Any of the sweet-natured, knit-capped staffers at this tiny alley-side joint will take a deep breath and explain that Ezra’s serves a dairy-free, processed sugar–free, GMO-free, gluten-free, organic, local, raw, “bee-gan” menu. That’s a lot of qualifiers, but the Broad Ripple newcomer proves that clean eating and good eating can share the same plate. The open kitchen bustles with whirring juicers and workers who, when not sharing herbal remedies, are elbow-deep in bowls of kale, massaging the greens with organic local honey—or slicing up portions of deceptively tart Key lime pie. Owner Audrey Barron is pioneering new territory in Indy, boldly adding the newest and healthiest ingredients—like fermented veggies and bee pollen—to her dishes without sacrificing flavor. Her recipe for Basil Alfredo Pasta with “meat balls” tastes as robust as the Italian-grandmother standard. Vegan sausage made mostly of walnuts goes down like a country breakfast. And a drizzle of vegan “cheese” over the Nacho Mama Bean Bowl could have just as easily hailed from the nearest ballpark.
Concept: Crunchy spa
Owner: Audrey Barron
Chef: Audrey Barron
Pedigree: Barron, a former Angie’s List employee who had been conducting wellness classes at The Playful Soul, opened the cafe with the help of chef Allie McFee, current owner of The Humble Tummy.
Try It If You Like: Duos
Check It Out: 6516 Ferguson St., 255-3972, ezrasenlightenedcafe.com