Friday, August 12, 2005

Soup and Salad

On hot days, I find I don't usually want much to eat and often choose a salad over something heavier. And strangely enough, sometimes I choose to enjoy just a little soup along with that salad, just to make sure I don't get hungry again half an hour later.

Thus it happened today that I had two soup and salad meals.

I went to lunch at a pub with my colleagues after our meeting, and I had a simple tossed salad with blue cheese dressing on the side along with a cup of roasted garlic and onion soup. Reasonably satisfying, though nothing grand to write home about.

For dinner, however, the Art Lady and I decided to have an early supper at a place near North Market called Benevolence. And what a difference!

My Fabulous Aunt and I had stumbled across Benevolence a number of years ago on our of our missions to North Market, and while I was happy to find a vegetarian (vegan in some items) restaurant with lots of wholesome foods, I was even more thrilled that one of my family (raised on meat and potatoes to a certain extent) was just as happy with the meal.

Benevolence serves mostly soups, salads, and baked goods (with occasional additions to the menu), and they use organic and whole grain ingredients as much as possible. The result is very earthy food with lots of flavor and substance that satisfies body and soul.

For tonight's dinner, I opted for the East Indian vegetable stew, a curry-coconut broth loaded with potatoes and green beans and mushrooms and assorted other veggies, with a very fresh side salad and chunks of the fresh whole grain flatbread topped with marinara, roasted vegetables, and tofu. Add a Mason jar of iced sassafras tea to that, and you have a meal worth driving an hour and a half for!

I really admire that the mission of Benevolence, as well as providing wholesome food based on locally-grown or -produced ingredients as much as possible, includes supporting a nature sanctuary in order to promote biodiversity and environmental awareness. What they preach and what they practice harmonize more than I've seen in most businesses, and they serve as a shining example of what locally-owned businesses can do for their communities.

Two meals similar in form, yet very different in substance.

And I know which I'd choose again... in a heartbeat.

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