Friday, October 12, 2007

La Tea Room Cafe

La Tea Room Café
151 W. Fourth Street
Downtown Cincinnati, 45202
513-651-2465 (web site menu not up to date)

This little gem is geared toward the office crowd and as such is only open for business M-F from 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m., but if you have business in downtown or are visiting during the day for a convention or ball game, La Tea Room Café offers a couple of veggie options that are well worth mentioning.

First up is The Veggie, a made-to-order sandwich with myriad ingredient choices. You can opt for white, wheat or rye sandwich bread, or pretzel bread, French baguette, ciabatta or croissant. Fillings include your choice of cheese, avocado, tomato, lettuce, onion, green pepper, cucumber, pickle, banana peppers and sliced egg, and they offer a wide variety of spreads, from mustard and mayonnaise to sun-dried tomato vinaigrette and Italian dressing. Breads can be toasted on request.

Next on the list is the baked potato. It is offered several ways to appeal to both veggies and non veggies alike, but word of warning – they go quickly. Best get in there early if you are craving one for lunch. Another potato option on hand is baked potato wedges. These tasty spuds are free with any sandwich- a pleasant change from the usual potato chip. If you aren’t in a starchy mood a small salad may be substituted instead.

La Tea Room also offers at least one vegetarian soup daily. Usually it is a hearty vegetable soup, but depending on the season you may also find a vegetarian broccoli-cheese soup or three bean soup on the menu.

Of course there are salads on the menu, and there is a Light Meal deal which consists of your choice of half a sandwich, small salad and soup or potato wedges or baked potato. It’s a pretty good deal and one I take advantage of quite often.

A very popular lunch dessert is their freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, which are roughly the size of a dinner plate. Seriously! They actually have a variety of sweet treats on offer, but usually by the time I escape the office and dash over there they are long gone, a testament to their deliciousness.

La Tea Room, as the name suggests, also offers a good variety of teas and coffee, as well as a limited selection of early morning snacks such as cereal bars, oatmeal and fresh fruit for the worker on the go. They serve Coca-Cola fountain drinks and keep a chill cabinet fully stocked with an assortment of juices, bottled fizzy drinks, and water.

The friendly staff is patient with first-timers and enjoys ribbing and cutting up with regulars, and at lunch the queue can reach to the door. If you don’t see any seating when you go in, be sure to have a wander down the hallway next to the cash register. It opens into a sizable dining room with free newspapers, magazines, books and game boards for those not in a rush- and it’s ok to fire up the laptop, because they offer free (non-secured) wi-fi service to customers.

It’s the little independent places like La Tea Room Café that make- and keep- vegetarian customers very happy. Viva La Tea Room!
La Tea Room Cafe on Urbanspoon

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