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A Raw Experience

by Meghann on July 18, 2009

Ughh… I am soo tired of our daily summer afternoon thunderstorms.

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Can’t a girl catch a break?

It was so beautiful before the rain hit too!

I came home from work around 4:00 this afternoon (I <3 Fridays!) and immediately did level 1 of the 30 Day Shred. I really enjoy the combination of running in the morning and shredding in the afternoon.

I knew dinner was going to be late, so I wanted an extra hearty snack to hold me over for the four hours until meal time. I took advantage of my stocked fridge and made a Green Monster.

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In the blender I had:

  • Ice
  • Spinach
  • 1 Packet of Amazing Grass
  • Almond Milk
  • 1 Peach
  • Honey
  • 2 Tablespoons of Ezekial Granola

My former Coco Loco cup was the perfect travel cup for my green smoothie. It brought me back to the Bahamas. πŸ™‚

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I have to admit towards the end of the cup the smoothie was a bit intense on the grassy taste. I think next time if I use just the peach I will have to pair it with a bit of a sweeter fruit.

Abbie and did manage to make it to the park before the clouds exploded.

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But all hell broke loose on the way home! Oh well, at least Abbie was able to let loose for a few minutes.

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πŸ™‚

Derek and I made a deal that if I waited for him to make it to town before eating, then he would accompany me to a fun restaurant I have been dying to try in Orlando.

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Cafe 118 recently opened as Orlando’s first complete raw restaurant back in January. I’ll admit I have not been the biggest fan of the current raw movement, but, I have been dying to experience this restaraunt for a while now. I am always up for any new experience with fun, delicious food.

Inside Cafe 118 was cute & quaint with only a handful of tables and one server for the entire restaurant. I found it a little amusing when the single server provided us with a bit of a raw diet sales speech as we were being seated. I smiled politely as he gave his spiel. I am all for new experiences, but there’s something about someone turning their nose up at my own way of eating that always puts me on edge.

Derek claimed her was on the edge of starvation upon arrival so we immediately ordered the Hummus starter to nibble on as we decided what we wanted.

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I was surprised by the large serving size of the raw hummus that was served with sun dried tomato ‘crackers.’

The hummus was very delicious with just a hint of spice to it. However, Derek was very disappointed with the crackers. In fact, as I began this post he reminded me to post his sincere distaste for them. Despite his distaste for the crackers, Derek did enjoy the hummus and plans to enjoy the left overs with some pita chips that are in my cabinet.

When it came time to take our main orders I had a hard time deciding what to order. Each item was so unique and unlike anything I had ordered before, I just wanted to try it all.

After much mental debating I went with the Beet Raviloli stuffed with macadamia ricotta and topped with a pear wine sauce.

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The dish was exceptionally good. Overall it was very sweet, but I always love savory meals that have a sweet base to them. The macadamia nut cheese was definitely a first for me and even though the cheese itself was a bit rich I really liked it. I was even surprised how much the small portion size filled me up.

At first Derek ordered the Spicy ‘Bean’ Burrito off the menu, but was immediately persuaded by our server to get another dish a try. He believed the burrito might have been too much of a raw experience for his first time. The server reccommended the signature Lasagna dish which Derek agreed too.

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Derek’s lasagna dish was layered with sundried tomato ‘pasta’, zucchini, macadamia nut cheese and basil pesto. Overall the dish had a very fresh taste to it. Even though he believed the dish tasted wonderfully, Derek was afraid it wasn’t quite enough to fill him up. Luckily, we still had dessert on the way. πŸ™‚

Again, the menu had so many fun dessert options I had such a hard time deciding. Derek told me to pick the two things I wanted to try the most, then I would order one and he would order the other.

I ended up with the Chocolate Hazelnut Tart.

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OMG YUM! This was very rich, but so so so good! I love chocolate and this sliver of tart hit the spot.

I was also desperate to try some of their raw ice cream so Derek ordered a serving of their Coffee and Walnut from their yummy ice cream list.

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Derek stated the coffee flavor wasn’t as strong as he was hoping, but I could definitely taste it in my spoonfuls. The raw ice cream texture was very unique, it was more creamy the regular ice cream. I wanted to bring a pint of ice cream home with me, but it was a little $$ to justify.

