Tuesday, March 26, 2013

To Eat Well, Try Eat Well Cafe

Chef Renee Schuler
Made my second visit to Eat Well Cafe, in O'Bryonville, this week, and had a better chance to sample and appreciate what this bright, pleasant (mostly) lunch spot has to offer. I'd gone once before on a very cold winter day with a friend who doesn't really enjoy eating, which usually holds me back from full enjoyment of my own. This time I went with my ravenous husband, which gave me permission to have more than a cup of soup with a couple of crackers, as on my first visit.
He selected from one of the pasta bowls -- his choice was pearl couscous (the Israeli variety) with roasted veggies, chicken and pesto. The portion was large but, in character, he ate all of it and said "yum" quite a few times as he did so.
I went with one of the salads, also served in a large bowl, the same size as his pasta dish. The choices were called Health, East and West. Each had an interesting combo of ingredients that made it hard to select, but I ended up with the East Salad, in part because it was the only one without cheese, which I wasn't in the mood for.

The salad was impressive in its combination of flavors and textures, as well as the evident care that went into preparing the ingredients. I was especially impressed by the high quality of the pulled chicken, which was lean (all the skin and fat had been removed) even though it included bits of dark meat, and clearly not some kind of industrial meat. The other notable ingredient was what they called orange supremes, which was slices of fresh oranges with the white membrane removed -- something that you almost never see anywhere. I know the amount of labor it takes to slice an orange that way, and appreciated every bite. Rounding out the salad were sliced almonds and a nice sprinkling of fried wontons.
Along with the salad, I had a large mug of chamomile tea, which hit the spot on another cold, wintery day (even though it's the end of March).
While I don't think the cafe itself has a website, the venture that includes catering can be found online here.
Chef/owner Renee Schuler was chef at our favorite rural getaway, Murphin Ridge Inn. 
We both really liked our meal here and definitely plan many return visits. Healthy and delicious, too! It's at 3009 O'Bryon Street and is open Monday - Friday 11-8:30 and Saturday 9 - 4.

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