by Mabel Suen
Earlier this month, Local Harvest Cafe & Catering (3137 Morganford Road; 314-772-8815) debuted a re-branding of its concept, as reported by Gut Check in December. Dubbed "LHC," the sustainability-based cafe's aim is to play on the "C" in its name, a component of Local Harvest that takes on multiple meanings. On the front of its menu, the words "cafe, comfort, community, convenience, cultured, crushed, clean..." provide some insight into the idea behind the changeover. Prior to recent news that Local Harvest Cafe & Grocery faces potential imminent closure, Gut Check stopped in to get a firsthand look into the revised menu.
While a few crowd favorites from Local Harvest Cafe's menu including the vegan banh mi made it into the mix, patrons can look forward to several new items, including a "Cultured" section highlighting some housemade fermented items -- think kefir, sauerkraut and kim chi. The kefir comes in a light and tangy Caesar salad but can also be ordered in a fresh fruit smoothie.
Also new to the drink menu are fresh juices ($3-$7), starting simple at fresh-pressed orange juice and then super-sizing servings of fruit, veggies and antioxidants with combinations including "Purple Elixir" (beets, carrots, celery and parsley) and "Kaley's Comet" (apple, kale, lemon, ginger).
The "Bratwurst & Kraut," ($8) following Local Harvest's tradition of sourcing its meats from small, local producers, features a Geisert Farms brat. Geisert Farms pork also shows up in a polenta and pulled pork entree ($8). A vegan brown rice bowl ($8) with kim chi contains Missouri brown rice, sesame tofu, housemade kim chi, red pepper, cucumber and miso tahini dressing. Other vegetarian entrees include a house lasagna ($10) and vegan spaghetti & meatballs ($8.50).
LHC also offers daily specials including fried Buttonwood Farms chicken on Fridays. Soups and sides are also available, as well as small plates of various dips ($5.50-$7): trout dip, kale edamame dip and a dip trio. Baked goods available include housemade items such as savory filled buns, foccacia and muffins, with some additional selections such as croissants from La Bonne Bouchee.
LHC's current hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday through Sunday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information and the full menu, check out the Local Harvest Cafe website or follow it via Facebook.
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