The Anti-Restaurants; Dining Out Goes Natural, Local and Fresh

The New York Times today profiles an emerging and intriguing cultural movement: "pirate" restaurants.
A healthy step in the right direction.

A favorite phrase of mine is "shelf life, or your life" referring to the fact that food with a long shelf life is dead food -- and suggesting you may end up sick or dead if you eat it. Another such phrase is "if it doesn't spoil don't eat it; if it does spoil, eat it before it spoils." Real food is, in some sense, alive. Preserved food, has no life giving force to it, just empty calories, preservatives, chemical flavorings and colorings. The only canned food in our house is wild caught salmon, wild caught sardines, organic tomato paste and organic chili beans. We buy these at Whole Foods Market and are fortunate to have a HUGE (and hugely popular) new WFM just down the road. Over the past ten years we have seen the interest in real food skyrocket as people begin to realize that what goes their mouth can have serious consequences.

So comes today's online New York Times with a front page story about a fascinating new cultural phenomenon that immediately put a smile on my face. Instead of going out to a restaurant, groups of people gather at someone's home, farm, or apartment and together prepare a gourmet meal from fresh, whole ingredients. Imagine, for example, real whipped cream instead of so-called "whipped topping" with a long list of unpronounceable mystery chemicals you find most places.

The underground or "pirate" restaurant movement, called "The Ghetto Gourmet", has a web site where you can obtain information about the movement, underground restaurant locations, and a large collection of food photos that are enough to make the natural epicurean's heart skip a beat. For starters, check out the Spanish Lamb Pops, also the Mama Mediterranean, and for the raw egg eating Rheo Blair folk among us, a visual treat with Eggs on Pizza with garden lettuce and local prosciutto! (Would like to have seen a photo of the cooked pizza, too!)

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Copyright © 2008 Charles Welling
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Information found on Rheo H. Blair: The Book is meant for educational and informational purposes only, and to motivate you to make your own health care and dietary decisions based upon your own research and in partnership with your health care provider. It should not be relied upon to determine dietary changes, a medical diagnosis or courses of treatment.