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4 Things Every Restaurant Should Have – True Food Kitchen

I find it really hard to get enough vegetables to feed my belly at most restaurants.  The salad is usually too small, there is little variety of vegetables on the menu or all the vegetables are cooked to death and mixed with sauces and/or cheese. I find myself asking to double the amount of vegetables or to double the size of the salad I order. When I order dips, I ask the server for raw vegetables instead of more chips or bread – What comes back usually is a couple of wilted celery sticks. The majority of meals tend to be based around meat and low quality carbohydrates or SAD  “Standard American Diet”…

Are you tired of seeing SAD everywhere you eat? Well, I surely am…

This dilemma has been on my mind, because I’ve had to eat out more lately and are constantly looking for healthy places to eat where I don’t need to cook all the time to get the quality of food and quantity of vegetables my body needs and deserves.

In in an ideal world – there would be every vegetable that’s available that season fresh and ready to be cooked and/or served raw anyway you like the moment you sit down at a restaurant.  This would be how Food Babe’s restaurant would run… and I would eat there all the time. 🙂

Of course there are a few gems in this world that have gotten it right. True Food Kitchen is one of them.

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I was really lucky to visit this magical restaurant in California, last week. True Food Kitchen’s menu is based on the famous Anti-Inflammatory Diet coined by the world renowned holistic medicine guru – Dr. Andrew Weil. Maybe this is why the restaurant has all of the four things that I wish every restaurant would have.

#1 – An Abundance of a Variety of Fresh Organic and/or Local Vegetables:

Experiencing True Food’s bouquet of raw crudities was like stepping directly into a cabbage patch.   Check out this beauty below.  When this HUGE bowl (you can’t tell from the photo) came to our table – my eyes lit up like a huge pot of gold had been dropped in my lap. Smiling from ear to ear – my mom and I destroyed this and didn’t leave one bit for any measly rabbits near by to grab a nibble. Imagine being able to start every meal out with the variety and abundance of these veggies….PURE BLISS!

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#2 – Fresh Juice:

This is a no brainer. You have vegetables? Why not add a juicer to your bar area and just juice them for people. Come on restaurants! We Want Juice! We Want Juice! … do I need to scream it from the roof tops?  I can count the number of sit down restaurants in my city on one hand that have fresh juice and other tasty whole foods plant based menu items. And I still have two fingers left…

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#3 – Organic Dairy & Dairy Alternatives:

One of the only times I catch myself not eating organic dairy is when I am out traveling or going out to eat. Ordering from the dessert menu is my favorite highlight of eating out. If the dessert has ice cream on it – it is almost always made with conventional milk – full of antibiotics and cancer causing growth hormones. This is one of the things that drives me the most insane – not being able to make a good decision when ordering dessert out. Cheese is easier to avoid than dessert for me… so this is why I loved the fact that True Roots offered dairy alternatives and organic dairy ice cream as choices.

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#4 Outdoor Seating:

Because we all need to get a little more Vitamin D naturally and not through supplements. Enough said.

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And… if the restaurant happens to makes their pesto out of the beautiful leaves of my favorite vegetable (KALE) it takes the place to a whole another level!

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What would your perfect restaurant have?

Happy Dining,

Food Babe

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22 responses to “4 Things Every Restaurant Should Have – True Food Kitchen

  1. OMG, my perfect restaurant would serve what I eat at home, but have to cook myself all the time because I’ve never found a restaurant that even comes close. All grass fed, pastured meats, wild caught fish and seafood, organic veggies and fruit, raw milk and dairy products from grass fed animals, and they would only use healthy oils to cook everything! In my dreams…

    1. Touche! and I’ll take it one step further… I wish I could wiggle my nose and my home cooked food would appear, served to me and ready to eat! 🙂

  2. OMG- I’ve been to the True Foods in Scottsdale…and amazing. Hands down it’s been my favorite restaurant ever for similar reasons to yours! We had the sashimi tuna salad and split the hanibut w/ purple potatoes and ordered the Medicine Man drink. I already miss that place!

