Green Restaurant Review

The taste buds like and the heart thanks

by Michael Oshman

rateful Heart Cafe located on Torrey Pines is operated by the Scripps Ornish Program for Reversing Heart Disease, founded by Dean Ornish, recently featured on the front page of Newsweek for his work in reducing heart ailments.

Their commitment to healthy good eating is apparent immediately on entering. This vegetarian restaurant features a beautiful salad bar, including a fruit bar with kiwis, mango, and strawberries. A dining room table displays heart-healthy product samples, geared to educate customers what on they can find in supermarkets which will be good to their heart.

My prejudice of heart-healthy as being taste-boring was broken with my first bite. I ordered tofu scramble with a side of vegetarian sausage. The scramble included onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, garlic, peppers and bit of spinach. Delicious. My smoothie combined blueberries, peaches, pineapples, dates, flax seed, soy protein and apple juice. Over half of items can be made vegan.

The food very tasty, and an hour after eating, I felt very good like the food was helping my body, rather than leaving me feeling lethargic and stuffed as I often do after a meal.

Jackie Geller, from the famed San Francisco restaurant The Greens, was our talented chef. Jackie takes pride in her art and Lou Ellen, the creator of Grateful Heart, has successfully made it a priority to provide San Diegans with delectable food which is good for the body and good for the planet. The service was prompt, amiable, and genuine.

Grateful Heart opened up late April as a Green Restaurant. Cafe-style, they go beyond what would be expected of them environmentally. Not only did they open completely styrofoam-free, using 100 percent post-consumer recycled, non-bleached napkins, but they also use full reusables in-house., including linen napkins. They zipped through 4 environmental changes in 2 weeks it takes most restaurants more than a year to accomplish as much. They immediately diverted over half of their trash into recycling, which will save an estimated 120 trees this year and will divert 25,000 pounds of garbage into the recycling stream.

San Diego's newest vegetarian restaurant has 5 months to prove itself to Scripps hospital as being a valuable asset to the community. Open 7am-2pm Mon-Fri, their creative breakfast and lunch menus includes black bean burrito, soy chicken burgers, taco salads, and eggstrodinaire omelets (98% egg whites).

Located at 10820 N. Torrey Pines Rd in La Jolla, they can be reached at (619) 554-4787. Meals average under $5.

  Michael Oshman is Executive Director of the Green Restaurant Association, currently with 50 Green Restaurant Members. To find Green Restaurants or help more restaurants become Green: call 619 233-GOOD.