Bona fide vegan fuel
It’s weird for a restaurant that devotes a quarter of its menu to bone broth to have good vegan food, right? Backbone Café, steps from Golden 1 Center, aims to “neglect no specific diets, nor … praise any one diet over others” and provides “only the highest quality human fuel,” according to its website. Despite the copious amount of animal products on the menu, there’s quite a bit of vegan food to be had here including mushroom “carnitas,” quinoa-based “chorizo” tacos, sandwiches and cauliflower steak, among others. Strangely, Backbone doesn’t have a vegan salad. Of its two vegetable-focused salads, neither has a vegan dressing. It does have an off-menu substitute, but it’s an odd, easily-fixed omission on an otherwise accommodating menu. Backbone’s Vegan Nut Burger ($16) is a standout, though: A nut-based patty topped with the same chorizo-style quinoa mentioned above, plus avocado, cashew cheese, fresh tomato and citrus-cured cabbage. It’s huge, the best kind of messy and well worth the visit. 729 J St., backbonecafe.com.