I first visited Alluette’s Cafe in December 2008 when I was in the Charleston area for business. Alluette is a gem of a lady, and being the only patron in the restaurant during that weird time between lunch and dinner, we had a chance to get to know each other. I had plans to be back in the area a few weeks later and told her I would return. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to stop back in, but I was able to fulfill my promise to leave her a stellar review on their yelp site.
Here is what I had to say about Alluette’s Cafe after my first visit in late 2008.
Soul food exploding with soul! Alluette’s Cafe is a rare gem. And I suggest you run, not walk to dine with Alluette herself. This home cookin’ is the real deal. Organic LOCAL produce, daily vegan specials, exactly what you are looking for when you come to Charleston – Soul Food at it’s finest without any guilt.
Supporting Alluete means supporting local farmers, organic principals, and vegetarians. Don’t worry if you bring your meat-eating half, they can indulge in organic meats cooked in the finest ways.
I enjoyed a collard green sandwich on whole wheat bun with vegan cheese and a side salad drizzled with homemade dressing. It was divine. I texted my friends back in Florida exclaiming “I’m eating VEGAN soul food!”
Alluette, the owner and cook, is on a path of spiritual enlightenment and in tune with the principal “you are what you eat.” She will only serve the finest food for you and your family to enjoy. I will be back in January when I return for work. 🙂
Happy Vegan Dining.
Over two years later I found myself back in Charleston, this time though, to celebrate the start of Ed’s Run Across America. As I was rushing to my hotel (thanks to delayed flights) I was almost biting my arm off in hunger. The trusty iPhone google map search (keyword: vegan) revealed that I was literally 2 blocks from Aluette’s. A quick right turn, and I found myself in front of a inconspicuous yellow building that one stares at and wonders, “Am I in the right spot?”
I burst through the doors to find Aluette in her familiar position in the kitchen with a packed house of patrons.
Out the small pep kitchen window, Alluette welcomes me. She is giving me an unusual stare, and I overhear her ask her helper, “do you know who that is?”
Just having decided on my meal, a hummus sandwich, thinking it will be quick, healthy and delicious, Alluette comes over to me and says, “I know you. You were here a while back. My, you look great. I remember. You had the collard greens sandwich.”
Totally taken back, I stand to give Alluette a hug and tell her how could I forget the wonderful meal I enjoyed at her cafe. She sends me to the wall to reveal a newly framed magazine article from O Magazine – “Feeding the Soul” by Celia Barbour which discusses Alluette’s approach to food – local, organic and full of soul.
After reading the article, I settle back in at my table soaking up the atmosphere and trying not to stress over how little time I have before a conference call.
I was definitely cutting it close stopping in for lunch at Alluette’s. A sign above the kitchen reads “good food takes time.” After enjoying myself (and testing my patience) in Alluette’s Cafe, I kindly asked for my meal ‘to-go.
Though, it was just as tasty, and full of soul, back in my hotel room.
If you ever find yourself in Charleston, stop by Alluette’s cafe for a one of a kind, healthy, meal prepared full of love and bursting with soul. You can’t go wrong with an authentic, Southern, vegan! collard green sandwich.