One of the best restaurant meals I have ever had I first heard of Ipanema Cafe through Nacho Tacho week. It was one of two or three restaurants that offered a vegetarian taco. Because I'm not a big fan of fake meat or chorizo, I didn't choose Ipanema, which offered a vegan chorizo taco. This would turn out to be a huge mistake as I didn't really my enjoy my vegetarian tacos at Don't Look Back (full review here: . To add insult to injury, my uncle texted me the next day to say how awesome the chorizo tacos at Ipanema were. Still, I was too lazy to travel all the way over to Ipanema just for a taco. But this past weekend, I finally tasted what I've been missing out on. First off, you don't get menus here at Ipanema: it's written a chalkboard near the entrance, which forces you to make a decision rather than diddle-daddling. I ordered the chicken-fried tempeh without even knowing what tempeh was and actually confusing it for seitan, but everything in the description, especially the apple-butter biscuit sounded so good that I couldn't pass it up. It turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life: like the falafel at Mesopotamia Delicatessen, the fried tempeh wasn't heavy and was just right; it even had the exact texture of a chicken-fried steak (Although now I think about it, it was kind of bland, but the sides more than made up for/complemented it). The stewed greens and dirty rice were perfectly flavored, and last but not least, the apple-butter biscuit was so soft (but not mushy) and good that it literally melted in my mouth. I also tried the stuffed jalapeno peppers, mushroom stroganoff, and pumpkin pie. All of which were also very tasty and well-seasoned i.e. not too salty or not too sweet (I wish I had more words to describe the flavors, but when something simply tastes good-how else can you describe it?) My sister described the stroganoff as warm and comforting. To which my uncle added, "homey." With a pot of chamomile tea to tie it all together, my meal was definitely all of the above. I think it's safe to say I won't look pass Ipanema Cafe again.
Chanhong L. on Nov 30, 2015