Why have one meeting house when two are twice as nice?
Russ Ware and Yemi Mobolade have duplicated their wildly popular downtown Wild Goose Meeting House a few miles north with Good Neighbors Meeting House, formerly the home of Dogtooth, and stepped it up with a full kitchen offering breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The food ranges from breakfast eggs to lunch and dinner meats, but this is a vegan review, so we're focusing on the plants. Regardless of your dietary choices, this hopping space offers what Wild Goose fans have come to expect: community coming together over coffee, drinks and now a lot more food.
All orders are taken at the counter, where one can peruse the extensive menu over the kitchen window. But I can break down the vegan options for you right here: some smoothies, porridge and granola for breakfast, and the hummus sandwich or plate and seasonal soup for lunch or dinner.
To start the day, consider the green smoothie ($6.25). This perfectly stereotypical vegan drink is perfectly pureed thick to be more like a milkshake than a health drink. Light green with verdant flecks of mint, the creaminess comes from the fatty (in a good way) avocado and crisp cucumber. Order this without honey to keep it 100 percent vegan, and trust that the banana and coconut milk will provide all the sweetness you need. For a more substantial breakfast, opt for the "3 Bears Porridge" ($8). Hearty with grains, the fruit compote - blueberries, lemon and sugar - provides a syrupy contrast to the simple almond milk and sprinkle of cinnamon. It's warm and comforting on a cold winter morning. (Again, you can hold the honey.)
The vegan lunch or dinner option is simple, and sometimes a humble soup and sandwich meal is just right. The veggie hummus sandwich ($9) is vegan if you request the country white bread. In an effort to manage expectations, the server reminded me that this sandwich was created with the original thick and meaty pumpernickel bread in mind. At first bite, I understood. The gummy white bread holding the crisp vegetables - cucumber, green pepper, lettuce, tomato and micro greens - with thin layers of hummus (pureed chickpeas) might not be the mouth feel the chef envisioned, but I was struck with food memories of simple white-bread lunches growing up, and I liked it. And I really enjoyed it with the current seasonal soup ($6). Vegan as it is, the peppery soup is creamy with yam and squash blended in coconut milk. This soup is worth the trip, folks. And if you're like me, you might be tempted to dip that charming squishy sandwich bread into the warm bowl, bite after delightful bite.
Finally, let us not forget that this "meetinghouse" encourages community conversations over drinks. From an espresso to cold brew coffee ($2.50 to $5) to craft cocktails ($7 to $11) to draft beer and local hard cider ($5 to $9) to sparkling, white and red wine ($7 to $11 glasses and $24 to $40 bottles), Good Neighbors probably has exactly what you want.