The Restaurant at AS220

The Restaurant at AS220 opened today at 11 a.m. and is likely serving its very first customers as I type. Regardless of where you stand on the whole AS220/Taqueria Pacifica controversy (the beloved burrito joint housed within the art space closed a few months back after a rent dispute with AS220), its tough not to be intrigued by the new incarnation’s delicious-sounding, super affordable menu.

The most expensive item is just $8. Options include roasted pumpkin and squash soup with toasted pumpkin seeds ($4 a bowl); pulled pork empanadas ($4); and grilled chicken with sweet potato mash and collards ($8). No surprise, there are a ton of vegan and vegetarian friendly dishes, such as tandori tofu ($5); whole wheat pasta with spicy pomodoro and local kale ($7); and crispy chickpeas with garlic, basil and paprika ($1.50) (view the full menu here).

The restaurant’s even got a do-gooder bent, providing six month work positions for youth involved in the RI Training School’s culinary arts program and AS220’s own Broad Street Studio program for teens in or recently released from state care. And like Taqueria, it sources seasonal ingredients from local farmers and food artisans. Kinda makes you want to celebrate, doesn’t it? You can at next Friday’s "Hail Seitan" grand opening featuring a $6.66 buffet from 6 to 11 p.m.