Monday, September 28, 2009

The Ecopolitan

On Saturday Bonnie, Marie and I met at The Ecopolitan, located on Lyndale Avenue South in Minneapolis. I found The Ecopolitan by doing a search of raw restaurants in the area. The Ecopolitan is the only restaurant that the search engine located. I was anxiously awaiting Saturday so that I could finally check it out. In printing the menu I couldn’t believe that every item on the menu was something that I would want to try-this has never happened to me before.

The Ecopolitan is a restaurant, juice bar, wine bar and eco-shop. It is a non-profit organization and is a component of the eco-health network which promotes eco-raw living.

The restaurant offers healthy and sustainable dining by creating 100% uncooked, plant-based meals with 100% organically grown ingredients and no additives, GMOs or toxic processing. The menu is completely vegan, contains no refined sugars or flours, and is free of most common allergens-no wheat, corn, soy, dairy, eggs or peanuts. The fruits and vegetables are locally grown when available; they arrive fresh and are cleansed with purified water and food grade hydrogen peroxide.

I parked a few blocks up Lyndale and walked toward the restaurant, spotting Bonnie and Marie on the front step. The restaurant is in a converted older home. Thankfully there are no older upholstered pieces of furniture covered with dust as that for some reason sends me away ( think Hot Springs South Dakota bas restaurant) as does a restaurant without a lawn. That’s right. Restaurants with concrete pads only, without grass are a no no for me. OCD? Probably.

The Ecopolitan seating area is the size of a living room; hard wood floors, wooden chairs, either a wooden or glass disk table. There are a few tables out on the front porch for patio seating. In back of the seating area is a very small juice bar with a few food items for sale as well as a closet area that has juicers, blenders, raw/vegan cookbooks and such for sale.

We sat down and our waitress was with us immediately. We looked at the menus and looked at the menus, so much to choose from! Because I had closely inspected the menu earlier online I knew that I wanted to try the Purple Kale Salad with the Sweet Beet juice. Kale is my new favorite food and I wanted to see how they prepared their tahini garlic dressing. I’m happy to say I have replicated it quite successfully! Bonnie decided on the same with the Hummus Plate and Marie decided on the Green Burrito with additional Flax Crackers.

Oh My God. Delicious. Fabulous. Awesome.

The Purple Kale Salad: kale, red cabbage, tomato, kiwi, basil, sprouted quinoa, raisins and the tahini-garlic dressing. As good as I make at home, which is saying a lot. Not that I am bragging about my culinary skills but so often I go to restaurants and leave thinking “what a waste or money, I make better at home”. This was as good as mine and I was so thrilled and so satisfied and so happy and so anxious to go back!

The Sweet Beet: beet, carrot, apple, kale & ginger. It was so good! The first time I juiced the beet at home it was a little too much for me. A bit too starchy, too thick but tasty. I am now used to the taste and enjoy it greatly.

Marie’s Green Burrito was amazing. She received three collard wraps stuffed with curried humus, lentil “taco meat”, fresh veggies, sunflower seeds, sprouts and hot sauce. It was served with a large scoop of salsa and guacamole. I had a bite of her burrito and I may pick it out next visit.

Both Marie and Bonnie loved and raved about the flax crackers. Bonnie ordered another batch to bring home with which to eat her leftover hummus plate. The hummus plate was a huge scoop of humus, tomato, cucumber, olives, sprouts and dates. Served on dressed greens and flax crackers.

Our service was very good; there were probably 4 other tables filled during our stay and a few carry outs.

As we were enjoying our fabulous meal a man approached us. I knew who it was right away. THE Dr. Tel-Oren who is the creator/owner of Ecopolitan restaurant and Eco Shop.

He introduced himself, we introduced ourselves. I told him it was our first time at his restaurant and how happy I was with it. I told him I enjoyed his website as there was so much information available. I spoke of his weekends foraging in Wisconsin, his un-cooking classes and Sunday lectures. I can’t wait to take part in these events.

We all enjoyed our meals very very much. I was 100% satisfied with the food. The service was good, the mirror in the bathroom was dirty..oh well. The food is what this place is all about. The surroundings..not so much. It is not a plush posh heavily polished dark wood, leather and chrome area. It’s grandmothers living room.

As we were leaving I told the waitress that we usually choose a different restaurant each time we meet. I told her we no longer need to shop restaurants. We now know where to meet and my goal is to try each item on the fabulous menu. We normally meet in Maple Grove, half way for all of us. I don’t mind driving an additional 20 miles each way for The Ecopolitan. Not at all. I’ll have a blast eating my way through the menu. I think I’ll stop by after Twin City Marathon packet pickup this week.


Mark H. said...

Yum. Great review. I'm way overdue for a visit there. It's been a few years. I had the green burrito which was great but I loved the cold beet soup they had even more than the burrito.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE Ecopolitan! Used to eat there religiously when I traveled to MSP on business. Try the hummus ---OMG!!!!

You might also like to try Bikram yoga while you're in MSP. Awesome studio.

Good luck in your raw eating, running and all else that you do.

Am I seeing a raw restuarant in your future????

Gayle, in Chicago

Anonymous said...

Ecopolitan is the absolute BEST live food restaurant anywhere. I live in CA and have been to many here, but none of them come close, not to mention not having the same standards as Ecopolitan. You Minnesotans are so lucky--can't wait to visit again!