Vegans, have you been dreaming of cupcakes, muffins, cinnamon rolls, scones and even whoopie pies? At a cozy spot that also tantalizes our savory taste buds with hearty and healthy soups, sandwiches and salads? Something sweet is happening on the west side, and it’s not just sugary baked goodies. It’s lunch too.
Sweet Elizabeth’s Organics has moved to 1625 W. Uintah St., opening an expanded allergen-free bakery that now is also a cafe. Everything is vegan and gluten-free. I repeat: everything.
Walk into the quaint space to find homey tables and chairs and a bakery case overflowing with scrummy plant-based and gluten-free baked goods that were nearly impossible to find in Colorado Springs beyond a daily special.
My sweet tooth tends to be a bit more savory, so I can never resist a scone ($4). The seasonal cranberry orange biscuit-like treat is flaky and filling without the dense texture, likely due to the use of gluten-free flour and plant-based fat. The substantial cinnamon roll ($5.50) is equally light, which makes the buttery vegan frosting seem all the more decadent.
For a more traditional breakfast, opt for the waffle with maple syrup ($6) with a side of fruit (50 cents extra). You won’t walk away feeling weighted down. Coffee cake and muffins round out the baked breakfast offerings, but remember to peruse the dessert options. The wide variety of allergen-free and “healthier” cookies ($2.50), brownies ($4), coffee cake ($5), Bundt cake ($4) and even whoopie pies ($5) make it easy to take sweet treats to the office, school or social gatherings.
Sweet Elizabeth’s is certainly a tasty bakery, but it’s the daily soup and robust “build your own bowl” salad bar that bring me in on the regular for lunch and dinner to go. The daily soup and house-baked roll ($8.50) is a solid offering, but the veggie bowl ($9.50) can’t be beat. “Chipotle”-style, you’re driving this gravy train. Pick a green (spinach, massaged kale or lettuce boats), add quinoa if you like (no charge) and then pick the vegetables and legumes, sauce, toppings and more that speak to you. The bowl that draws me back every time begins with the lemon-massaged kale and red lentils. Rubbing acidic lemon into the hearty green leaves makes for a verdant tender bite finished with creamy fresh avocado and pumpkin seed butter sauce. The crisp and fresh scallions and cilantro round out each bite. This is the consummate “Buddha” or “hippie” bowl. It might sound like a vegan cliché, but we plant-based eaters know that a variety of textures and cooking techniques make beans, greens and grains anything but boring. Honorable bowl mention: the citrusy Asian sauce over sautéed (nearly seared) Brussels sprouts and mushrooms on a bed of spinach.
Also on the lunch menu: veggie-filled lettuce wraps ($8.50) and a hearty sandwich ($8.50) served on a house-made roll and filled with fresh raw vegetables and a parsley pesto or lentil hummus. Opt for the former if you’re reducing your carbs and the latter for a full-on meal in the palm of your hand. Any breakfast or lunch item can be complemented with bottled still or sparkling water ($2-$3), kombucha ($4.25), iced coffee ($4) and more.
Sweet Elizabeth’s Organics is one of those lovable little spots where you can satisfy that hankering for a small treat or special-order a vegan birthday cake. Where fresh baked items include sandwich and soup rolls, as well as pizza dough to take home for your own creation. And yes, you can pop in for — or carry out — a 100 percent healthy, hearty meal made from whole foods. All vegan; all gluten-free; all made with flavorful care.