Mission Creek Festival: Local restaurants to participate in a special festival brunch


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In a pocket of Iowa City, a lonely patio waits for the promise of spring, a handmade wooden stage begs for a performer, and bar full of local beers awaits a thirsty customer.

Here is Trumpet Blossom Café, a vegan restaurant sure to please all taste buds at this year’s Mission Creek Festival.

The venue, 310 E. Prentiss St., will host a brunch at 11 a.m. Saturday. Admission is $15.

Trumpet Blossom Café opened just under a year ago and is currently the only all-vegan restaurant in Iowa City.

It not only appeals to vegans and vegetarians but also customers who are interested in trying dishes that may not be familiar.

Katy Meyer, the Trumpet Blossom owner and chef, said she tries to be “user friendly” with the food, but she also thinks people are becoming more aware of what makes up a vegan diet.

“Vegan food is just food,” she said. “I think it’s more about the mental hurdle. There might be one thing in a dish that you haven’t had, but you are familiar with everything else.”

For the event, Meyer will start with an appetizer of a seasonal fruit dish with spiced nuts and fresh mint. The main course will be a vegan Florentine with a homemade English muffin, seasoned tofu, cashew hollandaise sauce, greens, and herb aioli. And for dessert, a mint chocolate cupcake with coconut lavender frosting and chocolate chips.

In addition to the meal, a sweet tea with rye whiskey and a candied lemon twist will be served.
One of Meyer’s goals with her food is to give people an interesting and new experience. She believes the brunch with Mission Creek is a natural progression into that idea.

“The festival will give people the chance to have a vegan brunch in Iowa,” she said. “We are super excited to have the event here, and it will be fun to get a little taste of the festival, since I won’t be able to see a lot of it.”

Courtenay Bouvier, the food-event coordinator for Mission Creek, said last year, people wished there was a brunch that wasn’t solely for “carnivores.”

“They asked, so we answered,” she said. “We really just share the belief that we want to appeal to as many audiences as possible and that there is something out there for everyone.”

In addition to the brunch, Trumpet Blossom will also host a performance at 2 p.m. by local band Kodiak Flats.

“Trumpet Blossom has a very grass-roots aesthetic,” Bouvier said. “So I think, in an acknowledgment to the local aesthetic, we wanted to bring in some super local music. There are always a lot of local artists who want to participate in the festival, and this was the perfect venue for Kodiak Flats.”

In addition to the brunch at Trumpet Blossom, there will be a separate meal for the “carnivores” at noon April 7 at the Mill, 120 E. Burlington St. Admission is $15.

Ben Halperin, the chef and owner of Augusta restaurant in Oxford, Iowa, will tag-team with Mill chef Kyle Drea to host a casual, Southern-style brunch.

“We are going to cook some comfort food, because we feel like some people will have been drinking a lot the night before,” Halperin said.

The menu will consist of fried chicken and waffles, an egg bake, home fries, and a French toast bake along with free mimosas while supplies last.

One dish Halperin is bringing back from last year’s event is the grits and grillades — slow-cooked pork served over cheesy grits. This dish is popular in New Orleans brunches and will bring out Halperin’s “Big Easy” roots with Creole flavors.

Halperin is looking forward to having a great time and being able to work with Drea on the meal.

“This type of event is more for people to meet each other,” Halperin said. “We get to sit down, talk, and have some brunch.”

Vegan Brunch
When: 11 a.m. Saturday
Where: Trumpet Blossom Café, 310 E. Prentiss
Admission: $15

Carnivore Brunch
When: Noon April 7
Where: Mill, 120 E. Burlington
Admission: $15

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