When you find yourself in a paradox of craving something comforting yet healthy at the same time, but you don’t want to compromise taste and nutrition, don’t give up and settle for another lackluster veggie burger. You CAN have it all. Formerly known as Jonsey’s, The Centennial Tavern is one uptown eatery that can satisfy healthy or indulgent, vegetarian or not. The kitchen's "meatless loaf," created from a base of black and white quinoa, is a veggie loaf that deserves a shout-out.
Covered in vegan gravy and nestled comfortably next to a bed of garlic mashed potatoes and seasonal veggies, it’s the home cookin’ you always wanted but never received — because your parents didn’t know what to do when you became vegetarian and would no longer eat actual meatloaf. Enter the Costco membership and a lifetime supply of Boca Burgers. So when your dining companion gives the meatless loaf a taste and says, “This is, like, really good. It tastes like actual meatloaf,” you smile — and the next bite is all the more satisfying.
A colorful blend of cooked carrots, kale, mushrooms and onion comprise the generous side of vegetables. Savory and a little peppery, this tasty dose of essential vitamins is great alone, or mixed with the other contents — mashed potatoes and gravy — on your plate. The potatoes are smooth, almost whipped, but are unpeeled, so that bits of skins remain throughout to give it a little country texture.
Now, to the main attraction: the loaf. Seemingly constructed of pure quinoa, there’s something binding it all together — very likely magic (in other words, the menu didn't specify and I was too busy enjoying it to ask our server). Crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, the texture is as appealing as the flavor. The spice level is a surprise though; there's a generous helping there. It's probably not for the timid, as even this seasoned spice taster had to chase the loaf with mashed potatoes after a few bites. It's a heat that builds, so if the mashed potatoes aren't cutting it, a side of truffle fries (see what I did there?) will help temper the burn. There are other options, but who are we kidding? Even under a new name, those Jonesy's fries are the surest thing on the menu.
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If you didn’t know the establishment changed names recently, you might not notice right away. The place still has that wonderful welcoming atmosphere, and the new branding is subtle. Perfect for casual meet-ups, grabbing a drink or taking the parents out for a bite —Jonsey’s was, and the Centennial Tavern still is, a great neighborhood meeting place. Now you can add creative vegetarian options that aren't just an afterthought to the list along with those famous fries.