Urban Remedy, a Juicer’s Dream in San Rafael

Be smart. Drink Juice.

Be smart. Drink Juice.

While I don’t believe in living entirely off of juice (it’s expensive and you need more protein!) it is quite lovely to have a fresh juice as a pick-me-up instead of coffee once in a while.
Today I stopped by Urban Remedy in San Rafael to satisfy my juice (and chocolate) craving. I picked up Beam: a carrot, dandelion greens, burdock root and jewel yam blend. It tastes grounding, earthy, tangy and touts 1160% of my daily Vitamin A requirement.

Beam

Beam

Already preparing for my next impending chocolate craving, I also picked up a raw cacao mousse cup. It’s made with raw cacao, almond milk, dates, agave, and vanilla and tastes like absolute heaven.

Chocolate!

Chocolate!

Neka Pasquale, founder of Urban Remedy, believes that food is medicine, and spent many years in Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture before launching Urban Remedy in April of 2013. I completely agree with her philosophy, and head over to Urban Remedy whenever I need healing food or juice. They carry a few raw salad items and have a rotating supply of raw vegan desserts in the refrigerated case in addition to the rainbow of juices. Everything is organic and sustainable and tastes as fresh as possible, because it is. The names are cheeky and cute, while the back labels make sure to inform you of the various health benefits you will soon be partaking in.

Important Facts!

Important Facts!

Other favorites of mine include After Party (sweet and beety and good for hangovers) and Support, a green juice with apple, ginger, and fennel.

Lily, who loves Cacao.

Lily, who loves Cacao.

Visit Urban Remedy in San Rafael or Mill Valley.

Urban Remedy
1904 4th St.
San Rafael, CA 94901
(415) 755-4347
8AM-7PM Monday-Friday
9AM-6PM Saturday-Sunday

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Naked Wines

Last night, while walking down the bustling (bustling? since when is downtown Napa bustling?) streets of Napa, something caught my eye. It was new, it was eye catching, and it was naked.

Make sure you have your (back) portrait taken in the window...

Make sure you have your (back) portrait taken in the window…

NakedWines.com is a storefront that just opened up this week and had their opening party September 12th, and seems to be doing quite well. The sounds of dance music welcomed us inside before we even got through the doors, and then were promptly greeted by Michele, who wins the award of coolest/nicest/most straightforward chick in town.

The walls were adorned with banners of local winemakers who chose to skip the middle man (distribution!) and go straight to the storefront. Beautiful featured bottles lined the walls (with a rotating list of 100 wines and a hilarious tongue in cheek wine menu).

We are proud! And they are proud of their silliness!

We are proud! And they are proud of their silliness! (I am also proud of my wine colored nailpolish)

Angels (club members) get complimentary tasting – and they really encourage tasting a lot of their wines until you find something that grabs you. Michele had us try a variety of viogniers until we found the right one.

Don't worry, their winemakers won't look down on you...they are just literally hung above you on the walls.

Don’t worry, their winemakers won’t look down on you…they are just literally hung above you on the walls.

It’s tough to find free or low priced activities for the young wine aficionados of Napa – and I think I found my new place to hang out on a Friday night! NakedWines.com is open 10am-10pm Sunday through Thursday, and 10am-11pm Fridays and Saturdays. Awesome. Now, just because tasting can be free doesn’t mean we should all take advantage of their freeness…buy a bottle, for pete’s sake! Support them! But the wine is so good, I don’t even need to tell you that. You’re going to want to anyway.

And, It gets better. Drumroll…

As a local, you automatically get the Angel’s pricing (their wine club) with seriously deep discounts…even wholesale pricing! My friend and I both left the building, laughing hysterically, with bottles of Rose’ and Petit Syrah, for $8 and $12, respectively.

The Rose' that stole my heart...a 2012 Bahue Rose'

The Rose’ that stole my heart…a 2012 Bahue Rose’

They source wines from Australia, New Zealand, the Napa Valley and Argentina, among other places. Why is it so cheap? It is a customer funded winery, and the customers fund the winemakers to do what they do best – make wine! It is basically like a winery co-op. And I like that.

Is that hand NAKED? Oh yeah...

Is that hand NAKED? Oh yeah…

I also like the lack of pretentiousness here – the servers are encouraged to talk with customers, sit down, try wine with them, and enable a fabulous time for all. I must note that, just because it is more laid back does not mean they don’t know their stuff. They do. We talked tannins and minerality and bouquets the whole time. But you don’t have to if you don’t want to, either. This is a very refreshing change of pace from many of the higher end, appointment only, I shall not open the gate for you without an appointment a year in advance wineries. Thank you!

Go crazy. Get Naked. And get yourself downtown. Things are happening.

NakedWines.com

Visit them: 1141 First St., Napa, California, 94559

Call them: 707 786 6287

Onliiiiine them: http://us.nakedwines.com/

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Don’t worry, I’m not reallllly naked.

