Organic restaurants turn fast food into great food

Are you in a fast food lunch rut? Have you eaten the same burger and fries every day for a week? Do you get the same old Caesar salad today?

You know why you do it. It’s fast and it’s cheap. But did you know that at an organic restaurant you can get a quick, inexpensive, great-tasting lunch that’s good for you, too?

Organic restaurant options abound in the East Village area. Many East Village restaurants, long known for being vegetarian-friendly, have embraced new organic food options with gusto. Armed with fresh, chemical-free ingredients, the chefs have created lunch menus to appeal to even the most dedicated burger addict.

Organic lunches taste better than fast food

The food has no choice but to be better in organic restaurants. Without all those nasty preservatives to extend shelf life, produce and dairy should be fresh. Some even have delivery contracts with local producers, meaning the egg on your plate just arrived this morning, straight from the chicken. There is nothing cooler than that.

Organic chefs are experts at creating great-tasting meals from natural ingredients. You don’t have to eat just another fast food chef’s salad of lettuce, cheese, egg and chicken at an organic restaurant. I could have a mesclun salad, stuffed with baby greens, julienned greens, crispy sprouts, and hand-mixed dressing. Do you feel adventurous? Try a salad made with arame, a type of seaweed that is delicious and rich in nutrients. No more blah salads when you eat your lunch at an organic restaurant.

Even if you can’t imagine lunch without a piece of meat, organic restaurants that focus on vegetarian dishes can still tickle your taste buds. Meat replacement products, those “mock meat” options that vegetarians turn to when they want BLTs and cheeseburgers, have come a long way since their introduction in the 1980s. Seitan, made from wheat and used by monks in India as a meat substitute, it is so close to real meat that some vegetarians do not eat it. Black bean veggie burgers are so flavorful that rib lovers have been known to forgo beef for a black bean burger smothered in sauce.

Organic lunches cost the same or less than fast food

“Okay,” you say. “It’s healthy. It tastes good. But I’m not going to spend $20 on lunch.”

You do not have to do it! Lunch menus at quality organic restaurants are priced comparable to other popular lunch spots. The typical lunch meal at an organic restaurant costs less than $10.00 for a wrap and soup or a veggie burger with fries. A similar fare at a fast food restaurant ranges from $7.50 to $11.00, but you won’t get as much food and you may guarantee it won’t be good for you. Cost is definitely not a reason to avoid having a quick and healthy lunch at an organic restaurant.

Before you grab another greasy fast-food cheeseburger, look around your neighborhood for a great organic restaurant. Your arteries—and your taste buds—will thank you.

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