Scott Spears, owner of Scrumptious and School House Kitchen & Libations in Arvada, opened So RADish in March to fill a missing gap in the Olde Town dining scene. The primarily plant-based menu is filled with approachable, hearty vegan options — but So RADish isn't strictly meat-free.
Spears is doing something different than other vegan spots – he’s serving meat on the side. “I’ve gone back and forth between eating vegan, vegetarian and eating meat,” Spears explains, adding that that when he was not eating meat, he had a hard time dining out with his friends. His goal was to create a spot that highlights a plant-based diet while welcoming everyone.
As the owner expected, feedback from some in the vegan community has been to push for eliminating all meat on the menu. But he notes that the current menu has enjoyed a primarily positive response from the neighborhood, and he prefers to introduce plant-based dining to traditional restaurant customers while allowing guests to gather with their entire family for a meal.
So while Thai chili-glazed tempeh ribs, black bean cheeseburgers and kale pesto gnocchi are big sellers, seafood, chicken and other meats can be added at "market price" to just about any dish.The most popular appetizer, Spears says, is the fried avocado served with sriracha-lime mayo. Other starters include cashew-based spinach-artichoke dip, eggplant fries with marinara sauce and "crab" cakes made from hearts of palm and artichoke.
“We use Beyond Meat and also mix in vegetables, mushrooms and seasonings,” he says. “People go crazy for it.”
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Beyond Meat can be found in the meatball sub topped with vegan mozzarella, but there's also a mushroom cheesesteak made with Portobello and button mushrooms, vegan provolone and red and green peppers, for those who don't like meat substitutes.
The family-friendly restaurant offers a vegan kids' menu with chik’n nuggets and fries, veggie corn dogs and mac and cheese. Spears also plans to roll out weekend brunch with vegan egg sandwiches, bagels with lox made from carrots and French toast with a plantain crust.
The atmosphere has an '80s vibe complete with neon lights, graffiti and street art. The bar is definitely not an afterthought, with fresh-pressed juices, kombucha on tap and forty canned beers and ciders.
So RADish is located at 5711 Olde Wadsworth Boulevard in Olde Town Arvada and is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. For details visit the website or call 303-632-8681.