A Gluten Free visit to Bouchon Bakery

Bouchon bakery has always been a childhood favorite of mine – for years, on Saturdays, I would ride bikes with my Dad and sister to the bakery, getting fresh morning doughnuts filled with raspberry preserves or topped with little chocolate candies. As an adult, I would race over after work with a friend to grab the infamous T.K.O (basically a glorified grown-up Oreo cookie) or devour almond croissants with abandon.

Then I went gluten free.

I assumed Bouchon Bakery would forever be off limits for me, with all of its eternally traditional French and gluten-filled goodness, and I would merely have to send all my friends there to enjoy dessert as I cried endlessly from my loss.

Well guess what?

I bet you didn’t know that Bouchon Bakery caters (and always has catered) to the gluten free population…they have french macarons and Neapolitan rice crispy treats! Macarons are basically made with almond meal, egg whites, and sugar, which renders them completely gluten free.

Pow! I still get fancy dessert!

Neopolitan Rice Crispy Treat!

Neopolitan Rice Crispy Treat!

I I bet you didn’t know that their French macarons are all naturally gluten free…

Fig Macaron, Anyone?

Fig Macaron, Anyone?

But I bet you really didn’t know they carry a little something special in the back on request called “Oh No You Didn’ts” – a chocolate dipped macaron wrapped in shiny foil – all the flavors!! Dipped in chocolate! Dark or milk!

Chocolate Dipped Caramel Macaron!

Chocolate Dipped Caramel Macaron!

Did I know until now?
I know I didn’t.
Make sure you try the caramel flavor.

Visit them:  6528 Washington St  Yountville, CA 94599

Call them: (707) 944-2253

Onliiiiiiine them: http://bouchonbakery.com/

Bouchon Bakery is open 7 days a week, 7am-7pm.

Goodness-filled Foil

Goodness-filled Foil

sip

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There is a new place to get a quick detox in a cup! It’s called Sip, (their other location is in SE outside People’s CoOp) a juice cart on NE Alberta between 22nd and 23rd. I ordered the “Summer Breeze” juice with cucumber, cilantro, apple, lime, and substituted the pineapple for carrot! Service was sprightly and fresh, and even the juicer itself was polite. I have never heard a more quiet juicer in my life! I have always been a fan of fresh juices, but not so much of the pricing. Luckily, you can order a 12 oz or 16 oz size, which allows you to save a buck or two. Most juices come in one size and price only, which can be frustrating for the frugal and semi-hungry.

I am also a fan of the location. If you stand in the middle of Alberta street and slowly turn around, you can satiate every level of hunger: tea at Townshend’s (parched but not hungry), juice at Sip (in need of nutrients but few calories/probably just did yoga and want to continue feeling healthy), or vegan cake and ice cream at Back to Eden Bakery (totally ran for an hour this morning/possibly PMSing/cake is always good so why do I have to explain!?)The bottom line is: if you want juice, get it here.

Sip
2210 NE Alberta St
Portland, OR
7 days a week, 9am-8pm

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tula

A new gluten-free bakery has arrived to Portland (commence jumping up and down with joy)! In the building that formerly held the conventional yet not-so-successful Sweet Thing Bakery, now holds a solution for people with mean allergies and a meaner sweet tooth. The location is a bit odd – coming from the parking lot into the building, I find myself in the lobby of a gym for It’s About ME Fitness. If I had less self confidence, that alone might deter me from continuing on my dessert quest. It’s almost as if one has to choose between a workout (good!) or a dessert (bad!). I realize later that there is, in fact, a side entrance if you would like to surpass any hint of workout guilt. Already in the gym lobby, I ignore my conscience and follow a very small paper sign labeled, “Bakery This Way!”

Inside, I look intently at a shelf full of lumps of dough to find that they are loaves of bread and bake at home pizza dough! Both are vegan. To my left are two large cases of desserts and I am faced with many choices. Lemon blueberry tarts, zucchini loaf, chocolate chip cookies, brownies, and muffins glisten on their platters. Immediately I ask the barista how to tell which ones are vegan. He explains that each item clearly marks contained allergens, and points to some swirly stamps individually marked “egg, dairy, corn, soy, and tree nuts.” The stamps are so beautiful and artistic that I ignore them entirely, thinking they are a quaint illustration next to the dessert label, but if you look closely, they hold all the answers. I select a Lone Pine (Oregon coffee!) Chocolate Coffee Cake with a chocolate espresso glaze and a Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookie along with a soy cappuccino.

The chocolate cake has a moist interior and is very sweet with a deliciously dark chocolate glaze. I sample a bite of the cookie and taste brown sugar immediately. I love that there are not too many chocolate chips, but dislike the amount of sea salt on top (easily solved by brushing it off a bit). Unlike some gluten free cookies, this one is large, chewy, and not doughy. 

