Autumn Cafe – Oneonta, New York

During our time in Cooperstown, we were on the hunt for good vegan eats. We did some research and found  a vegan-friendly spot in Oneonta (about 30 minutes south) that was highly recommended called The Autumn Cafe. After checking out their website and online menu, we decided to make an afternoon trip to explore the city and grab some lunch.

Oneonta is a city with a college town vibe, and The Autumn Cafe is a perfect fit. The restaurant, established in 1980, offers a good time with a series of events, live music, drinks and great food. Inside, you get a mix of a homey eatery and neighborhood pub that’s both familiar yet eclectic, meeting the tastes of all of its guests.


Tempeh Burger sans cheese and horseradish sauce – YUM YUM YUM!

After our cool waitress patiently answered all of our obligatory vegan-y questions, I ordered the Tempeh Burger, and Artie got the Hot Open Tofu. According to the menu, the Tempeh Burger was a “fried marinated tempeh ‘cutlet’ with tomato, lettuce,cheese, sauteed onions, sprouts and the cafe’s horseradish sauce on a sesame bun.” So my burger was made sans dairy, leaving out the cheese and the horseradish sauce. The Hot Open Tofu was “grilled tofu (or tempeh) on brown rice topped with a sauteed mixture of broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, onions and red cabbage and golden gravy.” We learned that the golden gravy was made with nutritional yeast. These were not the only options available. The Autumn Cafe also offered a lot of other options from their house salad to hummus wraps to a tempeh pastrami sandwich.

When our food arrived, we couldn’t wait to dig in. The Tempeh Burger was delicious. Even if I were a vegetarian or omnivore, the cheese and horseradish sauce were not necessary. Their marinade gave the tempeh enough flavor that I didn’t even need ketchup, and I’m a ketchup junkie! The Hot Open Tofu was superb! I was actually jealous that Artie ordered it. The golden gravy was amazing with the tofu and veggies. We said we honestly could have just eaten the gravy with some bread and been totally satisfied. Artie and I also shared a side of roasted potatoes that were delish…even with some ketchup!


Hot Open Tofu with Golden Gravy – Iz it bad to be envious of another’s lunch?

They give you good-sized portions at The Autumn Cafe. We actually were totally stuffed after our lunch, and couldn’t even fit in a dessert. Though they normally serve ice cream and special items on their blackboard, it would have been interesting to see what they offered for us vegans. However, being in a delicious daze from the golden gravy, I don’t think we could have seen past it with our happy tummies.

The Autumn Cafe
244 Main Street
Oneonta, New York 13820
(607)432-6845

Our Cooperstown Takeover Vacation!

Artie and I celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary on 10/6. To celebrate, we vacationed upstate to Cooperstown, NY and had a blast. Cooperstown, known as the Birthplace of Baseball, is actually a lot more than that. We enjoyed our time with some baseball history, art, apples, beer, farmland and beautiful autumn colors. If you love baseball or just want to spend a few days relaxing and enjoying the scenery, make a trip of it, especially in the fall!

Here are a couple of our recommendations if you’re ever in the Cooperstown area:

Where to stay:

  • The Gateway Inn & Suites – The owners Eric and Lynn offer relaxation and privacy with the comforts of home. A few short minutes away from downtown, it’s off the somewhat beaten path, but still close to everything. We stayed in Babe’s Nook with a comfy king-sized bed and sofa! They also provided coffee for us to brew, a microwave and a mini refrigerator. So if we decided to just be hermits, we could do just that. A perfect place to get away!Also have to mention that Eric is an artist. When he greeted us, he actually gave some cards and a print of his work. Really awesome stuff, and super nice of him to do

Where to Eat: 

