Friday, October 24, 2014

Healthy Take Out

Good Morning Readers!

 I have been on the quest to find healthy take out. My boyfriend and I lead extremely busy lifestyles. We are often running from one place to the next and don't have the time we would like to cook for ourselves. We are both extremely fond of being in the kitchen. When we do have the time we prepare well thought out and labor intensive food (which can be a bit exhausting but it is something that we both feel feeds our souls). We also like to put an emphasis on our health and don't often like eating mass produced preservative packed meals. 

The balance between eating healthy and having the time to eat at all has become an issue for both of us. David works until later and I don't typically like to eat big meals that late in the day. In the past few months we often find ourselves starving but unsure of what we really have the energy to cook. We also find it hard to get good quality take out for a decent price and often settle for something subpar like breakfast for dinner or Jimmy Johns. I am sick and tired of compromising my food ideals because I can't find a nice restaurant that provides fresh alternatives to the normal take out options. 

Last Tuesday after David and I went out for one of his friend's going away party that oh so familiar question popped up again, "What should we have for dinner?". We were so stumped that it took us two beers and a game of darts to finally settle on trying the new Agra-Culture restaurant down the block. 

Now I don't typically venture into chain restaurants unless I am absolutely desperate or on vacation. I had heard mixed reviews on the place and was reluctant to try it but I was so sick and tired of never having an answer for that question that I was willing to try anything.

We walked the two blocks it took for us to reach the front doors. Once inside I was greeted by an extremely friendly man behind the counter. He explained how the restaurant worked and where we could find menus and if we had any questions that the gentleman at the cash register could help us. I am a sucker for good customer service. So often when you visit counter service restaurants the service doesn't match the price you are paying for your food. I also always find it a bit intimidating, it is as if they expect you to make a decision out of their 100s of items in the time it takes for you to enter the restaurant and reach the counter. But at Agra-Culture the experience was much different. They offered smaller hand held menus which I appreciate because often I forget to wear my glasses and can't read half of the items available on the large posted menus. 

We were also giving all the time we wanted to peruse the menu and pick out all of the fun foods we wanted to take home for our nights supper. Their menu was chalked full of fun healthy alternatives to the typical take out menus and the prices were perfect. Their mission is to make healthy food accessible to everyone, to give options for every eating style and need, to support non-GMO and organic farms, and to prove that healthy, sustainable and delicious belong together. 

I have always felt there wasn't many places that could really achieve making healthy food fun and delicious. David and I both found foods on the menu that made us not only excited but also gave us the feeling that we would both definitely want to come back. They have a whole "sides" section on the menu where you can mix and match fun foods to create your own nosh plate. The sides are only $3.50 a piece so I had a grand ole time picking my favorites. I decided on a lovely sides of sautéed mushrooms, "untried" rice filled with local vegetables and brown rice and a nice fresh side salad with house made herb vinaigrette. It was funny to me that I was able to find foods on their menu that are staples on my kitchen table on a weekly basis. Besides the sides available they offered all different types of fresh salads and sandwiches including some gourmet style salads that include some fun proteins like seared tuna and caramelized sea scallops. 

Although it wasn't the best food I have ever tasted it provided me with the perfect take out. I will definitely be visiting again and hopefully I will get a chance to indulge in some of their fun baked goods and fresh pressed juices. We got to sample a piece of their raw bar which was made with dark chocolate, figs and pistachios. It was lovely!

For more information on their foods and mission visit their website!

Ps. Don't forget to check out Danielle's posts from this week, Spice to Table and St. Augustine, FL
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