Despite the strange location near a gym as well as near a busy MLK bus stop filled with unfortunately dressed people, Tula is the ideal place to go for a satisfying treat or snack. They offer pizza, panini, salad and seasonal soups, as well as a full espresso and tea menu. The inside is clean and spacious, staff is peppy, and they have a very large selection of items to choose from, no matter what your allergies may be. After all, I can only go to New Cascadia so many times before I have the taste of their vegan cupcakes burned in my brain. I’m ready for new dessert options and here they are!



Tula
4943 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd Suite 101
Portland, OR
503 764 9727
7am-5pm Mon-Sat

love bite: Jade Teahouse and Patisserie

Jade Teahouse and Patisserie made a miraculous first impression on me in a quick two minutes. I meandered inside to peer at their selection of desserts, only to discover a platter of drool-worthy, golden sesame-seed encrusted balls of perfection. Assuming I could not eat them, I ask if they are gluten free, just for kicks. They are. I ask if they are vegan. They ARE. I immediately purchase one for a whopping $1.50 and run outside, laughing out loud, so I can admire my new treat. It is the size of a tennis ball, crispy on the outside, with a sweet creamy coconut filling inside. The outer pastry is made with rice flour, and has a lightly fried, tropical scent. I dip it in the small container of coconut caramel, take a bite, and keel over with joy. I’m sure the passerby are concerned – or jealous!

Note that the second image is blurry due to my newly blurred vision from an overdose of sweet sweet joy and sesame. Based on my reaction from only one treat from Jade, I am certain that a full review of the restaurant is required quite soon.


Jade Teahouse and Patisserie
7912 S.E. 13th Avenue
Portland, OR 97203


love bite: lili patisserie and cafe

Last night was my first failed foray into Sellwood, at an attempt to locate a fabric store. No matter where I went, the GPS red dot on my iPhone was always traveling in the opposite direction from where I was headed. The fabric store closed before I could find it, and on the brink of tears, I drove on, lost, in search of redemption. I found myself driving slowly past Lili Patisserie and Café and could not help but investigate my namesake. I walked in upset, lost, and hungry, and left impressed, beaming, and satiated.

Lili’s is special. This is the kind of restaurant you would want to bring your best friend, your sister, your mother, or your boyfriend. It has a welcoming charm, a non-overly fussy French interior, and incredible food at reasonable prices, given the quality and locality of the ingredients. I find out from the perky waitress with enviably tousled hair that Lili’s brother owns a farm less than a mile away, which is the origin of all the produce used in the recipes. Much of the menu is based off of this farm-fresh produce, and it is impressively tasty. In addition, everything at the restaurant is made from scratch, and made to order. Even the bread and butter is delightful! I am presented with an elfin-sized wheat roll and whipped butter with fresh herbs.

Inside, antique mirrors cover the walls. Vintage wooden frames and cookie tins adorn the cabinets, with a wash of pale blues and greens throughout. Even the floors are charming, with hand-painted drawings and words of kitchen supplies. A lemon juicer lies ahead; a mixing bowl to my left.
I peruse the menu of well-crafted dishes, and decide upon the gnocchi. Lili has the best gnocchi, hands down, that I have ever tasted, and I order a lot of gnocchi. Their secret – no potato! What? I still have some questions about the reality of this dreamy dish, but I do know that the dough is made with ricotta cheese, topped with a San Marzano tomato sauce, and set over a bed of sautéed spinach. There is even a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and grated Parmesan cheese to create utter perfection. The gnocchi itself is fluffy, angel-puff soft, and served with a spoon, for $14.

It is rare that I order wine at a restaurant (I tend to save the extra cash to purchase dessert, as I am an avid sugar hound) but I decide to order Namaste’s “Peace,” a Chardonnay blend, for $7. It has a slight effervescence at the first sip, and tastes of crisp fall apples – a perfect autumnal wine. I am even more at peace. The majority of the wine selection is from Oregon and Washington, and I love that they support local wineries!

I overhear nearby conversations of Cinderella pumpkins, of sorrel, of trips to France. The fellow patrons are well versed in the ways of dining, and they fill up the café quickly – the small, ten table venue develops a waiting line within minutes of my arrival. I am informed that the dessert case is filled to the brim with sweets during the day, which is also the after dinner dessert selection. I choose the lingonberry panna cotta. The lingonberry topping is tart, the panna cotta is thick and custardy, and served in a mason jar. I leave none behind.


I could not be happier with my meal at Lili Patisserie and Café. I left wanting to spread the word to everyone I know who appreciates beauty, local cuisine, and excellent culinary skill. This is a place I would love come to on a date…but I already took myself here on a date, and will continue to do so, until my boyfriend catches on. I hear they also serve breakfast and lunch. Blueberry pancakes, anyone? I will be back soon. Their winter hours are rather short, so make sure you check the hours before heading out to Sellwood. 

Lili Patisserie and Cafe
8337 SE 17th Avenue
Sellwood, OR
503-233-8844