Monday, April 26, 2010

Restaurant Review: Otarian in NYC!

Happy Monday! The start of the week is here. I have to get into work a smidgen early today (will it actually happen? I don't know?) so I can eat my breakfast before "THE TEST". I wanted to make a huge smoothie so I wouldn't be starved, or have to go in early...but I don't think it's happening. How will I drink my coffee AND my smoothie at the same time and NOT have to go to the bathroom 17 times during the administration of the test??? Any tips??

Yesterday we went to Otarian in the city (154 Bleecker St, on the courner of Thompson) courtesy of FoodBuzz (thanks!) It's not really hard to get me into the city, especially when you are right near Crate and Barrel and JCREW. I was so interested to see what it was all about because after creeping around on their website, it certainly looked right up my alley. It is a vegetarian, healthy restaurant that makes it easy and delicious to go meat-less.  I'm going to break it down because I feel it will be easier for you to get an idea of the restaurant that way.

Otarian's vision is based on the restaurant owner's dream of a sustainable planet. Rather than me restating the owner's vision, read it below, and click over to the website to read the full vision.

One of the main contributors to global environmental degradation is the livestock industry. The effects of large-scale meat production are wide-spread and impact unsustainably on almost all aspects of the environment whilst creating other economic and social costs.  The Otarian menu is completely meat-free, a delicious range of vegetarian options that eliminate the negative effects of livestock production whilst providing nourishment. Each and every individual consuming an Otarian meal makes a small but meaningful difference to the planet and all its inhabitants.  Otarian’s goal is to provide guests with delicious vegetarian alternatives and, in so doing, to empower them to make a positive impact on the environment one meal at a time.  (source)  
 I'm sure this guy was thrilled I was taking pictures while he ate...I was pretty sly and I don't think he knew.

Otarian has a very lively, upbeat atmosphere. The people who worked there were very friendly and knew the menu well. The seats and tables were comfortable and everything was extremely neat and clean. There was music playing that was upbeat, but not too loud. There also was a large TV that had video going about the effects of carbon on the environment. 

avocado, tomato, mozzarella salad with pesto dressing
vege burger on whole wheat bun with avocado, tomatoes, lettuce and cheese
bean tacos with a whole lot of toppings
pea o spinach soup (vegan)
It was really hard to choose what to order because everything sounded SO good. I asked a bunch of questions and the people who worked there were very knowledgeable about the menu. Danny and I decided to split all of the food pictured above and they threw in the soup. Everything was SO fresh and delicious. It also was ready extremely fast. It definitely has the idea of fast food, but Otarian takes it to a new level with health, taste, freshness and variety. Both of our favorites were the tacos, but everything really was great. There really is something for everyone on the menu, ranging from wraps, burgers, salads, entrees, soups and desserts.

The only thing I could say that I didn't like was the idea that there was soda there. I think they probably had soda because they are trying to make the restaurant for everyone and don't want to detract people because of drinks. I get why they had it, but I just felt like it didn't go with the restaurant. I would have like to see a bigger selection of seltzers or teas. 

I thought the entire experience was great. I loved that it was quick, easy and inexpensive. I love how it is meatless and you feel like you are helping out the environment by eating there. I also really like that they compost. It's like a regular garbage bin, but it's for composting. Even the packaging is compost-able!  Also almost everything in the restaurant is made from recycled material and a lot of the colorful decor is made from newspaper, you can tell if you look close!
Otarian just has a great message and it's all over the packaging too.

Danny and I really thought this is a great lunch option for anyone, even families. There were a couple of families there, enjoying the food while we were there. You get a huge bang for your buck and with all the options and variety you really can't go wrong, meat-lover, vegetarian, vegan, if you are a food-lover you will love Otarian! Thank you to Foodbuzz and Otarian for having us! 

Okay I'm off to day one of English Language Arts testing! Wish me the students luck!


Christie {Honoring Health} said...

Good luck to your students!!

Claudia said...

Love the Baskets on the wall!!
that Bean taco looks really yummy.
thanks for the review!!

Erica said...

This looks like such a fun place. I wanna go there now haha! Have a great Monday!

Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen said...

I will have to try that place out the next time I am in NY! Thanks for the review. Good luck today. I have no idea how you are not going to have to go to the bathroom...I would have to go wa more that 17 times!

Christine said...

That place looks amazing! Finally fast good that is healthy for you!

And give up on the bathroom thing you know you're gunna go 19 times.

pegasuslegend said...

love love love the salad all the pictures are wonderful thanks for sharing!

Kelly @ Healthy Living With Kelly said...

What a fun place! Goodluck on the test!!

Travel Eat Love said...

What a delicious meal! I don't have advice for you on the whole bathroom thing. I am a huge water drinker and usually can not even make it through a meeting without leaving the room. It's healthy!!! said...

what a great restaurant!

Christine @ Grub, Sweat and Cheers said...

What a fantastic looking place. I hope other restaurants are taking note. I'd love to have something locally like that. Lucky you!

whataboutsummer said...

it is definitely getting high marks for aesthetics! it looks great

Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) said...

still just in love with the layout

the restaurant looks fun! love their eco-friendly stance!

tiffany( said...

that looks like fun, guilt free and delicious!

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