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Raw Restaurant Review: Cafe Green in DC

April 17, 2010

So I ventured out this evening to Cafe Green, a vegan restaurant that recently opened in the Dupont Circle area. While working on a photo shoot/ad campaign this week for the 2011 Ford Fiesta, I met one of the lovely waitresses from this restaurant who told me that they offered raw options. Needless to say, I got excited! Finally, a place in DC with some raw food options. It’s been tough being away from the INCREDIBLE restaurants and raw cuisine available in New York, that is so good it leaves you begging for more. When she mentioned that the menu featured raw pizza, I started craving it. Unfortunately, all of my excitement slowly turned sour once actually in the spot. When I arrived around 5 pm it was empty except for me, but people began to trickle in. No one was at the door to greet me, but the chef said hello when I came in and told me to head up the stairs. Being very perceptive about energy and the energy of those who prepare your food, I immediately noticed the energy wasn’t all that great in the kitchen.

Regardless, I took a seat and perused the menu and settled on raw pizza and the raw berry tart. The waiter was unable to tell me what ingredients were in the crust and so had to run and ask the chef ( a big no-no for any vegan restaurant serving people who are clearly ingredient-conscious). He returned to let me know that the crust was a sesame seed/flax combination.  Before the raw berry tart arrived, I imagined a delicious, obviously tart-like concoction with a raw whipped cream topped with berries. What I got, that melted the smile off my face to a confused curious grimace was literally flatbread with berries on it. I KID YOU NOT. Now, at this point, I know that the entrée is probably not going to be happening, but I go ahead and polish off the plate of flatbread which costs eight dollars, because I’m hungry. Then came my entrée, raw pizza, with a cucumber romaine salad, and kale chips. The first thing I noticed was that the crust for the “raw pizza” was the same flatbread used for the berry tart! I confirmed this with the waiter, and tried to hide my frustration with the lifeless plate of food in front of me. The “raw pizza” ( I must put this in quotations so as not to give other raw pizzas a bad name) consisted of a lifeless marinara sauce that needed basil BAD, with dried mushrooms on top and a yellowish cashew cheese that was questionable. The cucumber salad was horrendous, and made me want to run down into the kitchen and show the chef how a real salad is done in five minutes. It was lifeless, flavorless, and drizzled with olive oil and nothing else. The kale chips had some flavor, but why they were paired with a pizza, I will never know? All in all it felt like a meal of dehydrated foods taken out of a package and spread out on the plate. It most likely was.

After consuming the lifeless meal, I found myself unsatisfied and still hungry. When another colleague arrived she ordered a  kale mango salad, which looked okay, but the thought of the bad food combining made my stomach churn. She also decided to add in a thai vegan soup with tofu, veggies, and rice, and it looked better, so I gave it a little taste test. It was pretty good and had just the right amount of spice. This led me to believe that perhaps some of the cooked vegan dishes might have been safer—but I don’t mess with cooked food much, especially when eating out. All in all for raw food options, this Raw Girl is going to have to give Cafe Green an adamant thumbs down! Besides the great company I met and chatted with, I would never set foot in there again to order a raw meal. I left dreaming about the coconut smoothie I would make when I got home, and hoping that someone, somewhere, will bring a quality live food spot to the DC area. If not, I may just have to dust off my chef’s hat and show ’em how it’s done.

Dreaming of my own raw pizza…


– XoXo Raw Girl


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4 comments

  1. That’s really disappointing! Try Everlasting Life Cafe on Georgia Ave!


    • Yea…I was very bummed! I will give everlasting a try sometime soon, thank you. For now, I haveresolved to continue eating my yummy home-made conctions and to save my raw cravings for time in NYC 🙂 – XoXo Raw Girl


  2. I enjoyed reading about your experience. I was considering visiting Cafe Green today so it was timely.

    Have you been to Senbeb Cafe near Takoma Station? Every raw dish I’ve had was great and the raw pizza was superb. They do an amazing raw lasagne was well. Everlasting Life if great for vegan food but they only have raw salads (kale, spinach, green bean, other bean, etc.), not entrees.


    • Hi Nancee: No I havent 🙂 Thank you for the recommendation. I am never around that way, but perhaps soon when I am feeling nostalgic and need a great raw meal out I will venture over there! – XoXo Raw Girl



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