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April 11, 2024

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    As we enter into the poetics of April, also known as national poetry month, here are four voices from well to lesser known. The Tradition – Jericho Brown Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Brown visited the last American Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP 2024) conference, and I loved his speech and humor. Besides […]
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Spring Housing Guide

Local health store provides live music, vegan food

 Those craving a hearty soup or searching for Vegenaise can swing by Squeaker’s Café and Health Food Store in downtown Bowling Green for an affordable lunch and vegetarian goodies.

“Ninety to 95 percent of our customers are vegan,” said owner William Armstrong. “We’re excited to offer foods that fit their lifestyles.” 

The Café offers an array of salads and sandwiches, in addition to weekly specials and soups of the day.

When I stopped in for lunch this past Friday, I was tempted by the “Steak” and Walnut Salad: marinated homemade seitan and mushrooms served on a bed of mixed greens, tomatoes, carrots, onions, celery, walnuts and mozzarella with goddess dressing. (Of course, any dairy options can be omitted to accommodate a vegan diet.) But I was in the mood for a robust sandwich.

“The Cali Burger and Avocado Reuben are our two best sellers,” said Williams. 

My love of avocados guided me to the Reuben, a sandwich composed of Tofurky deli slices with sauerkraut, Thousand Island dressing, mustard, avocado and mozzarella. Even though there could have been more fixings between the slices of toasted whole wheat, the crunch of the sauerkraut and the tang of the dressing complimented the avocado’s creaminess. 

As an additional side, I ordered a cup of smoked tempeh red lentil soup, which was the highlight of my meal. Smoky in flavor with a kick of cayenne, this soul-warming soup perfectly matched the chilly day. The thick chunks of potatoes added more texture and body to the lentils and tempeh. 

Apart from the healthy vegetarian menu options, the café features live music Fridays during lunch (when I visited, Ken Waldman and Lucy Long played some lovely string music) and every other Friday night a three-piece jazz trio performs. 

“The live music really appeals to college students, and the Thursday Night Open Mic is a great time for young people to showcase their talents and appreciate others’ music while enjoying great food,” Long said; she is a performing artist and founder of the Center for Food and Culture in Bowling Green. 

Another draw to Squeaker’s is the Health Food Store. The wide selection ranges from refrigerated goods, such as vegan “cheese” and miso, to essential pantry items, such as quinoa pasta and organic canned beans, to personal care items, such as all-natural shampoos and supplements.  As a gluten-free home cook, the wide range of GF bread, brownie and cake mixes as well as the multiple Bob’s Red Mill products particularly impressed me. 

“We’re working really hard to update the store, change the Café’s menu and renovate the décor,” Armstrong said. “We want Squeaker’s to be welcoming for vegetarians, vegans and all of our patrons. Health and well-being is essential to all of our lives nowadays.”

“The new owner (Armstrong) hired a cook who has extensive experience with vegan food, and he’s currently working on connecting with an area CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) hopefully to expand the menu and promote local foods,” Long said. “It’s wonderful to see Squeaker’s embracing the community in so many ways.” 

With the continual rise in food awareness, I see the community embracing Squeaker’s Café and Health Food Store. 

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