Happy New Year! Never thought we would be ringing in 2018 with a snow storm, but alas, here we are with snow-covered cars and ice-lined streets. Like most other people, I’ve been off work during this winter weather craziness, and in fact have been off the whole week, due to it being new years so let’s just say that by Thursday, I was starting to get a bit stir crazy! I decided to scan my neighborhood Facebook page to see if there was anything open within walking distance of my house. I was super excited to find that my favorite neighborhood cafe was open, The Harbinger Cafe, so I quickly bundled up and began my trek there.
You may remember my write-up about an art show that was held at The Harbinger that was in our Mini Features section awhile ago. It featured some of their delicious cookies and hummus. The pastries at The Harbinger Cafe are some of the best pastries I’ve ever tasted, and though they are a bit pricey (a cookie bar can be as much as $4), they are worth every single penny. Vegan ingredients tend to be more on the expensive side as well, which probably explains why they’re on the pricier end.
When I arrived at The Harbinger (slightly frostbritten…ok that’s an exaggeration, but I was very cold), I was immediately comforted by the cozy and warm atmosphere of the cafe and the friendliness of all the staff and patrons. I was feeling pretty hungry, so I decided to try some of their salads instead of a pastry this time. The Harbinger may have pricey baked goods, but they’ve got an AMAZING deal on their salads! They usually have about 6-7 salads of the day to choose from and you can fill up an entire plate with each kind of salad for just around $9! I’m now wishing I had taken more advantage of this great deal, but I didn’t want to ruin my dinner(it was a late lunch), so I opted for just three of the salads.
I got the Three Bean Salad, the Sweet Potato and Chickpea Salad, and the Forbidden Fall Salad. Each were extremely delicious and full of flavor! The Three Bean Salad consisted of chickpeas, white beans, and black beans, and radicchio with a rosemary cilantro dressing. The Sweet Potato and Chickpea Salad consisted of sweet potatoes, chickpeas, radish, and cilantro and was topped with a peanut vinaigrette. The Forbidden Fall Salad consisted of forbidden black rice, butternut squash, pickled shallots, and spinach, smothered in a spinach pesto. Each salad had its own unique flavor creating a delicious flavor fusion in my mouth when combining them together. I loved the addition of the spinach pesto on top of the rice in the Forbidden Fall Salad and I especially loved the peanut-y flavor in the Sweet Potato and Chickpea salad! The Harbinger has many other kinds of salads that they offer and they all rotate daily. Each salad is made with super fresh and healthy ingredients that will definitely help with any healthy eating New Years resolutions you may have!
The Harbinger also has an amazing drink selection, which are a bit on the pricey end like the pastries, but that seems to be the case with most coffee shops in Charleston. I would definitely say its worth it to splurge on one of these drinks though. I opted for their Moroccan Mint Tea ($2.25) which was more on the cheaper side compared to most of their coffee drinks(at least $4). I didn’t need any more caffeine for the day anyways. The Moroccan Mint Tea was absolutely perfect for a cold, snowy day. It was calming, soothing and full of a delicious minty flavor, but wasn’t too overpowering either. As for their coffee drinks, they are well-known for their honey and maple lattes, which I have yet to try, but have heard are extremely delicious! I definitely plan on getting one on my next trip back.
If you have not yet been to the Harbinger Cafe, I would definitely suggest getting yourself over there ASAP (great hangout for this kind of weather!). Its cute, cozy, warm, and has a ton of delicious food. Definitely opt for the salads though if you’re looking for something on the more affordable side. Don’t let the vegan part of it stop you either, because when I first visited this cafe, the pastries were so good, I couldn’t even tell they were vegan! It has quickly become my favorite neighborhood cafe.