From light to heavy, vegan to meaty, the new menu coming to Knead Community Cafe in New Kensington is packed with options.
While the winter chill has lingered this year, Knead’s fall and winter menu will release with the launch of the spring and summer menu on May 10. It features 14 new dishes for diners to choose from.
Chef Carlo Cimino said there was no overriding theme on the menu.
“I went all over the place with this one,” he said. “I always try to do things that people aren’t going to do themselves.”
Those who appreciate the fall and winter menu offerings will want to get them before they leave. Only the basic burger, grilled cheese and wedding soup will remain.
Cimino said it wanted to offer lighter offerings for warmer temperatures. They include the “Cup & a Half”, a small soup with half a tuna salad or a chicken salad sandwich, and “Gimme the Scoops”, with scoops of chicken and tuna salad and cottage cheese .
While at Knead, Cimino said he’s noticed some customers eating heavier lunches and lighter dinners. Main dishes on the fall and winter menu, such as liver and onions and hot turkey, were popular.
The heaviest options on the spring and summer menu include braised beef ravioli, shrimp and grits.
Also included in this category is a burger that was once a special but is on the regular menu for the first time. Cimino said the “Arnold Lumberjack,” which is hot grilled sausage and melted provolone, comes from an Arnold bar.
“People in the region will remember that,” he said.
The menu features a vegan dish for the first time, as well as zero-carb options.
“People are eating this way now, so we’re trying to appeal to those requests,” said Paula Langer, the cafe’s general manager.
The vegan sandwich, “I Just Wanna Veg Out”, consists of a whole grain vegan oatmeal bun with hummus stuffed with tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, shaved broccoli stalk, shaved brussels, kale, radicchio and colorful carrots tossed in a lime vinaigrette.
For those avoiding the carbs, there’s the “Fuji Salmon Bowl,” featuring grilled salmon glazed with sweet and spicy plums over cauliflower fried rice topped with shredded vegetables.
There will be three new salads – a “farmer’s market” with baby spinach, baby corn, grape tomatoes, onions, cucumber, radishes, peppers and zucchini tossed in a lime vinaigrette; the “Blueberry Power Salad” with iceberg, baby spinach, “vegetarian superfood salad”, blueberries, red grapes, dried cranberries, walnuts, hard-boiled egg and blueberry-lemon vinaigrette; and a “Steakhouse Wedge,” featuring an iceberg topped with grape tomatoes, onions, hard-boiled eggs, and crumbled bacon with a creamy blue cheese dressing.
Nothing on the menu costs more than $14 unless a customer adds chicken, shrimp or salmon to a salad, Cimino said.
The spring and summer menu will be in place until October.
“We’re still amazed,” said Mary Bode, who founded the cafe with her husband, Kevin, in 2017. “Carlo is doing great things.”
Garden market planned
The new menu comes out the same week as “Mother Nature’s Garden Market,” which will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on May 14. his offerings.
The open-air market in the cafe courtyard will host vendors of nature-based artisan products, such as soaps, lotions, teas, condiments, herbal products, farm-fresh produce, honey, flowers and starter plants and herbs.
A beekeeper will be present and provide information on attracting and keeping bees, Langer said.
Knead is open for lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. It is also open for breakfast from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Saturdays.
The breakfast menu is also seasonal. Cimino said the menu, which will be released on May 28, is still “in the works”.
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