Kicky Indy All-Veggie Restaurant — Raleigh Welcomes the Fiction Kitchen!
For all you local-loving, indy-culture, kickstarting, grassroot-growing, tattoo-sporting, tofu-munching hippies just looking for a decent veggie-selection: Welcome to Wonderland!
Raleigh’s only all-vegetarian restaurant recently sprouted, bright green and lively, in the middle of downtown. For those of you who just love a good counter-culture “once upon a time,” then just wait until you hear the tale of the Fiction Kitchen.
The Fiction Kitchen resulted from the shared effort of two culinary dreamers, Siobhan and Caroline. They aspired to create a place where vegans and vegetarians could order without worry from a variety of styles of cooking. Furthermore, Fiction Kitchen buys locally sourced food, supplying small farmers with business and feeding into the local economy, while protecting our environment.
And how was this grassroots dream funded? Aside from personal savings, this indie paradise was–you guessed it–kickstarted! In the true independent-style, downtown Raleigh sowed this garden from our very own seeds.
Funded by local food-lovers, while helping fund our local farmers and providing healthy and delicious food for our city — what on earth is there not to love?
As a long-term veg-head, teetering somewhere between vegetarian and vegan on a yearly basis, I am constantly seeking variety and choices in local restaurants. So when the Fiction Kitchen first popped up in my facebook suggestions, I was thrilled to pour over the menu. Now, I won’t lie. I’ve been completely spoiled by Ashevillian standards of vegetarian food. So finding a place like the Fiction Kitchen opening here in Raleigh was like returning to my roots. So when I arrived, my expectations were high. Could Fiction Kitchen compete with Asheville legends like Rosetta’s Kitchen and Laughing Seed Cafe?
The menu is pretty extensive, and the Farmer’s Market Plate changes every few days or so, but I finally settled on the “Pulled Pork” with kale and potatoes. Without any hesitation, I also selected the vegan cheesecake (a delicious decision I shall never regret). Greg, my date, ordered the Tinga Tacos. Before my food arrived, I interviewed the table next to us, a small family with one child.
“Have you guys been here before? Are you vegetarians?” I asked.
“No, we just love food!” explained the Dad, affirming that Fiction Kitchen is for both veggie and meaty foodies alike.
“Everything we’ve had has been delicious beyond expectation,” added the mother.
“What do you think of the food,”I asked the little girl, who had eaten the Tinga Tacos. She nodded in shy approval and her parents responded, “Well, she didn’t even let us have a bite.”
I smiled and sat down to eat my own meal, taste Greg’s meal, sample two of their very refreshing house-made sodas, and, of course, eat my cheesecake. The woman from the family I’d spoken with glanced over at us occasionally to exchange an approving “Thumbs up,” the facebook equivalent of “liking” our dinners.
My only word of warning to diners is to be prepared for a busy restaurant and possibly a wait.
Seriously, I think everyone who kickstarted the campaign was there tonight. While this is a tribute to the popularity of the food, it made the atmosphere somewhat less-than-relaxed.
That being said, the food was truly delicious and unique. It benefits local farmers and the environment; it demonstrates the power of crowd-funding to support indie dreams; and it makes our tummies feel great!
And seriously–seriously–seriously: Try their cheesecake. Wow.