I know I haven't written in a while... I've been 'busy' chilling now that we're back in sedentary mode. The weather has been rather miserable - cold and rainy - for weeks which has also been having its effects on me. What can I say, I'm a sun gal in case you haven't figured that one out yet! ;-)
Anyhoo, as promised, here's my review of our experience at Rawthentic Eatery in Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island. As you may recall we decided to stop there on our way to the Comox Valley. That was over a month ago, so the memories aren't so fresh anymore - ooops! My bad! - but I'll still do my best to recapture the highlights.
When we first walked into Rawthentic I was immediately impressed by the spaciousness of the place. I mean, Qualicum Beach is after all only a small and pretty isolated town. I'm always amazed to see how the interest in the raw lifestyle has been spreading e-ve-ry-where in the last few years. Woo hoo!
Besides the eating area the restaurant also has a small store where raw enthusiasts can purchase some handy kitchen essentials. The owner, Bill, happened to be around that day so we chatted for a while as we savored our meal. He's a super nice guy with a vision; his next project is to open a second location in Nanaimo, a larger community that sees a lot of visitors due to its having a couple of ferry terminals.
Their menu was a little less varied than what was advertised on their website but still offered 5 or 6 different entrees. I learned that they serve special dishes a few times a month in addition to their 'regular' menu - a nice touch. We opted for a piece of Super Melt Pizza which we were told was a popular item: a thin veggie flax seed crust topped with marinara sauce, marinated mushrooms, tomato slices, crumbled "meat balls", caramelized onions, and their house dressing, all topped off with a nut cheese. Whoa! This was sooooo flavorful! Don and I both loved it!
We also shared a wrap which was the second largest we'd ever seen! (We enjoyed a ginormous one at Better Life cuisine in Santa Monica a few months ago). The wrapper itself was made from flax seeds, veggies and spices and was much thicker than other veggie wraps I've had in the past. It was packed with mixed greens, sprouts, red and yellow peppers, Cashew Hummus, Falafel Balls, grated carrot, their house dressing and a special sauce. It was very good and super filling. At Rawthentic they give you the option to order any of the dishes with or without a side salad, depending on how hungry you are. We decided to go with their Caesar Salad: romaine Lettuce, wheat free garlic bread croutons, and sprouts with a cashew based Caesar Dressing. It didn't look like much at first glance but was excellent!
Once we worked our way through both of these I was quite full, but being Donnie's birthday and all, we couldn't skip dessert, could we? I let the birthday boy pick (for a change! hehe)
We had a piece of Qualicum Beach Bar, Rawthentic's raw take on the famous Nanaimo Bars. The traditional version consists of a wafer crumb base, topped by a layer of light vanilla or custard flavored butter icing, which is then covered with a thick layer of melted chocolate. I only tried it once before when I first came to Vancouver Island and didn't care for it much - that stuff is real sweet. I found the QB Bar still a wee bit too sweet for my taste buds but otherwise very yummy.
Lastly, we enjoyed a bowl of Strawberry Pudding which is basically the filling of their Strawberry Cheesecake sans the nut crust. This was also very tasty and had a lovely swirl decoration.
We were hoping to stop by again at Rawthentic on the way back down the island but that unfortunately didn't work out. Ah well, I'm glad we at least got to check it out!
I often get the comment that I should open my own restaurant, but I know deep down that that is not my path. I enjoy being able to be totally creative in the kitchen without having to be concerned with costs and overheads and all those numbers that come into play with the business aspect of things. I am so grateful that others do have that calling, though! I think that Rawthentic Eatery might have been the 19th or 20th raw restaurant we've had the good fortune to visit in the last 3 years, and it's always such a treat to be able to sit back and partake in the food that someone else has prepared. Kuddos go out to Bill for his rawthentic endeavors!
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