Restaurant: Elemental Coffee
I used to live in Midtown above Waffle Champion, and Elemental Coffee was a favorite place to walk for me and my boxer/lab mix, Beau. It’s a hipster hangout, for sure, and its long, communal style tables are always filled with impossibly cool looking folks with headphones and laptops (if not, then the place is swarming with cyclists in Spandex, guaranteed). It’s a good spot to people watch, to say the least.
Elemental has been around for years and years now, but I still feel like people other than Midtowners don’t realize just how excellent the food is. There are a wealth of creative vegetarian options for breakfast, lunch and weekend brunch, and there are plenty of choices for meat-eaters, too. The prices are all reasonable and you generally get a ton of food. Below, my top picks at Elemental Coffee!
This is seriously, seriously, one of the best dishes in all of OKC. I’ve honestly never had anything like it anywhere else. In its original form, the PCP comes with roasted chicken, spinach, peanut cilantro pesto, hot pepper cheddar and jalapeños on a grilled wheat tortilla. To make this baby vegetarian, just sub the chicken for avocado and you’re good to go.
Now, from the description, you might be expecting a simple twist on an everyday quesadilla—but not so. The hot pepper cheddar is actually added to the outside of the tortilla, which results in a super crispy creation. Plus, it’s only $10, really filling and you get a a choice of side, too (I recommend the macaroni salad).
These brunch tacos are a vegan dream. They’re packed with tofu, soyrizo, spinach, jalapeños, vegan mozzarella, vegan chili sour cream and topped with valentina aioli (basically chipotle aioli) and cilantro. The tofu/soyrizo has a nice eggy texture, and the aioli adds a touch of smokey heat. I recommend adding avocado to the tacos for an extra bit of creaminess, too. Served with crispy potatoes for the win!
This sandwich is aptly named, as it will 100% leave you saying, “Sweet Jesus that was tasty!” I just love all the great flavor combos here — thyme roasted cauliflower, sweet potato mash, tomato (I leave this off), gruyere and a fried runny egg on rye bread. It’s creamy and rich, loaded with herbs and just all around killer. Goes great with their roasted carrots as a side!
LEMON DILL HUMMUS SANDWICH
Elemental obviously has a menu where you can order specific dishes, but they also have a grab-and-go case filled with tasty sides and sandwiches. The Lemon Dill Hummus Sandwich is for sure a classic. The hummus is super smooth, and I personally think there’s no better combo than lemon + dill.
KALE YEAH! SALAD
This is seriously one of the best vegetarian/vegan Caesar salads I’ve ever had. The folks at Elemental massage the hell out of the kale so that it’s tender and soaks up the cashew Caesar dressing. It’s topped with kalamata olives, sundried tomatoes and toasted pine nuts and is a steal at $7. If you’re wanting to kick things up a notch, you might consider adding avocado or even goat cheese.
I’m usually not a huge consumer of tofu, but this sandwich deserves an exception. It’s sort of like a vegan Bahn Mi sandwich—BBQ tofu, avocado, pickled daikon + carrots and garnished with cilantro, jalapeño and sriracha aioli. It’s actually been quite awhile since I had this sandwich, and it used to be served on a baguette; the current menu says that you have a choice of corn tortillas or a grilled wheat tortilla. I definitely need to try it again sometime soon!
MOCK “TUNA” SANDWICH
I totally understand that “mock tuna” actually doesn’t sound appealing; just think of this more as a chunky hummus sandwich. It has some whole chickpeas for added texture, little chunks of celery and a creamy flavor that’s reminiscent of the mayo in traditional tuna salad. If you’re taking this home, I highly suggest adding some sliced avocado and Grey Poupon mustard to it (trust me).
815 N. Hudson Ave. @elementalcoffee