Electric Earth Café has its heart in the right place. A penned sign at the front counter states that they regret that due to rising fuel prices, the food menu's prices are all rising as of today -- but not the drink prices.
The cafe's vivid blue walls, jazzy soundtrack, extensive chalk-on-blackboard menu, and veggie and vegan selections give the place that mid-'70s, northern California coffeehouse vibe. I find the blue walls alarming, but they're growing on me. They certainly set the cafe apart from the current corporate coffeehouse look, which is refreshing. During the day, it's a quiet place to grab a bite or read; activity picks up at night. Weekend evenings, it doubles as a stage for bands and comedy improv.
On a recent noontime visit I had a cup of the soup of the day, a heart-warming pumpkin and tomato bisque ($3.50). It was a little lumpy for a bisque but had a mellow, tomatoey flavor. Not out of the ordinary, but quite satisfying as the snowflakes fell outside.
On another visit, a mushroom-barley soup of the day featured the largest hunks of mushrooms I have ever seen in a soup in my life. There were also large hunks of carrot, huge pieces of green pepper, celery (cut in more reasonably sized pieces) and a sprinkling of basil. There were lots of veggies, but soup's better without such large chunks.
The Choose Two ($5.75) combines a cup of soup and a half of most any sandwich (or, for some more complex sandwiches, add $1 to the cost). The hummus (hummus, tomato, sprouts, cucumbers and lettuce -- and red onions if you want them, $5.50) sandwich goes well with the whole Electric Earth feeling; so does the Veg Head (Swiss and provolone with green peppers, cukes, black olives, lettuce, tomato and dressing, also $5.50), although I found the breads disappointing -- fresh, but soft. Even the multi-grain wheat is pillowy. I don't like super-severe breads, but something less soft than this gives the sandwich more support.
Most of the sandwich highlights are on the "hot" side of the sandwich menu -- the Veggie Supreme (with sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts and melted provolone), the Tofu You, and the Philly Combo -- sort of a cheese steak with cream cheese ($5.50-$6).
Several of Electric Earth's dressings (for sandwiches and salads) are homemade, which is a good thing in a day when so many commercial dressings are made with high fructose corn syrup.
I've applauded before the cafe's key lime crumb cake, which must be ordered! But it's not always available. The carrot cake and the pound cake are both good, too; vegan cupcakes, muffins and cookies are also available.
Electric Earth is open for breakfast with organic granola and yogurt and organic oatmeal ($2.50-$3.50) as well as muffins, scones and smoothies. And, of course, coffee. Thank goodness.