October is Dining Month on OnMilwaukee.com. All month, we're stuffed with restaurant reviews, special features, chef profiles and unique articles on everything food. Bon appetit!
Café Manna opened this year in February as one of very, very few restaurants in the metro Milwaukee area to boast a completely vegetarian menu. Although it's not all vegan, owner Robin Kasch feels strongly about a meat-free (and meat byproduct-free, as well -- there are no hidden traces of beef broth, fish sauce or eggs in the recipes) and organic dining experience.
Manna's food cannot be traced to one specific region or ethnicity. Miso soup and stir fry show up alongside baba ghanouj and Middle Eastern vegetable stew while the "meat lovers" vegetarian chili, thickened with texturized vegetable protein, takes a dip into American comfort foods. All seem to marinate nicely together on the full yet accessible menu, which explains the restaurant's quick success.
For OnMilwaukee.com's Dining Month Kasch has graciously shared her restaurant's recipe for tabbouleh wraps, an appetizer featuring a tabbouleh salad of cucumbers, tomatoes and herbs, served Lebanese style with a hint of freshly squeezed lemon.
2 cups medium-fine bulgur wheat
1/2 cup olive oil
2 lemons juiced (3/4 cup)
1 bunch scallions, finely minced
2 bunches parsley, chopped
2 large tomatoes, minced
1/2 small bunch celery, minced
1 cucumber, seeded and minced
1 red bell pepper, minced
1/2 cup carrot, minced
Vegetable salt or tamari to taste
Romaine lettuce or other leaves
1. Layer ingredients as they appear above -- use ceramic pot if possible. Cover tightly and allow to rest at least four hours or overnight.
2. Mix all ingredients and adjust seasonings as needed.
3. Serve on lettuce or Lebanese style wrapped in leaves.
OnMilwaukee.com staff writer Julie Lawrence grew up in Wauwatosa and has lived her whole life in the Milwaukee area.
As any “word nerd” can attest, you never know when inspiration will strike, so from a very early age Julie has rarely been seen sans pen and little notebook. At the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee it seemed only natural that she major in journalism. When OnMilwaukee.com offered her an avenue to combine her writing and the city she knows and loves in late 2004, she knew it was meant to be. Around the office, she answers to a plethora of nicknames, including “Lar,” (short for “Larry,” which is short for “Lawrence”) as well as the mysteriously-sourced “Bill Murray.”