NORMAL, Ill -- The Coffeehouse & Deli in Normal is more of a help yourself and dive-in establishment than it is a dine-in experience.
For what the Bohemian approach lacks in table-side service, it compensates in price, preparation, and vegetarian variety.
"It's an all-vegetarian restaurant," said Barusta Regan King. "[It's] one of the only places in town where you can get a vegan breakfast. We've got our Tofu Scrambler, our Spicy Tofu Sandwich, vegan salads."
The menu has eleven vegan entrees and nine vegan sides labeled along the column.
Even the meat-eaters we spoke with were happy with what they ate.
"Whatever looks good, and this was fantastic," said regular customer Gillian Bosquet. "So I picked it and it's great. I'm not even vegan, but I picked a Vegan Falafel."
"It's nice that there's someplace like this here," said vegetarian and IWU student Megan George. "But I don't eat meat, so it's very nice to have. I thin this is probably the only vegetarian restaurant in town."
We arrived for brunch, so Josh Simon ordered the Breakfast Quesadilla.
Josh was skeptical as a carnivore walking in to veggie restaurant, but he said he was both surprised and satisfied that the eggs do a nice job of substituting chicken or steak.
I dare any meat-eater to declare the Tofu Scrambler tastes like vegan food.
The soy sausage and scrambled tofu dish perfectly disguises itself as any of the best meat-based skillets I've eaten.
I also had a side of Tofu Bacon, which sort of looks like bacon, but that's where the resemblance ends.
They even have vegan desserts like cupcakes or fried banana, both of which were delicious.
Our bill with hot chocolate and coffee was a mere $21.73 plus tip.
"I think a lot of people like it, because it's quiet, people can study," King said with a nod and with a smile. "A lot of people come here for group meetings, and it's a good atmosphere."
The Coffeehouse & Deli in Uptown Normal is open Monday through Saturday 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.