we first heard about sacred grounds while clark was researching day trips, and of course we were excited to find an all vegetarian cafe only 40 minutes away. lucky for us, sacred grounds is in the same town (edwardsville, il) as fond, a place we've been wanting to visit for over year, and the township grocer. turns out sacred grounds was just the right place for us to begin our foodie excursion!
nestled in among the many boutiques and restaurants on main street, sacred grounds distinguishes itself with a big brown awning and a good looking (though unidentifiable?) typeface. once inside, things look just like a good college cafe ought to: well-worn seats, graffitied wooden tables, and good artwork. in this case, the theme of the artwork was bicycles--bicycle photos, bicycle collage, bicycle diorama. awesome. truly. oh, and there was a guy playing a guitar at the table next to us. yeah, just a guy and his guitar. so cool. not truly.
though we were bummed to find out that lunch wouldn't be served for another hour, the cashier explained that she'd do what she could to get it out to us a little earlier. and, boy, did she deliver! not even 30 minutes later, we had our yummy yums in front of us, served up with a smile. and later, when clark wanted some tea, a different cashier invited him behind the counter to explore the myriad teas (there must be over 25) at his leisure. we're not sure that's up to code, but what the hell do we care? they made us feel like we were regulars on our first visit, and that's something special.
fully aware of our feast to come at fond later that night, we decided to go light for lunch, so although we ordered three sandwiches, they weren't large by any means. still, they weren't diminutive, either, so we left happy and sated. (we also asked for no butter on the bread, and we were pleasantly surprised to find that sacred grounds doesn't use butter at all in the restaurant!) clark started with the "athena," which came topped with spinach, red onion, tomatoes, mozzarella, and artichoke pesto on sourdough. the artichoke pesto didn't shine through as much as we'd like, but the sandwich was still scrumptious and full of fresh veggies.
lois started with the "sicilian," which featured portabella mushrooms, roasted red peppers, tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil pesto on sourdough. this time, the pesto (because of the basil, probably) really stood up. delicious!
we concluded with the house-made veggie burger, which is a specialty not found on the permanent menu. we were lucky enough to be there on one of the days they were serving it, and ours came with a tzatziki-like sauce that had just enough kick to tame the sourness from the yogurt. it wasn't life changing, but it was definitely an above average veggie burger.
all in all, it was a doggone good lunch and a great value, and it's highly likely that we'll be returning sometime soon. if only there were more things to do in edwardsville...