“Under the Radar” Raw Food Restaurants

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009 at 10:36 pm

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It’s happening….raw food is hitting the mainstream!   I was so excited to see this happening in beautiful Sarasota, Florida last week where I was visiting my friend and business partner (some really neat videos are coming soon - subscribe to my channel to be the first to see them).

This reminded me of a reoccurring dream I’ve had where friends and I were trying to decide where we wanted to eat and we had SO MANY options of themes and ethnicities.  The conversation went like this: “Well we could to to the raw food sushi restaurant, or the raw food Mexican place, or the raw food sandwich wrap deli, or the raw food pizza parlor down the street, or…”  LOL

The picture above was taken at a regular Mexican Food restaurant chain called Mi Pueblo.  This little menu says “Ask to See our Organic Vegan Menu.”  If you notice on the restaurant site, the raw vegan menu is almost undetectable by marking the special menu button with the word “Organic” only.  Very cleaver in my opinion to not scare people off by saying Raw Vegan.

Is any of this making you wonder if there are raw vegan restaurants near you that you don’t even know about?  How exciting!  I think we all have to play some detective work and add these to the raw food restaurant listings as “very raw food friendly” or something :)

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Above:  California Special (not on the menu) featuring Napoli cactus plant.  Napoli is kind of slimy and reminded me of raw okra.

Below:  Ensalada Viva Mexicana - Mexican spiced ground Brazil nuts on a bed of romaine lettuce, sunflower sprouts , diced tomatoes, drizzled in a cool sunflower sour cream dressing & topped with slices of avocado. Served with a side of pico de gallo.  This salad was delicious!  Looks heavy but it really wasn’t.

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A note about Mi Pueblo for the 100% raw fooders out there though.  1) The organic raw menu is only offered at one of the Sarasota locations, not all of the chains (yet?)  and 2) We were served the raw food tacos in a sprouted grain or corn tortilla of some sort.  I think they were Ezekiel torillas.  Still pretty and healthy and wholesome but my friends and I weren’t crazy about it.  Still–everything else was pretty much raw, organic, and vegan!

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Above: Ceviche de la Tierra. A refreshing medley of mango, avocado, red onion, jalapeno, & seasonal produce in a zesty lime-tomato sauce. Served with sprouted corn tortillas.

Another raw food fusion restaurant flying under the radar (meaning not listed in some sort of raw restaurant directory because it’s not raw per se) is Simons to Go.  The website is here.  Just look at it for a sec — who would think that a raw vegan menu would be at a coffee house??  Not me.  They had a about two raw food sides, three raw food entrees (rotating specials – different every night), and kombucha -hehe.  We got the sampler platter and each got a raw salad that was pretty good!

I know this might not be the most helpful thing for those of you not in or near Sarasota BUT it has really inspired me to seek out some more raw/organic friendly places to eat in Chicago, really do some detective work and asking around, and perhaps start hinting to some restaurants how easy it would be to incorporate some more organic or vegan dishes into their menu.

I remember Shazzie had a huge initiative to “Make Raw Food Mainstream” over a year ago and I think it’s going to happen, slowly but surely.  Check out her free e-book and website page on this here and you can do this too if you want (or at least use the recipes in your kitchen).

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Hope you guys found this helpful.

Question of the day: Have you found “under the radar” raw food restaurants near you?  If so, share them with us below!


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