Disease Proof

Eating to Live on the Outside: Nora

It’s Friday—and you know what that means? Hit the intro-music. Turn on the laser-lights. Cue the background dancers. It’s time for Eating to Live on the Outside baby! “Who let the dogs out! Woo-woo-woo-woo!” Wow, that was lame. Sorry, onto the serious stuff.

This week—the ever-exciting—Eating to Live on the Outside heads to Washington, D.C. to visit Nora, America’s First Certified Organic Restaurant. Well, it’s certainly a mixed menu. There’s lots of food I wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole—like Crème Fraiche and duck livers—but there’s also plenty of good stuff too—like kale, broccoli, shiitakes, and mango.

Okay, where to begin? Let’s start with the appetizers—since there’s one that caught my eye. The Grilled Baby Eggplant looks cool. It’s prepared with red peppers, yellow peppers, black olives, hummus, and micro cilantro. I like it! I’d ditch the olives because they’re salty, but that’s it. So far, so good!

Onto the salads—an Eat to Livers pillar of hope—all three have potential, but two of them need a little tweaking. The Mesclun Greens salad is perfect; greens, hearts of palm, mango, macadamia nuts, and lime macadamia nut oil vinaigrette. The concession here would be the vinaigrette. Personally, I’d order it on the side and only use a little bit—no big deal!

The next two salads include cheese. So once you ditch that, combined the Arugula & Heirloom Tomatoes and the Local Baby Heads of Lettuce salads are made with pepitas (pumpkin seeds), toasted pumpkinseed oil vinaigrette, arugula, tomatoes, lettuce, peaches, walnuts, and caramelized onion vinaigrette. Some good stuff here! And I doubt you’re going to miss the goat cheese and brie. Provided you go easy on the dressing, these are great. What do you think?

Now, beyond the salads its get a little dicey—as it usually dos—but don’t fret. Nora’s got a few tricks up her sleeve—or should I say treats. I see three dishes an Eat to Liver could get by with, they require no alternation, and only some minor concessions. Let’s take a look.

Two of the menu items are fish dishes, so, if you don’t eat any animals these aren’t for you. Personally, I eat fish. Not often, but I do it eat once or twice a month. First up is the Shichimi Crusted Alaskan King Salmon with shiitakes, baby corn, cherry tomatoes, scallions, broccoli, and ginger soy emulsion. The veggies look great, but what about the fish? Is it safe? Yup! According to OceansAlive.org Alaskan King Salmon is also called Chinook Salmon and Chinook Salmon is an Eco Best; meaning it has a low risk of contamination—nice!

Same goes for the Pan Roasted Alaskan Halibut. It’s also known as Pacific Halibut and our friends at OceansAlive.org give it an Eco Best stamp of approval. This tasty and safe fish is served with eggplant-tomato ratatouille, potatoes, kale, and salsa verde. You got to love when you actually see KALE on a menu! I’ve got no gripes with this either. Its worth mentioning that if I were to order either one of these, I’d make sure I’d wait a while before I ate fish again—doctor’s orders!

Alright, the last menu item I’d consider ordering is the Tokyo Hot Pot. It’s prepared with shichimi crusted tofu, udon noodles, shiitakes, baby carrots, miso mushroom broth, and crispy yams. You guessed it. The noodles are a concession. After all, noodles and pasta are nothing more than processed food—I can live with it. The Tokyo Hot Pot wouldn’t be my first choice, but if I HAD to order it, I’d just focus on all the veggies and not worry about the noodles, especially since I don’t normally eat pasta or noodles of any sort.

An important thing to mention about Nora is that it’s an organic restaurant; pretty admirable in a country saturated in trans-fat, processed junk, and fast food. So if you’re an organic fan and planning to visit the D.C. area, pop into Nora and let me know how you handled Eating to Live on the Outside. Make a comment or send an email to diseaseproof@gmail.com. Healthy eating!
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sara - September 14, 2007 10:24 PM

Nora is also a very expensive restaurant. If you actually went they would probably make you something more appropriate if you asked.

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