Vella Cafe has been open around 10 weeks now, and we were excited to see that they’ve tweaked their menu slightly. Our excitement stems only from our nerdiness about menus and minutiae, not from any drastic changes. But in the tiny tweaks, one can learn a great deal about what restaurateurs are thinking.
Each section of the menu, breakfast, lunch, and blunch (weekends 9am-3pm) has undergone minor cosmetic surgery. The prices across the board are basically the same, save for a fifty cent increase on the brisket panino (beef is expensive these days!). Most of the changes involve the elimination of certain menu items that evidently weren’t selling or being sufficiently profitable. The mixed greens salad with sunflower sprouts, bleu cheese and spicy candied walnuts is out, along with the portabella mushroom panino with raw milk gouda and the parsnip potato pancake. Oh, and no more soups. It also seems like the option to add a poached egg to a variety of entrees has been eliminated; poaching eggs is time-consuming and difficult to get right, and maybe people need them to be automatically included to eat them, what with the cholesterol.
There isn’t much in the way of additions, really. Now you can get honey on your peanut butter and banana panino in addition to chocolate (when we said minutiae, we really meant it). The best addition, one we haven’t really seen on any other menu, is a BYO Bloody Mary. For $5, Vella provides the mix, plus a skewer of grilled shrimp, chorizo, roasted poblano, celery and pickled mushrooms. All you have to do is add the vodka, and you practically have a whole meal.
So tell the truth, was this inherently interesting to any of you?