Last weekend we drove down to the USA. Once we crossed the border it seemed like a good time to stop for brunch, as it was shortly before 11 am. When I typed “vegan” into Google maps, it directed us to Merge and we decided to go with it.
What we found was a beautiful space, tasty food, and friendly servers. Sometimes rolling the dice works out nicely. And we got there just in time, because after 15-30 minutes, the place was full.
Merge isn’t an exclusively vegan place, as they do serve meat, dairy, and eggs, but they have several vegan options on the menu which are clearly marked with a V. If gluten free is your scene, they also have options marked with GF, but there is not always overlap. Ordering something that requires some modification, like with non-dairy cheese (or gluten-free) does involve getting charged an extra fee.
We started with veganized potato skins stuffed with fresh corn salad, tempeh, daiya, and a chipotle cream. Or rather, baked hollowed out baby potatoes, filled with a bit of daiya were sent out, with a bowl of the filling. A DIY potato skin experience – which was something we will have to try at home sometime soon because I really liked it.
As another appetizer we ordered the seitan wings with hot sauce (they also coming in BBQ) along with a vegan ranch dressing and a couple of carrots/celery sticks.
Ordering this, I started wondering if what I ordered as hot sauce here, would be called “Buffalo Sauce” anywhere else. I know, really deep thoughts. (In case you’re wondering – it was.)
This was very tasty, and I’d order it again for sure, except I’d have one order of the hot, and one order of the BBQ. Yumfest.
And then finally, as our main we both got the Tofu Hash. A blend of diced spiced potatoes, fresh chopped tomato, lentils, daiya, and a delicious tofu scramble. JC was expecting more potato in his hash, but overall the dish what I was looking for. Initially, I though it was weird to have lentils in a tofu potato scramble, but this was actually a brilliant combo. This tofu hash answers that age old question… “Where do you get your protein?”
We decided to skip even thinking about dessert, and get back on the road. Merge was a really positive experience, and a great way to start our visit to the USA.