Dining and Dating
Dining and Dating
So, I’m dating this new guy who isn’t raw but totally open-minded about it. He eagerly tries everything I prepare for him and even offered to buy a food processor for his kitchen since we prefer hanging out in his spacious condo over my cramped apartment. The other night, we found ourselves at his place with nothing for me to eat. So he suggested that we go to a raw restaurant, one that I have avoided taking him to because of the mixed reviews it receives. But… we went. Ohmigosh! It was truly bad, and bad turned to worst when I tried the dim sum. It was all I could do to choke down what appeared to be a soupy avocado mix bundled in a seaweed wrapper. Outside of liver, it was the most disgusting texture and the most vile taste I’ve ever put in my mouth!
LOL… as for my friend, I may have scarred him for life. How are the non-married among you handling dining and dating?
Go on, spill the beans! Which restraunt did you go to eat at?
That is awesome of your new guy to be open to supporting you and thinking about you. Bummer about the restaurant. Chalk that “adventure” up to experience and check that restaurant off the list! lol I hope you will give your feedback to the restaurant so they can improve since most likely they have lost your business and they are not doing justice to the “cuisine.” It is uncomfortable to introduce someone to something new and it doesn’t work out. Talk with him about it without being defensive. How would you want him to handle taking you somewhere that he is passionate about and the experience wasn’t optimum for you? Make a great meal with him or go to a great restaurant. Now, there is no guarantee that what you make or the “good” restaurant meal will be to his liking either. Ugh! If he continues to be game, he sounds like a keeper. :)
Recently, I was sharing a ride with someone to a seminar. I suggested getting eats on the way to the seminar and suggested a place to pick up some food (which had a variety of healthy food). He was game to try some place new. He was great about asking about stuff he didn’t know about. We got stuff togo so we could eat it in the area of the seminar which was near the water. We ended up running a little late and ate “dinner” in the seminar room where we ended up meeting a really neat guy.
When dating, I look to see how receptive a person is to my needs while looking to see how receptive I am to his. Notice, everything applies to both parties, not just him or her. If we are unable to coordinate needs at the early stages and there doesn’t seem to be a way in the future, this isn’t the relationship that I’m looking for… been there, done that! Didn’t work at least not for me and it left me very hurt, unfulfilled, and a huge hit to my self-confidence. Figure out what is nonnegotiable for you and be ok with it. If the two of you don’t bring out the best in each other, sorry, time to move on. It is not worth “settling.” I know you have heard this allllll before… :)
Research your restaurants!!!
I understand if you don’t want to bash a place. The problem with raw-foodists is: we’re all too nice! OK so let’s talk about the good places:
Pure Food and Wine in NYC is always excellent. As is Quintessence in NYC, Cru in LA and Juliano’s in Santa Monica, and Alive in San Fran. I especially appreciate these places because they’re not filled with raw-food propaganda, and they’re quite elegant, so you can feel like a normal person on a normal nice dinner-date while eating raw!
Good advice. He continues to be up for anything and we are planning a trip to NYC where I can take him to all my favorite places. We laughed about the food at the restaurant and he actually liked more of the meal than I did. I won’t stop going there because they do have a few things I enjoy. Whenever I make food for him, I encourage him to give me honest feedback… and he always does. He loves my Thai Coconut Soup, is lukewarm on my ice cream, and hates anything wrapped in a collard. ;o)
Mum’s the word on the name of the restaurant. The proprietor is an important contributor to the raw community so I just hope that some of the negative feedback filters through. I won’t divulge the name of the restaurant where I saw a mouse in the kitchen either!
RawJim, I’ve visited many raw restaurants around the country with varying experiences. As we were wading through the pile of gross food at our table, the waitress walked by with this incredible salad. That’s what I would order the next time. In fact, on my own, that’s probably what I would have ordered. But he wanted to try the other stuff… LOL.
I am 100% raw and vegan, or at least I try to be. SAD restaurants are tough but it’s so much a part of the downtown living experience and they are tough to avoid. I prefer to prepare food but then we never go outside! He has an incredible flat screen television and sound system so we don’t even have to go out to see a movie.
LoveFood, I did research the restaurant! That’s why I had never been there.
Pure Food and Wine is my absolute favorite. I also like Pure Juice and Takeaway. Raw Soul in NY has a very good burger and pizza. Juliano’s was out of pretty much everything I wanted to order. The coconut soup was good but everything else was so-so. Also, in Santa Monica, I went to Euphoria Loves RAWvolution. Get the Big Matt burger, or anything else on the menu. Yum, yum! I haven’t been to Alive, but I did go to Cafe Gratitude in SF. The ice cream with caramel sauce and the caesar salad and the soup (mushroom/coconut?) was to die for. The pizza not so much.
