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Dining

The Center’s Bronze Cafe is good as gold

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The Tree of Life has vegan-friendly sour cream and “parmesan” made from Brazil nuts along with roasted peppers, tomato, pickled onions and mango-cilantro-ginger vinaigrette.
Photo: Linda Quackenboss

Housed in the lobby of the newly opened Center—a community hub for Las Vegas’ LGBTQ population on Maryland just north of Charleston—is the Bronze Cafe. It occupies a small lobby counter, surrounded by a smattering of tables and offers vegan and standard fare, both really good.

I’m not vegan, although I’ll eat the Good Earth Pita ($10) any time. It layers roasted eggplant, mushrooms and red bell peppers with mixed greens, housemade romesco and hummus, alfalfa sprouts, lemon vinaigrette and cayenne-spiced caramelized sunflower seeds. That laundry list is a resounding success, with interweaving flavors and textures.

I’m less enthralled by the Tree of Life ($10), but only because I’m not a fan of vegan ingredients masquerading as their non-vegan counterparts, always denoted by quotation marks. In this sandwich the offenders are sour “cream” and Brazil nut “parmesan.” It’s probably more of a personal preference than anything.

Carnivores need not be afraid, however, because like the Center, Bronze Cafe welcomes all. The LGBTQ ($10) combines housemade bacon jam and maple-glazed bacon with basil aioli, mixed greens and lemon vinaigrette in a symphony of porky goodness. The bacon jam is so good, you can actually order it on the other sandwiches—the California Turkey ($9) is particularly good with bacon jam.

Save room for dessert and order a Loving v. Virginia ($3.75), a nod to the late 1960s landmark interracial marriage court case. Described as “the legal marriage between a cookie and a brownie,” this is more like their offspring: a brownie muffin encasing a chocolate chip cookie. Equality for all!

Bronze Cafe at the Center 401 S. Maryland Parkway, 202-3100. Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-10 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.

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