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Posts Tagged ‘Whole Foods’

I never thought I would spend much time in Wichita, Kansas. It just wasn’t a place that was on my radar. However, in the last two years I have found myself in circumstances that have required a few extended stays there.

My first visit to Wichita was over a weekend and included a Saturday visit to a diner, an airshow, a wine bar and a club. By Sunday I felt like I had done it all and after a wander in a more than dead downtown, I gave up and spent the rest of the day watching HBO.

However, a few more visits had me scratching beneath the surface and finding a community friendly to an admittedly hippie soul like mine. Here’s what I found so that on your next visit you can skip the HBO and hit the ground running.

Food and Cafes

While a few restaurants and cafes offer vegetarian or a “healthier” option somewhere on the menu (examples Public or Anchor) I found the real standouts to come down to Lotus Leaf Cafe and The Garden Grill. Both are located downtown and have hours that vary during the day with Lotus Leaf closing early some days and Garden Grill closing for dinner completely on some days. I suggest checking the website before heading that way. Garden Grill’s menu is strictly vegan and there’s often a buffet but I find ordering off the menu preferable. Lotus Leaf offers plentiful vegan and vegetarian options with meat options interspersed on the menu, making it easy to convince a carnivore to come with you if they are hesitant. Both have amazing smoothies and juices.

Speaking of juices and smoothies, I would be amiss to mention that Wichita now has it’s very own Whole Foods on the east side of town. I arrived in Wichita after a few days in Austin, Texas, where Whole Foods is headquartered, and I can’t say that the Whole Foods in Wichita is comparable in item selection to stores in say Austin or Denver, but it does offer a decent takeout selection and loads of other options.

If you are just looking for groceries (and perhaps you are a bit disgruntled at the Whole Foods scene), The Natural Grocer has been around a while in Wichita. Their takeout selection is not so great, but you can get all the yummy groceries and supplements your heart desires!

Yoga Studios

All that food got you geared up for a nice stretch? I hope so because holy crap, yoga classes in Wichita only cost about $10 US a session. Do you know how much they cost in Singapore? Anywhere from 25 to 55 Singapore dollars (that’s $18 to $40 US).

My previous trips to Wichita have had me spending a lot of time with Adrian and Whitney at Siva Yoga. Formerly located downtown, you can now find them in the just east of central neighborhood of College Park. While I enjoyed their flowy classes in a warmish 80 to 85 degree room in the past, this trip I was second trimester pregnant and the thought of being in a heated room, even if it wasn’t Bikram hot, made me want to gag. (Listen to your body, yo!)

This led me to the even more east of central studio, Central Yoga, which is named after it’s location on Central Avenue. First, I hit up the community acupuncture sessions which cost a mere $15. The sessions are drop in, so you don’t have to be exactly on time for Dr. Vicki Dukes, DC to align your qi with her tiny little needles. I left floating on air, came back the next day for a fantastic aligned flow class with Keriann and later that week for an awesome prenatal class with the very knowledgeable Sally Beckett. If you are more into alignment than warm flow, Central Yoga is a great option.

Shopping

If you’re looking to do some shopping, I’d skip the often bragged about Bradley Fair and check out Watermark Books, an independent book store in College Park and RELove, a shop on Woodlawn that sales repurposed furniture and also holds classes to teach you how to repurpose a great find yourself.

Outdoors

While I can’t say I spent much time in nature while in Wichita, I can say that the river area through downtown is nicely kept and good for a stroll or run.

Live music

Live music seemed to radiate from bars and restaurants downtown in the summer evenings. Try Oeno Wine Bar for a start with relaxed jams while you sip a Pinot.

That’s all I have for now on Wichita. Got a secret tip? Let me know in the comments. xx

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Photo Courtesy of Saf Restaurant and Bar

http://www.safrestaurant.co.uk

152-154 Curtain Road
Shoreditch London EC2A 3AT
+44.20.76130007

The Barkers Building 1st Floor
London, UK W8 5SE
+44.20.73634555

After hearing loads about Saf, a top end vegan and raw food specializing restaurant, I decided I had to try it.

I was meeting my architect friend, Ryan, near Kensington High Street for lunch and remembered that the restaurant was on the top floor of the  Whole Foods just down the street. I suggested we check it out.

I could tell that Ryan was a little weirded out. I lived mere blocks from the flagship Whole Foods in Austin, Texas for years and would often drop in to the restaurants dotted throughout the store. It had become a quite normal way to dine, but I could see that the concept was uncomfortable to Ryan and I began rethinking bringing an architect there. This was understandably so. The flagship Whole Foods in Austin integrates the restaurants into the store giving their presence an organic and natural feel while the one in Kensington corals them onto the top floor. While the interior design is modern, sleek and nice, you can’t escape the disappointing vibe of an indoor shopping mall food court.

I dismissed the disappointment when the server arrived with the menus. Oh my,  everything sounded amazing. The smoothies and drink section were a vegan foodie dream. The menu was dotted with mentions of cashew butter, tempeh, greens, mushrooms and other plant based treats.

After some deliberation, Ryan chose the Buddha Plate and I went with the lunch special of wild mushroom crepes. When our food arrived, the server made sure to explain all of the different items on Ryan’s plate. I can see how someone who isn’t used to eating this particular way could find items like kimchee intimidating. Luckily, Ryan is a cultured and open minded dude. He was totally game. I didn’t hesitate to chow down. In fact, I finished every single bite of my plate and even entertained the dessert menu.

Wild Mushroom Crepes

We decided to skip dessert in the end. The dessert and smoothies will definitely give me something to come back for, although next time I’ll visit the actual restaurant near Old Street. Perhaps I’ll treat myself to one of their Monday through Saturday £19.50 3 course lunches or a vegan Sunday roast.

Bottom Line-

Saf delivers amazing vegan and raw food.  For a quick pop-in, Whole Foods will do. If you have the time and money, consider visiting the actual restaurant.

Saf on Urbanspoon

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