Philly Homegrown was sweet enough to sponsor me when I visited Caffe Galleria back in December. Philly Homegrown is a fantastic initiative of the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation that seeks to inspire Philadelphians to shop from within out 100-mile foodshed, broaden the market for local food, and amplify the work of the local food movement of Greater Philadelphia. As a softie for Whole Foods, farmers, fresh cheese, and all things good and tasty, this mission speaks to me.
Caffe Galleria is a favorite nook among the locals of Lambertville, with a seating area smaller than my childhood bedroom and even more coziness. We met Sandy, a friend of Gustav’s and born-and-raised Lambertvillain, for lunch and consignment shopping. “Galleria is just fabulous. They also own City Market, down the street, I stop in there all the time. You’re going to love it! Great choice,” Sandy squealed as we sat down at a sundrenched table in the center of the room. Tracy, Sandy, and Gustav agonized over the endless menu while I bathed in the sunny vibes of our fellow patrons.
The Tofu Aphrodite arrived, resplendent.
Could this be anything other than the soul mate of my inner vegetarian? And it caters to my wannabe locavore tendencies? Of course it does. Look at it. Look at those vegetables. There was the perfect garlic to salt ratio to bring every flavorful broccoli molecule to the forefront of one’s tastebuds. The tofu was light and crispy, the potatoes were nicely seasoned, the mixed vegetables were savory and hearty, HOWEVER, I am going to die with the perfect memory of the euphoric clarity I experienced upon the first nibble of that broccoli.
There’s a reason for that broccoli-induced ecstasy. Caffe Galleria, owned by Dawn Raia, sources as many of their ingredients locally as possible; when winter and whatnot put a monkey wrench in the plans, Dawn opts for organic ingredients and works from there. The Tofu Aphrodite features fresh tofu, greens from Blue Moon Acres, veggies and herbs from Farmer Bob, and rice from Organic Lundberg. As a point of interest for those on the hunt for cute date ideas, Farmer Bob features allows you to pick your own strawberries in the summer. Which is especially welcome to those whose green thumbs are still in the rebellious adolescent phase, and those whose yards face bunny overpopulation.
Organic Lundberg products are available at most Whole Foods locations in Greater Philadelphia. Farmer Bob’s Sugartown strawberries are available directly from the farm in Malvern– and if you are interested in Blue Moon Acres’s fine array of microgreens, you’re just going to have to visit Galleria yourself, because they only sell to restauranteurs and caterers.