There is always something novel and rustic about a bicycle; something nostalgic and 1950s, an honesty and loyalty that can't quite be articulated, but is admired. Combine those qualities with good vegetarian eats, metropolis coffee, an excellent beer selection, and a little bit of indie punk, and you've got the Handlebar Bar & Grill, a café/bike messenger bar located on North Avenue.
The Handlebar serves an array of vegetarian breakfast, lunch and dinner items, draft and bottled beer (Bell's and Delirium among them), mixed drinks and an impressive array of red and white wines. Despite a packed house for brunch, there’s little wait for a table.
The restaurant's signature brunch item, The Handlebar omelet, consists of fluffy organic eggs full of walnuts, smoked gouda and apples, with a side of Texas-style sourdough toast and breakfast potatoes. Other omelets are popular brunch items, including the huevos diablos, a Mexican-inspired treat.
The dinner menu consists largely of vegetarian dishes, with the exception of a blackened catfish filet and fish tacos. For decadence, try the West African ground nut stew (sweet potato, coconut, zucchini and kale served over rice) or wasabi baked tofu (stir-fried with Portobello mushrooms and snap peas, served with brown rice).
Of course, there is no better way to get to this locale than by bicycling, even in the winter months, and in the summer, there is a back patio with picnic table seating for busy, sunny days.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Sondra Morin
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