The bright, airy new front of the restaurant at 206 East 13th Avenue was slowly filling up when we stopped by at 3 p.m. on Sunday, and the back room, which used to hold all of City, O' City's seating, was completely full, even at such an off-hour. Although there are seven pizzas on the current menu, only one with any kind of meat substitute (a seitan "sausage"), we went with sandwiches and other dishes this round. Pictured above is the vegan BBQ Plate, featuring dry-rubbed tofu with bourbon barbecue sauce, mac and "cheese" and beautifully sauteed greens. The tofu was reminiscent of what you used to find at the now-defunct Wolfe's Barbeque, so fans of that style will want to check this out. (You can also get a BBQ sandwich, changed slightly from its former incarnation as "the Sherman," but still an excellent choice for lunch or dinner.)We started off with a new small-plate item, the shisito peppers, which can be ordered grilled or tempura-battered and fried; we went with the grilled option. The peppers were crispy, with black-and-white sesame seeds liberally sprinkled on top; a hint of garlic added a little extra bite to these already heated peppers. A sweet soy reduction had been drizzled over the whole concoction, and we swiped up the last smears of that delicious sauce as we devoured the peppers. This version of the patty formerly known as the Maximus burger nearly made our eyes pop out of their sockets when it was served up with City, O' City's amazing onion rings. The quinoa-and-pinto-bean patty comes with cheddar, sauteed mushrooms, onion rings, hot-sauce aioli and a fried egg; if your tastes run more toward the vegetarian than the vegan side of the spectrum, this is a filling and delicious option.
Overall, we've been pleased with City, O' City's new menu; there are enough old favorites that you can still feel comfortable ordering familiar dishes. But what really tickled our tastebuds are the new options, and we'll definitely be heading back again (and again, and again) to test everything that Brandon Doyle has added to the spread.