Wednesday, May 17, 2017


This is not the typical restaurant review you’ve come to know in this blog.  This involves an observation I made on healthy eating and sustainability while attending a weekend retreat.  Since I believe these two topics are inexorably linked, I wanted to share what I witnessed.  And it’s good news!

At this retreat, I volunteered in the kitchen.  I saw massive amounts of waste of both food and containers, but I pulled what I could out of the trash to recycle.  One of the main recycle items I rescued was the humble water bottle.  I pulled over fifty of these crinkly little critters from the trash, and then, on the final morning of the outing….we ran out of bottled water.

I filled a pitcher of water and left it at the beverage station alongside a stack of cups (I wish I could say the cups were reusable or compostable, but we’re not there yet).  I fully expected those in attendance to ask me where the bottled water was, and to mope when they found we’d exhausted the supply.  I also assumed the pitcher would sit quietly, gathering dust like some artifact from the 1950s.

But to my surprise and delight, the lowly tap water in the pitcher was poured again and again until I had to refill it – twice.  Oh, I forgot to mention, the attendees were young people, ages 10-18.

Gives me hope.

Monday, May 8, 2017


The Farmer’s Table Café is a must-stop for vegan eating, found on south School Street in Fayetteville.  Co-founders Rob and Adrienne Shaunfield have come miles in the two short years their doors have been open.  Their mission of bringing locally sourced whole and healthy foods to the Fayetteville community has received a warm welcome.  They pack in the customers with friendly service and delicious platters.

My friend Dolores and I lucked out and were able to sit alfresco, tolerating only the occasional siren or Harley which passed the dining terrace on this fine spring day.
Dolores ordered the A M Power Bowl, which promotes the humble bowl of cooked oatmeal to royalty.  Spiked with red quinoa and slivered almonds, and presented with a ruff of apple crescents and a mound of dices strawberries, you can eat your fill and feel
entirely virtuous.
Doesn't she look virtuous?
Good food never has the ingredient of guilt.
Not having had pancakes in quite a while, I was intrigued by the Sweet Potato Pancake.  These were fluffy discs of rich orange batter topped with sugared pecans and complimented by a side of maple syrup.  (To keep it vegan, just asks them to leave off the butter – and believe me, you’ll never miss it.)

I was allowed a side with this meal, and I know it sounds like an odd combination, but I wanted to try the sautéed local greens and veggies - kale, carrots, green beans and mushrooms sparkling in organic coconut oil, with just the right amount of salt and spices.  I called that my lunch and had the sweet potato pancakes for dessert.

Sweet Potato Pancakes with a side of sauteed greens -
lunch is served - and so is dessert.
There was even one pancake left over for a home meal. I try to remember to bring my own to-go container when dining out, to keep the Styrofoam epidemic at bay, but in this case, I just asked for the pancake to be wrapped in tin foil.  It made it home just fine and was already wrapped for warming in the oven.

Even with a companion ordering a second dish, I still couldn’t scratch the vegan surface of their menu.  Several items on the dinner menu are specifically marked “Vegan”, which is beyond helpful and right up there with thrilling as far as I’m concerned.  We are no longer foodie orphans!

My “next-time” options include The Garbanzo Burger, Spaghetti Squash with Mushroom Wine Sauce and fresh veggies, the Moroccan Salad and Mediterranean Lettuce Cups (substitute maple dressing for the yogurt mint on these last two) as well as the Stuffed Sweet Potato.  But keep in mind the menu for The Farmer’s Table Café is a moving target.  They source locally and go with what’s seasonably available, so the menu changes often – which makes your dining experience spontaneous as well as scrumptious!

The Farmer’s Table Café
Open for Breakfast and Lunch, Tuesday-Sunday; Dinner Friday and Saturday.  Closed Mondays
1079 S School Ave, Fayetteville, AR 72701