Review: Be Raw Food and Juice

In a previous post, I mentioned that my hubby had to be in Dallas.  After his appointment, we went to the raw food restaurant in Dallas, Be Raw Food and Juice.  As far as I know, there are other places to get raw vegan food, juice bars, Whole Foods, etc. but this is the only dedicated raw food restaurant at the moment.  When I heard that Bliss Café shut down without my ever getting a chance to try it out, I was pretty upset having just moved back to Shreveport.  So of course I was just so happy to hear of another raw foods place.  I called to make sure they were going to be open and the woman who answered the phone was very friendly and professional.  I really don’t know much at all about the layout of Dallas, but I do know that driving is notoriously stressful there.  However, finding the restaurant was not really a problem at all.  I can’t really tell you where it is, but google maps works 😉
Be Raw in Dallas
Dan and I kind of went crazy when we got there.  We each ordered a soup.  I got the corn chowder.
corn chowder
This was phenomenal.  Creamy, chunky, peppery corn goodness.  The menu said it contained coconut water and hemp seeds so if the base is made from that, then it is much more nutrient dense than a traditional raw corn chowder made with cashews.

And he got the pho.
raw vegan pho
Really, really good.  Slightly spicy, gingery and with a flavor that neither Dan nor I could put our finger on.  I love it when that happens!  I am normally really good at dissecting raw recipes and it is awesome when someone can keep you guessing!

Then he ordered the trio of pizzas
trio of pizzas
The pizzas were alright.  I liked the variety- Greek, Margherita and another one with pineapple on it.  Also the portion size was amazing for the price.  The base was really soggy though, and some of the flavors were a little bland.  I hate that I didn’t like this dish much, but maybe it was just an off day?  Or that I just reeeally like my own raw pizzas?? LOL

And I ordered the coconut kale enchiladas
coconut kale enchiladas
These babies were the BOMB!  I liked them way better than the enchiladas at Daily Juice in Austin and I thought those were great.  The enchilada wrapper just melted in your mouth, the kale was massaged with avocado and spiced to perfection and the sauces were just perfect.  Green and red salsa on the side as well!  Just about the best thing ever!!

We also ordered a brownie, the amigo wrap and a pad thai to go, not knowing what our eating situation was going to be like in Fort Worth.

The brownie was super delicious but did not want to be photographed after a long car ride.  It was expensive, but big and I liked the fact that they covered it in a fresh berry sauce.

amigo wrap
The amigo wrap was like a raw mexican burrito inside of a lettuce leaf.  We ate this as a late night snack after a dip in the pool and a soak in the hot tub at the Omni where we were staying.  This was incredibly delicious as well.  The staff at Be Raw really know how to bring in the Tex Mex flavors that the area is known for into raw food.

Last was the pad thai, which to be fair we had the next day.  I thought this was alright, but paled in comparison to the other dishes we had.  The variety of spiralized veggies was colorful and tasty, but the sauces were lacking something and there wasn’t enough of them to really coat the veggie noodles.  For my tastes, this could have done with some fresh herbs like cilantro or thai basil and the addition of more textures like crushed nuts or something.
raw pad thai

All in all, the food was stellar.  I know now what kinds of things that are more suited to my tastes and I cannot wait to try more!!

ATX in the Raw Part 3

Last up in the series is the Daily Juice.  They apparently have quite a few locations but we went to the one on Duval St.  Let me just say- I freaking love this place.  By far my favorite of the joints we tried out for raw foods in Austin.  We ended up there by accident one night.  My parents weren’t really into having raw food again that night and so we went to some food trucks (I had a dosa at Nomad Dosa, which was awesome by the way- pure vegan gluten-free goodness!).  There wasn’t anything at the food truck court for dessert, especially not for me.  I said that I had heard about the existence of a vegan ice-cream parlor and my Dad thought we should go…so I looked it up on my iphone and off we went.  Well, the ice cream place was inside of Daily Juice and I insisted we come back the next day to try out their raw food.  And we did!

So…Daily Juice.  First off, the vibe in the place is just really cool.  It is not austere in any way, very colorful and they play good music (I don’t remember exactly what was playing when we were there but it ran the gamut from drum n bass, reggae, dub, indie, trip-hop, etc.)  The only photo I have of the interior is this one with my two loves.
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I had a green smoothie, as did my hubby but we both had different ones.  They have an extensive and amazing smoothie menu.  Even my Dad had some kind of goji berry based smoothie.  My Mom went for a Kombucha.

Our duo of green smoothie love going on:
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Then we all had raw kale enchiladas.  Well, except for my mother who had to be a rebel and ordered a vegan frito pie.  Man, these enchiladas were uhmayzing.  We all enjoyed them!
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Of course, we had to hit up the chocolate case as well before we left!  Dan was sooo excited when he saw that they had durian chocolate in there!
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Sorry for the craptastic photo, but we can’t all be perfect 😉  I tried so hard to like it, but as it turns out, I just can’t do durian.  This was my fourth try with durian, the other three being fresh stuff and I thought ok, surely with chocolate i’ll love it.  Well, no. No, I don’t.  And I want to, I really do.  So, it pains me deeply to admit it but I FUCKING HATE DURIAN FRUIT!!!

