Eden Alley Vegetarian Café’s name is fitting.
Not only is it located in the lower floor of the gorgeous Unity Temple on the Plaza, Eden Alley’s food tastes like it’s been plucked straight from a garden of biblical proportions.
Their motto is “divine flavor for the conscious eater,” catering to the vegetarian, vegan, raw and gluten free crowd of Kansas City.
But don’t let that scare you off, meat eaters. You’ll find no yeast balls or algae on this green scene. Eden Alley has delectable dishes for every palate, many of which will appeal to even the most voracious carnivore.
The ingredients aren’t the only local things found inside this Kansas City gem. The walls are adorned with fine art by local artists, and the tables are hand-painted by different Kansas City painters. The single large room is spacious and colorful, complete with a chalkboard conveying positive messages and a kids’ area with toys and a playhouse.
Solo diners can smile at the assortment of KC newspapers and magazines, or pick up some of the ads for local yoga studios and nutrition consultants.
The entire front page of the menu is devoted to the daily specials. The waiter said the featured dishes are constantly changing and always different. Not only are there six special entrees, there are also featured drinks, soups and appetizers.
Overwhelmed, my mother and I nibbled on some fresh sourdough bread with delicious, sweet agave butter. As suggested, I chose Crazy Carrot Apple Fresh Juice, while my mom ordered the Peppermint Lemonade. Our table was soon even more beautiful with my bright orange drink that smelt and tasted like Eden itself. The lemonade was incredibly refreshing, even with the “drinking lemonade after brushing your teeth” feeling. We ordered two more glasses.
The Ultimate Garlic Grilled Cheese immediately caught my eye. As a vegetarian myself, I am a devoted grilled cheese fan, especially at mostly meat-focused places. The waiter told me it’s one of the most popular dishes, especially among college students.
My mom picked the Eggplant Parmesan Bruschetta, a featured entrée that night. Both dishes cost about $10, but were well worth the price when they arrived at the table.
My sandwich was served open-faced on a bed of fresh spinach with red wine vinaigrette. A thick slice of garlic bread, spread with chili-cumin aioli and topped with pickles, onions and tomatoes, was followed by cheddar, bleu and Parmesan cheese and finally a delicious creamy hummus.
My mom’s dish was served similarly: grilled eggplant blessed with oregano and basil on thick fresh bread, topped with marinara sauce and Parmesan. The only words we could come up with while not stuffing our faces were “absolutely delicious.”
The food was rich and warm, but still tasted fresh from a garden. We ate as much as we could and still had enough to take home.
The waiter brought us a sampling of desserts, with exciting things like an apple-lavender cake and a raw carrot lime tart. Unable to narrow down our favorites, we chose two. The surprisingly light Mexican mandarin cake, one of the more popular desserts, was slightly spicy with hints of cinnamon and orange.
The Peanut Butter Fudge vegan cake was incredibly rich, definitely a dessert for two. Both were amazing and definitely worthy of late-night sweet cravings.
I enjoyed every single bit of my experience at Eden Alley and have found a new favorite restaurant in Kansas City. I would recommend it to anyone I know, even my steak-enthusiast father. It is, without exaggerating, some of the best food I have ever had.
Eden Alley is located in Unity Temple on the Plaza at 707 W 47th St. To contact Eden Alley, call 816-561-5415.