When I was in Connecticut a few weeks ago, I was fortunate to stop in Fairfield to enjoy lunch at “Catch a Healthy Habit” cafe.
While doing research on healthy restaurants in Connecticut, my mom and I stumbled across the website for the cafe, and were excited about stopping for lunch when we were in the area. First of all, everything is RAW, which to some people sounds terrifying, but is exactly what I was looking for. Although I lack the time and discipline to commit entirely to the raw lifestyle, I enjoy having a completely uncooked meal once in a while–it feels restorative somehow, like a spring cleaning for my internal organs.
On an unassuming street in downtown Fairfield, the cafe is small, but the windows, white walls, and light wood tables give the place a spacious, airy vibe. There were several other customers–two ladies eating raw “cereal” with homemade almond milk, (made right there at the restaurant) and a couple at a table next to us who were sampling several desserts. Two young ladies with yoga mats came in 10 minutes after we arrived, ordering juices, salads and desserts to go. Clearly it’s very popular with the local residents; while we were there there was a steady stream of customers, even though it was a Sunday.
It was such a novelty to look at the menu and eat ANYTHING. Usually at restaurants I am limited to salad, and even then have to make modifications, (“Can I have the salad, no cheese, no croutons, dressing on the side…actually, can you just bring me a bowl of lettuce?”) but here I had so many options, it was difficult settling on an order.
For beverages, I ordered a coconut water/grapefruit juice, both of which were juiced on-site. This is the BEST COMBINATION EVER, by the way. My mom got a green juice (kale and other similar “greens”) and we ordered a shot of pure ginger juice, which packs a punch.
After much deliberation, I decided on the Ravioli, while my mom ordered the Enchiladas. First we shared a salad, which was massive and topped with a creamy “house” dressing (I could easily taste the lemon juice and olive oil ) and other veggies. We ordered “guacamole”, which is was just chopped avocados, lemon juice, and salt–equally awesome.The ravioli, while not like traditional ravioli in format (basically the filling was between two squares of vegetable based sheets) and was filled with a delicious tomato paste that tasted exactly like the filling from traditional Ravioli. From what I could infer, a lot of the deliciousness comes from the liberal use of cashews, ground into a creamy paste that can be made to taste like anything. Not sure if this was what the filling was in my dish, but it was GOOD. The enchiladas were equally spectacular. All this with no grain! After the meal, I was surprisingly full–but not full enough to forgo dessert.
We ordered a mango coconut pie slice (me) and a blueberry pie slice (mom). It was more like cheesecake than pie, with the creamy cashew filling infused with blueberries, mango, and coconut. The crust seemed to be ground up nuts, and held up really well considering there was no yeast or grain. The filling was so creamy and sweet, it tasted like “conventional” dessert, (as in, that crazy fattening cake, pie, etc that is usually served in restaurants). In fact, it was almost TOO sweet for me, which is nothing short of a miracle. After being “on paleo” for a few weeks, my taste buds have shifted–now an apple tastes like cotton candy, whereas a “normal” brownie tastes a bit like cardboard spread with corn syrup. But the surge of unexpected sweetness didn’t deter me from finishing the pie. And some of my mom’s piece, as well.
I admit, we went kind of crazy and bought a few “raw food staples”. Not only does “Catch a Healthy Habit” serve as a restaurant, but as a mini-store for raw food enthusiasts. We purchased some Himalayan salt, a bag of grain free granola (it was $12 but so worth it) and some sweets to go.
Actually, I didn’t eat these as quickly as I would have a few months ago. When we went to NYC and visited my favorite gluten free bakery, Babycakes, I would get six cupcakes and between my mom and I, they would be gone in a couple days. The sweets above lasted about a week after we purchased them. The one on the far left is a “caramel brownie”, the one in the middle is a regular brownie, the right one is a cinnamon roll. The top right corner item is a cupcake. All of these were SO GOOD. Best of all, they were all raw, made with natural, lower glycemic sweetener, and made on-site. Yes, a bit sweeter than I’m used to, but do you hear me complaining? 😉 After all, this was just a treat…when I returned home I would be back on the sugar free diet.
Too bad I had to get back on the road, because there was an event that night with a raw food and nutrition guru. And sadly, I missed seeing rock star of the superfood and longevity world David “Avocado” Wolfe conducting his event at the cafe. My goal is to come back to “Catch a Healthy Habit” one day when I’m not on a schedule and participate in one of the informative events they have to offer.
All in all, my trip to “Catch a Healthy Habit” was very pleasant. The owners are very knowledgable, and patiently answered my mom’s questions on how the food is prepared, how do you make your cashew butter, etc. If you’re near Fairfield CT, stop by and enjoy some masterfully prepared raw food.