Dayton, Ohio – Café 1610 introduced its take on vegan cuisine in downtown Dayton less than two months ago, and the response has been very enthusiastic, with customers coming from as far away as Cincinnati and Columbus to try the breakfast-and-lunch vegan dishes, its founders say.
And as of Wednesday Nov. 4 — dinner is served.
Dinner service was always part of Café 1610′s plan, co-founder Cathy Mong said, and the restaurant’s readiness to launch the expanded hours and menu after less than two months is a direct result of the warm response the vegan café has received since it opened.
The new dinner menu will be available every day the café is regularly open for breakfast and lunch, Wednesday through Sunday. Dinner hours will be 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
The launch of dinner service also means that brunch service has been extended through the afternoon to 5 p.m. every day the restaurant is open. Café 1610 will remain closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
“We found that people are really into the comfort foods,” Mong said. “More than say, ‘Oh, I want a big fruit salad for lunch.’ … Most people come in for the grits or the Churro French Toast, or the tofu scramble. So we adjust.”
Café 1610 chef and co-founder Xtine Brean “knows and follows the sales, so when we need to drop something, we drop something, and when we add something, we can add something. That’s how it’s evolving,” Mong said.
The dinner menu is divided into starters; soups and salads; “main event;” and sides. All are new creations by Chef Xtine.
A few menu items stood out as especially scrumptious opportunities for customers who are new to vegan dining and may want to try vegan alternatives to classic meat or dairy dishes. And the vegan versions leave the tummy equally, if not more, satisfied.
Neci’s Salad, $8, is a hearty bed of tender baby spring mix, lightly tossed with white balsamic pear vinaigrette, topped with coconut bacon, pistachio-crusted queso fresco-style cheese and garlicky croutons.
Definitely a “main event” dish, the “Ribz,” $9, are trumpet mushrooms rubbed, seared and baked in sauce. The trumpet mushrooms have much more of a meaty texture than that of tofu or other mushroom alternative dishes and taste spot-on if looking for a rib-like dinner.
The Ribz pair wonderfully with the mashed potatoes, mushroom gravy and fire-roasted corn.
For a nutrient-loaded option that still hits the comfort spot, the “Stuffed Spicy Sweet Spud,” $10, gets a kick from chipotle chickpeas with sautéed spinach and is topped with avocado, then drizzled with lime crema.
Café 1610, founded by Brean, Mong, and Mong’s daughter, Molly Blackshear, is located at 521 Wayne Ave. in Dayton. For more information, go to www.facebook.com/Cafe1610.Dayton or call 937-815-1610.