Branch Out is back open for business in their newly renovated permanent location at 713 Kentucky Ave. With the new building comes a new kitchen and with a new kitchen comes fresh ideas for recipes so I had to stop by for a taste. The owners, Gabrielle and Daniel have done a great job of creating a bright, open space to get comfortable in while dining.
I traditionally stick to my three main food groups, pizza, BBQ, and tacos and prefer meat at every meal, but I had heard from many people that the food at Branch Out was so good that you wouldn’t even notice it was vegan
I was able to sample all of the heavy hitters on the menu including some tacos that I wasn’t used to seeing on other menus. The first was an Indian Street Taco made with ingredients such as potato, coconut chutney, pickled onions, and more. The second was the Hearts of Palm Fish Taco comprised of fried hearts of palm, tardar sauce, pickled cabbage, and pico. The tacos came with a side of vidalia onion rings that were hand cut and breaded on site.
After I had warmed up with some tacos, I moved on to the Quinoa Nachos. A platter of chips topped with seasoned quinoa “meat” and black beans smothered with cashew cheese, guac and pico de gallo. These nachos confirmed the rumors about not missing the meat but the star of the show was yet to come.
The Southern Skillet
The Southern Skillet. Southern comfort food at it’s finest, vegan or not. A cast iron skillet filled with mac and (cashew) cheese topped with garlic lemon collard greens, black-eyed peas, two slices of fried green tomatoes, and a chunk of cornbread. The skillet is only offered on the dinner menu and that’s because once you eat it, you’re done being productive for the day. I think that’s why they have the casual corner with comfy chairs that are obviously not for dining, but for post Southern Skillet naps. I had to force myself to not eat it all because I still had two desserts to taste.
The first dessert was a strawberry vanilla donut. All 20 of their donut varieties are made fresh daily. The one I tasted was made with local strawberries from Bennett’s farm and no added flavorings or colors. For some reason I expected it to be dry and crumbly but I was amazed at how moist and flavorful it was. I really enjoy donuts, but cake donuts are hard to get right. I think I may have found the best cake donuts in Paducah at Branch Out!
After my expectations were exceeded with the donut, I moved on to the Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake. Again, my expectations did not align with reality. I do love cheesecake but after everything I had tasted I really couldn’t handle the heavy, overly sweet stuff I’m used to. That expectation was the opposite of the reality. Branch Out’s cheesecake crust is made from dates and Kight Pecans. The filling uses coconut oil and cream, maple syrup, cashews, cocoa butter, cocoa powder, and peanut butter of course. Sprinkled with vegan peanut butter cups. It’s much lighter than traditional cheesecake and wasn’t overly sweet. It’d compare it to the flavor of rich dark chocolate: a little sweet perfectly balanced with the right amount of bitter.
Go Experience Branch Out for Yourself
I savored every bite until it was all gone and I was so stuffed I could hardly remove myself from my chair. I recommend you “Branch Out” and give Branch Out a try, even if you’re a carnivore like myself. What I sampled is only a fraction of what they have to offer so there’s something on the menu for everyone!
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