Overall I said our first raw experience was a success. The food was great – of course I would not have expected anything less – and we left the restaurant happy and satisfied. I had told Derek before the dinner if he didn’t fill full afterwards I would personally purchase him a McDonald’s Hamburger on the way home, but he claimed he was perfectly content. πŸ™‚

We decided to take advantage of the beautiful evening and take a stroll down Park Ave. We kept noticing people walk around with tickets hung around their necks and wine glasses in their hands. We investigated and discovered the Sip of Park Ave just happened to be occurring that night. The Sip Of Park Ave is where you purchase a pass that entitles you to a tasting of wines from each restaurant along Park Ave. It seemed like fun and I am only sad I had not hear of it earlier.

We bumped into a couple of ladies who were done sampling wine for the evening and offered their tickets to us, of course we jumped at the chance!

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There was only about 10 minutes left for samples, so we quickly hurried to Spice and snagged some free Merlot.

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It was a decent pour of wine. Just enough to savor as we made out way back to the car. πŸ™‚

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My twin bro drove up from Miami for the weekend, so we met him at a local Irish Pub for some good drinks and conversation. I really was not in the mood for a beer, so instead I happily sipped on a glass of soda water.

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I never get to talk to my brother enough, so it was great catching up. He is now in his third year of med school and he always has the best stories to tell.

It’s very late and I am ready to crash. I hope everyone has had a happy start to their weekend!!

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Paige@ RunningAroundNormal July 18, 2009 at 8:59 am

That raw restaurant looks sooo good. I have a girlfriend who lives in Orlando and said something about it I think rememebering. Here in Central IL – we don’t get anything like that! Looks like a fun day πŸ˜€

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2 Kathy (Moving Beyond Perfection) July 18, 2009 at 9:13 am

Wowww I have to say- all that food looks amazing, but the chocolate tart looks to die for! And it’s wonderful how willing Derek is to try new foods with you and understand your love for food/ food blogging πŸ™‚

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3 Ruby July 18, 2009 at 9:17 am

Wow what an awesome night out! I feel the same way about the raw movement. I’d definitely visit a restaurant serving the food, but only because you know they’re gonna have great & creative raw dishes. Doing it at home usually surmounts to lots of raw salads.

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4 Spotty Prep July 18, 2009 at 9:19 am

I too am sick of the thunderstorms every afternoon! I haven’t been able to swim at all this week! The dessert looked absolutely divine,I’ll have to make a trip there next time I’m in O-town (hopefully they realize that the sales pitch is waay annoying before then!)

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5 leslie July 18, 2009 at 9:24 am

yum, everything looks so good! i like your philosophy on trying raw foods just because it’s fun – i feel similarly. i’ll never become raw or vegan or any specific category, but i love love love trying the foods associated with those ways of living. the raw recipes i’ve tried have almost always been totally delicious – it’s fun to experiment!

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6 Nicole July 18, 2009 at 9:28 am

The raw food you had looks really good! I think the spiel from the waiter would have put me off a bit as well. I don’t think it’s necessary to preach his way of like to customers at the restaurant, especially since they are already there giving it a chance!

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7 runnerskitchen July 18, 2009 at 9:29 am

Sounds like a fun night! And big props to Derek for accompanying you to the raw food restaurant! I’m still trying to get my boyfriend Nate to eat cooked vegetables, hehe πŸ™‚

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8 nicole h July 18, 2009 at 9:46 am

the raw food looks fantastic! i am like you i have not jumped on the raw bandwagon but i want to try a fun resturant like that. You are so lucky to have jumped in the wine sipping.

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9 carolinebee July 18, 2009 at 10:00 am

that sounds so fun, and score on the free tickets after! Hopefully the rain lets up for the weekend πŸ˜€

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10 Erica July 18, 2009 at 10:05 am

I love your dress!! You looked super cute for your date. I have really been wanting to try a raw restaurant but I do not think Josh would be as willing to go haha. Hope you have a great weekend

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11 Simone July 18, 2009 at 10:26 am

Coming across those passes was really lucky/awesome of you! I am starting to try and eat a more raw diet and would never force it upon everyone. I think you are right in saying that everyone has a way of eating that works for them. Amen sister! But, so glad you enjoyed your first (that is other than salads, haha) raw meal!!

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12 Lindsey (Mrs. LC) July 18, 2009 at 10:53 am

Did you find that most of the dishes there had nuts as cheeses, crusts, etc? lol I may not be able to eat a “fancy raw” diet ever!

