Restaurant review: Harvest Moon Cafe

From the 07/13/2011 edition

Once upon a time, thinking it'd be fun to make my own fruit and vegetable juices, I bought a juicer. Yeah, it's not actually fun. Turns out you have to buy a whole ton of produce to make one lousy cup of juice - and then there's the not-fun task of cleaning the pulp out of the juicer, which is so huge it takes up an entire cabinet.

Drinking your vegetables is a surefire way to feel wholesome and virtuous, but it's so much easier to leave the dirty work to someone else. Someone like the employees at the cute new Harvest Moon Cafe in Canal Winchester, where they squeeze a long list of fruit-and-veggie juices to order.

Try the Roots and Fruits, a bright red mix of apples, beets, celery and potent ginger. Or the Green Energy, a sweet treat combining kale with kiwi, OJ, bananas and dates. Both are $4 per glass.

Harvest Moon is attached at the hip to a little health foods and herb shop, and the healthful vibe extends to the food menu. Breakfast is served 'til 11 a.m. daily, and a sandwich menu is offered until 8 p.m. The scratch-made dishes incorporate local ingredients whenever possible.

The Black Bean Burger ($9) is heralded on the sidewalk chalkboard menu, and for good reason. Lots of whole black beans give the hefty, herb-flecked patties some interesting texture, and then they're topped with all the things that make regular burgers delicious - broiled provolone, fresh avocado slices, tomato, lettuce and mayonnaise.

On the side, choose between bagel chips or fresh veggies, both served with a cup of homemade spicy hummus dip.

That tasty stuff appears again in the Hummus Wrap ($6.50). It contains lots of crunchy vegetables (cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, red onions, sprouts, lettuce) and some provolone, all wrapped in a cheddar-jalapeno tortilla.

The cafe serves coffee drinks and creamy frescante shakes, plus it offers free wi-fi for leisurely lounging. It also doubles as a local art gallery - the collection currently includes neat paintings of scenes from around Canal - and there's often a live band playing, too.

Visiting Harvest Moon may be a hike, but the cafe makes it worth the drive.