Eating to Live on the Outside: Down to Earth

I admit, last week I got a little excited about Arnold’s Way—it was so good! Sorry about that, perhaps I need to come back down to earth again. How convenient, this week’s restaurant is actually called Down to Earth—perfect, just what the doctor ordered! Especially since Down to Earth only offers vegetable-based cuisine—pretty cool, right? Okay, enough with the jibber-jabber, let’s crack this menu open.

Do you like soup? I do. I’ll eat it in warm weather, cold weather, and every type of weather in between. That’s why I like the 3 Bean Chili—I know, not technically a soup, but close enough! It’s prepared with pinto beans, black-eyed peas, and black beans, tempeh, tofu sour cream, and served with cornbread. Beans! I like beans—my friends don’t like that I like beans—but I like beans. Okay, I’m not big on processed tofu imitation foods, so I’ll drop the sour cream. For me tempeh falls into that category too, but, I don’t eat it very often, so it can stay—and the cornbread? No thank you. The Soup of Day is another nice option, but I’d have to interrogate the wait staff about it first.

Down to Earth has got some killer salads too—no there’s no meat in them. Check out the Gado Gado. It’s made with red cabbage, greens, toasted peanuts, carrots, sunflower sprouts, smoky tofu strips, and a cilantro peanut dressing. For starters, the smoky tofu strips are out. Since I stopped eating meat, that smoky taste just doesn’t do it for me anymore. The rest of the stuff looks cool—yes, even the cilantro peanut dressing—my only worry is the toasted peanuts. Hopefully they’re not burned to a crisp. Don’t want any Acrylamides! The House Salad and the Glorious Green also look really nice; between them you get field greens, carrots, red cabbage, green cabbage, daikon, and sprouts. All really good—provided I take it easy with the salad dressing or ditch it all together.

There are some interesting “live” foods on Down to Earth’s menu as well. I really like the Raw Plate. Lots of good stuff in here; marinated vegetables, sprouts, sprouted grains, and a raw dressing. You just can’t beat the feeling you get after you’ve eaten a whole bunch of raw veggies—although they sure do taste good cooked too. The Leaf Wraps are also pretty cool. Down to Earth stuffs sundried tomato, black olive nut paté, guacomole, chopped tomato, shredded lettuce, and a raw nut cheese all into a green leaf wrap—hello phytonutrients! I think the only concession here would be the saltiness of the black olives, but I think the rest of dish more than makes up for it—especially if you are already limiting your salt intake.

Down to Earth’s entrees are also looking mighty good. Take a look at the Love Bowl—I hear the velvet tones of Barry White. The Love Bowl is made with seasonal greens, brown rice, black beans, and tempeh or tofu, sesame seeds, and your choice of black bean sauce, peanut sauce, or mushroom gravy. Loving the sesame seeds! I honestly, I think I eat sesame seeds almost everyday—sorry, that just dawned on me. I guess the only concession might be the brown rice—I’m ditching it. The black beans and the greens are all I need. I’d also ask the wait staff if any of the sauces have oil. That might deter you too—doesn’t bother me so much. I also like the Falafel. It comes with baked chickpea patties, a whole wheat wrap, lettuce, tomato, onions, tahini dressing, and a side salad. Clearly the whole wheat wrap is the concession, but I’m sticking with it. I’ll just focus on the extra phytonutrients I get with the side salad.

Finally, like a lot of these natural cafes and restaurants, Down to Earth offers a bevy of fruit juices and smoothies. I’ve said this before, but, I’ll say it again. I’d rather eat the whole fruits and vegetables, but these things can be tasty and they’re certainly better than a glass of supermarket isle “100% juice.” So, I like the Immune Booster juice and the Bugs Bunny smoothie. The Immune Booster is made with carrots, ginger, garlic, lemon, a green mix, beets, and apples. I don’t know, sounds interesting—doesn’t it? Now, the Bugs Bunny is made with carrot juice, vanilla soy milk, and crushed ice. I mainly like this one because growing up Bugs Bunny was my hero—oh you thought he was the greatest too!

So what do you think? Are you digging Down to Earth? I am. But let me know what you think. Look over Down to Earth’s menu and let me know what you’d order or what you’d stay away from. What would you do different? What would you do the same? Either way, make a comment or email me at
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dell hoover - May 26, 2007 3:28 PM

Just had a physical, and my cholesterol was very high. My doctor prescribed drugs to lower it; however, I do not wish to take it. I heard Dr. Fuhrmann talking to Dr. Oz on Oprah XM Radio today, and I am inspired to eat right. I appreciate this informational website.

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