Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tasty Harmony

I don't normally do restaurant reviews. In fact, this is my first one. But this dining experience was so fantastic I have to share with y'all.

I had been watching with interest the "coming soon" sign for an organic vegan restaurant in Old Town Fort Collins for several months, and I had the pleasure of finally visiting Tasty Harmony for lunch. The menu advertises "organic vegetarian goodness" and that's  a great way to describe it. They aren't 100% vegan but they are pretty close. Many of their dishes are also gluten free. 

Now I'm not vegan. I'm not even vegetarian. But I do really enjoy and appreciate organic and raw foods, which Tasty Harmony has in abundance. Another good thing: I asked the waiter where they sourced their veggies, and he indicated that they're working on a partnership with at least one local farm or CSA. Their goal is to keep as much of the food organic and in the community (local) as possible. I'm all for both.

The atmosphere is very welcoming. There is a bar where you can walk up and order from a large selection of drinks (whole meal smoothies with or without supplements, fresh juices, kombucha, soy or rice milk, various teas and coffees). I was pleased to see that there is no soda anywhere on the premises. I did not try these but I plan to be back at some point for a smoothie. Otherwise, you can sit and peruse the lovely menu while you are waited on. The menu, I was grateful to see, goes to great lengths to help the layperson figure out what some of the dishes and ingredients are. (I'd never heard of seitan, an Asian meat substitute, before.) There's a small patio section outdoors, too, but I went on a colder day and didn't have the opportunity to sit there.

Prices are mid-range. I'm quite frugal ("cheap") even when dining out, and for lunch this was a bit much, but it was a treat for me. Dinner and lunch prices are the same, and for dinner, these prices are quite reasonable. There are some lighter options than what I had, and even a kid's menu with the typical kid-appeal fare... just vegan.

Oh, and the food? Fabulous. You know how in most Mexican restaurants they bring you a bowl of chips to snack on while you wait for them to prepare your food? Same idea here but different execution: I was treated to a bowl of toasted seasoned pumpkin seeds. Yum! Nice touch. I snarfed them while I waited. Salad came next, and since I'm on a Caesar kick lately, that's what I had. Romaine lettuce with purple crunchy strips and a fantastic caesar-ish dressing. (No parmesan; vegan, right?) The purple crunchy strips were quite tasty and turned out to be gluten free croutons. A little bigger and I could have made it my main meal. (In fact that's an option.)

For the main dish I selected the Heart of Provence: "Cornmeal and almond crusted tempeh triangles over garlicky grilled polenta cakes and smothered in a Provence inspired tomato sauce." Yes, it was as good as it sounded in the menu. The sauce was absolutely heavenly. The tempeh triangles were crispy and firm, and tasty of course. The polenta was light on the garlic (I'm a garlic lover and usually say "more garlic") but were delightful, especially with the sauce. Oh, that sauce! 

I have to admit I enjoyed every single bite and savored each morsel. Afterward, the waiter asked if I wanted dessert. Even though I was there for lunch I might have been tempted, but I was well and truly stuffed! On vegetables! Amazing. 

Overall, I would highly recommend Tasty Harmony for anyone who would like a quality vegetarian, organic, raw food dining experience. Tasty Harmony is at 130 S. Mason St., between Bikram Yoga and Everyday Joe's, in Old Town Fort Collins. Open for lunch and dinner except Mondays.

5 comments:

  1. i've been hearing good things about this place, but your review might be just the kick in the pants i needed to actually go see it for myself. thanks. :-)

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  2. wow this sounds great, I'm going to have to come check it out some time.

    Hey, will will be in your area on Sat...coffee???

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  3. Just remember...seitan isn't gluten free--in fact, it's made from wheat gluten.

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  4. I have been here 3-4 times now for lunch with a group of 4-5 people each time. The food has always been wonderful, but I have to say this is not a place to go if your lunch is limited to an hour. Lunch usually takes about an hour an 1/2 even if you go close to 1pm.

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