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Very satisfying lunch at Manzanita in Oakland

veebee | Dec 1, 200504:04 PM

This restaurant has been posted about a handful of times. They serve organic vegan macrobiotic fare. The first time I ate there about 5 months ago, I thought it was just ok. (I'm a fierce omnivore and enjoy all kinds of well prepared food).
Yesterday though, it was stellar.
I ordered the moderate meal ($8.50). You can get a meal that is larger portions of the same items for $10 or a simple meal with just a few things for $7.

They started us off with barley tea and a really warming soup. the menu said the soup was mushroom, barley and vegetable. It was mostly pureed with small peices of shiitakes and little cubes of carrots intact and it was perfectly seasoned and perfectly satisfying. The kind of soup that gets better and better with each bite. In fact I'd love to eat some now with this rain falling outside.

Then, they brought a plate that included the following 5 items:
long grain brown rice cooked with tiny squares of beets
sauteed green chard with ginger threads
some kind of large whole bean that was black, but not turtle, with tiny cubes of firm tofu
tender chunks of roasted kabocha squash and potatoes (I always thought potatoes could not be part of a macrobiotic diet, being in the nightshade family, but whatever)
A little salad with a lemony basil dressing

Everything was perfectly seasoned. I couldn't identify specific spices or herbs but it was all ideally harmonious and each ingredient tasted like itself. A perfectly nourishing, soul satisfying meal that kept me full until dinner. Never have I felt such virtue and satisfaction from the same meal.

Besides all this, the people are kind and efficient. the food comes out fast and it's close to work.

Oh yea, skip the baked goods unless you're vegan/macrobiotic

Manzanita Restaurant
1050 40th St. @ Adeline

Link: http://www.manzanitarestaurant.com

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