Vera Fare: True Food Evolution

Friday Sep. 30th, 2011

Entering Vera Fare I got the sense that this place is all about excellence. The dark furnishings boast simple lines, the immaculate tile and wood floors gleam in the sunshine and the honey-colored walls have a few well-placed cafe art pieces. The high ceilings give it an airy, sophisticated yet welcoming feel. I was greeted warmly from behind the large glassed-in counter which showcases teas and the treat du jour, and when I revealed I was waiting for my friend I was tempted with the offer of tea and a cupcake. After ordering, I picked up my tableware and water glass – no paper cups or plastic ware here – and found a seat.

Knowing the autumn-themed cupcake was gluten-free only increased my appreciation of its moist delicate crumb, subtle spice and amber-ochre hue. The soft, fluffy frosting was not too sweet, either; a perfect foil. Along with a mug of green tea, I didn’t mind waiting. The entire restaurant is gluten-free due to the owners severe gluten allergy and celiac disease.

When my lunch date arrived she told me how she and her young family enthusiastically devour the waffles here. All batters, mixes, sauces and even the syrups for the waffles and coffee drinks are crafted daily on-premises. The kitchen can accommodate nearly any food sensitivity because each meal is meticulously prepared as it’s ordered. The Ultimate waffle allows you to try four of the six flavors all at once. Each quarter of the waffle has its own flavor: Orange Creme (whipped cream, oranges, powdered sugar), Birthday Cake (strawberries, chocolate, powdered sugar), Berries and Cream (yogurt and berries), and Maple Leaf (maple toasted walnuts, maple butter and pure maple syrup). This is an indulgent meal that will fill you right up, and your favorite 1/4 may just surprise. If you really want to get creative you can build your own waffle with two toppings or add more for $1 each. All toppings already listed are available plus bananas, and seasonal fruit, nutella, vanilla whipped cream and berry sauce, butter is always free. To fit any size appetite waffles are offered in 1/4, 1/2 and whole sizes. Six fluffy frittatas are also offered at Vera Fare, a frittata is like a baked omelette. Their custom frittats’ include Ingredients range from spinach and kalamata olives, to bacon and hashbrowns, or shitake mushrooms and sesame seeds, each option is flavorful and unique, and will leave your taste buds in overdrive. Wow.

Our rice bowls arrived – Thai chicken for me, Baja veggie for Angie. The individual grains of the steamed jasmine rice sported tender vegetables, each cooked according to their nature and combined last minute. The chicken chunks were moist and tender and the accompanying Thai-styled sweet hot sauce got its body from a little tomato. “It tastes like they went into the garden and picked it for you,” appreciated Angie, and I happily agreed.

Reading the menu further I discovered that Vera Fare strives to use fresh, local, organic, natural and fair trade ingredients to produce their signature rice bowls, salads, frittatas, and waffles. They offer espresso, Italian sodas and French press coffees as well as teas, juice drinks and water. All the food is served in simply glazed terra cotta ware, the prices are reasonable given the excellence in quality. This place is perfect for that low-key business meeting, coffee and pastry alone with a book or with friends, or breakfast with the family. The no-fuss service quietly underscores the dining experience -  offering the patron the best available, beautifully prepared and tastefully presented. Vera Fare, indeed. Vera Fare is located at 2251 West Kagy in Bozeman MT. Five spokes out of five.

Stacey Alzheimer is a self-proclaimed foodie who rides her motorcycle to local restaurants when she is not busy working at Theraputika Massage.