Hearing Anthony Bourdain a couple weeks ago doing his one man show, I was inspired. I wish I brought a recording device because he said somethings that I try to say, but I just don't do the thought much justice. One world view Anthony Bourdain has is, of it is offered to you, be a good guest and eat it. He has been to some poor reaches of the world, and dining off the grid with some families who don't have a lot to offer, but they offer the best to their guests including him. He eats everything humbly offered to him, including a lot of testicles of various animals, lower intestines, and various parts of exotic animals, wood pulp etc. One family slaughtered a goat just to cook it up for Anthony Bourdain, and this is a family that may only take one goat per year for a special occasion and make that meat last over many days. It is rude, and entitled to not take what is offered in some circles and many cultures. But, in the USA, we have freedom, and most have the luxury to have a specific diet. Some are paleo, some are low carb, some are vegan, some or locavores, some are kosher, some are hunters, some are foragers etc. That is the beauty of living in the USA, we can eat in any way we want, and we are not persecuted. I eat in a certain way when I can, I eat local organically and biodynamically when I can. I am a realist, and when I am on work travel in remote parts of the USA, and there is only McDs, well guess what I am eating for dinner. It is fine, I don't prefer it (except I love McD fries!) but I will get the food available to feed myself (I am not going hungry out of principle), and I am going to McDs and be thankful for to food to sustain me for another day.
So today at lunch, I ran over to the newly opened Sunflower Cafe (behind the 12 Oak Motel in 100 Oaks area) to try some vegetarian food. I had already has wheat today, and it seems that too much wheat does not agree with my gut, but one serving per day seems to be my limit and I reached my limit at breakfast. As I was in line at Sunflower looking at the bounty of veggie items, I was asking, which are gluten free, and which are from local organic or biodynamic farms. I became Anthony Bourdain's and my favorite chefs' (Tandy, Tyler, Martin, Laura etc) worse nightmare... I was looking for a vegetarian, locavore (within 100 miles of Nashville), organic or biodynamic, and gluten free meal. I was annoying myself too as I heard these words come out of my mouth! Talk about high maintenance food ordering! I don't tolerate this type of demands from anyone, and here I was doing it. Doh! Well, Sunflower can deliver this tall order of parameters. The greens all are from the Barefoot Farmer who grows organically and biodynamically. The cheese is from Kenny's a local cow's milk cheese maker. Most of the ingredients, if not local, are organic, and vegetarian.
The gig at Sunflower is it is a veggie entree and 2, instead of meat and 2. Usually, one veggie entree is gluten free, and one may have gluten. There is a gluten free veggie burger fresh made daily. There are plenty of sides and salads to choose from too. The other fun and delicious thing at Sunflower is the soda offering, oogave, organic agave sweetened soda fountain, not in bottles or cans. There is water, bottle water, kambucha, and Horizon milk and other beverages. The oogave soda is just so good. There is a ginger ale that tastes like ginger, there is a watermelon creme soda that is lushous, and there is a lime soda that I adore. I am so glad to see a soda alternative to the industrial varieties you get in other meat and 3s.
I opted for a gluten free meal including the veggie burger and quinoa topped with aioli, sauteed kale and a sunny salad made with local greens and non-local pineapple. The burger was good. It is not a meat substitute, just the shape of a burger. The burger had veggies, and sunflowers in it, and I really like the crunch of the sunflowers with the smoothness of the aioli. I really like the sunny salad a lot. It wasn't really dressed with dressing, rather the pineapple and currants added a nice sweetness to the arugula bitterness, a bit of a yin-yang.
I love Sunflower and what they are doing, and delivering dishes and side items that fit the bill for a lot picky diets. I mean, sheesh, they can deliver a local, organic, biodynamic, gluten free, vegetarian meal. Who and where would cater to that ridiculousness? Well Sunflower will and they never batted an eye.