The Federal is no stranger to vegetables. Chef Cesar Zapata actually prefers to eat a vegetarian diet, and the innovative eatery's menu usually includes a wide array of garden grown edibles alongside its meatier offerings.
Now, Zapata and crew are taking things to the next level with a three-month lunch menu that's all about plants.
The lineup, which is now available, includes vegetarian and vegan-friendly options. New dishes dreamed up by the creative chef include an avocado tostada with freeze dried berries, black bean corn salsa, and fresh herbs ($8); carrot tartare with citrus salad, green goddess, and rice crackers ($10); cauliflower steak with eggplant sweet 'n' sour and smoked grapes ($12); and a Federal Bowl with mixed grains, Brussels sprouts, spiced seeds, tofu steak, crispy sweet potatoes, and vadouvan tahini sauce ($14).
Zapata has some favorites among his new concoctions.
"The one thing I always crave and don’t eat much is burgers, but I don’t think turkey or fish burgers are the same. The black bean slider on the menu is dope," he says. "It’s got chiles, a bit spicy, homemade barbecue sauce, huitlacoche relish, and rajas. It doesn’t plate well — yet, but tastes banging. I’ve had one every day this week once finalizing the recipe."
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The eatery isn't normally open for lunch, but is making an exception for the special lineup. It'll be open Thursdays and Fridays from noon to 3 p.m. through July 31.
The menu will be pretty consistent for the three-month period, Zapata says.
"Three months is a very short period of time and I want to build consistency from the guests that come to the Federal at lunch. People are creatures of habit, we can afford to switch things up at dinner, but don’t want to risk it for lunch yet. If we are able to build lunch, then who’s to say that it won’t stay permanently," he hints.