How to overeat in the heat: Ecopolitan
The other day I was looking forward to a free evening at home only to be overwhelmed by oppressive heat upon entering my non central air home. Walking back out to my porch, my neighbor serendipitously invited me out to eat with her and her husband. My neighbors are two of my all time favorite people and with our busy schedules, I don’t see them as much as I’d like to.
I ran a few errands while we waited for her husband to get home. When I returned, she suggested Ecopolitan. I was looking forward to eating something substantial in a climate controlled environment and a vegan raw food restaurant was not what I’d had in mind. My brain immediately went into excuse mode, “I forgot I have a date tonight.” Nope. Uh, “Oh, my washing machine broke?” Nope. “Uh, yeah…. “ Long pause. “That sounds good.”
I ran inside and made a quick spring roll and ate a handful of almonds so I wouldn’t be hungry. To me, Ecopolitan says, wheat grass and pea protein shakes and a few shards of lettuce with a roasted beet. It says tanned ectopic men who wear Speedos not for swimming and grey haired women dressed in flowing purple garb who spend most of their time doing mysterious things I don’t want to know anything about, thank you. In reality, most of the people there were healthy urbanites who looked a lot like us.
And the food was fantastic! I ordered tostadas. The plate came piled high with two tostadas made of sprouted dehydrated pressed grains, lentil ‘meat’, tostada toppings including ripe tomatoes, lettuce, a nut based ‘cream’ and a scoop of sweet fresh tomato salsa and guacamole. To top it off, a handful of blueberries filled corners of the plate. The food was gorgeous and filling and, seriously, it tastes really good. I did not expect the complexity of texture, balance of spice, and large filling portion. My neighbors ordered a falafel wrap and a burrito respectively. They both came wrapped in collard greens. Our waitress commented it is the perfect time of year to order wraps because the collard greens are so large they require lots of innards to make them work. Taking a bite, I’d anticipated biting into a fibrous shell and pulling stems from my teeth but found the wrapping tender and fillings flavorful.
It seems to me that one eats out because one doesn’t have the time, skill or equipment to make certain dishes at home. For example if one eats at La Belle Vie, just down the street, one recognizes that few home kitchens have the industrial appliances, skilled chefs and days to prep to pull off the kind of food they make. The same is true for Ecopolitan. Nothing is cooked so much of the food is sprouted then dehydrated and then manipulated into different textures. There is a lot of skill, time and attention put into this food and it shows. The downside to Ecopolitan is the atmosphere. We ate in an old dining room of an old Victorian home with uncomfortable chairs and a big sign advertising colon cleansing out front. Let’s just say if it’s hot out and you’re in the mood to overeat, this is the place to do it.