  3. Oh, how much I enjoyed eating at this restaurant!
    After walking the streets of Laguna Beach and ending up at the mall, and finding the True Food right across from the mall was quite accidental! My fresh ginger ale with just the touch of the natural sweetener was the best I have ever had in America! It reminded me of a soda shop in a small place when we lived in Punjab and my Mom would always order the fresh gingerale and she would squeeze a small lemon and sprinkle salt and pepper! And as I looked for salt and pepper, I could see Vani’s curiosity rising and little did she know that how I was cherishing not only the soda, but my childhood! The veggies were so crunchy, and the pizza looked so yummy, that I ate a piece before she could make a picture! the dessert was a different story altogether!

    Let’s wish that we will have a place like that to eat in Charlotte!

    1. I forgot about your Ginger Ale! When I took a sip – I was shocked at how awesome it was… Thanks for sharing this experience with me Mom! What a great trip! Love you.

    1. Very reasonable! Probably on the same lines of going out to a typical chain restaurant like Chilis or Outback… I’m all for lobbying to get one in Charlotte… mmmmm…. now you’ve got me thinking 😉

  4. Worse than the restaurant problem is hospital food! I recently had heart surgery and I know you would be more than disappointed to see what they feed people who are trying to heal. I just wanted a green smoothie!

  5. Oh so true, there are others out there like this. Try SAF in London which is a fab raw foods restaurant, and The Wild Food Cafe in Covent Garden and naturally there is room for a load more!

  6. Wow this restaurant sounds amazing! The thing I hate most about travelling is having to eat crappy food. Particularly at airports! Recently I ordered a “toasted panini” only to see it being micorwaved, what part of toasted did I misunderstand?? And then you can’t trust anyone to use butter not marg, to use eggs from pasture-fed chickens, or pasture fed meat for that matter! And to serve enough vegetables! Lately I have been trying to stay in serviced apartments so that I can prepare my own food, then I get what I want (as far as possible, depending on the quality of food in the supermarket! and nothing replaces my dear dairy cow). I shouldn’t leave home…..

    1. Haha…. we should all just stay at home, eh!!!? To have my own cow would be amazing – I would make fresh raw milk indian desserts all the time.

  7. Hi FB,
    A friend of mine who is a nurse and who, like me, is interested n healthy cooking/lifestyle sent me your blog. I owned two fine dining restaurants for over 20 years, am a professional chef, and now work as the director of culinary for a large gracery chain in the midwest. I also have several other projects working. A year ago I weighed 263 lbs, had gout, arthritis, I was pre-diabetic, high blood pressure, on and on. I finally got sick enough to take action. Now, 80 lbs slimmer and completely healthy for the first time in 30 years, I am fascinated by the whole idea of pushing restaurants and other institutions (like hospitals and nursing homes) to serve “real” food. Thanks so much for the post about “True Food”. It is very similar to a concept I am in the middle of pitching to a large hotel chain who owns a gorgeous restaurant at the top of the tallest building in my hometown. The with the restaurant is that they, like everyone else, wouldn’t know what REAL food is if it jumped on their plate. Again, I enjoyed your post. Shoot me a message sometime, I’d like to pick your brain via email if you have some time. You can reach me at [email protected]

  8. My ideal restaurant would have a garden outside where I could pick the fresh vegetables I want for my meal.

    Also would want to know where my proteins come from…….

  9. I’m a limo driver going all around NE USA. I know many great places that I frequent. In Phila Essene Health foods juice bar Limited selection .Organic all vegetable buffet with circa 20+ items 4 soups each day. NYC Lifethyme West Village great juice bar , salad bar Hot food area on & on. Miss LILY’s Houston st Best Juice man in NYC – Melvin, he should be on Opah’s. He is like instant health+. Westerly’s 8th Ave & 54st NYC. Juice bar and great organic foods everywhere. Gary Null’s 89th & Broadway great juice bar and great p;ace to buy organic fruits and vegetables +. Their juice bar has everything to keep you healthily.

  10. I live down the street from true food, my friend actually works there, thankfully the oc has some great juice bars and after reading this post, I realize how lucky iamto have these resources and feel bad that I don’t take advantage enough.

  11. I am a new subscriber and would like to know if there is a list of healthy items one can eat at any chains on here somewhere perchance? Would anyone have any advice on finding a healthy place in KC? Thank you.

  12. THANK YOU to say the least because of this article
    I was able to find a True Foods Kitchen close to Aurora
    Colorado where I live! Me and my ten year old son are
    going today to check it out. I wish it wasn’t so hard to
    find places like this.

  13. I just discovered you! I enjoy reading your advice and tips. You are adorable! Thanks for working so hard to keep us informed.

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