Tuesday, June 12, 2007

HealthyWay Cafe review

Pedro and I tried a new restaurant in Jacksonville, Florida over the weekend. It is called the HealthyWay Cafe, and it hails itself as the first organic, all-natural fast food franchise. It opened in December 2006. I didn't have my camera with me, so unfortunately I do not have photos to share at this time. However, I thought it deserves some mention.

I am pleasantly surprised that the first organic, environmentally conscious (although still waste producing) fast-food franchise would be located in Jacksonville, Florida. But being that it is in Jacksonville, it isn't surprising that the restaurant falls short on offering a variety of options for vegetarians and vegans. The only vegan protein source the restaurant offers is black beans. Protein powder, which could be added to smoothies, is the only other potentially vegan protein source. But it doesn't say whether it is vegan or not; so who knows, maybe it's made of powdered poultry. HealthyWay Cafe could at the very least offer tofu. Even Moe's has tofu. But, even better than tofu would be tempeh.

Pedro and I shared the Healthy Way Vegetarian Sandwich and the Vegetarian Meal Pack, both priced at $8.95. Tempeh would have made the Healthy Way Vegetarian Sandwich much more satisfying. It really should have more protein in it, being the same price as the sandwiches that contain an extra protein besides cheese. I would also like to suggest that they offer a gluten-free bread or tortilla option. As for the Vegetarian Meal Pack, it was nice. It said that it comes with balsamic vinaigrette, but I tasted a hint of ginger. In any event, the flavor was much more mild than I would serve at home, but it did have flavor, and I would eat it again. I think that it would have been better with some of the chopped walnuts on top. Walnuts are a great vegetarian source of Omega-3's. It would have also been nice if there were the option of having the Southwestern Meal Pack with tempeh instead of chicken.

The other suggestion I have is to either call all of the vegetarian or vegan options Healthy Way, or call none of them Healthy Way. It is very confusing that the Healthy Way Sandwich is vegetarian, but both the Healthy Way Wrap and the Healthy Way Meal Pack contain fish.

Another thing I would be very interested to see would be nutrition information. And, for example, how does the Vegetarain Meal Pack compare to a Big Mac?

Overall, I was very happy to stumble upon an organic restaurant in Jacksonville.


Anonymous said...

It's called Healthy Way Cafe because it is HEALTHY since it is ORGANIC. Being HEALTHY has nothing to do with being VEGETARIAN or VEGAN...if it was, it would be called VEGGIE WAY CAFE or something of the sort.

If you want to see nutrition information, then get on their flippin' website. You can e-mail a company that will be happy to send you the nutritious information.

I love how after all this whining and complaining you are doing because you are a poor herbivore, you actually even dare to say how exciting it is for an organic fast food chain to be started in Jacksonville.


If you want an organic VEGGIE ONLY restaurant for you and your fellow herbivores...then why don't you do that instead of your mumble grumble about how HEALTHY WAY CAFE serves meat.


Kathleen said...

Thanks for the comments.

To clarify, I am not claiming that being vegetarian is the only way to be healthy. I totally get it that Organic is Healthy.

At the time I wrote the review, there was no nutrition information nor was there contact info/email address on the website. I looked. So if they have made those additions to their website, I applaud it.

I really have no problem with the restaurant serving organic meat. Most people I know eat meat, and I don't hold it against them.

john chris smith said...

Kathleen, you try to revive your review from the perfect rebuttal of the first anonymous commenter but you still fall short. You are still trying to say Healthy Way Cafe is wrong for not having more vegetarian options on the menu but you do not realize that it isn't meant to be a vegetarian restaurant it is suppose to open the eyes of fat Americans to eating and living a more healthy lifestyle.

I am a die hard veg-head who eats at the Cafe almost everyday and I have no problem finding plenty of options to satisfy my hunger.

On the menu it clearly states "create your own" allowing you to put whatever you like into anything (bean it up lady); the menu also allows you to substitute items in or take them out of the meals already planned out for you- meaning, you can take your stupid chicken out of the Southwestern meal pack and eat it like that or you can add another yummy vegetable (add more beans for your damn protein).

Kathleen said...

Hello John. Thank you for pointing out that people can make substitutions. That is good to know.

However, I will not accept any further comments on this post because they are becoming increasingly disrespectful and foul in language.