Mead’s Green Door Cafe in Orange is a cozy vegetarian haven with a small-town coffee shop vibe.
The aroma of fresh baked vegan treats and hand-roasted coffee hangs in the air with the rustic green door suspended in the dining room—the centerpiece of Mead’s Green Door Café in Orange.
“The green door symbolizes not only paying tribute to my father,” said owner Gary Mead, but also “a greener way of life. A simpler time.”
The walls are lined with barnyard-style folk art created by owner Gary Mead’s father, Gary Mead Sr.
“At first he asked, ‘Can I put a few pieces up,’ and then he brought down every single piece from his art collection,” said Mead, who explained that the reclaimed door panels fit so well with the concept of the sustainable restaurant that they made it the theme.
It also represents the vegetarian twist Mead puts on traditional favorites.
The Mead family used to style steaks at PJ’s Abbey, but changed concepts when Gary became a vegetarian last year.
Mead’s family has opened three restaurants in Orange since 1990. The venture, he says, is a throwback to the family’s roots and their first restaurant, PJ Mead’s Books and Coffee, which closed in 1996.
From the first bite, you’ll be hooked on the café’s signature breakfast item: Mead’s Ranchero breakfast burrito. Stuffed with walnut chorizo and slathered in red sauce, fresh guacamole and cilantro cream, it is too behemoth to pick up with two hands.
Buffalo Cauliflower is a meatless version of Buffalo wings served with vegan bleu cheese dressing that offers just a touch of sweetness to tame the heat.
Barbeque lovers won’t miss the meat in the first bite of The King ‘Shroom, a playful take on a pulled pork sandwich using king oyster mushrooms topped with southern slaw.
For dessert, the Cookie Butter and Jelly Sandwich recreates a brownbag childhood classic with a creamy cookie spread, apricot preserves and honey on grilled potato bread. This dessert style sandwich provides an inexpensive alternative to Bruxie without the crowd.
The cafe has also teamed up with Old Town Roasting Company to offer on-site bean roasting for specialty coffee drinks. The Turtle Mocha is rich, topped with whipped cream and drizzled with caramel.
In the future, Mead plans to work with local growers including the Orange Famer’s Market.
Mead’s Green Door Cafe is located at 642 West Chapman Ave. and is open weekdays from 6a.m.- 3p.m. and Saturdays from 8a.m.-3p.m.