My boyfriend and I decided to try a new restaurant in Scottsdale this past Saturday night called Nourish. I have been so excited to try it–my friend Jay from Foodies Like Us said it has a lot of vegetarian options. Jay said that he normally isn’t excited about vegetarian dishes but this one has options even he was wanting to try. Alex (my boyfriend) and I got there around 6:30 or 7 pm, and we were seated right away, but the hostess seemed shocked that she had a table available without a reservation, so it’s probably better to have one on a Saturday night. We both decided to have a glass of wine (wine is healthy in my book, in moderation). I had the Kung Fu Girl riesling, and it was the best riesling I think I’ve ever had. We ordered appetizers and did the tapas plate, which is where you choose four options out of their appetizer menu. We loved all of them, but the surprise hit was the Bean and Quinoa salad. It didn’t sound that great, looked sort of unusual, but wow was it great! So many interesting flavors! Our very close second favorite was the avocado and sweet potato salad. Also very flavorful but light and perfect on a hot summer night. The “healthy mac and cheese” was our third favorite. It was healthier than I thought, since it definitely had lots of veggies in it. It was enjoyable as a “mac and cheese” and would satisfy a craving for it, in my opinion, but then, I don’t have cravings for mac and cheese. Our fourth ranking in order of favorites on the tapas appetizer plate was the hummus. It was good but not as exceptional as the other three, or really the first two. Alex and I were discussing how interesting it was that we ranked them all the same. I think the tapas plate was $10.

   For dinner, I had a “burger” that was made of sweet potatoes and almonds.. and a few other things that I admit I don’t remember what they were. I opted to switch the standard side dish (sweet potato fries that are made by air baking and not cooked in any oil) for the fruit salad, which the description had said something like fruit with a “remarkably” good mint dressing. The side dish options were really great options–the mac and cheese from the appetizers was another I could have chosen, and the sweet potato fries sounded healthy (and good) enough, but I wanted to try something different since my “burger” had sweet potato in it, as well as one of the appetizer dishes. My “burger” was really yummy! It was substantial without being heavy or greasy, and again had some interesting flavors that blended well together and was really enjoyable. The fruit salad was good, and I am usually not a fan of mint, except stuff like mint gum. Oh, I had asked the waitress if the vegetarian “burgers” are cooked on the same grill as the meat “burgers” or dishes and she said absolutely not, that they are very careful about cross-contamination with allergens or with vegetarian vs non-vegetarian items. That was nice to hear–I used to order veggie burgers at family-style restaurants that don’t have many options for vegetarians, but then I started thinking they are probably cooking my veggie burger in someone else’s meat burger fat (or “cooties” as I usually say kiddingly to Alex). Both of our meals I think were $10 each.

     Alex order a turkey meatloaf dish with a side of mashed sweet potatoes. He thought the meatloaf was fantastic, but the sweet potatoes were good but were flavored with ginger and he thought maybe there was just a bit too much ginger. We both took half of our meals home, so it was a lot of food after the tapas plate. And, I will confess that I was saving room to try some dessert. We had the strawberry nutella pie, which we also couldn’t come close to finishing. It was soooo yummy! I highly recommend that, though a bit more strawberry would make it even a little better in my opinion. It was a quinoa crust with nutella coating on it, then pieces of strawberry on top with a bit of shredded coconut sprinkled on it. So good! And, really, probably not even all that bad for you! Definitely would prefer my clients using this dessert to curb any cravings rather than Dairy Queen or Sonic or something god-awful like that. The berry pie was $6.

    So we definitely plan to go back! Even Alex said we are going back. We will plan ahead and try to make a reservation next time… although there is an outdoor patio which was not in use this past weekend–probably too hot for anyone. That will help them host more people. I highly recommend Nourish!  

   Oh, one more small point. Nourish is located on the bottom floor of the Optima condos on the west side of Scottsdale Road, north of Camelback, on the north side of Highland. We weren’t sure where to park. We just parked across the street at the Desert Stages Theatre and walked across Highland. I think maybe you are supposed to park right at the Optimas? I am not sure. We saw signs for valet parking but avoided those as we always do since we don’t want to pay extra for that. Maybe there is parking in a garage under the restaurant, but I’m not sure. You might want to investigate that before you go if walking across the street is an issue for anyone with you. If the theater had a show that night, there may not be any parking available, too. If you find out more info about the parking, post a comment!

Bladder Cancer Info

August 16, 2010

I have a friend who is a wonderful person. She was recently diagnosed with bladder cancer. She said she asked the doctor why he thought she got this disease, since she is so different from the “typical” patient. She is a healthy, active, thin framed person. The doctor, who was a specialist for bladder cancer, said that there are three things he has seen that increases people’s risk for developing this disease. The first was smoking, surprise surprise, but my friend isn’t a smoker. I have to confess I forgot what the second thing was. The third, the doctor said, is dry cleaning. People who wear dry-cleaned clothes seem to have an increased risk for developing bladder cancer. My friend said that is it! She wore freshly dry-cleaned clothes every day for at least ten years as a part of her job. I have been using an organic dry cleaner for about a year now, and now I am really glad that I do so! Of course, I wear fitness clothes almost every day year-round, so it is rare for me to have to dry clean my clothes anyway, but I will be sure to stick with the organic dry cleaners from now on. Does anyone know more about the organic dry cleaning process? Is it truly “organic” and “green” and “non-toxic”? Even without being 100% sure they are all they are promising, I will use the organic cleaners for dry cleaning. If it turns out that they are toxic too, then I will not wear or purchase clothes that need to by dry cleaned. Any comments?

I have two VIP tickets that are for $1 admission and free parking to the Home & Garden Show at the University of Phoenix Stadium on August 6-8th, 2010. They are free to the first person to ask for them! Send me your address so I can mail them to you from my website, I promise I will never use your address for any other purpose. Enjoy the expo!