By Shout Omaha Staff
At first glance, one might expect a cadre of elves to run out of McFoster’s Kind Café due to its workshop-like outer appearance. The English Tudor style building sits on the corner of 38th street between Harney and Farnam in a neighborhood that is a melting pot of residential and commercial structures and a variety of ethnic groups. On the façade of the structure sits a roughly 10 foot by 3 foot hand painted sign containing the businesses name in an obviously psychedelic looking style of typography. This is the first hint that you’re in a place like no other in the Omaha area. McFoster’s is where vegetarianism, veganism and being “heady” all come together to form quite a unique place to eat.
As soon as you enter the establishment you walk into the foyer of what was obviously someone’s house at one time, long, long ago. In the foyer you have an assortment of different brochures and pamphlets so if you want to, you can read and educate yourself about urban gardening or the latest political scandal that deserves a protest. As you make your way through the foyer you have the choice of sitting in one of three dining areas, the outside patio, the bar/seating area, or the separate dining area containing booths. All the while throughout the restaurant you will most likely notice the mixture of homemade artwork by people who could easily be employees of the restaurant or their kids and few more quality pieces sprinkled throughout. The finishes on the structure as well as everything contained within it are not the brand new, rhinestone coated bling you would find adorning a Michelin Star restaurant in the Ritz Carlton, but that’s ok, because McFoster’s isn’t that “kind of restaurant.” It feels like a friends house that you just barged in on and forced them to hurriedly hide their bong before you could see it. The carpet is a little dingy but it’s just clean enough for you to feel ok eating there.
We ordered sautéed brussel sprouts to start and truth be told, I wish I ordered three orders and made these my entrée. Speaking as a carnivore that appreciates veggies, the brussel sprouts that were cooked in vegan butter and tiny bits of garlic are easily the best thing on the menu at McFoster’s. They melted in my mouth and I couldn’t get enough. After eating our appetizer I moved on to my red bean burrito, which was wrapped in a whole-wheat tortilla and doused in ancho chile sauce. The burrito had a mixture of bell peppers, onions and red beans within it and was served with brown rice and a house made, vegetarian style pico de gallo. When I say “vegetarian style” I mean that it’s obviously different from normal pico de gallo you see at most other restaurants. That’s typical for dishes at the Kind Café. They are atypical variations on things people eat all the time. My lovely date enjoyed her eggplant sandwich with vegan pesto along with a salad with cucumber ranch dressing. She loved the vegan pesto as well as the salad, but we both agreed that the brussel sprouts stole the show.
All in all, the service was mediocre and we were served luke-warm tap water with no ice in it and the ambiance was hurting, but the food was good, enjoyable and healthy and I was in good company so if you have someone you love, who hates eating meat and loves veggies that taste great, take them to the little elf house on 38th St.., you won’t regret it.