Saturday, December 5, 2020

Raw Food Birthday Dinner Story

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Since tomorrow is my birthday, Justin and I are celebrating my birthday with our families.

In order to make it “special”, my parents want to go out to a restaurant.

So we’re off to a cooked food restaurant tonight! Woo hoo!

My parents wanted me to choose the restaurant. Their treat. But there was just one catch – It had to be “somewhere close”, and Ecopolitan, our beloved (and only) raw food restaurant isn’t “close enough” for them because my mom works early morning hours, and she wants to go to bed early.

What that means is I have to choose a restaurant that everyone else wants to go to that has cooked food options and also has something that’s raw for Justin and I.

Such is the life of a raw foodist.

I shouldn’t complain. Both my parents and Justin’s parents are respectful and understanding about our raw food choices. We even got bottles of agave nectar and Larabar’s from Santa this year! So if my parents want to stay close to home, then I shall let them have the dining experience they want. It’s my way of thanking my parents for bringing me into this world.

Justin and I thought of some local restaurants that would have the raw food classic menu item…

The Good Salad.

What is included in The Good Salad? Well, for me, beautiful leafy greens is a must. No iceberg lettuce for me! Also, an accommodating wait staff that understands “dressing on the side”. That’s important. And an extra bonus would be some crisp veggies on top or on the side of the salad. Yum! And sometimes, if I’m lucky, the restaurant will have some fresh strawberries or raspberries or other fresh fruit as a little extra treat!

We are fortunate to have so many restaurants here in Minnesota that have beautiful green salads right on the menu! All you have to do is ask for the dressing on the side, and you’re good to go!

But tonight we wanted to try our raw food lifestyle on a restaurant that we haven’t been to before. I’m not going to name it right now in case it turns out to be a disaster, but if it is good, I’ll give them some good press and you can go there yourself the next time you’re in the area!

So tonight we’re off to another blogging adventure entitled:

“In the Life of a Raw Foodist!”

Tonight!

  • Will we dine on a delicious green salad?
  • Will the wait staff understand our needs?
  • Will the salad be delicious?
  • Will we resist the temptation of the cooked demons? (it won’t be hard, trust me.)
  • Will everyone have a fun and pleasant evening?
  • Will I get awesome birthday presents?

Now let us return to the exciting conclusion of this week’s episode, entitled…

The Green Salad ….

We arrived at the restaurant, which we’ll call The Big C. (Restaurant name has been changed to protect the innocent.) When we arrived, the parking lot was pa-pa-pa-packed! It was 5:30 on a Wednesday night, and the parking lot was nearly full.

The Big C had a large waiting area, where everyone was waiting to eat their cravings of choice. Fortunately my lovely mother had reserved us a table that perfectly overlooked the fireplace.

We gave a round of hugs, sat down, and started to peruse the menu.

One of the reasons why I am not mentioning the name of this restaurant is due to the amount of cooked food items on this menu. There were only two or three menu items that were vegetarian, let alone vegan or raw or gluten-free or whatever your health persuasion may be.

After looking at the menu that was listed by the type of meat, towards the back of the menu were the listing of three salads.

And luckily, this is where things got exciting.

At the Big C, they had organic field greens as a standard ingredient for their salads! Justin and I were very curious as to the quality of these organic field greens. We were a bit skeptical as to how “organic” they may be, but we were ready and willing to try one of these salads.

Eventually everyone arrived, and we were able to have a pleasant server who was attentive to our questions regarding ingredients and optional additions. When it came time to order, Justin and I had pretty much the same salad as our main course, but Justin was a bit more adventurous, and asked for cucumbers and red peppers on top of his salad. Everyone else at the table ordered some sort of big dish of pasta, fish or steak, and almost everyone ordered a “house salad” on the side.

And from there, the night proceeded smoothly as if I had orchestrated a perfect dinner party. Everyone got along and the conversation flowed with ease. Everyone seemed to enjoy their appetizers, and they raved about their salads. Justin and I just continued to keep up the conversation while everyone else was eating.

When the main course arrived, Justin and I saw small mountains of dark greens placed in front of us. The field greens were almost glowing with vitality and crispness. Baby romaine, frisee, and escarole.

These salads were simple yet divine.

Initially, Justin and I were quite sad to see that they had not placed the dressings on the side, as we were not going to eat the salad with the dressing. But when it arrived, we took one bite, and realized that this dressing was made from a high quality olive oil, and a very high quality vinegar of some sort. (It wasn’t apple cider vinegar, but it was a very good quality white wine vinegar. Very light and fresh.)

And Justin had asked for red peppers, but when his salad arrived, he ended up with a pile of strange limp soggy red peppers. He just maneuvered what was once a red pepper and continued to eat his crisp raw cucumbers.

This was an excellent salad.

And so we dined on salad, and enjoyed the experience of a delicious salad in pleasant surroundings with our loved ones.

When it came time for my birthday presents, I was amazed at how both of our parents have really started to understand our raw food lifestyle. Although it took many years, they now “get it” most of the time. And I think our blog really helped them see that we are serious about raw food!

Here’s a recap of our Dining Experience from last night:

Q:
Did we dine on a delicious green salad?
A:
Yes, it was indeed a delicious green salad.

Q:
Did the wait staff understand our needs?
A:
Sort of. They did the best they could. I think next time we go to the Big C we will know how to talk to the wait staff there.

Q:
Was the salad delicious?
A:
Yes!

Q:
Did we resist the temptation of the cooked demons?
A:
We have no desires for steak, chicken, walleye and the like. It was easy.

Q:
Did everyone have a fun and pleasant evening?
A:
Absolutely! I think it was the best birthday I’ve had with all our family together!

Q:
Did I get awesome birthday presents?
A:
Totally! I’ll have to show you some of my presents in a future post!

Justin and I would definitely go back, and we will add it to our choice of restaurants if we are dining with cooked food friends or business associates. I think the Big C is a great place that just needs to educate their wait staff on special requests. But for my birthday, I don’t think I could have asked for much more. It was a spectacular evening.

We’ve got more posts coming up in the next week, including some raw recipe challenges, and some fun raves and rants too! Stay tuned!

Heidi
My name is Heidi, and I have been eating a raw food diet since 2004. Before I found raw food, I have tried all sorts of different ways of eating including: standard vegetarian, fare, vegan, food, macrobiotic, Marilu Henner's programs, food combining, slow food, and more, I followed along on social and did everything I could. I understood the idea of Raw Food since I first learned of it in 2000, but it wasn't until 2004 that I started making raw food a daily part of my life.

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