Eating to Live on the Outside: Go Raw Cafe

Last week I took a look a New York City’s own Just Salads, and what a refreshing break from the typical oh so greasy American restaurant fare. Unlike standard artery busting foods of places like the Ground Round, Outback Steakhouse, and Friendly’s, Just Salads is a hearty plot of green in them middle of the big apple. So would you be surprised if I told you I found the same thing in notorious Sin City?

Las Vegas, the land of high hopes and high-rollers, and also home to this week’s restaurant of choice the Go Raw Café. Now I thought Just Salads was a phytonutrient heavy hitter—this place is the David Ortiz of healthy eating! With choices like Kale Salad, Cream of Carrot & Avocado Soup, and Caro-bana smoothies, well quite frankly, you can close your eyes and throw a stone in this place, and you’re still bound to hit something that’d make Dr. Fuhrman smile. Although I’m not sure the staff would appreciate that level of enthusiasm.

At the Go Raw Café “making concessions” is a thing of the past. I don’t see any item on the menu that’d make me think twice about ordering it. Good food is everywhere! So here are a few dishes that jumped out at me.

For starters I like the aforementioned Kale Salad, I like it more because there are avocados in it. In addition to the bestest fruit on the planet this salad also includes red bell peppers, onions, cucumbers, and is served with buckwheat bread. Buckwheat bread? Sounds interesting. You do have the option of house dressing with this salad, which I’m not totally against, I’d would just go easy on how much I used, but if you’re totally against oily dressing the Go Raw Café gives you the option of cilantro instead. Pretty cool hunh?

The Gimme the Beet – “Cheese” Burger w/Fries is looking mighty tasty too, although I do have some questions. I’d ask the wait staff to clarify the fry situation because if they are actual deep-fried potato fries I’m not interested. But given the attitude of this place there’s a good chance “Fries” is just a play on words for something healthier. The burger itself is very interesting; it’s made with beets, carrots, sunflower seeds, and parsley—can’t go wrong there! You can dress your burger with hand prepared ketchup, mustard, mayo (I’ll pass), onion, tomato, lettuce, sprouts, avocado (score!), and almond cheese (yet another creation I’d ask about). After you’re done compiling this anti-burger they sandwich it between “living bread.” I have no idea! Ask before you bite into it, it could bite back. Either way this burger still beets (spelling mistake intended) the pants of the traditional burger, and especially this abominable creation: Baseball’s Worst Burger.

Finally I really like a bunch of the smoothies and juices the Go Raw Café offers—and yes I know eating the actual fruit is considerably better than just drinking the juice. Let me indulge damn it! As far as the juices go, I like the All Good (carrots, apples, and beets), Sweet Greens (kale, parsley, celery, cucumbers, spinach, and collard greens), and Popeye’s Favorite (carrot, spinach, and apple). Now that’s some nutrient dense juice! As for the smoothies, I’m digging the Berry Good (apple, banana, strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, and date), Pina Cool-ada (pineapple, banana, macadamia, date, coconut water, and coconut meat), and the Young Blood (wheatgrass, beet juice, and coconut water). These all sound great, but if I’m loosing my shirt at the poker table, well, I’m going to need something a little stronger.

Once again, and much like last week, the only negative I see about the Go Raw Café is its location, Vegas is the only place you’ll find one. So next time your doubling-down at the blackjack table or getting fleeced by the slot machines don’t forget to save some money for a very raw experience.

And as always we want your feedback! Tell us what you might have done differently or what you agree with. Check out the Go Raw Café’s menu and let us know how you Eat to Live on the Outside? Leave a comment or email us at
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Susan - August 19, 2006 9:22 AM

If you did some research on raw food eating, you would realize that the
"frys" would never be deep fried. Raw food is just that, raw. They do use dehydration for cooking bread, but that is it. I am sure you wouldn't have to worry about anything there. Also, there are some great raw food restaurants in many cities.

Emily - August 19, 2006 10:33 AM

I just wanted to add a few things about the raw food diet that may help with some of the questions about the food (I assume the cafe was all raw food) - raw foodists don't fry anything and don't use any animal products (except raw honey), so the fries were probably made from some sort of dehydrated vegetable strips, and the mayo was probably made from coconut or something. One of the "raw" dressings I've made uses primarily orange juice, cilantro, avocado, and shallots, so my guess is their dressing was quite healthy as well. I don't think most raw foodists use traditional, refined sugar, either, but usually use dates, raw honey or agave nectar, but they do use sea salt and pepper. Oh, living bread is bread made with sprouted seeds or pulses, cooked at very low temps to preserve the enzymes. I hope this was helpful and doesn't sound snobbish! I love "Eating to Live on the Outside" - I'd love to see what you'd do at Applebee's - my in-laws took us there, and we had a tough time finding something worthwhile without sounding too high maintenance! :)

anet - August 20, 2006 11:51 AM

i thought this was a chain of "clothing optional" restaurants!!

Vishaka - September 30, 2006 10:16 PM

I realize this was posted way back when, but I'd just like to point out that the "fries" at Go Raw are slices of avocado that come with a dipping sauce. :)

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