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user 7632449
Boulder, CO
Post #: 1
Hi all!
I've talked to a few of you who agree with me that the vegan breakfast dining options in Boulder are slim pickings. Walnut cafe offers tofu but they don't flavor it at all! I finally wrote to the manager at the South Walnut Cafe and received a receptive response. I'm posting that email here in case any of you are inclined to voice your opinion too! Specially if you've eaten there and know what I'm talking about.


On Fri, Mar 12, 2010 at 12:04 PM, Dawn Jones wrote:
Hi Julia,
Like many vegans in the area, we go to Walnut Cafe because it is one of the very few places to get a vegan breakfast in Boulder. I've never said anything in person because I have been been happy for the fact of, "being able to go out to breakfast occasionally." But now I am thinking it's not a bad idea to give constructive feedback.

The tofu your restaurant serves should be flavored. Tofu is like a sponge and should be given the chance to become flavorful. By simply adding one of the following - Bragg Liquid Amino's or Soy Sauce or Tamari - in the first moments of cooking to allow the tofu to soak it up makes all the difference. The way it is prepared at the Walnut Cafe (both locations) it is really bland and is prepared in such a way that makes people who don't eat tofu normally would never want to eat it. Rather than cubing the tofu, try using a fork to "scramble" it then adding some flavoring.

Also, since your restaurants no longer has had the vegan sausage I have given a suggestion (Gimme Lean Sausage Style) and have asked each time I've came in when an alternative would be found. Here are a few more suggestions : Boca breakfast links and Tofurky vegan breakfast links.

Thanks for reading Julia. Like I said, I really do appreciate Walnut Cafe having options for us vegans. Just thought it was time to give some thoughts though.

Best Regards,
Dawn Jones
Hi Dawn

I appreciate your feedback!

You are the first I have heard from about the preparation of the tofu. I'm asking around to see what others think. I'll get back to you on that one.
We are in test mode this week on the Gimme Lean. 1st to try it with our standard dishes and second to locate a vendor. I'll be back in touch on this one as well.

Bear with me and I love hearing from my customers, good and bad, so thank you for taking the time...


Laura K
user 10862267
Boulder, CO
Post #: 25
Hi Dawn,

I'm glad you posted this. I live just a few blocks from the original Walnut Cafe on Walnut Street, and I never go there any more because the tofu is not enjoyable. I agree that if enough of us say something, perhaps they'll consider a new scramble recipe. If you talk with Julia again, you might encourage her to compare notes with the Walnut Cafe owner about the feedback on the tofu.

I had a conversation in person about the tofu with the owner. I said many of the same things you did...that the tofu was really bland and needed seasoning. The owner said that the tofu "scramble" is one of her most popular breakfast items and that lots of customers like it the way it is. She said people like to add their own seasonings after it is cooked, like tamari, ketchup, or hot sauce, or you can tell your server that you want the cooks to add certain things and they will do it for you.

I expressed doubt that people like it plain, because in 21 years of being vegetarian I've never met anyone over the age of 5 who prefers plain, unseasoned tofu. I'm sure a lot of people order the tofu, but probably because it's the only thing available for some of us...and I doubt anyone comes back because they love the tofu.

Still, she seemed convinced that she'd get a lot of negative feedback from her regulars if she changed the standard way they prepare it, so I told her I'd try ordering it with some spices next time. I did. I asked for some rosemary and thyme, salt and pepper. It was clear that the cooks didn't have a clue how much to use or how to cook it, because the tofu was still cubed and blah. I've never gone back.

A former member
Post #: 1
I agree about the tofu: only my 11 month old likes it.

However, Walnut Cafe has one of the most amazing tempeh scrambles I've ever had. I used to get it with the vegan sausage (which they seem to have sporadically and now I guess not at all?) and the soy cheese. It's definitely the best vegan breakfast in Boulder and there are several of us who partake on occasion.

Thanks so much for bringing this to their attention. I would go there much more often if I had more than one choice (no matter how it good it is) and I'm constantly amazed when I get served unseasoned barely cooked tofu as a meal--it casts a pall on the entire restaurant.

user 7632449
Boulder, CO
Post #: 2
The South Side Walnut Cafe now has Gimme Lean breakfast sausage on a trial basis. If you order it make sure you say Gimme Lean Vegan sausage. I ordered it first by saying just Vegan Sausage and then Steve ordered it specifically by name and the waitress said 'oh, is that what you wanted too'. So they may just opt for the veggie sausage if your not careful.
A former member
Post #: 15
hi guys,
i just discovered this thread of emails and thought i'd put my experience down as well...i complained (gave constructive feedback) to both the owner of walnut cafe and the manager and even brought them recipes on tofu scramble. they said that i was the only one that ever complained and that their customers loved the dish. after three or four times eating there i decided i didn't want to waste my money on a business that was so unwilling to learn the most basic understanding of how to use tofu in the kitchen.

it really does give tofu and eating vegetarian a bad rap. such ignorance on their part but perhaps if we got enough of us to go in and say something they might slowly open to hearing us.

thanks for starting this discussion dawn.
Laura K
user 10862267
Boulder, CO
Post #: 26
Speaking of vegan breakfast in Boulder, the Gindi Cafe at 3601 Arapahoe (in the Peloton condo complex) has a nice eggless breakfast burrito. It is normally made with tofu, salsa, and cheese, but they will happily make any substitution you ask for. They have vegan black beans, grilled vegetables, hummus, and an excellent tapenade, all of which would be great in the burrito, and they have whole wheat tortillas if you prefer.

You can also get any of these in a pressed sandwich, and they have lovely fresh salads with homemade dressing and a vegetable tart that I think is vegan (I'll check). They're working on getting a vegan veggie burger on the menu, and I'm going to talk with the owner, Francine, about doing a tofu scramble. She is really great, really open to feedback and very flexible. I love to see her get more vegan business.


Their hours aren't the best for breakfast - right now they open at 9 AM (10 AM on Saturdays) and are closed Sundays...but they're great for Saturday brunch!

Edited - The veggie tart has butter in the crust - darn!
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