A Taste of the Region: Longbranch Cafe & Bakery - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

A Taste of the Region: Longbranch Cafe & Bakery

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For two decades, Longbranch Cafe & Bakery has been serving locals vegetarian food options.

Elaine Ramseyer, General Manager, says it all started with baked goods and then slowly phased into a full menu of breakfast, lunch and dinner items.

"20 years ago we were vegetarian, so it was just a natural extension of who we are," Ramseyer explains. "We started actually as a bakery and then slowly added the food after six or eight years."

Now, Longbranch also serves vegan and gluten free dishes as well.

In addition to offering healthy and handmade food, Ramseyer wants the restaurant to be known as an inviting space for all to feel welcome.

"The Longbranch is really a space for our community," Remseyer says. "It's really about building community, serving community needs with art, programming and small events."

During the tasting, News 3's Brooke Schlyer tried The Ninja breakfast.

It's a homemade butter biscuit topped with soy sausage gravy, two free-range eggs and grilled veggies.

The soy sausage is made from scratch and consists of soy, pink peppercorn, sage and smoked paprika.

This helps to mimic the taste of pork sausage.

While onions, carrots, green pepper, yellow squash and zucchini, are always in the side of vegetables; sometimes others are added from Ramseyer's organic farm depending on the season.

Brooke also tried the Shanghai Power Bowl.

It's a large helping of rice noodles, seasonal veggies, grilled tofu, edamame and bean sprouts.

Diners can also swap out the rice noodles for quinoa.

Bowl is topped with a citrus, ginger dressing.

Ramseyer says as cold and flu season approaches, eating ginger helps to boost one's immune system.

BROOKE'S PICK:

Although the Shanghai bowl is delicious and filling -- it could seriously be two meals -- the The Ninja had to be my favorite. The soy sausage in the biscuits and gravy mimics the flavor and texture of pork sausage, so meat eaters will not feel like they are missing out. Plus, you can't beat a homemade butter biscuit. I also loved the crunchy vegetables, which to me, helped balance out the meal. 

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