Pint-sized preferences:

No one puts baby in the corner!

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Sometimes it seems that people think we are just trying to be nice when we tell them to bring the kids.  That is not the case…we sincerely enjoy the company of people younger than ourselves, and we take great pleasure in seeing them enjoy our nourishing food.

This house has been serving families comforting food since long before we were here.  The culture that we entered into is a culture that we are happy to continue supporting.  In the years we have been in this house, we have had watched families grow and change in so many ways.  Guests come in to tell us they are pregnant, bring in babies just a few hours old, let toddles crawl around our dining room floor, celebrate good grades, come in before the prom & after graduation ceremonies.  When we say that we are a family place, we are serious as heart attack.  “You better bring that baby in!” is not an uncommon thing to hear us hollering at people as they leave after their dinner.

So why no children’s menu?  Simple.  We don’t want to put your child in a box in the corner of our menu.  We are not going to make assumptions about a person’s preferences simply because of his or her age.  We are not going to assume that your child only wants starch and dairy, that they don’t like meat and veggies, and that they want bland flavors.  We don’t have “alternative menus” for adults, and we do not intend to create one for children.

We want to have a conversation with your children.  We want to know what they like to eat, and if there’s anything new they want to try.  If it’s just noodles and oil, that’s just fine with us.  But if they want to add some chicken, or a meatball, that’s fine too.  Maybe they want a little bit of cauliflower, maybe not.

One of the best parts of this job is helping children develop these types of social skills while encouraging them to verbalize their desires and eat fresh, healthy food. That is why we volunteered for the Kids Cooking Corner healthy cooking demo this month, and why we intend to continue helping that non-profit succeed in exactly the same goals.  Partnered together, we will foster a brighter future with people who will have a strong connection to their food and their farms.

Our concern with making a “children’s menu” has also been that kids will be less likely to ask for what they would really like to eat and much less likely to try something new.  Adults tend to be comfortable asking to modify a menu item, asking what a dish is like or ordering something special all together.  But most kids don’t want to draw attention to themselves in restaurants.

Also, of course, with the variety of dietary allergies that children are diagnosed with everyday, it seems like a waste of time to create a separate menu that is going to be modified just as much as our “adult” menu.

We want to keep things as simple as possible for everyone.  We use whole foods and freshly prepare our dishes, so it’s easy to look through our menu to create a meal that works for people of all ages.

And if you need something put in the blender for the littlest ones, just let us know 🙂

 

Moderation will support us all

Cauliflower_Group

Owning a restaurant is like an extreme sport.  We have to be ready for a rush at any moment, and have a variety of options to keep each guest feeling supported and intrigued.  If the rush doesn’t come, we have to be ready to go into survival mode and find interesting ways to re-create, preserve and otherwise utilize products so as to not waste the money already invested.  We still have to pay the bills, and we still have to replace the fresh food that went by the way side for the folks we are hoping will come in the future.  We are orchestrating an intricate ballet on the edge of a cliff that doesn’t have any safety nets.  It’s terrifying and exhilarating and we could fall over the edge at any point.

So why do we do it?  I so often speak for my co-workers, but I’ll tell you confidently that we are all addicted to the sensational joy of serving people healthy, affordable comfort food.  Ultimately, it was our combined passion for serving people in this house that led to us dancing on the edge of financial disaster for the opportunity to do something spectacular, something so poetically beautiful.

The rewards for such suspended periods of anxiety may seem simple to most, but they are everything to us.  People feel safe eating out for the first time in years because of us.  People are relieved to know that we are still in this little house-restaurant, where they have made family traditions and lifetime memories.  Farmers have had checks put directly in their hands, November starts to get busy leading up to Thanksgiving, and business builds steadily, culminating in the epic week between Christmas and New Year’s.  We over-extend our tiny staff while we watch people indulge financially and calorically for a solid month or so…….. Then come the tumbleweeds.  They blow through the dining room with wild abandon as people stay home to make up for all the money they spent and the treats they ate and drank. These are the times that make people cringe.  Food service workers are cringing because business is so slow, and everyone else is cringing because they are thinking about their New Year resolutions to eat healthier and spend less.  It’s not fun for anyone, yet it happens every year.  So this is the part where we suggest something different, something better.

Take advantage of our two greatest assets: healthy comfort food & portion size options.

Below are examples of how two people who are willing to share plates can get a meal that is filling, delicious and truly healthy for $30, give or take a buck.  Granted, it doesn’t include alcohol, but that’s not normally on the New Year’s resolution meal suggestion list….;)

A colorful spread of tasty nutrition…

Small Mixed Green Salad $4

Small Brussel Sprouts $7

Small Grilled Sweet Potatoes $4

Small Meatball Plate $10

A piece of our “you’ll never believe when we tell you how healthy this is” lemon bar $6

Total: $31 for a farm-fresh, high-protein, low-starch, low-dairy, fiber-filled, vitamin-packed meal for two that includes dessert!

Want a vegan suggestion?

Small Baked Kale Salad $5

Mushroom Ragout w/ grilled sweet potatoes & roasted veggies $16

Raw Cookie Dough Bar (equally as unbelievably healthy) $8

Total: $29 for a completely vegan meal for two, which meets all of the qualifications above

Want something a little heartier?

Small Classic Ceasar $6

Wine-braised Lamb w/ root veggies & white beans $18 add roasted veggies $3

A slice of Granny Smith Apple & Mountain Elderberry tart $4

Total: $31 for a hearty, healthy, savory meal for two that comforts the body and lifts the spirit

We are versatile.  Think of us for your celebrations, and think of us on nights when you don’t want to cook but you don’t want to splurge.  We are here to support our guests’ health by helping people manage portion sizes, offering a full menu of healthy foods and keeping prices absolutely as low as we possibly can.  We are all in this together.  If we support each other modestly throughout the entire year, we will all be the better for it.  Please come in and let us know what choices you are making to make your life better.  We’ll give you a high five and get you a great meal.  We are looking forward to it.