Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Get Adama Dreams (and into My Belly)

I recently read about Adama, an all-vegan restaurant that opened a short while ago in downtown Santa Barbara, in the Santa Barbara News-Press. So when my friend Micah recommended it to me at my roommate Emily's birthday picnic, it moved right to the top of my to-visit list. He said Adama (pronounced Ah-dahm-AH) offered fancy but not prohibitively expensive vegan comfort food.

Vegan comfort food? Say no more. Actually… please say a little bit more. In my experience, vegan food (especially in the presence of other, non-vegan food) makes most people rather uncomfortable. But I was curious. So I convinced Amy and Emily to go out to a lunch at Adama after their graduation ceremony the next day with a couple of other friends.

The first surprise was that Adama is right next door to Alchemy Arts CafĂ©, another vegan joint (although “joint” might not be the right word – both restaurants are pretty classy). That seemed like risky business planning to me. Sure, it’s awesome for all the vegans in the neighborhood… but why are two of the only vegan restaurants in Santa Barbara directly next to each other? Talk about some healthy competition (am I right?).

The second surprise was that Micah was there with his family. For some reason, he didn’t look pleased to see us. I think he was embarrassed of us. He shouldn’t have been, because we were the best customers ever. We were all thrilled with the ambiance of the place and wandered around, marveling at how cute it was and asking questions. The food was good, too.

I went with the pumpkin pecan pancakes (or “pe-pump cakes,” as Emily and I quite maturely nicknamed them). The pancakes were incredible, but here’s the best part: the pitcher of 100% pure maple syrup. Adama is the only restaurant I have ever been to where you get an entire pitcher of pure maple syrup for free. Usually restaurants charge you at least a dollar extra for it, and you get a tiny little bit that’s enough for half a pancake. Here’s what my meal looked like:

Everyone was delighted with their meals. Here are some pictures of the other dishes we got:

Rihanna's soy-free grilled "cheese" sandwich

Amy's grilled veggie wrap
Right now, Adama is only open for breakfast and lunch. But they’re planning to start serving dinner soon in a couple of weeks, and I can’t wait to see (well, taste) what they offer.

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