Posts Tagged ‘fruit’

Ecopolitan in the Metropolitan

My best friend G and I got to experience an entirely vegan and raw restaurant, Ecopolitan recently which exists in Uptown, Mpls. I had found this place one night while rummaging through the internet, also known as my other husband. Ecopolitan seemed very interesting. This restaurant is also a juice bar, spa, an eco-shop and a wine bar! Background: They are non-profit and pride themselves on many accomplishments, such as serving 100% uncooked, plant-based meals that are 100% organic with no additives, GMOS, or toxic processing. Seems pretty cool!

So we ventured out to try this place.We didn’t really know what to expect. It ended up being in a quaint little old school Mpls home with roughly 6 or less tables. It was very dark, lit only by one lamp and several candles and had a great eclectic feel to it. It’s as if someone went to a garage sale and brought back everything and put it into this room. None of the chairs matched, or the tables, or the napkins, or anything actually. G and I were feeling pretty hip and cool.

We drank our filtered water in reused jars and G paid for a jar to take her smoothie home in. (They have a fee for you having to take something home-which seems weird, but if you come back and bring the jar/container back they will refund your dollar. Or you can just come with your own containers. We may not be adjusted to this yet, but hey, we’re reusing bags at the grocery store now aren’t we?)

There were many interesting and intriguing options to choose from but I decided to go with the Eco-sausage pizza. The “cheese” is made of macadamia and cashew nuts, the sausage made from walnuts and the rest of the pizza was loaded with raw veggies (mushrooms, bell peppers and onions) and ginger marinara sauce. G settled for the Spicy Thai noodles, which consists of coconut curry sauce, noodles made from raw zucchini, carrot and daikon radishes, and loaded up with pineapple, bell peppers, cilantro, almonds and coconut flakes.

One word of advice? Bring your homework, business, laptop or a good reading material. G and I had no idea that we would be waiting for a very long time to be fed. Considering that the food is made entirely raw (meaning probably very fresh and on the spot) we assumed it would take a while. But a while was a long while. Dare we say 45 minutes? And this was us being the only customers besides two ladies that were already on dessert.

After we got over the wait and starting dissolving into one of your deep and probing conversations, our food arrived. It looked wonderful. It tasted…different. Mine was a good different. My first bite certainly was cautious considering this pizza was entirely raw and cold. It had a very nutty taste and a thick texture from the buckwheat crust (that is dried instead of baked-remember all raw here). In some ways it tasted “too raw” for me, in some other ways it was delicious. After the first piece I was satisfied. My body had been eating vegan, but not entirely raw so my body went into a slight shock. I knew better than to freak out my body by eating the entire thing. The next day I would eat my leftover piece for lunch, and for whatever reason it was even better than it was the day before. It really just tasted like leftover cold pizza.

G’s pasta was also different. Incredibly different. I didn’t take a bite because as adventurous as I would like to think I am, I don’t have a great experience with coconut curry. She described the noodles to me, which were cold, very thinly sliced and soft. Slightly softer than real pasta. She said overall it was good although one could never mistake this for real pasta. However, that night she got ill. ( I didn’t. Hmm. Who knows.)

We ended our experience with the blueberry “cheese” cake and folks, this was AMAZING. By far the best cheesecake I had ever had in my life. G agrees. The first bite was “Hmm, this is weird. Hmm…tangy. Hmmm.” By the third bite it was “Oh my god, this is the best thing I ever tasted.” By the last crumb it was “Why isn’t there more??” We both agreed that this cake only got better with each bite. Most desserts leave you feeling full and beyond satisfied because they are so sweet and rich. Normal cheesecake usually starts off with a few delicious bites and then turns into overload. This was cheesecake crack. Delicious. I still dream of this cheesecake.

After our meals, and paying for the leftover containers (which were biodegradable), we decided to venture through their shop. It is small, but definitely fun. There are assortments of raw and vegan desserts, snacks, sauces, and nuts pre-packaged for your convenience, juicers, books on raw/vegan lifestyles, cookbooks, CDs, DVDs, air purifiers, SAD light therapy lamps (very cool, especially for us Minnesotans), body care, supplements, art and even knick knacks and clothes.

So overall conclusion? We would both try it again. There were a number of items we would both try-including the raw vegan burger, the cold soups, and more desserts. Something to be cautious about though is to make sure you make time for this dining experience as well as bringing your own containers to bring leftovers in.

Cool side note? They also do free lectures, films, “uncooking” classes and have free meeting spaces for non-profit groups! Go to their site to learn more, and also check out their online menu which showcases their goods as well as more information on their community events!


Can I get your digits?

Remarkableness. So, last night I’m reading this month’s edition of ShopSmart Magazine (see, I told you I was frugal) and I came upon a great article that may just solve many of our grocery shopping issues. You know when you want to buy organic and you go to the store and you just don’t really know what to trust? How do you know if it’s really organic? Here’s the great tip I found:

Those little stickers that can be found on produce (veggies and fruits) have numbers on them. They are usually used only by the cashier to look up the price, but we consumers can also use them to decode our produce.

If there is a five-digit number that starts with a 9 that means the product is organic.

If there is a four-digit number beginning with either a 3 or 4 that means the produce was conventionally grown.

If there is a five-digit number that starts with an 8 that means the item was genetically modified.

So your best bet is to stick to the digits starting with a 9. The only other issue we run across is that these codes (the stickers) are not mandatory so many companies don’t use them.