Eating to Live on the Outside: Wholly Tomato!
Hopefully the altitude doesn’t bother you, because Eating to Live on the Outside is heading to Colorado, Denver to be exact. What’s in Denver? Wholly Tomato! No, I’m not trying to sound like the old Batman television show. Wholly Tomato is actually the name of this week’s restaurant. So, if there’s a veggie in the name, it’s got to be good, right? Well, let’s see.
For starters, Wholly Tomato’s menu is pretty cool. It’s actually divided into two parts, Carnivore and Herbivore. Now, if you’re like me, you’re going straight for Herbivore. Why? Because the Carnivore section isn’t exactly loaded with foods Dr. Fuhrman considers health-promoting. Yeah, last time I checked bacon, cheese, and sausage don’t rank too highly on the Fuhrmometer. So let’s just pretend this portion of the menu doesn’t exist, shall we?
Okay, back to the Herbivore dishes. Honestly, they’re not perfect. Some of them need a little work, especially the ones with cheese, but, they’ve got potential. Alright, the first one I’d order would be the Nebuchadnezzar sandwich. And right off the bat there’s a concession. It’s a sandwich, so there’s bread, but let me cushion the blow. I’m going with the Agave whole wheat bread. Given the feel of this menu, I’d bet that this bread is very rustic and full of whole grains. So I don’t feel too bad about it. And, once you get past the bread you’ll see it comes with things like avocado, tomato, sprouts, roasted garlic hummus, and swiss cheese. Yeah, you guessed it—adios cheese! Now clearly I’m excited about the avocado, but, the hummus gives me pause. Why? Well I suspect that it’s made with at least some olive oil, again, according to Dr. Fuhrman not exactly a healthful food. Although I’ll stick with it, but I’m invoking my standby justification—I don’t eat out very often, so I can deal with a little olive oil. What do you think?
The other sandwich to catch my eye was the Barbar-Bella, although it also needs a little tweaking. First off, the melted swiss cheese is going out the window. I don’t do diary—no exceptions! So, once you’ve ditched the cheese and relaxed about the whole wheat bread, you’re left with roasted portabella mushrooms, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, and a light dijonaise. The portabellas look good, so do the tomatoes and romaine lettuce, but the dijonaise also has to hit the bricks. Why? Well, to the best of my knowledge dijonaise is a mix of mustard and mayonnaise—I could be wrong on this—if I am wrong, the dijoniase can stay, but if I’m right, I’ll repeat what I said last week. I’d rather lick a Manhattan sidewalk on a hot summer day than eat mayonnaise. If you know what dijoniase is made with, please give me a heads up.
Moving on, a couple of the Bowls are looking real good, in particular the Quin Kong and the Acropolis. Let’s start with the Quin Kong. It’s made with quinoa, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, green peppers, light olive oil, and tamari sauce. Quinoa! You don’t find that popping up on too many menus. Actually, I’ve never eaten it before, so this would be a great opportunity to give it a whirl. Clearly the veggies are great, but the tamari sauce and the olive oil give me pause. Since the tamari sauce is loaded with salt, I’m ditching it. And for the sake of adding a little more flavor, I’ll keep the olive oil, which will be my concession. Now the Acropolis, it comes with roasted vegetables, brown rice, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, cucumbers, capers, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and feta cheese. Okay, I’m tossing the capers, feta cheese, and the olive oil. Capers are salty, I don’t eat cheese, and since Acropolis includes balsamic vinegar, I don’t need the oil for added flavor. So with that being said, the brown rice would be my only major concession—I just have to make sure I run an extra mile at the gym to make up for it.
Wholly Tomato also offers up a variety of salads. Salads are usually a great safe haven for an Eat to Liver. Let’s see how Wholly Tomato’s salads stack up. Well, they look okay, but each requires some futzing with. Like a lot of restaurant salads they’re prepared with things that don’t look so good, like cheese and various bread or pasta strips. Take the Asian salad for example. It comes with Asian vegetables, mixed greens, fresh pineapple, a light sesame dressing, and rice noodles. I’m digging the veggies and of course I’m going easy on the dressing, but rice noodles? Why ruin a salad with refined pasta? Yup, you guessed it, sayonara rice noodles! The other salad to snatch my attention is the Mediterranean. The Mediterranean is made with roasted vegetables, mixed greens, fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, artichoke hearts, capers, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and pita slices. Okay, kiss the capers, olive oil, and pita slices good bye. Then you’re left with a good looking salad. Personally, I love artichoke hearts, so when I see them in a menu selection, I’m most likely going to order it. Do you eat artichoke hearts too?
Not bad, right? Wholly Tomato certainly has some potential. Sure, you’ve got to work around the cheese and other animal products, but if you give it a little thought you can make almost any dish work. So, while it’s not a home-run, Wholly Tomato is certainly on the right track. And hey, don’t forget to check out Wholly Tomato’s menu and let us know how you Eat to Live on the Outside? Leave a comment or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.