Mercury Cafe is a Five Points haven for veggie diners

Marilyn Megenity has done such a fantastic job turning the Mercury Cafe, 2199 California Street, into a creative community outlet -- offering dancing, live music, poetry slams, solstice celebrations, eco-friendly festivals and much more -- that it's easy to forget that the Merc is also, well, a cafe. With coffee. And booze. And organic food, much of which is vegetarian- and vegan-friendly. Inside the red room (which you might miss if your tendency is to head straight upstairs or to the main room for music and dancing) the walls are strung with lights, the wooden tables and booths welcome parties of all sizes, there's a bookshelf holding free books, and a just-big-enough menu to satisfy forward-thinking diners of all persuasions.

That red room had a steady business going this past Sunday, Mother's Day, with each mom receiving free flowers and families of all ages there to honor the matriarch. The dinner entrees come with a choice of soup or salad -- and it's hard to go wrong with the fresh salad, dressed with a vinaigrette.

If you're not feeling up for a full dinner entree, you've always got the option of ordering from the appetizer menu. The quesadilla can be ordered with Colorado trout or chicken -- or just keep it veggie, with Edam and Gruyere cheeses, salsa, tomato and avocado. One of the several specials being offered on Sunday was a vegetarian nacho plate, too. A regular menu item is Dinah's Tofu, comprising marinated and breaded tofu tossed with mixed veggies, gluten-free linguini, olive oil and wine; this dinner entree includes your choice of soup or salad.

For a more casual (or early) meal, the Merc also does breakfast -- yes, vegan breakfast is on the menu, too! -- brunch and lunch menus. Call 303-294-9281 or visit www.mercurycafe.com.

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