But that’s ok cuz I got some amazing chocolates anyway and Dan went back and bought out the rest of the durian choccies so everybody was happy in the end.

The rest of our day involved hiking over this:
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and swimming in this:

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and then a beautiful drive to Luckenbach where we were blessed by an impromptu concert and a tribe of chickens.

ATX in the Raw Part 1

I’d love to do this post in one looong entry, but alas i’ve got a baby who is WIDE awake although it is about 1 in the morning here.  That sounds awful, but she is laughing and squealing with joy so I can’t complain too much, hehe.

So when we first got into Austin it was about lunch time and we were super hungry so we decided to hit up Whole Foods for some provisions, being as it is the flagship store and all.  And I had also heard that they had a raw foods bar.  Um, yes please.

We found this-
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and this-
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and this-
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We ended up getting a broccoli salad with a creamy dressing, some pesto stuffed mushrooms (raw except daiya vegan cheese), and pumpkin pie
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big ole kale salad
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heaps of kimchi
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some raw brownies
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a fermented carrot drink
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and I got this tasty thing here
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and we also got some raw meetball things that for some reason i don’t have a picture of

Let me just say- Not impressed.  I really hate to say that as I wanted to be blown away.  There was such a variety of foods there, and maybe we just chose badly but I really don’t think so.  The brownies were not good, tasteless and way too heavy.  They were sort of indicative of the whole deal- everything looked amazing but tasted just really meh.  Maybe my expectations were too high?  But there was some good to come out of it.

1. The kimchi was good and I loved having loads to use as a condiment.

2. The local products we found were fucking amazing.  The Pineapple Greens Buddha’s Brew Kombucha is the best booch I have ever had and I looooooved the raw brownies by New Earth (although they call them Chocolate Goddess Clusters, a name with which I am in complete approval) I showed you the other day.  In fact, you get another peek as they deserve it.
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Things did improve that night when we tried Beets, the raw food restaurant.  That coming up tomorrow….

All in all, Whole Foods gets a 4/10 for even offering a raw food bar.  I love that it is accessible, albeit pricy (as Whole Foods inevitably is).  They tried really hard to offer a wide range of products freshly made but they could do with better recipes and trying a little harder with ingredients.  I’m glad we went, but I probably wouldn’t eat there again.  Especially not with all the other wonderful eats in Austin.  I can however see myself popping in for a quick kale salad and kombucha (and probably some more Goddess Clusters!) next time I am in town.

What I’m Loving Wednesday

I’ve always loved these weekly love list posts on other blogs, so I thought why not do one myself?
So, what I have been loving lately-

My new-to-me diaper bag! 10 bucks secondhand and never been used.  It is gorgeous and I am so glad I didnt cough up the 90 dollars for the only other diaper bag I have seen that I actually liked!
diaper bag

This Living Intentions raw granola.  Normally I don’t like storebought raw cereals and granolas because I am always dissapointed and think what a better job I could do myself.  Not so with this stuff.  So far I have had the Cacao Crunch and Hemp & Greens flavors, but am looking forward to trying the others.


photo from highvibe.com

Wild green juices.  At the risk of sounding redundant due to my other posts on juicing, I can’t get enough of this stuff.  Here in Northwest Louisiana, cleavers and chickweed are what is abundant at the moment, at least of the things that we recognize and have a relationship with.  And the juice- so easy.  Blend, strain and enjoy! Oh, and add coconut water for some crazy awesome hydration 😉
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Zumba- I went to my first Zumba class last night and I loved it.  I felt super ridiculous pretty much the whole time, but luckily instead of staying locked into feeling self-conscious, I recognized the feelings for what they were and for an opportunity to laugh at myself a little more than I usually do and let go and smile!  And I had fun!  So much in fact, that I stayed for the next class too!  Yay exercize that doesn’t suck!

Pine pollen!  Oh the abundance at the moment!  The trees here are a totally different species to those in Madrid and they are some high producers.  Dan has spent far less time this year than in the past and ended up with waay more.  He’s got about 3 liters of pine pollen tincturing at the moment and then a large jar of pine pollen powder.  I loooove it in blueberry/nut milk smoothies.  Who needs expensive protein powders when this is a far superior ancient food and free!
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Oh, and this little peapod of course.  She never, ever ceases to both amaze and delight me.  Thank you Amethyst Joy for choosing me to be your mommy!
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Vegan Eats in Shreveport

I am currently residing in my hometown of Shreveport, Louisiana, also known as the 5th saddest city in America according to twitter.  Let me just say that I am not surprised by that at all.  Living here certainly makes me sad for a myriad of reasons, not the least of which being that I previously lived in a city of around 6 million extremely diverse inhabitants.