Pam~ That is great that he is honest with you and y’all laughted about the restaurant. Does he have a clone? lol
I’m not sure where you live, you have mentioned restaurants all over the place. A few suggestions though… To go “out” and eat, have a picnic! Be creative about the places like if there is a gorgeous fountain around, a roof somewhere, or even someplace that you might have to “sneak” into (but won’t get in to much trouble if you are caught). I love picnics.
Another suggest is that if you know where you want to eat out and the restaurant doesn’t have much on the menu that is of interest to you, call ahead and speak to the chef about making something you can eat. Some chefs like the “challenge” and others not so much… but you can try. This would be a great idea especially if he really likes or wants to try a place and you might not be to keen on it. :)
Just thought of something else… if there is a place that doesn’t have something for you, call ahead and see if you can bring something in and have them plate it up for you like some places that do not have wine that allow patrons to bring in a bottle of wine and they will “uncork” it for a fee.
If you are down in the San Diego, CA, area, Cilantro LIVE is great. I especially like their Rawviolis, burger, and Chocolate Sundae. YUM! They have a few locations now. I’m not aware of any other places down here. Maybe others in SoCal can suggest other places.
Have fun and enjoy!!!
Here is Utah we have Living Foods. I think it has amazing food! Also, Blossoming Lotus in Portland I found cured my fast food cravings. Delicious!
i find that i can pretty much get a decent salad anywhere in a city, within reason.
i was out with two (very meat-eating) guys in Boston and went to a shabu-shabu restaurant. i asked the waitress about the food and then went “wait, so everything is served raw, we just dunk it in the broth to cook it?” -”yes” – “wow, that’s perfect!”
and it was…
BUT, (and this is the reason i would rather not eat out!), my plate of raw veggies and seaweed salad (ok, not raw, i should have known!) cost MORE than their beef plates.
Hey Bluedolphin, I’ve tried the calling ahead thing. You’re right, sometimes it works well, but usually not. You would think chefs would be more creative! Alissa Cohen gave me the name of a chef and a restaurant in the Boston area for Valentine’s Day a few years ago when I first went raw. My friend and I had a wonderful, specially prepared 4 course meal at a non-raw restaurant. I don’t remember the name of the place though. Also, I have introduced my assistant at work to raw. She is going to chef school and they actually had an assignment to prepare a raw meal. So, there is hope. She was grateful that I had introduced it to her and she knew what to do!
I travel a lot for work which is why I’ve been to so many raw restaurants, but it’s chilly in the Midwest so outdoor picnics are no more until at least May.
I’m going to try to find some neighborhood places that will accommodate me. Sometimes I wish I lived in a smaller town because I might have more luck with that. The restaurants around me that might have good fruits and veggies are very busy, and they are annoyed, not challenged, by special requests. (Sigh)
jkd… where is Blossoming Lotus? Is that Portland OR? I’ll be there next weekend!
Piannissima, I love salads but they aren’t filling and the non-organic veggies are pretty tasteless to me. I think it’s a Midwest thing… you can usually get field greens, tomatoes, cukes and carrots… and that’s about it. It’s changing slowly. When I first moved here in 1990, you could hardly get a vegetarian meal in most restaurants! There is one seafood restaurant where I found a raw waitress who hooks me up with raw veggie sushi. But if she isn’t there, the ESL waitresses seem confused about what I want.
Hey Bluedolfin—Thanks for the positive review of Cilantro LIVE in San Diego. We (my husband and I) will be going there next month to see our grandchildren (and my daughter and son-in-love, of course). It will be nice to have a place to take everyone to try something new (I’m the only raw-fooder in my family, but they all said they would give it a try—once). :)
Pam – You are so fortunate to have found a guy who is willing to try new things, particularly as “weird” as raw. Great suggestions from everyone, too. I’ll keep them in mind when my husband and I go out for a dinner date.
Blossoming Lotus rocks! It is in downtown Portland, OR, and I could eat there three times a day. Very delicious, creative, and lovely presentation. Enjoy!
By the way, if you are ever in the metro Atlanta area in Georgia, be sure to check out Café Life in Marietta. It is an organic vegan raw and cooked food cafe. Lots of raw food options, including juices, smoothies, desserts, salad bar, entrees, grab and go, specials, and food bar. Also has cooked bar, entrees, specials, and cooked desserts. Something for everyone. Yum!
Pam, Your picnic place doesn’t have to be outdoors… I was just thinking about a cool lobby of a nice hotel or on one of the top floors. They usually have nooks and crannies to have a quiet talk. How about a museum? Now, these might not seem doable to you, but I hope it gets your imagination “cooking.” :) That is great news about the chef school your assistant is going to! Progress!!!
rawgramma, Your welcome. Unfortunately, Cilantro’s website is “under (re)construction.” Cilatro is all raw/vegan. What area are you staying in? There is a new casual place that I haven’t tried yet that is called Lean and Green in La Jolla. They use all recyclable stuff and are organic. They are not all raw so there might be something there for all tastes. If you need more San Diego info, feel free to ask. Welcome to San Diego (in advance).