  • Stagecoach Coffee (31 Pioneer Street, Cooperstown) – A toasted bagel with peanut butter with a hazelnut soy iced coffee or a soy iced caramel macchiato is a yummy way to start the day. They also have a good-sized menu, and offer a variety of roasts of coffee at reasonable prices
  • Doubleday Cafe (93 Main Street, Cooperstown) – Delicious hummus sandwiches and veggie burgers in downtown Cooperstown
  • The Autumn Cafe (244 Main Street, Oneonta) – Vegan-friendly spot about 30 miles south of Cooperstown in Oneonta. The Tempeh Burger and Hot Open Tofu are tops!
  • The Green Earth (4 Market Street, Oneonta) – Health food store in Oneonta which carried many of the products we get at home. They have a little eatery/cafe inside the shop if you want a quick bite

Where to Shop:

  • Shoeless Joe’s All Star Hall of Shame (70 Main Street, Cooperstown) – Baseball memorabilia and autographs
  • Tin Bin Alley  (114 Main Street, Cooperstown) – Candy, fudge, collectibles, home accents and other cool tchotchkes, and not just baseball-themed!
  • Green Toad Book Store (198 Main Street, Oneonta) – Awesome independent bookstore that takes pride in print! They have a great selection of titles from local, indie and well-known authors. Nice cookbook section too!

What to See

  • The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum (25 Main Street, Cooperstown) – Baseball history is alive and well here
  • Doubleday Field – The Birthplace of Baseball – Where the first game was placed
  • The Cooperstown Beverage Trail – A cider mill, 2 breweries and a winery make for a perfect day or 2, 3, or 4 of eats and treats. Starting at the top from Fly Creek Cider Mill & Orchard in Fly Creek to Brewery Ommegang and Cooperstown Brewing Company in Cooperstown and down to Bear Pond Winery in Oneonta, The trail will take you to some of the best local foodie finds and thirst quenchers around
  • Middlefield Orchard (2274 State Highway 166, Middlefield) – Right next door to Cooperstown. A family-owned pick-your-own farm with a variety of apples, berries and other produce. The owner’s super-friendly and is very proud of his farm and fruits. They also make their own jams and jellies which are for sale
  • The Farmers’ Museum (5775 State Highway 80, Cooperstown) – A learning experience on the history of farming and its contributions to society. It offers a lot for the family, including a cool indoor carousel!
  • The Fenimore Art Museum (5798 State Highway 80, Cooperstown) – A great collection of Americana art and contemporary works

Vegan Apple Coffee Cake Muffins

If you didn’t know, New York State is a significant agriculture producer with numerous farms in the many counties in and around NYC. In fact, New York State is a major grower of apples in this country. There are a multitude of varieties of apples that you can find here from Acey Mac to Zestar.

Autumn in New York is beautiful. One of the reasons is being prime for apple harvesting. Picking apples with a backdrop of hills of red, orange, yellow and brown leaves is a beautiful experience. Every year, Artie and I make sure we indulge in it.

While on our recent vacation to Cooperstown, we took in baseball history with a bit of natural beauty. One of the things we had to do was go apple-picking. We found Middlefield Orchard in Middlefield, NY (about 5-10 minutes outside of Cooperstown) to be the perfect spot. After meeting the friendly owner, we stocked up on Honeycrisp, Cortland, Macintosh, Golden Delicious, etc., etc., etc.

What were we going to do with all of the apples? Well, eat them, of course! But we had so many that we brought most of them home with us. Since I had won a Babycakes Cupcake Maker from the lovely folks at MyFudo.com, I decided to make some homemade apple muffins.

Using fresh chopped apple with a bit of unsweetened applesauce ware the perfect base for the muffin. I also made a brown sugar and walnut topping to add to the texture and get a bit of a crunch. Everything came together nicely for a recipe I whipped up.

Making the muffins in the Babycakes Cupcake Maker was also pretty cool, because they were baked in about 5 minutes. Though smaller than traditional muffins, they were perfect for their size for a lovely snack or dessert. Not to mention, they looked cute in the little white liners that came with the machine. I think this is a top kitchen gadget in our home. However, now that we’re back to our weight-loss plan, I probably won’t get to use it again until Thanksgiving (mini apple pies are being planned).