Although it has not always been the case, Shreveport no longer has a dedicated vegetarian eatery.  For a city of 250,000, I find this mind-boggling.  In terms of where I spend my money, this is what I generally do:

Vitamins Plus for snacks like GT’s Kombucha and Earth Café raw pie.  They have really done a great job with stocking a wide variety of raw and vegan products, but I do wish the staff were a bit more knowledgeable about things (for example, the difference between a tincture and Bach Flower essences).

Sunshine Health Food Store.  I feel like I have to mention them because they are a Shreveport institution.  Store-wise they have a solid inventory and even have a little raw section but the café for me is a fail.  Vegan option- avocado sandwich. And sometimes they are out of avocados.  Thanks, i’ll just make that at home with some gluten-free bread and homemade sauerkraut of awesomeness.

India´s for me is the best Indian joint in town.  They are clued up as to what vegan means and the food is just good.  Generally the standard Indian restaurant cuisine, but well done and abundant.  For vegetarians, the Tandoori Paneer is an interesting option.

Dahn´s Garden does a mean Pad Thai with tofu.  If you like spicy, the Lemongrass Tofu is super  tasty but leaves me sweating.  They’ll also do a Tom Kha or Tom Yum soup with tofu for you.  I love this place and eat here often.

Albasha has seriously good Lebanese/Greek food.  Dolmas, hummus, veggie moussaka, falafel, etc.  They even do a vegetarian plate where you choose 5 vegetarian items out of about 9.  Again, the standard Greek restaurant fare but well done and tasty.

Another Broken Egg Cafe is awesome for vegetarians and gluten-free eaters and decent for vegans.  The Black Bean Sliders on gluten-free bread is tasty,  and the staff are knowledgeable about special diets.  I love going here for brunch with my family during the weekend.

That’s all I got for now!  You know, although there really isn’t a whole lot out there for a gluten-free vegan with a penchant for raw in Shreveport it has meant that I have to get more creative in the kitchen.  That is never a bad thing and it means that I have a backlog of things to share with you!

Do you live in a cultural backwater?  What is your favorite place to eat?

InSpiral Lounge review

I just got back a few days ago from 9 days in England, on the Isle of Wight where my in-laws live.  Before making the epically long and expensive journey to the IOW, I wanted to make a quick stop into London-to Camden where my favorite store, Braintree Hemp is located as well as InSpiral lounge which I had wanted to visit for a long time now.

After stocking up on some lovely hemp clothing, including two dresses, a skirt, a fabulous pair of black trousers and a purple backpack, we hit up InSpiral.

I was first a little shocked at the inside as it wasn’t what I was expecting.  I suppose I expected something a little more formal with table service, but everything is pre-made behind a case.  You line up to order and pay and then find a table.  It was really crowded when we first went in, but we lucked out and got a table almost immediately although it took a little more maneuvering to figure out where the line was to order.  I found the staff to be knowledgeable but slightly unfriendly, except for one woman who was super friendly and chatty.  I have the feeling she may have been a manager!

However, the most important part is the food!  We truly weren’t that hungry but I was determined to try out some dishes!!  I ordered the raw nachos, and with every meal you get three sides so I chose three raw salads.  One was the Raw Caesar, then there was a massaged kale dish and another beetroot and apple superfood salad.

I was super impressed with this dish!  The crackers or nacho chips were really crisp which is important in raw food dishes.  The part that blew me away was the nut meat.  I have experimented in the past with raw taco meat, and this version was INCREDIBLE and super spicy!  I could tell that it was made with sunflower seeds which is surprising because I haven’t had too much luck with sunflower meats in the past.

My hubby went for the Love Burger with the same sides as me.

I thought his burger was good, but truly nothing can compare to the raw burgers we got in Amsterdam at a market stall!

The salads were really good.  The kale salad was my favorite- it was simple, fresh and delicious but the other two salads really shined in the creative front.  I appreciated InSpiral’s liberal use of superfoods in the dishes as I think that those ingredients can really take a dish to the next level, and they were very inventive in this way.  The Caesar salad for example had cacao nibs, and the beetroot and apple salad had maca, as well as many other things that I can’t remember now!

I also wanted to pick up a few things to take away with me for the rest of our trip.  They sell raw chocolates, and had on offer a box of seven rejects for quite cheap.  Having made raw chocolate, I know that not every one can turn out beautifully and I was happy to take them off their hands 🙂

I also picked up two containers of Cheesy purple corn kale chips which were so so very delicious that I should have picked up 10 more, a bag of Loveberry granola which was meh but made me feel waay better about my own underwhelming experiences making raw granola, and a piece of raw key lime pie, which I had for breakfast the next day and was just amazing and tart and sweet and creamy and everything that key lime should be.

So there! All in all, I was very impressed with InSpiral Lounge and wish that were closer or that I lived nearer.  The food was tasty, cheap, filling and interesting, all vegan, and what we ordered was all raw.  You really can’t do much better than that!