Review: Local Sprouts Cafe

By BRIAN DUFF  |  September 8, 2010

Haddock is not frequently blackened, but Local Sprouts does so to terrific effect. The fish stayed light and tender beneath a slightly spicy, peppery coating. The accompanying kale was touched by some sugar and vinegar, but mostly suffused with terrific green-bitter flavor. "Jamaican brown stew chicken" was not as wet as it sounds. The tender, moist, half chicken had been soaked in a salty-herby marinade and sautéed until it resembled a darker, earthier coq au vin. It came with greens, potatoes, and brown rice, all suffused by the meat's juices. Both entrées came with half an ear of sweet and tender corn, and both (remarkably) were just $12.

While the dinner service deserves more attention, Local Sprouts seems to be getting more buzz as a breakfast place. You can see why if you order the buckwheat pancakes, thin, sort of crêpe-like and not too sweet, with maple syrup or fresh fruit (a slightly sour sauce that seemed like raspberries and rhubarb). Egg sandwiches, filled with fresh local ingredients like mushrooms and pesto, were a bit mushy and quite good.

While collectives might seem like an escape from the rigors of individualism, the great theorist of collectives saw it differently. To be loved in a community where human values prevail over cash values, Marx explained, "you must . . . have a truly stimulating and encouraging effect on others." The food at Local Sprouts certainly meets that test.

Brian Duff can be reached at bduff@une.edu.

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