Smile Politely

Healthy vegetarian delights abound at Intermezzo Café

One of the blessings (and curses, depending on how you look at it) of working on campus is there is no shortage of delicious noms to choose from on the lunch hour. Working smack dab in the middle of Green Street, I don’t have to venture far at all to indulge in Indian, Mexican, Chinese, Sushi… But most days I am good, and I pack my lunch, especially in this cold weather when even a five minute jaunt for lunch feels treacherous. But there is a place on campus that is worth a jaunt in this cold weather. So the other day I donned leggings under my pants and extra socks and hiked over to the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts to enjoy lunch at the Intermezzo Café.

The Intermezzo Café is a spacious, elegant place to grab a bite to eat on campus. The first thing I noticed this week as I looked for a table were many patrons carrying trays with overflowing platefuls of nachos, stacked high with cheese and jalapenos. You may remember my struggle to eat healthy, so I decided not to go there with the nachos. But I did appreciate that they offered beef nachos for the carnivores and vegetarian nachos smothered in vegetarian chili for us herbivores.

As usual, I had a hard time deciding what to have for lunch. After all, the vegetarian options include Rainbow Veggie Sandwich, Black Bean Burger, Garden Veggie Burger, Portabella Sandwich, and Veggie Sandwich. Plus, they have daily lunch specials that offer more options. In addition to the nachos, they offered a Toasted Veggie Pizza Sub Sandwich.

I became overwhelmed by the options, and went with the tried and true Black Bean Burger. The burger was hearty, served on a warm Kaiser roll, and topped with a generous serving of onions, tomatoes, pickles, and lettuce. For my side, I chose low-fat cottage cheese, which has become one of my favorite lean proteins. Healthy sides abound at Intermezzo — they offer low-fat potato salad, fruit salad and three bean salad, and pasta salad and chips are also available if you’re feeling a little more decadent.

Speaking of decadent, I passed up three different cakes and three different kinds of cookies they were offering, but next time I am there I will pick up a large rice krispie treat covered in chocolate!

The presentation of condiments is quite impressive. I added A1 steak sauce to my burger and jalapenos to give my black bean burger some edge. The burger was exceptional, and my friend enjoyed his Toasted Veggie Pizza Sub Sandwich, a combination of soy patties, marinara sauce, and cheese, that he described as messy but delicious.

Intermezzo offers many options for the meat eater as well as the vegetarian. They offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and their prices are very reasonable. For the coffee lovers, they offer many varieties of java. The quiet, airy atmosphere offers a delightful reprieve for those of us who are used to the hustle and bustle of lunch on Green Street. I have always had fast service, and I have never had to worry about being able to find a table. I’m looking forward to returning soon to try their dinner options.

Intermezzo Café

Breakfast: Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Lunch: Monday-Friday, 11 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Dinner: Served 90 minutes before until 30 minutes after evening performances

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