Vegan Apple Muffins with Brown Sugar Walnut Topping
Source: Enjoying Our Prize from MyFudo.com
Makes approx. 16 mini-muffins in the Babycakes Cupcake Maker


Ingredients:

  • 1 medium apple, peeled and chopped
  • 4  Tbsp. Earth Balance
  • 1/2 c. vegan cane sugar
  • 1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 c. pure vanilla
  • 1 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Topping:

  • 1/4 c. vegan brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. Earth Balance
  • 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 c. chopped walnuts

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, beat 4 Tbsp of Earth Balance with sugar until creamy and smooth. Then, stir in the chopped apple, applesauce and vanilla
  2. In a second medium bowl, whisk the dry ingredients and then add to the bowl of the wet ingredient. Mix until ingredients are well-combined
  3. You will be making 2 batches of 8 muffins. Prepare the cupcake maker with liners for the first batch, close lid and turn on to preheat. 
  4. While preheating, make the topping by beating 1 Tbsp of Earth Balance with the brown sugar and cinnamon. Fold in the walnuts. Divide mixture in half.
  5. When the cupcake maker is ready, open and fill the liners 2/3 of the way. Using the one-half of the topping mix, evenly distribute it over the 8 muffins. Close lid and bake for 5 minutes or until green light turns off, indicating muffins are done. Remove from cupcake maker and cool on wire racks
  6. Repeat steps 3-5 for second batch

Foodbuzz Tastemaker: Pairing Up with Peet’s Coffee

With so many brands of coffee flooding the market, high quality java can sometimes slip through the cracks and go untried. We had heard of Peet’s Coffee during one of our many trips to Portland, OR. We had walked by one of their shops in the city, but never had the chance to try their coffee. Fortunately, thanks to Foodbuzz Tastemakers, we got to experience Peet’s Coffee, a company that was Starbucks’ original coffee supplier. We were eager to have some!

Recently, Peet’s has released 2 new flavors in their coffee line: Café Solano and Café Domingo. The Solano brew is a medium roast blend of African, Indo-Pacific and South American coffees with a floral essence with fruity undertones. While the fruitiness is subtle, there is a nice kick in flavor. The Domingo blend is also medium roast, yet has a smooth finish with more of a toffee sweetness that’s more pronounced than the Solano. 

For our taste-testing, we paired each blend with a dish to see how they complimented one another. First, we tried the Café Solano with our favorite breakfast, pumpernickel bagels with a vegan cream cheese schmear. With breakfast being our “pick-me-up” start of the day, we found that the a cup of this coffee’s floral and fruity notes worked well with the slightly sweet, yet unmistaken rye essence of the pumpernickel bagel. The added boost of coffee flavor was also complemented nicely with the cream cheese. It made for a yin-and-yang meal, to say the least! 

Later, we couldn’t wait to try to the Café Domingo blend, another medium roast coffee. The description of its smooth finish with toffee flavor definitely signaled it as a an afternoon or even an after-dinner drink. Having just gotten back from a trip to Cooperstown, NY with a bevy of apples, we had to pair the coffee with homemade vegan apple muffins with brown-sugar walnut topping (recipe to come) for dessert! The flavor of the coffee brought out the sweetness of the apples in the muffins. The combination just worked so well together that we even had seconds on the muffins and another “cuppa”

Fans of Peet’s, aka ‘Peetniks,” have been enjoying their rich and flavorful coffee for nearly 45 years, and for good reason. With lofty high standards for selecting and roasting coffee, as well as unsurpassed customer service, It’s no wonder why Peet’s has earned worldwide respect in the coffee industry. Needless to say, we fell in love with both coffees! You can’t go wrong with either one!

We are happy to now know that Peet’s Coffee is sold in local grocery stores and supermarkets. If you have a chance to try a new brand and brew, check them out. Let us know what you think!