More great ideas, Bluedolfin. I’ll give it more thought. I had considered my favorite museum, but it’s closed in the evening. But I’ll put my thinking cap on! It’ll have to be special to get us off the comfy sectional, with the flat screen tv, the candles he always lights, and the sweeping views of the city. You know what? Maybe we’re just couch potatoes… LOL.
RCBAlive, I have a cousin who lives in Marietta and I keep threatening to visit her so I can go there. I’m going to definitely check out Blossoming Lotus. I didn’t realize Portland had a raw restaurant.
Rawgramma, yeah, I am lucky. And the funny thing is that no matter how bad my raw dishes turn out, he just hangs in there with me. I like Bluedopfin’s suggestion to make a meal with him. More training required!
OK Pam~ I think his place is the place to be. That sounds soooo great. What the heck are you doing in here… why aren’t you at his place? If you aren’t going to be there, I will. LOL
Pam, if you ever decide to follow through on your threat, let me know. We can try to connect.
You’re funny, Blue. He’s out of town… a lot. I think I just talked myself out of going out to dinner in the Chicago cold, though! Dilemma solved. Stay inside!
RCB, I’ll definitely let you know when I come to town. That way I don’t have to try to drag my cousin to a raw restaurant. :o)
Hi Pam, If you are going to be in Portland (OR) for a bit, you could also check out Nutshell. They are mostly cooked vegan, but they also have the most amazing live lasagna I have ever tasted. It is truly worth the trip.
When I first met my boyfriend (bluedolphin – NOT the aloe guy LOL) he thought it was weird that I was vegan thinking I only ate “twigs and berries”. Once I started cooking for him, he realized it wasn’t as weird as he thought and he really enjoyed the food. Once I transitioned to raw, he also kept an open mind, and although he still eats SAD when I don’t cook for him (like lunches at work) he really enjoys the raw meals I prepare. He never thought raw vegetables are something he would actually enjoy, but he really does. He has even started telling people he works with about raw food, has shared green smoothies and other treats with them, and I brought raw snacks to a party with them once. A few of his co-workers have even emailed me asking for recipes. More and more people are catching on not only to the fact that raw food is flavorful and satisfying, but to the health benefits as well. My bf talks about how much energy he has now too.
Point is that even if someone doesn’t start out with the same points of view you have, it doesn’t mean they can’t be converted!
Thankx for the good laugh Renoir :O
Kandace, I will only be there for the weekend, but my family lives in the area so I’m there a lot. I mapquested the restaurant and it’s pretty close to my niece’s place in Portland and I’ll keep it in mind for next time. Thanks!
Renoir, I agree wholeheartedly. Most of the people around me, if they are around me enough, become raw-curious. Only a couple have converted and no one long term but there have definitely been some positive dietary adn lifestyle changes. Interesting aside, I bought 10 copies of the video “Eating” and 3 of the people I gave it to made significant changes to their diet. My trainer immediately gave up all animal flesh except fish, which was a really HUGE deal for him.
I have never heard of the video “eating”... what is it? Sounds good if that many people were changed by it!
I was reading this thread earlier today, and I’m not okay with Pam’s comment:
“There is one seafood restaurant where I found a raw waitress who hooks me up with raw veggie sushi. But if she isn’t there, the ESL waitresses seem confused about what I want.”
I didn’t want to make a big deal about it, but, after thinking about it for several hours, I’ve decided to say something. I don’t think it’s okay to let this kind of objective labelling (“ESL waitresses”) slip by. I don’t think it’s okay to label someone by their language proficiency. I think that it is very disrespectful. I understand your frustration, Pam, at not being able to communicate your needs and have them met adequately. However, I think that it’s important to show respect to all people, regardless of their English (or fill in any language here) proficiency. I also think that it’s important to recognize that it takes two to communicate. So, if there is a communication problem because of the waitresses’ limited English proficiency, well, then, the problem was also because of the client’s limited Japanese proficiency (since it was a sushi restaurant, in this example).
rawgramma, I have another place for you to try here in San Diego, go to the greenery in encinitas, you have to buy our of the fridge case for lunch but they do serve dinner off the menu….I love the tomatoe and mozzerela sandwich…Chris is a great guy, I like the food better there than cilantros and its cheaper. enjoy your visit!
The Greenery sounds good omshanti~ I’ll have to take an adventure out there for some good food.
Thank you omshanti! We’ll definitely have to check out The Greenery!
rawgramma~ Now you have a few options to eat at when you are San Diego. Would your family be up to two raw meals? :)
Bluedolfin ~ Well…maybe. My daughter is open to trying most things, it’s our husbands that turn things down when it comes to unfamiliar food. My husband will try the sweet treats and smoothies, but that’s about it. Perhaps we’ll just have to spend some quality mother/daughter time trying out new places! :)
rawgramma~ Sounds like a plan. And if you happen to find a few items that magically jumped into your bag to share later… oh well.. lol