Had the folks at Seedz tried to replicate a Reuben exactly, it would most probably have been a failure. Rather, they have created an homage that hearkens to the flavors and textures of the original, while having its own distinct personality. The tempeh has the weight of the meat, the sprouted grain wrap it's encased in has the rough feel of rye bread, and the vegan 1000 Island dressing and sauerkraut connect all of the disparate elements together. Even if you've never had a Reuben before, this is a delicious creation in its own right. It was served up with a side of blue corn chips and some mixed greens, as well.

The pad thai is closer to its source dish in flavor, thanks to the familiar peanut sauce and crushed peanuts on top. This variant is based on zucchini noodles, and has basil and garlic a plenty. Sometimes, this dish can be heavy, burdened with oil and consequently muted flavors. But the Seedz version is light, and all of the elements shine through. Often times this dish is served with shrimp or other meat, but we guarantee you won't miss it.

Many of the beverages at Seedz are made on site, as well, like the house-made lemonade ($3). Most impressive was the in-house beer. During our visit, the beer on hand was a double-hopped pale ale ($8), a delicious malty brew with a nice, hoppy bite. We're told that the beer changes up with some frequency as the batches are small—another good reason to stop in frequently!

For handcrafted fare, the prices at Seedz were quite reasonable, and service was quick and pleasant. Seedz is a great neighborhood place where anyone who enjoys good food—vegan, vegetarian and omnivore alike—can enjoy a quality bite.

— 6344 South Rosebury Ave., 283-6681,

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