As a resident Kansas City vegan, I’ve pretty much tried all the classics. Places like Mud Pie and Eden Alley are plant-based heaven, and I often find myself daydreaming about the cashew cream nachos from FüD or Cafe Gratitude
’s Brazil nut eggplant parmesan.
Despite our area’s plethora of vegan eateries and omnivorous restaurants with tasty plant-based options on their menu, I’m always on the lookout for new places to try good grub.
After stumbling upon canihaveabite’s website during one of my ritual internet deep dives, I learned that all of its meals are made from organic and locally grown produce. It caters to multiple dietary restrictions, so you can find items on their menu that are omnivorous, paleo, vegetarian and (yay!) vegan.
Just on the outskirts of Brookside, MO, this restaurant’s garage-inspired, brick exterior is like everything else in the neighborhood: quirky and inviting. The inside, with several two-person tables dotted around the small space, is dominated by a glass case, filled with kombucha, detox juices and a variety of packaged meals in plastic containers — a definite Eat Fit Go vibe.
Because each meal is made with whatever fresh products canihaveabite receives from local farms, there were not as many options as I would have hoped. However, the assortment of salads, wraps and pesto pastas looked colorful and fresh, exactly how organic food should be presented. The natural-looking wooden wall panels and simple decor gave the room an earthy feel, and the simple, brightly lit space seemed fitting for the food it housed.
Though there were a few tables and chairs for sitting, I was surprised to see that the “restaurant” was actually more of an ultra healthy carry-out place. After spending several minutes pondering over the menu, I finally decided on the hummus wrap and the soup of the day: curry bisque. For dessert, I selected the coconut-cacao energy bites. All of this was around $15.
Despite the restaurant’s fresh and comfortable interior, it was obvious that picking up your meal and leaving was the norm. In the end, I decided to take my meal home. While I like the concept of all natural food on the go, I do wish the “for here” option was more available.
Too excited to wait, I munched on my hummus wrap on the journey home. Tasting every ingredient inside the whole wheat tortilla, it was not hard to imagine the freshness of each and every one of them. The tangy hummus complemented the sour pickled radish, and the crunch of the carrot and cucumber slices gave it the texture it needed.
After heating up my bisque in the microwave, a warm, spiced aroma filled my house. Excited to try whatever was making my kitchen smell like an Indian restaurant, I swallowed a spoonful. While the creamy consistency of the soup was nice, the flavors seemed much weaker than the curry and paprika scent had suggested.
Looking for a redeemer, I popped one of the coconut-cacao energy bites into my mouth. I have two words: OKAY WOW. However simple, the decadence of these tropical, chocolatey miracles was unparalleled. Crunchy on the coconut-crusted outside and smooth on the cacao-filled center, it would not be too far of a stretch to say that Jesus himself blessed these little chocolate bites of wonder. I ate exactly four of the six energy balls, the last two being stolen by a brother who shall not be named.
Though I do wish there were more options to choose from, the simple and fresh food at canihaveabite is definitely worth a visit to Brookside. And while you’re there, make sure to pick up some of the coconut-cacao energy bites for yourself. I mean for me. Please bring me some. Please?