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Philly: Family, Friends & Farm to Table Food

This past weekend I took a quick flight from Burlington, VT to Philadelphia, a ride that takes slightly under one hour.  I have a list of farm to table restaurants there and had picked one to check out during my quick stay.  Delicious, healthy food and a great dining experience is paramount to the juicy life as we all know!   

The main purpose for my visit was to see a dear old friend who is going through a tough time.  Her husband suffered a massive stroke, there is family stress resulting from differing opinions as to how to proceed, and frankly, it is a scenario that is difficult to wrap one’s brain around due its depth, complexity and profoundly sobering prognosis.  I was taught more then a few lessons of human spirit and strength from my friend during my stay.  Her resilience and bravery, the dignity with which she is proceeding, and her determination to extend the same to the grim and permanent situation her husband is in served as a reminder to me that life is fragile and unpredictable, no matter how well we plan and what steps we take to ensure that our days unfold as we expect them to.  Execution of life with grace in difficult circumstances is extraordinarily challenging, yet that is what I observed in my friend.  Exciting and juicy surprises are welcome, however all of us are more vulnerable to misfortune than we care to think.  That’s just life.  Taking the health of one’s body and mind seriously and beginning to implement some simple, healthy choices may or may not ultimately stave off medical misfortune, but it most certainly is not going to increase your chances of receiving bummer news. We all have genetic predispositions to various conditions – but whether or not that gene’s “switch” turns on or remains off can have a great deal to do with your lifestyle.  It’s called Epigenetics, and I’ll be doing an article on it soon so watch for it!  Way cool stuff.

So if you haven’t found a lifestyle that suits you, one that you can really plug yourself into and enjoy, keep looking until you do. And do yourself a favor – put a timeline on it (preferably starting today).  Do your research, find a mentor or a buddy to make it easier. Create that support system.  My inspiration for the ketogenic diet/lifestyle originally came from the book Primal Body, Primal Mind and later a series of You Tubes I found.  Don’t put it off!  What you eat and drink, the quality of sleep, and how much you move your body are all huge factors.  If you identify that you need to make a change, get pumped and get busy!  Warrior spirit, people!  We all are hard wired with the ability to protect what’s ours and kick some ass!  What could be more important than protecting our own health, the doorway to how we experience every other aspect of our lives?!

Now, onto the fun sheit.  Mouth watering and healthy eats!  I had a chance to do lunch with my older daughter while in town.  I’ve been wanting to check out Barbuzzo Mediterranean Kitchen and Bar located at 110 South 13th Street.  It has built a fine reputation for using local farms and artisans from the Philadelphia area, thus bringing to its patrons only the freshest of ingredients and enjoying the farm to table movement that my home State of Vermont has become so well known for.  How would a place in Philly measure up?  Delightfully, I am happy to say!  Here’s a little snippet of dining experience.

Our reservation was for 12:30 on a Friday, and when we got there it was absolutely packed.  The restaurant is thin and long, with the bar running down practically the entire left side of the space.  It has very warm colors and textures, a mixture of wood, brushed metal and earthy colors.  The tables run two deep down the the right wall, close together but not so much that you can’t move your chair freely – cozy and comfortable, a casual chic.  And the place smelled AMAZING.  imageWe were seated promptly and the server arrived in a timely manner.  The luncheon menu was comprised of dishes with interesting combinations that peaked an already sharp appetite, as both my daughter and I hadn’t eaten breakfast.  We settled on the $13 antipasti dish with its rather large selection of delightful food buddies gracing the plate.  Here’s what we got: roasted and raw winter vegetables, roasted butternut squash farroto, hummus that is the best I’ve ever tasted anywhere in the world (I repeat – the world), wood roasted brussel sprouts which were absolutely divine, parsnip cauliflower salad, arugula pesto, eggplant caponata (amazing) and a selection of delicious olives.  For our main course we had the shaved brussel sprouts and apple salad and the grilled chicken breast salad with roasted and raw green apples, herbs, celery, walnuts, dates and prosciutto.  The dates and prosciutto were chopped up into little morsels so that when you got them in a bite they were just the proper mixture of sweet and salty.image  Anyone who has ever paired up bacon and dates knows how deadly delicious it can be!  We each had a cappuccino to tie up a very enjoyable and delectable meal -and to extend the much looked forward to visit a bit longer, of course!

Overall from beginning to end it was a really nice luncheon experience.  The only funky thing that happened was when I asked for no dates (not keto friendly) and instead just a little more greens and was told, quote: “We don’t substitute ingredients.”  Now, I could have pressed it but decided to make a note of that and pass it on to you and let you decide what that was all about.  I did enjoy the dates in the mix as the pairing of the flavors was exceptional…and, I left most of them on my plate as they’re full of sugar and thus carbs.  When I check out a restaurant part of what I’m doing is observing how things roll and not necessarily forcing a change from the norm to occur (unless whatever’s happening is truly heinous or egregious).

Another good Philly find in a neighborhood with lots of cool little eateries and boutiques.  The restaurant is also very well known for their pizza with its delicate crust and fresh, innovative toppings.  You can check out the place yourself at www.barbuzzo.com

 

 

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