Monday, May 14, 2012

Ottawa Eats: Simply Raw Express

FINALLY! A place to get some raw eats in Ottawa! On Saturday, Natasha Kyssa's Simply Raw Express opened its doors in the Hintonburg neighbourhood (989 Wellington West to be exact). It's a welcome change from the pubs and meat joints lining up the rest of the street, except the Table Vegetarian Restaurant which was our Hintonburg haunt until now.

Whenever I check out a new place making the "healthy" claim, I'm always curious to see how far they take their ethic and Simply Raw Express definitely goes the whole mile. Aside from offering fresh and organic raw vegan foods to go, the restaurant really lives up to its claim: reclaimed wood tables and service counter, compostable to-go containers, cork lamps, eco-friendly washroom products, and more.

If you're not a raw vegan, don't be frightened! To bring health and veggies to the Ottawa area, Simply Raw also offers some cooked vegan options including a daily soup or a quinoa bowl. If you have any questions, Natasha is a wonderful woman who I'm sure will guide you through the novelties. If you're looking to incorporate more raw foods into your diet though, you have lots of choice, juices, smoothies, kale salads, and I can't wait to try their raw cauliflower rice sushi. Oh, and a whole display of raw desserts of course.

What I love most about raw (or almost nearly mostly raw) restaurants is how fresh and light they feel. One could more mundanely say it's probably because of the lack of heat coming off from the cooking process, but I think it also has something to more metaphysically do with the energy of a place that serves happy living foods.

We were pretty stoked to see that by the time we got there, about half an hour until closing, the restaurant was practically wiped out aka. we knew it meant they had a fantastic first day! I opted for one of their green smoothies, a delicious blend of cucumber, romaine, banana, and other yummy things (I omitted the agave). Andrew had their Strawberry Fields (strawberries, dates, coconut oil, and agave) and picked up a pack of his favourite dark chocolate almonds. Both of them were deeeelicious.
However, the piece de resistance was definitely the dessert. We first shared their Raspberry Linzer Square. It was really yummy, as is anything that's raspberry flavoured, but that's not where it ends. For anyone who knows me, saying dessert was best, especially if it's raw, is a huge thing for me to say. As much as I love making raw desserts for others, I don't usually enjoy them that much myself. I'm not generally a fan of the sweetener/dried fruit and nut/fat food combination, but these were aaaamazing.

Now everyone under the sun whose been on a raw diet long enough has either bought or tried their hand at making raw macaroons. Ladies and gentlemen, Simply Raw's macaroons are the Platonic axiomatic ideal of raw macaroons*. I kid you not. If you live in Ottawa, you must try them now. Well, not now, they're closed on Mondays, but tomorrow... or sometime very soon. (I recommend the vanilla flavour.)

*for political theory and philosophy dorks buffs, this is what I'm talking about.


Have a great week!

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