Restaurants are a barrier for Real Foodies and those aspiring to join the movement. But it doesn't have to be. By setting yourself up for success you CAN eat outside your kitchen. Over the years I developed a plan that's allowed me to find a healthy happy space for enjoying my restaurant experience. While not throwing out bad habits or feeling deprived. And I posted a "brain dump" of my plan in Keeping it Real at Restaurants.
One of the tips I offered was to do some restaurant recon. Research to understand the restaurant's concept and practices. And hopefully you'll find a gem like this one 💎🍽😍
Here I am with my good friend, Mae Suramek. We're at her new restaurant Noodle Nirvana in Berea, KY. A truly heavenly place and a true labor of love for Mae & her family. With their company mantra to "Build your bowl, Feed your soul." Here's how it works:
Step 1 -- Choose a broth. Mae's mother created sinfully delicious versions of traditional Asian broths. All of which are vegan with no MSG.
- House special coconut curry
- Vietnamese-style Pho
- Drunken Noodle Sauce
- Spicy Peanut Sauce
- Pad Thai Sauce
Step 2 -- Choose a noodle:
- Rice noodles or glass noodles (Both are gluten-free)
- Zoodles (Paleo option)
- Wheat noodles (from Lexington Pasta)
Step 3 -- Choose a protein:
- Braised Beef
- Savory roasted chicken
- Sesame grilled tofu
Step 4 -- Option to add veggies that are locally sourced 💯⚖🌎💚🙌🏽🙏🏽
Now here's how you "Feed your soul": Mae also infused her innovative business plan with her years as an advocate for social and economic justice. Not surprisingly, they compost -- even the bowls. 25% of revenues are donated to the designated non-profit on first Tuesday of every month. They also pay staff a living wage so that ALL tips are donated to the organization throughout the year 💸⚖😇 AND see that wall behind us in the photo above? Well, Mae dedicates that entire space to promote the organization's mission and activities. So much good cooking in that kitchen. And I mean that both literally and figuratively. Mae, her family, and this business is one enormous class act 🤗😘
This year's recipient is The New Opportunity School for Women. Based in Berea, the NOSW empowers low-income Appalachian women with the knowledge and support they need to build a fulfilling life for themselves, their families, and their communities 👊🏽🙌🏽🙏🏽
So for my KY peeps -- go to Berea to fill your belly with some superbly divine Real Food noodle bowls AND nourish your soul at the same time by eating at Noodle Nirvana. You'll leave there with slurps of happiness and a huge dose of humanity 🍜😀🤗😘❤️
Kick Sugar To The Curb!
If you take the challenge, please let me know. I have received so much support and positive energy from you all. That I would like to return the favor 😉