There are lots of things you can get at Brillobox: dance fever, validation for your trivia habit, an eyeful of hotness and the knowledge that you knew about the place before The New York Times told the entire planet how cool it was. But there's one thing you can't get there anymore.
"We wanted to start becoming more responsible," says co-owner Eric Stern, who is himself a vegetarian. "Part of that was going to an all-vegetarian menu featuring local and organic produce. I feel really good about the menu, I really like the offerings."
Among the menu items, which will change seasonally: a Greek panini with red peppers, artichoke hearts and feta cheese, a favorite of Stern's; a refreshing soba noodle salad with cabbage, local greens, apples and pickled ginger; and a hearty mushroom burger. Most offerings are vegan or can be made vegan.
Now that Brillobox is an established bar and venue, Stern says he feels like he has the freedom to experiment a bit. Margins aren't as razor-thin anymore, so there's more money available.
"It is a little bit more costly" to use organic produce, he concedes. But "it's gotten to be in the position where we can spend a few extra dollars in order to implement these policies. That has given us the freedom to do what's responsible."
The prices, though, are still pretty painless: The most expensive thing on the menu is a $9 house sandwich, with asparagus, fried egg, hollandaise sauce, parmesan cheese and grilled vegetables. Most offerings are six or seven bucks.
The only complaints Stern says he's heard from customers stem from the lack of a burger on the menu. He says he considered trying to find a local and ethical meat provider, but doing so would lead to an incredibly spendy patty.
"So far, I'm happy to say everything I've heard has been very positive," he says.
For updates on the menu, and to take a peek and what else is shakin', check www.myspace.com/brilloboxevents.