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, the farmers who keep our traditional food sources safe and sacred. Small business owners all over Oregon have been able to count on our steady support, as well as a number of non-profits. When we risk it all to dance on the edge, we do it because we crave the sensation of truly, actively making this world a better place.
The reality is, though, that the dangers are very, very real. If not enough people come to the show, we fall over the edge and the show is over. Our affordable prices are based on a food cost equation with razor-thin margins, and it only works if we have a high volume of customers. Without that volume, our prices are too low and we will have to close our doors. At this rate, that will happen fairly soon.
The timeline for starting this restaurant was dictated by the closing of another. It meant opening during one of the slowest times of the year, and now that we are about to enter into the other slowest time of the year, we are reminded of this awful cyclical pattern. 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.