By Rachel Kubik, OnMilwaukee Intern   Published Aug 24, 2018 at 3:01 PM

Tricklebee Cafe: a restaurant with a cool name and a good mission. That was all I knew about it before stepping into the threshold of the building. So when my friend and I walked in, we were a little confused because we weren’t seated right away. But we soon figured out how the place worked and we felt right at home.

You order first at the counter, from the menu of the day, which only has enough options for one meal. The food changes every day the restaurant is open, which is Wednesday through Saturday 11 a.m.-2 p.m., and Agape Meals are Thursday at 6 p.m. Then, you are seated and wait for your food to come.

I stopped in on Wednesday Aug. 22, and the menu that day for lunch included creamy coconut soup served with sourdough bread, dijon roasted golden beets on pattypan tofu mash, kale salad and a brownie. All of these items were gluten free or vegan, or both. You can pick and choose menu items separately, if you wanted. But everything on the menu goes well together for the full meal. To drink, there was a choice of mystic mint iced tea, hot coffee, hot herbal "tea" and hot green tea.

I ordered the full plate of food, per the staff’s recommendation. When it arrived to our table, everything looked aesthetically pleasing. Bright colors from the kale salad complimented the neutral tones of the beets, tofu mash, bread and soup. Even the brownie was a perfectly shaped, round drop of baked batter.

Everything was delicious. My favorite dish was the soup, because of the creaminess and the crunchy green beans mixed in. But the sourdough bread, slathered with vegan butter, was a tough and tasty addition to the otherwise soft meal. The beets and tofu mash reminded me of mashed potatoes. The brownie, while small, was very rich and a great way to end the meal. Everything tasted great and left me feeling energized afterwards. I felt good knowing I was eating healthy, local and organic.

The menu lets customers know that it costs anywhere from $5.69 to $6.46 to make the meal, but customers pay for the food by dropping however much cash they can in the donations jar on the counter, or letting the attendant at the desk know how much to put on a card. It is a pay-what-you-can style restaurant, which is perhaps one of the most unique aspects to the establishment. If one cannot pay for the food, they may volunteer in the kitchen to cover their costs.

I was pleased to see how diverse the crowd eating at the restaurant was. White, black, Hispanic, LGBT, old people, young people and many others all gathered at the few tables. Tricklebee is meant to be a community gathering place, so my friend and I didn’t mind sitting with three other community members whom we’d never met before. The restaurant overall has a great welcoming vibe and the decor of the restaurant makes it clear the place is open to everyone, with a "Black Lives Matter" sign, a LGBT pride flag and lots of other positive messages. The staff on duty were all very warm and welcoming as well. I felt like I was talking to friends rather than servers.

Tricklebee Cafe was definitely a positive experience and I would go back, anxiously anticipating what next dish of the day they will be serving.