Still looks like a fun experience though (haha minus your run this AM – just saw your status)

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13 Matt July 18, 2009 at 11:03 am

Glad you enjoyed the new food. I always love trying new restaurants and cuisines!

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14 Kim July 18, 2009 at 11:31 am

I do love me some pics of Abbie at the park! Her little face is so expressive that it looks like she’s grinning ear-to-ear πŸ™‚ Glad to hear that Cafe 118 was a success.

By the way, in the post-Food, Inc. spirit of supporting local foods, I’d like to recommend a (non-raw) restaurant to you called Harmoni Market & Bistro (locations in Longwood and College Park.) Their core commitment is to the “slow food movement,” so almost all of their ingredients are locally grown or made in Central Florida. And you can taste the difference — the food is fresh, reasonably priced, and fan-freakin-tastic (I promise I don’t work there, lol. I just think it’s a great little place, and right up your alley.) OK, I’m done now πŸ˜‰

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15 Deva July 18, 2009 at 11:33 am

The ravioli looks really good, but I think I want to try some of that tart. For breakfast.

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16 biz319 July 18, 2009 at 11:35 am

What a great night – too bad you didn’t know about the wine tasting sooner!

That hummus look amazing!!!

Happy Saturday! πŸ˜€

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17 TorontoGirloutWest July 18, 2009 at 11:52 am

We’ve had thunderstorms pretty well every day this past week too! πŸ™ Let’s say my runs have been SEVERELY limited!!!!

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18 Susan July 18, 2009 at 11:58 am

Ha, congrats on getting Derek to a raw food restaurant. My boyfriend can usually be persuaded with beer, but I don’t think even that would get him to try raw food! πŸ˜› I’m with you, I’m not all that into it, but I’m still very curious and really want to try it out. Glad to hear you had a good experience πŸ™‚

Enjoy your Saturday!!

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19 Rebeca July 18, 2009 at 12:28 pm

Woo for free wine πŸ™‚

What did you think of the crackers?

I’m glad you had a fun night!

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20 roseyrebecca July 18, 2009 at 1:05 pm

That cafe looks fun! I am intrigued by the sun dried tomato crackers and hummus! They look so good. Why didn’t Derek like them? And your ravioli looks great! I need to find a raw food cafe somewhere around me!

The wine sampling thing is such great idea!! I’m glad you guys got to partake for free! πŸ™‚

Sounds like a great night!!

http://roseyrebecca.wordpress.com/

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21 Lauren July 18, 2009 at 1:09 pm

Oh YUM! that restaurant looks amazing, they need one of those bad boys in Texas!

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22 Melissa S. July 18, 2009 at 1:35 pm

fun night at the new restaurant…but sorry to hear it didn’t work out w/ your belly by this morning. boohiss.

and i love the deal you made w/ derek about mcdonald’s…i did that w/ brad, but it was with whataburger…haha! boys boys boys…

have a great saturday babe!

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23 keri410 July 18, 2009 at 2:00 pm

The raw ice cream looks really good! All the eats do! But how do you think they made the ice cream? Just curious if you have any ideas.

A raw food restaurant is totally on my list of to-dos! I love trying new foods/experiences too! It makes life interesting!

Thanks for sharing!
Keri

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24 healthy ashley July 18, 2009 at 2:30 pm

I haven’t gotten into raw food either, but I’ll definitely check out this restaurant!

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25 Ada July 18, 2009 at 2:30 pm

Awww, that looks like the perfect night πŸ™‚ That raw beet ravioli looks really good, it reminds of the one at Pure Food and Wine in NYC.

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26 Kate July 18, 2009 at 5:11 pm

Meghann,

How do you wash your camelbak? I purchased one a few weeks ago and need to wash the backpack part and was wondering the best way to do it. Any ideas?

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27 JB July 18, 2009 at 5:47 pm

everything from the raw place looks amazing to me! even those chips! the beet ravioli looks particularly great. and the hummus. mmmmm, i love hummus! have a happy saturday, girl!

-JB
http://cardiovegsular.wordpress.com

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28 Katherina November 10, 2011 at 8:13 am

Just looking over your Orlando restaurant recs… the Irish pub you went to is either Fiddler’s Green or McRaney’s (I’m guessing) and if it was McRaney’s you should have totally done a write up! Favorite bar ever.

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