PHOTOS BY BECCA DILLEY / ILLUSTRATIONS BY WACSO FOR HEAVY TABLE
The following review is one of five posted as the seventh installment of our Lyndale Avenue Checklist project, along with reviews of It’s Greek to Me, Caffrey’s, Chicago’s Very Own, and Iron Door Pub. To get the entire Lyndale Avenue Checklist and hundreds of other stories a year, back the Heavy Table on Patreon.
There’s a sign on the counter of Trio Plant-Based that pretty much sums up where we’re at as a society right now: “The whole world is short-staffed, be kind to those who showed up.”
The sign is a reminder that we could all really stand to show each other a little more grace these days. But it also says something about who the owners of Trio are as human beings. They care about the people that work for them and about fostering a positive atmosphere around them.
And that’s exactly the vibe we got from the moment we walked in. The server behind the order counter oozed enthusiasm for the food Trio makes, and the entire staff felt genuinely excited in being able share it with us.
The place is bright and cheerful with a clean design aesthetic. Stenciled leaf patterned walls, organic wood tables and bright green nesting chairs all give a friendly nod to the plant-based theme. This is comfort food that’s good for the soul. – M.C. Cronin
It’s unfair to complain that an order of food is too tasty, but Trio Plant-Based legitimately messed us up with their Cauliflower Wings ($15). Certain members of our group hit these crispy, full-flavored, satisfying wing stand-ins so hard that we were kind of wrecked for the rest of the night. Our only serious complaint was that the cauliflower was a little too tender in the interior – a little bit of crunch and fight would have been nice.
We figured The Mac Attack ($17) would be a Big Mac stand-in, and we were very wrong – it was instead a serving of rich, creamy, vegan mac-and-cheese on a Beyond Burger. The mac and cheese in particular could’ve passed for the real deal, and while the burger itself was fighting too hard to taste like legit meat, the mac and cheese confidently dominated the whole package and kept the patty in check.
Best of all was the For Your Soul Bowl ($16, $2 more for BBQ jackfruit riblets), which brought together a soft-spoken twist on mac and cheese, first-rate collard greens, crumbled cornbread, a dab of maple butter, and chewy, sweet, BBQ-style jackfruit “riblets” that were texturally delightful, even if they could have used a little less liquid smoke. This was a dish with a great deal going on, which made for entertaining eating, and while some plant-based food can leave you hungry for a lot more substance, it absolutely possessed the power to kick hunger’s ass into a neighboring county.
If you get to Trio, don’t miss the restaurant’s flavored lemonades ($5). While the Blueberry Mint is soft-spoken (it mostly leads with lemon), the Strawberry Lemonade was kicked up with a healthy dose of what tasted like frozen-in-syrup strawberry puree, which, as it turns out, is pretty damn tasty. – James Norton
Trio Plant-Based, 610 West Lake Street, Minneapolis, 612.326.1326, TUE-FRI 2-7:30pm, SAT 12-6:30pm, SUN-MON CLOSED