Audrey Barron’s Raw Talent: Ezra’s Enlightened Cafe

A personal chef leads the charge in plant-minded dining at an alley-side restaurant.

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1014-AUDREYBARRON_EZRASEzra’s Enlightened Cafe doesn’t look like your typical Broad Ripple lunch spot. A tiny duck-in off the beaten path with a laughing-Buddha logo on the door, it’s housed in a former two-car garage that owner Audrey Barron and her general-contractor husband converted into a nondairy, gluten-free, vegetarian eatery. A corporate-world expat, Barron spent the past five years working as a personal chef and raw-food instructor while putting in part-time hours as a massage therapist at The Playful Soul—a holistic center on Ferguson Street that happened to have a garage that was going mostly unused. “It was an ongoing joke,” Barron says. “I have wanted to open a cafe forever, and I was like—what if we put it in that garage? And now, here we are.”

If Barron’s location was a leap of faith, her dishes are just as daring. Pasta comes in the form of zucchini noodles, and raw vegan tacos are presented inside lettuce leaves. For dessert, Barron says her triple-chocolate brownies, lemon squares, and chocolate-hazelnut cake are the gateway drugs to clean, organic eating. But even without the fripperies of raw chocolate, Barron doesn’t expect her adorable concept to be a hard sell. “People are starting to see that the way you eat affects the way you feel,” she says. “And people are not really cool with feeling bad anymore.”

Audrey Barron’s Favorite Things

(1) Natural Born Juicers: “I don’t eat out a lot, but I go there when I’m in the area. They are high-quality and amazing.”

(2) Good Earth Natural Food Company: “I am there pretty much every day. I got lunch there today. Some hummus and organic crackers and carrots.”

(3) Saturday-morning hot yoga at Flourish Yoga in Geist.

(4) Silverthorn Farms: “I always go to their booth at the Broad Ripple Farmers Market. They sell lots of greens.”

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