Dinner with Brendan. And Instagram.
December 8, 2011

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Folks, a huge thank you for all of the kind comments on my grandmother’s passing. They are deeply appreciated. The service will mostly likely be the weekend after this upcoming one, and until then, I’m celebrating her long and rich life with good memories and thoughts. Thank you for all of the warmth you’ve been sending me.

Earlier this week, I met up with my friend Brendan for dinner. Brendan visits DC and New York pretty regularly, and it’s always a treat when we can share a meal, a walk, or a kombucha. When I found out he’d be here this week, I resolved to steal two hours away from Orgo for dinner at Café Green. Since I wasn’t in the mood to tote my big camera around, I decided that this was also a good opportunity to play with Instagram, which I have just discovered (late to the party, I know) and promptly become obsessed with.

Ah, Café Green. M says that GC is loveable because it’s like the only bar in town, and that’s precisely right: the restaurant can be frustrating and the food can be up and down, but I’ve grown fond and attached, in spite of the fact that raw options are often abundant on the menu and sparse in the kitchen.

Brendan and I have eaten at CG together before, back in September. I was prepared for the restaurant’s lack of preparedness (and uneven food), but Brendan was not: soon after I told him that there was at least a 50% chance that the things we’d want to order would be sold out or not available that night, my prediction proved true, and we both had to chuckle. I also tried the avocado soup that night, which he and I both agreed was super salty (and not very tasty at all). This time around, we had slightly better luck. We started with an order of kale chips:

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Which are usually quite good at the restaurant. True to form, they hit the spot, and we enjoyed them a lot.

For my entrée, I got a combination of the beet and berry salad (a really nice mix of roast beets, blueberries and strawberries, and a berry vinaigrette):

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And the raw pizza. The raw pizza is definitely my favorite menu item at CG; you may remember my falling in love with it over the summer, when I tried it with Anne. I’m still a fan, but it’s been pretty uneven lately: the last time I ordered it, it was rock hard and tiny: not a great combination.

Well, I’m pleased to say that it was pretty tasty on Tuesday: salty, savory, and topped with perfectly seasoned guac:

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Tasty.

Brendan ordered the curry and the Caesar salad. The former was fine, but the latter was really just a pile of romaine topped with Daiya and Veganaise on the side. Not really up to par—I always say that, if there’s one thing vegan and raw restaurants have to get right, it’s the salad! Even so, we were both perfectly pleased with our meals, and any imperfections thereto were quickly forgotten as we caught up on work and life. And attempted to take a photo for our mutual Twitter feeds with Brendan’s blackberry. I think he actually did a good job!

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Brendan is about to launch is newest exciting endeavor: Thrive Foods Direct, a program where you’ll be able to three nutrient dense, plant-based, organic, whole meals (in keeping with Brendan’s nutritional philosophy) delivered to your door, office, hotel, or school every day.

Brendan’s goal is to grant people all over the country—especially people who have limited kitchen space or time—access to organic, plant based fare. He’s directly in touch with the farmers and producers of the food that will be prepared, and the recipes are based on those in his newest book, Thrive Foods. His goal is to keep the prices comparable to what one would spend shopping for produce and preparing independently—except in this case, you have an online collective of people who are getting food directly from farmers, minus the cooking and prep. It’s a great option for busy people who are looking to transition into plant based diet, who haven’t quite perfected kitchen skills of their own, and for those who travel a lot.

Best of all, Brendan hopes to include recipes and how-to’s with the food, so that the home chef can ultimately learn to do it on his or her own—the meal delivery isn’t meant to create dependence, but rather to serve as a starting point for wholesale lifestyle change. Check it out!

Other community news: the wonderful women of Our Hen House are celebrating their 100th podcast! It will air this Saturday and feature two of my heroes: Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Peter Singer. Talk about uniting the worlds of food, philosophy, and advocacy! All OHH podcasts are available as free downloads, and I really urge you to tune in for this one.

Back to the Orgo grind. But please come back tomorrow, as I’ll be hosting what I’m sure will be my most popular giveaway yet. Hint? Yoga clothes. Really great ones. See you tomorrow.

xo

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    26 Comments
  1. I did a search of my twitter the other day for instagram users and was pleasantly surprised to find you! It kind of blows my mind that you’re friends with Brendan – he is incredible and I love what he’s doing with Thrive Foods Direct. You two are a pretty awesome power (platonic) couple!

