You always go into panic mode whenever your mother is coming into town. You want to make sure everything is perfect to keep her happy. My mother happens to be a vegetarian and was here visiting Easter weekend. I imagine it’s hard being a vegetarian in the south. Everywhere you turn there’s fried chicken, country ham, and bacon. Luckily, there is The Sentient Bean. I took my mom here knowing it is one of the few places in Savannah where you’ll find vegetarian and vegan food. Located in a great spot just north of Forsyth Park next to Brighter Days Natural Foods, “The Bean” (as locals call it) is edgy and raw in a minimalistic way. They aren’t showing off here to make you enjoy your meal.
When you walk up to the counter, there is a display case with in-house baked sweets worth pondering over while you stand in line. Most of them are gluten free and vegan. This day, I found a Vegan Lemon Turmeric Cupcake staring me down. Several coffee and tea options are offered with a large flavoring list, but I always opt for the Coconut Iced Coffee. Cupcake aside, our lunch choices involved a Buffalo Cauliflower Sandwich, the BBQ Tofu Wrap, and lastly a Vegan Super Bowl.
Digging into the Vegan Super Bowl first, I could already tell how filling it was with beans, marinated tempeh, and quinoa. On top, is half of an avocado and lots of spinach. Let me tell you, this dish is delicious. It was fresh and so enjoyable with their creamy basil vegan dressing. The dressing matches well with their other salad components as well. It’s sour yet citrusy and balances the flavors of the quinoa. Moving on to the BBQ Tofu Wrap… This is what I usually order when I come to The Bean. It’s always toasted perfectly with a crunch and is super savory for someone who is new to vegetarian cuisine. I know my mom was excited for this one, since it’s not often that vegetarians get to have BBQ. When I say BBQ, the sauce is spicy and sweet. There are huge chunks of tofu, so it feels meaty as far as texture leaving you feeling satisfied after eating it. There’s a vegan spicy mayo bringing even more heat to the wrap, yet it’s cooled down with the cucumbers inside. I’m telling you- this wrap is the bomb. A spicy, flavorful explosion bomb.
The special of the day was the Buffalo Cauliflower Sandwich. I’ve had buffalo cauliflower before and actually found it to be one of my favorite vegetarian dishes to date. When I saw this was the special, I was pumped. The cauliflower is roasted and smothered with blue cheese and hot sauce. Celery gives a nice crunch when you bite into the bread. The ciabatta bread is delicious! It is delivered from Midtown Deli which is another place worth visiting, because good bagels are hard to find in the south!
For dessert, the lemon turmeric cupcake that called my name at the counter was similar to a dense carrot cake. The nutmeg white icing was tangy and had the noticeable taste of lemon. It seemed similar to a meringue which is amazing considering this is a vegan cupcake and no egg whites were used to produce the fluffy texture. Underneath the icing was a sugary drizzle. I loved the cute little flower placed on top too. It was picked from the lemon tree that we sat under in the outside courtyard.
The Sentient Bean won’t break the bank either. Expect to pay around $20 for a date for two including drinks. Also be sure to check out the bulletin board in the back to see what’s happening that month. Known for being a community favorite for local Savannah artists and musicians, they have several open mics, film sessions and concerts to keep you entertained on a full stomach.