Saturn Cafe! »
Berkeley is no longer just a blight on the urban map of the Bay Area. For so long it was just a place for terrible students and terrible rich hippies (the worst kind of hippie!) and was only to be suffered if you really had to have delicious vegan brunch at Fellini. Well, it’s still all those things! But now it has taquitos! And cinnamon rolls! And Saturn Cafe!
Saturn Cafe is an import from Santa Cruz and it’s an important one. First of all, in a city that goes to bed at 6 p.m., it stays open to the unbelievably late hour of midnight. Kudos to them for making that happen because I can’t imagine the amount of city bullshit that they’d have to deal with to make that happen. Bureaucracy win! Secondly, it’s all vegetarian and that’s fucking awesome. It’s always nice to know that your tofu scramble won’t get cross-contaminated with bacon surprise (surprise! your breakfast had a mother!). And then there’s the decor? Saturn bills itself as a “Space-Age Diner” to which I say, “Space-Age?! More like GAY-AGE!” This place makes Pink Saturday look like a klan rally. Seriously, I brushed against a glitter-covered column and I swear, I’m still finding silver sparkles in my crap. All in all, LOVE. More glitter! Glitter for ALL! Life is a rave, pass the glow-in-the-dark Mickey Mouse gloves and let’s do the damn thing!
So already, Saturn Cafe has my heart. BUT THEN, my mind kicks in! That pesky thing that keeps me from being happy. Seriously, stupid people have it the best. And my mind tells me WAIT A MINUTE WTF IS THIS??? For a vegetarian restaurant, it’s sure slim pickings for the vegans. There are several areas in which they fail. I will now detail them because that’s how I do CONTROVERSY WHAT!
- No vegan cheese options. If you order something that regularly has cheese on it, the vegan version comes with this insane tofu spread that’s basically mashed up tofu with some chives mixed in. This grainy mixture is their stand-in for both cheese and sour cream. It’s very odd…not altogether bad, just odd. And when you consider the leaps and bounds vegan cheese products have taken in even the past few years, maybe the folks at Saturn just need to get on testing vegan cheeses. Might we suggest Daiya, Teese and Cheezly? We might!
- The veg chicken patties they use aren’t vegan. Dude, there’s GARDEIN. No excuse!
- Stuff like pancakes aren’t vegan. I don’t get it; pancakes are like the easiest thing to veganize. Let’s do this! Also, while you’re at it, please veganize the biscuits and gravy! There isn’t ONE place in the entire San Francisco Bay Area that serves this and I’m telling you, that alone will make Saturn famous. With my pants. And what is underneath my pants. That’s right, my vagina. I could go further but children read this blog! Also, if you are a child PLEASE STOP READING AND CALL CPS, your parents should be held responsible!
- Two options for vegan ice cream! You’re in the land of Maggie Mudd now, broker a deal with those fools! Let’s see some PB&J! And Apple Pie! I will pay for it, in both money and hella points for gluttony! This is kind of a throw-on request because I like to shoot for the moon. It’s really nice that they offer vegan milkshakes and I don’t want to push my luck.
All in all, Saturn Cafe, I love you. But please come through for the vegans! We count on our brothers in arms (or, in arms-ish. oh and that’s you, vegetarians! hi!) to have our backs in this big bad world of restaurant dining. If you could pull through for us on the front of vegan options, we will repay you in a never ending supply of our cold, hard vegan cash. And we’re by and large very rich*—how else would we shop at Rainbow all the time!? Shit.
OH ALSO: Maybe if they receive lots of very polite email from vegans letting them know there’s a desire for more vegan options, we’ll see some action! Maybe not! But, as always, it’s worth a try! Go forth, mighty (and polite!) vegans! Go forth, and spread our mighty (and polite!) message!
Yes, Fellini is the kind of place that feels the need to append “Ristorante” to their name. You know, so you can tell they’re Italian. They also describe themselves as “fun and funky” and a “bistro.” Wait, come back.
They have a really wonderful brunch menu, which is, ahem, not Italian in any way I can discern. Is this an Italian restaurant or not? I can’t tell. Maybe if the waiters wore overalls and broke bricks with their heads, then we could know for sure. Nevertheless, it does have a pretty large selection of vegan stuff. My recommendations are either the vegan benedict, or the breakfast sausage scramble. Also, it says right on the menu, “All vegan dishes are prepared in VEGAN-ONLY pans,” which is too cool because it means no cross contamination with funk nasty meat, eggs or dairy. I guess you could have gotten that from the VEGAN-ONLY sentence but I felt the need to type it again because it’s cool and I might be autistic? Who knows! Only a doctor, probably.
Fellini has a pizza called “smiling cow” (cute, right?) which is like the vegan version of a Meat Lover’s Supreme. Made with vegan bacon, sausage, and pepperoni, it’s truly, ridiculously delicious, and that’s all you need to know about that. I like this pizza, I give it four Marios!
Thank you, Mr. Fellini! Whoever you are! For bringing fantastic vegan food to the masses at brunch, lunch and dinner. Please open up a second location in my mouth and then we can be BFF. UNTIL THEN WE ARE ONLY JUST REGULAR FRIENDS BUT NOT BFF.
[photo by Sharon. Ciao!]