Monday, August 15, 2011

[HOT LIST] Raw | Vegan | Organic

These should really all rightfully be their own separate categories, but this ain't California and we ain't dreamin'. For a person adopting the raw and/or vegan and/or organic lifestyle, the options in metro Detroit are just a wee limited. BUT! They do exist, and that's why we're here, so here they are.

Photo courtesy of Detroit Zen Center, Hamtramck
1) Living Zen Organics Hamtramck
The Detroit Zen Center, in what is probably the most ethnically diverse (and more significantly, integrated) square mile of Michigan lovingly referred to by locals as "Hamladesh," is a residential community of Buddhist monks and students who practice the Zen Buddhist lifestyle of daily meditation, manual work and arts. Living Zen Organics is their on-site raw vegan cafe and store that is used to support the Center. They carry local and organic products and also sell their own goods at Eastern Market on Saturdays (and Tuesdays through summer). They're only open on weekends; check out their Facebook page for the weekly menu. The kale chips and their Sunday brunch are the must-haves.

2) Harry's Health Bar Livonia
This raw/vegan-friendly spot inside Zerbo's Health Foods store is a real find. Raw tacos, anyone? Wash them down with some "Green Energy:" strawberries, pineapple, apple, kale, spinach, dandelion, ginger, raw power, coconut water and agave nectar (the fruit overpowers the greens; it's much better than it sounds). All raw juices and smoothies are made with certified organic fruits and vegetables, and all other ingredients are carefully "screened and researched to assure you of optimal benefit." We appreciate the looking out!

3) The Treehouse for Earth's Children Farmington
The Treehouse is a health market that sells vitamins, organic bulk herbs, organic produce, natural remedies, biodynamic gardening preparations, alternative therapy books and other resources. They run Sunday health seminars, workshops led by health consultants, and have an on-site massage therapist. They also have a vegetarian deli and a raw food buffet Sundays from 1-6 p.m. Raw carrot cake, please!

4) Sprout House and MacRobiotics Grosse Pointe Park
An organic grocery store and vegan/vegetarian cafe that serves over 50 different antibiotic-free foods, including homemade soups and sandwiches. Order something fresh from the counter or grab something pre-made out of the cooler for lunch on the go. Try their Mediterranean Tofu Sandwich, packed with spices and leafy greens on hearty whole grain bread. For those on board with "the whole raw thing" but not on board with giving up certain animal byproducts, check out their raw cheese counter.

5) The RAW Cafe Midtown, Detroit
Welp. If the raw movement is going to gain momentum anywhere in metro Detroit, it's going to be in Midtown. The RAW Cafe serves soups, salads, sandwiches, smoothies, and all RAW (all caps, like the name, for emphasis). Owner LaKeta McCauley is passionate in her feelings that a raw, organic, vegan diet will nourish the body and even treat cancer; she should know, she went through it herself. She acquired certifications as an herbalist, blood cell analyst and natural health practitioner, wrote a book, and opened the Cafe where she serves unprocessed, untreated, enzyme-rich and nutrient-dense food. Everything is uncooked, organic and vegan; if you're a raw food n00b, start with their popular wraps.

Bubbling under  DROUGHT raw, organic, cold-pressed juice (Eastern Market vendor, Detroit) Inn Season Cafe (Royal Oak), Avalon International Breads (Midtown, Detroit), Om Cafe (Ferndale), Misho Juice (Dearborn), Mind Body and Spirits (Rochester), Cacao Tree Cafe (Royal Oak), Red Pepper Deli (Northville), Golden Gate Cafe (Highland Park, Detroit)

The RAW Cafe on Urbanspoon