I recently wrote an article questioning if you can be social and eat healthy. The answer is yes at In the Raw, an organic, vegan, gluten free family-friendly bistro, juice bar and organic coffee shop tucked on a corner of Central Street in the North Shore.
If you wonder why to eat raw, here is a fantastic explanation from In the Raw's website.
Raw food is based on the principle that serving food in its most natural, unaltered state is the most nutritious and nutrient dense form of cuisine. It is a cuisine comprising of naturally grown, wild or organically, and sustainably raised fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. When food is heated not only do the colors and textures change, but you also lose many of the delicate vitamins and minerals that exist within the food. Raw food is also an extremely hydrating form of cuisine. When you don’t cook food, you don’t loose any of the revitalizing water. Although the principles of a raw food diet don’t always adhere to a vegan diet, In the Raw is committed to serving strictly plant-based cuisine, free of animal products in all forms.
In the Raw is in partnership with renowned chef Matthew Kenney, the world’s leading raw food chef, the writer of several best-selling cookbooks, a television host, and an entrepreneur specializing in the raw lifestyle.
My mom, daughter and I went to In the Raw for lunch and we sat outside, but I did go in to use the bathroom and loved the warm interior and juice bar. I hoped to study the complex menu, but the waitress came over a few times and I almost felt rushed to make a decision. I decided on a vegetable sushi appetizer, a quinoa macro bowl and a Liquid Gold (Spinach, Kale, Celery, Cucumber, Lemon, Apple) juice. My mom who was 100% up for the experience, but somewhat conservative in food choices went for a safe arugula salad and after some convincing the cranberry juice. My daughter ordered fresh squeezed orange juice and dairy free banana yogurt.
The sushi was exceptional. The chefs use jicama instead of rice and although somewhat unusual, it worked perfectly and didn't leave us with a heavy rice feeling.
The meal was fresh, flavorful, vitamin rich and plentiful. After lunch, I felt energized instead of in a too full food coma. The only negative of the experience was the high price point, but as long as the quality remains I am willing to pay for organic, healthy, tasty food.
In the Raw is located at 483 Central Avenue in Highland Park.