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Vegetarian fusion comes to the valley

In an age where bigger is better at eateries and the amount of beef reigns supreme, David Washum, the owner of a new vegetarian cafe called Cafe CSB at 1481 Highway 372 in town talks about how he will survive.

“We will do well because we offer what people can’t get in this town,” Washum said. “We are a farm-to-table eatery, using fine organic local-farmed, foraged and sourced produce. Our menu will be small and precise, which will change weekly.”

He added, “There are so many people here that can’t eat what the regular restaurants serve. My clientele will be either people who want to eat healthier or the people who have to eat healthier and have no choice.”

He said portion size is not an issue at his place.

“Organic food is more nutritious for the body and so people don’t have to eat a lot,” Washum said.

“People will be satisfied with the portions because the food is better for them.”

The new cafe serves blended frapes, gluten-free scones, lavender hibiscus limeade, fresh fruit smoothies, vegetarian plates and even cappuccino, to name a few items.

Washum said he always wanted to create a cafe from an old building. At the cafe he will rotate chefs in. The cafe has new hours where lunch is served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and dinner is from 5-9 p.m., Thursday through Sunday. The new hours start June 9.

Brett Chumley, who is the owner of Mom’s Diner, said he gets requests for vegetarian food all the time.

“Yeah, that’s not us,” he said. “Now that there is a place, I will send them his way.”

Washum is not new to the restaurant business.

“I had this cafe, for the last 15 years in Shoshone,” Washum said. “In Shoshone I catered to the European tourist. There really is no other place like this in town. We are a place to get coffee, listen to music on Saturdays. We are taking over that music crowd that used to sit at Irene’s place. We are shooting for that same crowd, that ‘Berkeley Cafe’ feeling. In fact, when people are here I want them to imagine themselves in Berkeley, California.”

Washum added that there is no wi-fi at his place.

“I want people to come in and be able to just sit and talk with each other,” he said. “I have observed society and have seen people and how habits are changing. People don’t talk with each other while they eat.”

He spent years in Las Vegas when he owned his own clothing boutique.

“It was a time where I hung out with a lot of good chefs in Las Vegas and Dallas, Texas,” he said. “There I gained a lot of firsthand knowledge on organic food and what we have here is ‘vegetarian fusion food from different cultures.’ You really can’t put an age on the crowd that has been coming here. I get all ages from teens to the seniors.”

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