Thursday, March 5, 2015

That's So Raw excels in humble surroundings

Posted By on Thu, Mar 5, 2015 at 9:33 AM

click to enlarge soraw.jpg

A brand new grab-and-go storefront has just opened in Jacksonville, and although the beginnings are humble, the food at That's So Raw is original, healthy and delicious. It might seem like a bit of a drive from Little Rock, but it's absolutely worth it. I took a quick trip up on a cold Friday afternoon, and the delights at That's So Raw warmed up my tummy and my excitement for vegan food in Central Arkansas.

Just off the interstate, the new kitchen for That's So Raw is nestled into It's All Good, a delightful resale shop and salon. Upon walking in the front door, I was immediately hit with the delicious aroma of curry and tomato soup. Before you ever see what's cooking, you know you want to eat. You won't just find raw food at That's So Raw, because they also offer a variety of healthy, plant based cooked food, such as veggie based stir fries and curry dishes. There are two white boards filled with the offerings of the day, as well as posts on their social media page.

On this day, I was bound and determined to try their famous pink spring rolls. I never got the chance to try them when they were stocked at The Veg LLC in the River Market, so that's the first thing I ordered. Everything looked great, though, so I stocked up on some more offerings to take home and sample. My coveted pink spring rolls were stuffed veggies and expertly rolled in thin rice paper wrappers. The key to this dish is the spicy goji berry sauce, which has deep, slightly sweet flavors and a decent hit of spice. This cold dish will still warm you up. Of course, I couldn't resist ordering the tomato soup, since the aroma wafted through the entire store and enticed my taste buds. It tasted as good as it smelled.

My next take home item was a mock tuna salad made from carrot pulp and home made vegan mayo. The filling was nestled between two dehydrated raw spinach “bread” slices, which unfortunately got a little soggy on my drive home. I would recommend eating this sandwich immediately after ordering, but the flavors were still good. The carrot pulp gave the faux tuna salad an interesting consistency and sweet flavor, and it was definitely worth a try.

Perhaps my favorite purchase from That's So Raw were the desserts. I ordered slices of their raw carrot cake and persimmon cheesecake to take home, and from their smell to their appearance, I knew they would be great dishes. The raw, cashew based desserts were both sweet and flavored great, and they were a huge hit to our guests at a dinner party we threw the next day. You can buy the varying desserts from That's So Raw by the slice, or you can order whole pies from them for pick up or delivery.

That's So Raw's new storefront, which had their grand opening February 17th, may seem like humble beginnings, but keep an eye out for all the great things to come. The delicious, plant based offerings coming out of their kitchen are changing the food scene in Central Arkansas, and they are making fans of raw vegan food out of the most staunch meat eaters. Their business has been growing and picking up fans in the short time they have been operating, and I'm sure we'll see great things from them in the future.

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