May 6, 2015

The Clean Plate- A Fresh Casual Vegetarian Cafe in Shelby Township

Metro Detroit Mommy Blogger  Theresa Walker- Beach Body Coach

Sponsored Post: Metro Detroit Mommy received complementary food in exchange for this promotional post.  All opinions expressed are my own.  Your experience may differ.

Finding a restaurant with a healthy, fresh menu can be like finding a needle in a haystack.  But not anymore thanks to The Clean Plate in Shelby Township.  Most notably they are the only vegetarian restaurant in Macomb County, but they also can make anything on their large menu vegan or gluten free (with the one exception of the Tempeh burger).  Owner Amber Poupore says she considers The Clean Plate a “transitional vegetarian café, good for any palate that wants to try something new."  Meaning, there is something for vegetarians, vegans and those who need to eat gluten free that is tasty; yet also the menu has appealing items for someone who has no dietary restrictions.  

Walking into the Café I was greeted with friendly employees, knowledgeable about the menu options.  The atmosphere is casual, choose a seat and a server will be over to take your order.  In hearing the details about The Clean Plate, I was excited to try what they had to offer.  Everything on their menu is Non-GMO, nearly everything is organic and they make most everything daily, from scratch in their own kitchen.  This includes their vegan and gluten free soups, salad dressings, desserts and sauces.  They get a lot of their produce from local farmers and the farmers market.  Many other items are from local companies; the bread is from Avalon bakery, the pickles are McClures and sauerkraut is Brinery.  

We were able to sample a variety of their most popular dishes.  The daily soup was Cashew Chowder, which has a creamy and rich cashew base, and full of bits of various veggies such potato, mirepoix, sweet peas, corn, white beans, and savory herbs.  It tasted just as fresh and homemade as if I'd made it in my own kitchen, it was scrumptious. 

Next we had the Vegan Mac & Cheese which is made with gluten-free brown rice penne pasta cooked in their house made “cheese” sauce which is made with almond milk, butternut squash, cauliflower, nutritional yeast and numerous seasonings.  I was impressed, the mac and cheese sauce was very similar to cheese in texture and creaminess, it was very tasty. 

One of my favorite dishes was the Thai Pasta Salad which is made with raw spiraled zucchini noodles topped with sautéed marinated shiitake mushrooms, red cabbage, sweet bell peppers and their fabulous house made Thai peanut dressing, also garnished with carrot, scallion and avocado.  Wow, I could eat this amazing salad every day, it had a beautiful mix of flavors that each complimented the other! 

Another stand-out dish we had was the A.B.L.T: Toasted Avalon bread topped with avocado, shiitake bacon (I’ll describe in a minute), lettuce, tomato, and garlic aioli.  The shiitake mushrooms are prepared expertly to take the place of bacon, which as much as I enjoy bacon, I never missed it.  The mushrooms are sliced paper thin, marinated in smoked paprika, MI syrup, vinegar and tamari and then slow cooked for 4-5 hours till they are the perfect consistency for this stand out sandwich!  It was terrific!  

Lastly, we tried the Grecian Wrap which is lavash filled with feta cheese (or you can do vegan cheese), sautéed red onion and bell pepper, artichoke hearts, arugula, avocado and greek dressing.  This wrap was very good, it was large and very filling.  It also had memorable flavor.  

To finish off our experience we tried the desserts which are prepared fresh daily- the mango cheese cake and the Jungle peanut bar.  The cheesecake is a raw vegan cheesecake, it has an enjoyable tropical flavor and a delicious coconut cashew light crust.  The mix of the coconut butter with the creamy cashews and then topped with the mango flavor give it a heightened burst of flavor in every bite.  The jungle peanut bar has a hand pressed crust made with dates and jungle peanuts that are actually wild-harvested from the jungle!  It is layered with the jungle peanuts which are grinded in house, raw cacao, and drizzled with peanut chunks and peanut butter.  Both desserts were fabulously memorable!  I would say they are a do-not-miss part of your experience.

In addition to what we were able to sample, Clean Plate offers what I’d consider a large menu with many options ranging from salads (dressings made from scratch in-house daily), wraps, sandwiches, daily soups, “burgers”, entrees and they even have a kids menu.  The burgers vary, from a black bean burger, Portobello mushroom burger, tempeh burger and a sloppy joe made with beans and lentils.  
They also have a variety of unique beverages including Kombucha which I tried and enjoyed (a Japanese lightly effervescent fermented sweetened and flavored tea drink), organic fruit smoothies that change daily, as well as Great Lakes Coffee, natural sodas, Thai coconut water and iced tea.  They also make many desserts daily, on the day I visited among other things they had vegan and gluten free Double Chocolate and Blueberry Lavender Cupcakes as well as gluten-free Chocolate Chip cookies and vegan Oatmeal cookies.

Overall, I was extremely impressed with The Clean Plate and will be back for more!  Not being a vegetarian myself, but being someone who tries to eat consciously healthfully, I appreciate what Clean Plate brings to the area as a healthy dining option; as well as serving people who are vegan and gluten free and have very limited options available.  The food here proves you can eat healthfully, with meals full of veggies, and have it taste just as flavorful as anything else.  Between Amber Poupore who is the owner and her brother Brandon who helps manage the restaurant, they both put so much passion into what they do, it shows in every meal they make, every day, from scratch, from only the finest ingredients.  They obviously truly care about the food they are presenting and serving to their patrons, from the search for the perfect cashew to using produce from local farms to the process in which they prepare the mushroom for the A.B.L.T.  They will not sacrifice quality.  Both come from a back ground in restaurants, Amber was a caterer for In Season before she opened up Cacao Tree in downtown Royal Oak in 2010.  Shortly after in December 2013 The Clean Plate opened in Shelby Township and Brandon with his 15 years in restaurant experience joined her in what is obviously both a dream job for both of them. 

The Clean Plate is located at: 45629 Hayes Rd. in Shelby Township, just North of M59.  

You can visit them online at: or call 586-580-3293
 Or on Facebook

They are open Monday-Saturday from 11am-9pm.  

Theresa Walker 
Theresa is a wife and stay at home mother of 2 energetic boys, DJ (8) and Aiden (5). She has a bachelors in Communications and prior to being a mother she worked at Better Investing magazine in advertising and as a Corporate Account Manager. These days she is fortunate enough to spend time with her boys checking out all of the local fun there is to be had. She and her family love to travel. She is also active in a large online mom's group through Facebook that she started called 
Planet Mom. She enjoys being active and one of her proudest accomplishments was running the Detroit Half Marathon as well as the Romeo to Richmond Half. In her free time you can find her running or biking through Stony Creek. Or curled up on a couch with a good book and her cat in her lap. She recently became a BeachBody Coach, so that she could share her love for health and fitness with others to help them reach their personal goals. You can find her Facebook page at Inspired Health& Fitness. She considers herself a "Fit Foodie" and loves trying new recipes, experimenting and new restaurants around town. She hopes she can share some of her tips for healthy eating and exercise for busy moms and Metro Detroit Mommy Fans.

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