SmartMonkey Foods in the Portland Mercury
- The Portland Mercury wrote a full page article on
SmartMonkey Foods this week! Check it out online:
or read it below (minus food photo):
BABY, I LIKE IT RAW!
Smart Monkey Foods Do Vegan Right
by Michael Svoboda
Smart Monkey Foods
Ani Phyo, co-owner of Smart Monkey Foods, is the
perfect spokesmodel for the raw and living foods
movement; she's intelligent, confident, friendly,
athletic, and absolutely stunning. She is exactly who
should be pushing foods that are claiming to be
"anti-aging." Listening to Ani and partner Ede
Schweizer's story of how they made raw foods their
life's work (read the story on their website) made me
believe that a movement was actually happening. Simply
put, raw and living foods are foods that contain
enzymes, which are easier for your body to break down.
Conversely, all cooked food is devoid of enzymes,
thereby making your body do all the work. Living and
raw foods also have enormously higher nutrient values
than foods which have been cooked. For the curious,
every Wednesday night at Three Friends Coffeehouse,
the vegan raw food moguls Smart Monkey prepare a multi
course feast for anyone willing to foot the bill.
On the Wednesday I attended, I found a summer meal
like none I had ever tasted. I began with a dreamy
Cucumber Dill Soup ($6) served at room temperature
that glowed milky green against the white bowl. It was
an explosion of dill and spiciness with a creamy
smooth base and crunchy chunks of cucumber. I was
immediately impressed and tempted to lick the bowl
Between courses, I cleansed my palate with a purple
Blueberry Blast Smoothie ($5), served in a wine glass.
Its nutty vanilla bean deliciousness was countered by
a slightly sandy texture that led me to believe that
even the smoothie was adding to my overall nutrient
Next I dove into the Portabella Mushroom Steak with
Gravy entr�e ($15). Again this was served tepid--which
admittedly takes a little getting used to. But as soon
as the flavors revealed themselves, I completely
forgot about heat and relished in the complexity of
what I was tasting. The mushroom steaks were
thoroughly marinated, which gave them a fresh springy
juiciness. The gravy seemed to melt as I slathered and
dipped my steak in it. However, the real star of the
meal was the entr�e's side dish, the Brazil-Broccoli
Mash--a grainy bright green half scoop of raw broccoli
and Brazil nuts blended with herbs and spices to
create a truly unique substitute for potatoes.
Dessert was a Blueberry Summer Soup with Cashew Cream
($6) that had the consistency of yogurt or custard.
This was gobbled in minutes, and I was contemplating
asking for seconds, even though I was verging on
popping the top button of my pants.
If you're interested in trying one of Smart Monkey's
dinners, reservations are a must. The food isn't
cheap, but it's an experience you're not going to find
elsewhere in Portland. They also package some of their
dishes and sell them at local natural food stores,
such as Food Front and Whole Foods (where,
incidentally, you can find raw and living foods
cooking classes). Ani says presenting these meals,
making the packaged foods, and teaching the classes is
"all about education." What better way to change the
world than through food?
organic living cuisine
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