The Park Bistro and Bar is a lovely upscale restaurant in Beautiful Lafayette, California. The Bistro is housed in the charming Lafayette Park Hotel and serves breakfast lunch and dinner.
As stated in its own website:
“Renowned for its American bistro experience with a European flair, the Park Bistro & Bar offers rustic farm-to-table cuisine, and is a favorite restaurant in Lafayette.
Step into The Park’s lively ambiance, inspired by the charm of a romantic French farmhouse with a contemporary California twist. The eclectic menu at our Lafayette restaurant is approachable yet inventive, highlighting local, seasonal bounty. Savor artisanal meats, locally sourced produce, and a selection of seafood, paired with showcased wines and brews. Stylish plates feature smart presentations made from the finest ingredients found in California – all perfectly crafted to transport you to a gastro-bistro that is distinctly different, yet surprisingly welcoming.” http://www.lafayetteparkhotel.com/dining/the-park-bistro-bar/?gclid=CIK_uJXTzdYCFRB4fgodX_0GLw
I had discovered the Park Bistro and Bar a while back when my family was traveling through the Bay Area and needed a hotel for a night. This hotel and restaurant was a comfortable and welcome haven after long hours in the car. I was surprised to find such great quality food at a hotel restaurant.
I went back recently for lunch, after seeing that their menu online listed a couple of vegan-friendly dishes. I sat at a high top table in the comfortable and cozy bar area.
There is also a popular outdoor patio for dining. I took a look at the lunch menu and saw a few options that were plant-based or could be made vegan.
Asking my waiter about the Black Bean and Quinoa Burger led to a long conversation about vegetarian restaurants and websites being shared back and forth. It turns out that he was a foodie vegetarian. He highly recommended the burger, raving about the all homemade ingredients and the care that the kitchen put into creating it. I had to try it!
The burger was amazing! It was obviously homemade from great ingredients, the bun was whole grain, and the sweet potato fries were delicious and decadent.
To keep it vegan, I omitted the aioli sauce.At first glance, I thought that without the sauce, the burger looked dry, but it was just crispy and dry-looking on the outside, and moist and scrumptious inside.
The burger was firm enough to feel like a burger, and not squish out (technical veggie burger terminology) when eaten. It had a subtle southwestern flair that was just great and the bun had been spread with a delicious hummus and a few slices of roasted red peppers (not enough) that made the burger all the more delicious. It was a filling, hearty and soul-warming sandwich, and I ate the whole thing. (And not too many sweet potato fries.)
All in all, considering the quality and taste of the food and the luxurious atmosphere, it was probably the best vegan bean burger experience I have ever had. I would love to go back and try another vegan dish–maybe the Harvest Grains, with cracked bulgar, seasonal vegetables, summer greens (leave out the feta), toasted walnuts and sultana vinaigrette, or perhaps the Heirloom Tomato Salad, with marinated tomatoes, (leave out the feta), summer cucumber, tapenade crostini and basil, or the Saporito Spaghettini, with tomato pomodoro sauce, fresh torn basil, and capers?
Well, I did in fact go back again very soon after and guess what I ordered that time!
Next time I will branch out and try the Harvest Grains–maybe. I would love to recreate this burger at home. Keep posted for my home version!