I’m seated at a quaint window seat in the tranquil Samsara cafe and restaurant. Samsara is adored for their healthy vegetarian and vegan menu items and relaxing atmosphere. Although it is located on a busy cross street with constant traffic whizzing by, the warm calming cafe is a great escape. The restaurant is tastefully decorated. The walls in the front room are warmed with a rich brown shade with grey undertones. The painted walls are then accented with peaceful quotes written in Old English style.
“Rest in natural great peace this exhausted mind. Beaten helpless by karma and neurotic thoughts”
is one of many passages that can be found throughout the front of the restaurant where the walk-up cafe counter is located.
Portraits of the beautiful artifacts, ruins and skyline can also be found throughout. The floors are the accent and focal point of the space. Tiles in hues of yellow, green, black and orange they are subtle and captivating.
The music, is both calming and upbeat. The style of music can be heard in spas and upscale nails salons back home. The one flat-screen TV found in the eatery plays scenes of nature, landscape, rushing water and beautiful skylines. This place is the perfect distraction from the over-stimulation of the tourist filled streets outside of its doors.
The seating decor reminds me of the Middle East. Wooden tables and benches of varying lengths to seat one to two people each, all stained dark line the walls. Guatemalan tipico clothes lines the backs and bottoms of the cushions on each bench. Clear glass vases are filled with 2 flowers on each table as well as a candle in a glass holder. In this slightly larger seating area, dream catchers of varying styles line the wall adding pops of color and texture to the soft tan wall paint. The back wall is home to a built-in wall fixture also stained, that is home to an impressive book collection for patrons to enjoy. The front and back feel connected by the large, wood framed arch that opens up the space and allows the space to flow seamlessly.
The menu is full of tasty, unique (items which are hard to find in other places for those who are vegan).
On this day I chose the vegan french toast with strawberries and bananas topped with chia seeds and coconut flakes with warm agave nectar in the center for dipping. As a beverage I chose the pineapple alkaline drink. This is an interesting combination of pineapple juice, coriander, ginger and apple cider vinegar.
Vegan French Toast
The french toast is amazing. As I bite into it I instantly reminisce on my childhood. Enjoying Saturday morning breakfast with my mom and siblings. Not sure how they pulled it off without egg, but the vegan toast was slightly browned, crunchy on the outside, warm and soft on the inside. The chia seed adds the perfect amount of texture. The fruit and coconut flakes add a light, sweet flavor. As I get older, I don’t crave sweet flavors so I didn’t use any of the agave nectar to garnish the toast. The texture of the banana was perfect. Not super firm, and not mushy. I am a “texture person”. Mushy sends off signals in my mind that alert me to VOMIT!
The drink was unique and tasty. It took several cautious sips for me to become acclimated to the flavor and I knew it was because of the apple cider vinegar that was added. It gives the juice a tangy, unfamiliar taste that I can’t compare to anything I have tried before－well if you’ve drank apple cider vinegar with water, in tea, or alone it tastes exactly like that. About half way through the 10 ounce drink, I got over the bitter taste and drank it because I figured it was healthy.
I asked for water to wash down the meal. As quickly as the glass was given to me I started gulping. I immediately noticed a musty smell and thought that perhaps my glass wasn’t washed properly. After closer examination, I figured out that the water was infused with cucumber and lime. Musty was the smell of the cucumber. I personally am not a fan of infused water and enjoy the flavor of ice-cold water alone.
At checkout, I seized the opportunity to pick up souvenirs. Samsara sells locally made jewelry to include bracelets and necklaces adorned with crystals at reasonable prices. I snagged a few bracelets and left feeling satisfied, content and excited to return for breakfast tomorrow.
Breakfast the following morning