Jill’s vegan buffet welcomes fall with open arms and empty stomachs

Every Friday for the past three years, Jill’s Restaurant and Bistro has been offering a vegan buffet for guests of the hotel as well as the general public. This Friday was the first buffet of fall, and the menu reflected the change in seasons.

“It’s our busiest day of the week,” Chef Stephen Kauffman said. “[People] really appreciate it.”

Chef Kauffman said that he was not vegan himself but that he’s been working at Jill’s Restaurant and Bistro for the last seven years.

“I love cooking seasonally,” he said as more hungry people approached the buffet with wide eyes.

There were soups, salads, pizzas, eggplant and lentil entrees, and a multitude of desserts. The vegetables were all seasonally inspired, and the soups were made to comfort.

People from different tables mingling with each other, as if the same crowd frequented this place every week — parents with children, groups of young adults, pairs of friends.

“Most people are vegan but we get some vegetarians,” waitress Kristen Pesa said. “Some people are just wanders who end up coming in anyway, unaware of the vegan buffet and they want to try it.”

Pesa said her favorite thing she’d ever had at one of these buffets was was a dessert called “the Elvis.”

“It’s like vanilla, banana, peanut butter frosting, drizzled with chocolate,” she said. “But also like the Thai noodle salad.”

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Most everything is gluten free at this buffet, making an excellent place to go for people with dietary restrictions or sensitivities. They strongly recommend making reservations, but it’s not absolutely necessary.

Jill’s vegan buffet is offered every Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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