For those of you that read my post about Fort Collins, Colorado, you will already know about my love affair with a little vegan restaurant called Tasty Harmony. Whenever we travel to this favorite town of ours, we always visit Tasty Harmony at least once.
We adjusted our route to make sure it went through the Fort during week 1 of our North American Road Trip, and we ate at Tasty Harmony twice in the three days we stayed. This is the kind of splurge allowed in our tight road trip budget. And by splurge, I also mean food splurge – like any restaurant food, I count it as special occasion food where I can eat a little less clean than I would at home.
On this past trip, we took our Fort Collins hosts out to Tasty Harmony for dinner. These were two wonderful friends who opened up their home (and kitchen!) to let us stay with them. Though they are open-minded and health-oriented, they are still meat-eaters. They impressed me by choosing some of the more “healthy” sounding options on the menu, and they thoroughly enjoyed the food. Further proof that you should never make any assumptions and always give people the chance to pleasantly surprise you.
Some past trips to the Fort we have totally splurged and dropped the majority of our budget on food at Tasty Harmony. I love it because it’s the cross between vegan comfort food and still being healthy.
They have roots in macrobiotics and raw food cuisine and use lots of whole, fresh foods. A place after my own heart! This includes the aptly titled The Big Macrobiotic which features steamed veggies, greens, beans, brown rice, sea veggie salad, and cultured cabbage. Then they have dishes like the Raw Pad Thai with kelp noodles in an almond coconut sauce.
At the same time, they have some pure comfort foods like Kentucky Fried Freedom with breaded mock chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, black eye peas and greens.
It’s a treat to find a menu which I approve and could eat pretty much everything on it without feeling crappy afterward. Their portion sizes are also right on – too small for Jay, but just right for a normal person. It’s actually hard to decide what to get because everything looks so good and meets my (special occasion) standards!
Those with food sensitivities will appreciate that they also label all the gluten-free options on the menu. There’s a symbol for meals that contain dairy, but I’ve yet to find anything that isn’t vegan.
One of their specialties is BBQ pulled jackfruit. Jackfruit is a huge fruit from Southeast Asia, and it’s cooked when it’s still green and starchy to give a very “meaty” texture, often described as similar to pulled pork. I wish we could come up with some better descriptors! Really, it’s got a great texture, and it’s nice to use an actual whole food rather than some soy or gluten concoction that was cleverly designed to mimic the texture of meat.
One of the dishes everyone should try at least once is the Heart of Provence, just because it is so dang delicious! You don’t have to be vegan or even health-minded to like this one. Polenta normally doesn’t excite me much, but alongside the almond-crusted tempeh and sauce, I’m digging this meal. It does come with a salad (not pictured here) to offset the beige. (I have a thing against beige food which reminds me of the Standard American Diet).
And, lest we forget raw food, bring on the Living Falafel wrap. At home, I love wrapping foods in collard leaves so it makes me happy when restaurants do this.
For dessert, Tasty Harmony normally has a few rotating options, both raw and cooked. Our buddies shared a slice of vegan chocolate peanut butter cream pie. Totally forgot to take a photo for you guys, but I can assure you it was beautiful and they cleaned their plate. I’ve had the house raw cheesecake before and it’s pretty delicious.
True to form, we returned the next day, this time for lunch meeting my former thesis adviser, another omnivore. We were spreading the vegan love all around Fort Collins!
For the budget conscious, they have a $6.99 lunch special every day. I got the special with half a tempeh Reuben sandwich and a cup of miso soup.
Jay was feeling basic and wanted a burger, of all the delicious menu items! Go figure. Another too-beige, not so pretty lunch. But he said it hit the spot.
Surprise, surprise that our guest got the salad, the most colorful of all our meals. Confession: I totally coveted it. Look how pretty it was!
I usually don’t order salads when I go to vegan restaurants because I want to try something I couldn’t easily make myself. And I make such huge awesome salads every day that restauarant ones rarely hit my high standards (and volume).
And that’s it, for now. I have no doubt I’ll be back, trying more. One of the waitresses already recognizes us even though we only visit the city about once a year.
Good-bye Tasty Harmony! ‘Til next time. Maybe we’ll travel back to Fort Collins when we make our return trip back across North America…
Now your turn. Ever visited Fort Collins or Tasty Harmony? What’s your favorite dish? Leave it in the comments.