Hometown Eats: Globowl Cafe in Lexington

Published: Jul. 23, 2021 at 7:43 AM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Va. (WDBJ) - In downtown Lexington, there’s a restaurant where you can taste the world and eat local food all at the same time.

As its name suggests, Globowl Cafe sells rice and salad bowls with flavors from around the world.

“It’s a play on words,” owner Lauren McCaughrin said. “We focus primarily on vegan, a little vegetarian, world cuisine.”

She grew up in Lexington.

“I graduated at 16 to get out of this tiny town and see the world,” she said.

For 20-plus years, she’s trotted the globe.

“Got into the vegan lifestyle, yogi lifestyle in L.A.,” she said.

And while home is where the heart is, there was something missing when she came back.

“I just realized there weren’t a lot of options for what I like to eat,” she explained.

So she gathered recipes from her travels and opened Globowl.

“It just kind of fit into what the next iteration of my life was,” she laughed.

WDBJ7′s Katey Roshetko stepped into the kitchen to see what kind of food she’s serving up.

“So I’m going to make you our Buddha Bowl GlobowL,” McCaughrin said.

She starts with a bed of brown rice then adds white sweet potatoes.

“Roasted in coconut oil with a little cinnamon and salt in the oven,” she said.

Then she added some curried chickpeas and tempeh, but what really makes this dish is the Buddha dressing.

“It’s basically pulverized organic vegetables with some apple cider vinegar, sesame oil and some braggs,” McCaughrin said. “And we definitely cover it.”

It’s dressed up even more with kale salad and black sesame seed.

“Oh that is gorgeous!” Roshetko said taking a bite. “That’s really good. I don’t think I’ve ever had a white sweet potato before. That’s different. I really love that. And I need to get some of the salad.

Speaking of salads, the Green Goddess Harvest Salad is one of their most popular.

“It’s a very hearty, large salad with lots of components and all in-season veggies,” McCaughrin said.

“Ooh, I’m excited,” Roshetko said.

First a base of local salad greens and some massaged kale.

“And then everything else!” McCaughrin laughed.

She added tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet peppers, bean sprouts, quinoa, organic alfalfa sprouts, garbanzo beans, sesame seeds, roasted veggies and naan flatbread.

“The real piece de resistance is the green goddess dressing, which I will just kind of pour all over,” she said.

“My mouth is like already watering. I’m so excited for this. I’m just going to try and get a little bit of everything as much as I can,” Roshetko laughed before going in for a bite. “That is a good salad. That is really fantastic.”

“I’m so glad you enjoy it,” McCaughrin said.

While McCaughrin makes most of her own recipes, she also uses her space as a community kitchen to feature other local chefs’ culinary creations - like one chef’s empanadas.

“This is actually his grandmother’s recipe from Puerto Rico,” she said as we waited for them to finish frying.

And while you can get the traditional beef ones, the Portobello mushroom empanadas are also divine!

“We like to say here that food is love and it’s meant to be shared,” McCaughrin said.

“Exactly! So half for me, half for you,” Roshetko laughed, splitting the Portobello mushroom one. “Mmm ... that’s really good.”

“Good, finish it up!” McCaughrin encouraged.

“Don’t mind if I do,” Roshetko said.

At Globowl Cafe, you can taste the world without leaving your backyard.

To read the menu and see its hours, click here.

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