Thursday, January 26, 2012

RAW ON DA PORCH Fifth Terrace Palmdale

As we near the end of January, New Years Resolutions to eat well and do more exercise may have fallen flat. Whilst I’m not one to make radical changes that are impossible to maintain, I reckon purging yourself of the badness every once in a while has to be done. Your gut flora will thank you for it. Incorporating healthier food into your diet all year round is the only way forward . And it needn’t mean rabbit food and hunger pangs. One pioneer flying the flag for healthy eating in Nassau is Raw on da Porch. With a name that sounds more like a hip hop night than an vegan eaterie, Raw on da Porch is dishing out funky fresh eats that will challenge any preconceptions about vegan food being bland. The owner, Chrissy Love, cares deeply about the food we eat, albeit not in a holier-than-though way. Raw on the Porch was borne out of a personal need to eat well, lose weight and be healthy. She is the proof of the pudding; brimming with energy and charisma. In a nutshell, Raw foodism is the practice of consuming uncooked, unprocessed food which has not been heated above 115F. Raw foodies believe that foods cooked above this temperature have lost much of their nutritional value and are less healthful or even harmful to the body.
Located in Palmdale, Raw is a modest hut with a couple of wooden tables outside. Open during the day, it provides weekday lunches to locals. I brought my lovely blond friend. Having both been here a few times already, we were aware that we might have to wait a bit for our lunch. As Chrissy acknowledges “ Our clients know that our food is not fast, it’s good. Thanks for your patience.” Good things do come to those who wait.
Quirky dishes with cute names like ‘Ish’ and ‘Nibs’ make up the menu. Everything is made using only nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruits and oils. I started off with a small Green Smoothie ($5); a palatable way to get your quota of greens. Kale and Spirulina are blended with some banana and ginger to make them taste, well, nice. You can just feel the goodness running down your throat as you slurp it.
We opted to share the Thai Salad wrap ($10) and the Sample Platter ($15). A shorter than usual wait and our food arrived, beautifully presented. The Thai Salad Wrap was a pretty parcel of rice paper, jam-packed with lettuce, tomatoes, carrot, ginger, red and green cabbage, avocado, cucumber and sesame seeds, accompanied by a soy sauce and garlic dip. It had great texture and was filled with flavour. So clean and revatilising. The sample platter was truly a ‘ting’ of beauty. It was made up of three dishes; the Scramble bowl; Ish and Chips and Nori Nibs. The Scramble bowl was fried vegan burger with sweet onions, tomato, thyme topped with fried plaintain. It was partnered with vegan coleslaw with a creamy mustardy dressing. Chrissy told how the dish was inspired by ghetto food. Her mother used to make a meal for their large family with one burger and lots of onion. This was an animal friendly versions and every bit as tasty. The Nori nibs were seaweed wrapped salad, like sushi. A bijoux portion of Ish and chips ( a play on fish and chips) consisted of a tuna-inspired concoction, made with chopped sea lettuce, garlic, almonds onions and lime, accompanied by vegetable crisps, almost like a chunky nutritious dip. Sounds a bit suspect I know but seriously moreish.
All of this was quite filling but again, in the name of research, we had to check out the dessert options. There very various ‘nice creams’; non dairy alternatives to ice cream. We opted for a paper cone of Sugar Apple ($5). I had yet to try this local fruit. It tasted unlike anything I’d eaten before. The flavour was intense, interesting but quite acidic. An acquired taste I’d say. Not sure if it’s for me. Hats off for originality though.
There is a lot of skill involved in the presentation and assembly of the food, not to mention in the cooking. Making vegan food taste great and provide all the necessary nutrients ain’t no easy task. Chrissy really has a finely tuned palate and understanding of food that could win over many a die-hard carnivore.
We left full of the joys of spring, promising to return soon. I urge you to go if you haven’t yet. It is lip smackingly good.