Sunday, July 11, 2010

Dear Michigan (The Food of Love)

Shakespeare wrote “If music be the food of love, play on.” Music is something Q and I both enjoy very much and I’ll write about that at more length in a future post, but the reason Shakespeare’s quote struck me today is because sometimes "the food of love" is simply great food.

I’ve mentioned a few times how you don’t have to go to some elaborate shindig to have a magical moment. Q and I had lunch in a quaint village park recently and it was the best time. We took an assortment of relatively healthy and quite tasty foods (like curried rice and black bean quinoa). The sun was shining and there were ducks swimming casually in the little stream that splits the park and we sat on a large wooden swing and, in some ways, it was as if we’d stepped out of our lives for a little while. Of course, the real beauty of it was that this was actually part of our lives.

As an aside, before I get too far into this post, I’m so excited about the fact that I’m actually out here with you (for the entire month) and the only way I could be happier is if I’m somehow able to find a way to stay out here and not have to go back to NY (aside from giving my notice of course). I’m still filling out applications online and am still sending out resumes, but I’m also delivering a few “in person” when possible. I know I’ve said it many times, but I just can’t wait to be out here full-time with you, Michigan, and with Q.

Since this post is about food, I want to devote some time to this awesome restaurant Q and I discovered back in May. Since then, we’ve been seven times. Actually, I arrived out here late last Thursday and before the weekend was over we’d already been twice. I think one of the best things about it is that it’s not located in some touristy town, but in this rather unassuming town that’s just very nice, a town that has a charming main street with several shops and a variety of places to eat. And one of them, called Mind Body & Spirits, is Q’s new favorite restaurant. Now, I’ll admit, my dining experience in Michigan is still somewhat limited, but this is one of the best restaurants I’ve been to in any state (and I’ve been eating for years now). Most of the time Q and I will get some groceries and make our own meals (she’s a wonderful cook and is passionate about food, especially healthy food). I think, in some ways, food is an extension of a person’s spirit, of her/his energy. Q and I have discussed on a number of occasions how the food we eat is also one way through which we still connect to nature, although many of us don’t realize that. In addition to food that is spot-on delicious, Mind Body & Spirits is also very aware of our connection to the natural world and seems, actually, to have been created around a deep respect and appreciation for that connection.

Many of the ingredients used at the restaurant are from Michigan farms (over half a dozen local farms at least) and most of the ingredients are organic as well. They even have an organic Pinot Grigio that’s so good. You’ll find an assortment of healthy choices, including some interesting vegetarian items, but they have something for just about every palate, as well as gluten-free choices which are harder to find in restaurants than you might think.

Q and I have enjoyed Raw Veggie Rolls and have gobbled up a few orders of Third Street Potato Fries served in a cone (even the ketchup here tastes better ). Q’s especially fond of the Calamari made from longfin squid and pico de gallo which I have to admit is an excellent appetizer as it’s light and tender and so full of flavors that work well with each other. Q also likes the Heart of Palm Salad. I recently tried the Michigan Beans and Rice which had just the right combination of spice. Now, just to give you an idea of how good this restaurant is, I’ve spent most of my life as a card-carrying carnivore. I used to actually avoid restaurants that seemed to focus on healthy, organic, or vegetarian cuisines, but I’ve enjoyed the Veggie Grain Burger here so much I’ve gotten it three times now. And if you’re not feeling the greens or the grains, don’t worry because, in addition to those great fries, they have a succulent-looking burger made from organic grass fed beef. I have sampled four of the desserts so far and each is absolutely delicious, though Q and I are particularly fond of the coconut flan which is light and flavorful.

Even the menus at Mind Body & Spirits are made with the environment in mind. But it’s not just the great food, it’s also the wonderful atmosphere that makes this the perfect place to spend some just-the-two-of-you time with the person you love. Whether you’re dining inside, sitting on one of the swanky sofas, or are out on the roof sitting under an umbrella next to a pot of sprouts or wheat grass or other ingredients grown on premises, you’re sure to enjoy this wonderful find. And don’t be surprised if you see me and Q there, as I have the feeling it might be the only restaurant we frequent for some time.

The main ingredient for love is quite simply love itself. Being with someone you admire, someone whose smile makes you light up inside, someone whose thoughts inspire you not merely to think, but to do things you may have never tried, someone who just by being herself makes all the good things in your life seem that much better. That's what love is all about, at least this love I have with Q. But having the right place to spend some time with that person, a place that provides ambience as well as great food, a place like mind Body & Spirits, well that's an ingredient for a unforgettable evening.
*photos courtesy of Mind Body & Spirits

No comments:

Post a Comment