    And thanks for bringing up OHH, I’ve been meaning to listen to their podcasts for a while now but just haven’t had the time. Going to download a bunch to listen to on my flight home next week. 🙂

  2. I’m so behind on blog reading and just catching up. So sorry to hear about your Grandma! That is always so hard. . .especially if you were close with her. Sending much sympathy and hugs your way. xo

  3. Love love love Brendan’s philosophy and mission with Thrive Foods Direct. And your description of Cafe Green made me smile! Glad you were satisfied either way. And I’m so glad you gave a shout out to Jasmin and Mariann. They are certainly two of my favorite ladies and I’m so so excited for tomorrow’s podcast!

  4. during a recent four day trip in DC I indulged in Cafe Green every single day, sometimes twice! I live in a town in Alaska with zero vegan restaurants (there IS one bagel shop that occasionally has a vegan soup on the menu) so I was in heaven! I will be in New York over New Year’s and have already resolved to let myself splurge on decadent raw and vegan dishes without feeling TOO guilty.

    PS – NPR’s Morning Edition featured a story on altruism in rats that fellow animal rights enthusiasts might find interesting http://www.npr.org/2011/12/09/143304206/cagebreak-rats-will-work-to-free-a-trapped-pal

  5. How disappointing that Cafe Green is like that. Why can’t they get it together? You’d think they would have to since they were one of very few all veg places in town. I hope they read your reviews.

    Thanks for the mention of the interview coming up. I loved Peter Singer’s Animal Liberation but I disagree with some of his other philosophies. Not sure if they will be addressed there but I will try to tune in.

  6. Sometimes I find a restaurant’s or store’s quirks and mishaps make it more endearing. My favorite Thai restaurant is pretty tacky-looking on the inside, is super-slow and since it’s family-owned and it’s very obvious that the kids get stuck waiting tables, they really aren’t into their job, but my favorite dish is always amazing. It’s the perfect place for a lingering lunch because the waitress often forgets about you (though it’s one room, you can always flag her down if you need her) the service is slow, and it’s always empty. Sometimes those quirks are a source of entertainment all by themselves.

  7. Two of my favorite people + pizza = awesome post. Looking forward to your giveaway!

    Casi

  8. I’m so sorry to hear about your grandma Gena, and I’m sorry if I’m late in hearing about it/commenting. You know I’m close to mine, so I wish you comfort in your memories!

    As for the food, I’m envious beyond belief. We have nothing even remotely like that within 300 miles of our city.That might be a good thing, as I would be broke enjyoing it all 😉

    • Not at all, Abby: I’m always impressed when anyone can comment, given how busy my readers’ lives are! Thank you so much. We were very close indeed. I know how you feel about your own Grandma, so your sympathy means a particular lot!

      I have self-control in DC, but when I get back to NYC? Fuggeddaboutit. I’ll be leaking money all through winter break.

  9. haha yes that is a great shot of the two of you! even as an omni i get really peeved about a poor salad at a restaurant. you would think it would be simple to just chop, and prep this but sadly i’m often served wilty, limp greens with tasteless tomatoes or bland carrots. little do they know i can put down 2-3cups of greens no prob! giveaway?! raw threads? lulu? five bamboo? gaiam? oh cannot wait!

  10. Looks like a wonderful night. You always seem to have such a great time with Brendan.

    Thank you for the link to Our Hen House! I hadn’t heard of it, and I have been looking for new veg podcasts ever since Vegan Freak stopped making them and Colleen Patrick-Goudreau tapered off on hers.

  11. The only bar in town analogy is SO true. So glad that the raw pizza is back on track. 🙂

    I do love how Brendan is creating the meal delivery business precisely not to create dependence, but rather as a gateway.

  12. I’m a huge fan of Brendan/Vega *and* Choosing Raw; how cool you two are friends! And those kale chips do look good.

  13. So sorry to hear of your grandmother’s passing Gena.

    I wish restaurants here in Ottawa offered kale chips on the menu! I sometimes make my own but haven’t for a long time. Perhaps this is the reminder I needed.

  14. What a lovely meal with a friend — glad the pizza turned out well this time — it looks so delicious! I love the instagram photos — I don’t have a cell phone, so I’m even further behind than you!

  15. Brendan’s book (Thrive Diet) was a huge influence in my decision to go vegan and we use his Vega line in our training as marathoner and duathlete in our household.
    Love you site…I just don’t post often.

  16. Thank you so much for shouting-out our 100th episode, Gena! I can’t tell you how much we appreciate it, and how much we love all your support. You are such a rock star and we just adore CHOOSING RAW, like in mad, passionate, almost inappropriate ways. Thanks for all of the amazing resources and wealth of information you provide to all of us. Can’t wait to see you when you visit NYC. xo

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