Friday, June 27, 2014

Where to Eat: Get Healthy with Organic Avenue

We at the park are always asked by visitors: "Where is a good place to eat around here?" Luckily, the Bryant Park neighborhood is home to a wide variety of high-quality food at various price points, perfect for a leisurely lunch or a quick snack. In this series, we give you the scoop on dining in the area. 

You may have ditched your New Years resolutions long ago. The summer has a funny way of renewing health- or weight-related resolutions, as beating the heat means shedding layers. Organic Avenue, the "new kid on the block" on 40th Street, is here to help.

Located on the northwest corner of 40th Street and Sixth Avenue, Organic Avenue offers a wide variety of--you guessed it--organic and plant-based food, including hot and cold soups, grain bowls, and cold-pressed juices. The Bryant Park location is Organic Avenue's flagship store, and looks the part with clean blond wood accents and a greenwall.

The juices and "health shots" await you in neat rows. The tags on the shelves reveal each juice's ingredients and purported health benefits, allowing the purchaser to pick the right juice to achieve the desired benefit. 

For this tasting, we selected snack items that cover a range of cravings, from sweet to savory. From left to right, Chocolate Mousse, Green Love Juice, and Fermented Veggies. 

The Green Love juice is a salad in a bottle, with kale, cucumber, celery, romaine, spinach, lemon, collard greens, swiss chard, parsley, and pear. This green juice tastes lemony with just the faintest touch of sweetness, perfect for an in-between-meals snack that will fill you up but not slow you down. While you're at Organic Avenue, be sure to grab the little orange booklet pictured here, which contains detailed information about all the juices. 

The next item we tried is the Fermented Veggies, which came in a great reusable screw-top container. If you're a fan of pickles or kimchi, this is absolutely the snack for you. With cauliflower, garlic, carrots, daikon, green onion, radishes, apples, and cabbage, the Fermented Veggies pack a vegetable punch with a hint of heat--and are good for digestion. 

The final item was the Chocolate Mousse. The base of avocado makes this mousse a more nutritious choice than a dairy-based mousse, but doesn't taste like avocado at all! With cocoa, espresso, vanilla, and salt, this decadent dessert is a smarter way to fill a sugar craving. Plus, the cocoa nibs that top the mousse lend a complex chocolaty flavor and a fun crunch.

Organic Avenue is great for a snack run, but the salad, soup, and wrap options--not to mention all the great juices we have yet to try--make us want to come back for more! 

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