Monday, December 24, 2012

Raw Food Express

In a previous post I observed that there are three raw vegan restaurants in Las Vegas.  There are actually four, and I'd like to do a writeup of each of them, starting with a recent visit to the Raw Food Express.

The first time we visited the Raw Food Express, it was strictly for convenience.  One of my children had a medical appointment that ended at 5:00 p.m., and the other had a dance rehearsal that started at 6:00  We didn't have time to go home to eat in between.  Fortunately, Raw Food Express was minutes away from the dance studio.  I called my husband and asked if he could meet us there for dinner.

Upon arrival we were expecting something like every other cafe we have visited, but there were some important differences.

Raw Food Express

The main difference is the way the food is presented.  I had explored the website to look at the menu before we left the house, and as a result I was anticipating typical menu ordering upon arrival.  However, this is not quite the way it works.  If you pop in on the spur of the moment you can select your food from the deli case, which is refreshed throughout the day.  Clients who prefer to order from the menu may call in their orders in the morning at (702) 992-0499 in order to pick up their food for lunch or dinner.

Chef Xavier

Another difference is Chef Xavier Dillard, who is the grandson of the owner of the restaurant.  Warm, gentle, kind, and passionate about raw food, Chef Xavier takes the time to explain the concept, and serves samples of the food to try before you make your selection.  By the time you are finished eating, it almost seems as if you have been a guest in a private home.  More than a chef, he is also a good host.

The food:  the flavors are very similar to the raw food that we eat at home.  Our palates are adjusted to raw food, and so to us the fresh flavors of deliciously combined raw fruits and vegetables speak for themselves. I'd love to know if newcomers to raw food have the same reaction.  My experience was that the fresh flavors exploded in my mouth and it made me feel renewed and energized within minutes of eating it.

The first time we went to Raw Food Express we were in a bit of a rush, so we didn't have time for sampling.  The four of us shared the spicy red bell pepper hummus, the crispy corn confetti salad, the mac "chicken" salad wraps,  and the apple sauce with cinnamon.  It was tasty and satisfying.

Lebanese Salad

Zucchini Pasta Alfredo

The second time we ate there, my husband and I arrived without the children so that we could focus solely on the food.  We each had a Lebanese Salad, shared an order of the Zucchini Pasta Alfredo, and topped it off with the Chocolate and Vanilla Peanut Butter Balls, washing it down with alkalized water and Chef Xavier's delicious "The Works" Smoothie.  The alkalized water was offered free of charge with the meal.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls, Vanilla Peanut Butter Balls

During both visits, our meals were delicious and affordable, and Chef Xavier was a pleasure to meet.  We walked in hungry, and walked out feeling quite full and happy.

Chef Xavier offers something called "The Smoothie Program." so that his clients can order fresh smoothies to take home in larger quantities.  He created his delicious signature smoothie, "The Works" as a way to introduce fresh vegetables into his own diet. He says about the smoothie program, "To maximize the benefits you have to do something on a consistent basis.  So people would come in here every day or every other day, drinking a smoothie."

Now he offers 32 oz. size containers that people take home with them.  They can put it in the refrigerator, and drink a glass first thing in the morning before breakfast.  It contains cinnamon and avocado, which helps control the blood sugar and helps prevent cravings between meals.  Drink two a day, with meals or between meals, for optimal nutritional benefits, and to help reduce intake of empty calories.  Eventually, after drinking a smoothie twice daily on a consistent basis, the palate will adapt to the flavors of the healthier foods, reducing cravings for sub-optimal "junk" foods.  He says, "Keep doing that on a consistent basis, your palate is going to change.  You won't want to eat the same foods."

He has several smoothie clients who are athletes, some professional and some aspiring to become professional.  The antioxidants in the smoothies help eliminate lactic acid in the muscle tissues.   

We are very lucky to have the Raw Food Express in our community as an alternative to unhealthy fast food.   We'll be visiting again soon. Go on in, meet Chef Xavier, and try the food for yourself! 

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So what do you think? Have you tried raw vegan food?