Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Ode to Seattle and the Triple Bottom Line

I just had the good fortune of spending three glorious weeks in the Pacific Northwest. We were based in Seattle, as we had two weddings bookending our trip. One of these weddings was an incredible example of what can be done when a community of friends and family comes together to produce a sustainable, affordable, mostly organic, and delicious affair. In fact, this wedding was such a good example of a way to "party with a purpose" (yes, shameless plug for one of the chapters in my book), that it really deserves its own blog entry, and next week's blog will be all about it.

However, before I get too far ahead of myself, I want to extol the virtues of spending time in the Pacific Northwest in the summer, and especially the opportunities that we found to eat locally, even while on vacation. Not only were we able to eat local and organically grown foods when we did the cooking, we also found several restaurants and a chocolatier that use these same values when creating their culinary delights.

The first restaurant is aptly named The Stumbling Goat. I'll leave you to puzzle out why I say aptly, but I'll give you a hint and tell you that the night we dined there happened to be half price bottle night for many of their wines. The wine list was superb, the sommelier and waiter were knowledgeable and friendly, and the food was so delicious that I asked to take home a menu in order to remember every scrumptious morsel. The menu changes on a seasonal basis, and the restaurant uses mainly local, wild, and organic ingredients. In fact, they print a list of local farmers and purveyors that they work with on the back of their menu. One of my favorite taste sensations of the night was a cheese from the Estrella Family Creamery and bread from The Essential Baking Company.

The second restaurant is called Tilth, and while we did not have the good fortune of eating there on our trip, our close friends and bona fide foodies have dined there several times and highly recommend it. According to Tilth's website, it is "one out of two restaurants in the country to receive Oregon Tilth organic certification; (it) explores the experience of eating well and eating local through sourcing its produce, meats, eggs and cheeses from local and organic suppliers." Tilth is a food experience we will certainly enjoy next time we are in Seattle.

And for dessert, we discovered Theo Chocolate thanks to our friend Barndi, who happens to have a serious sweet tooth, or is it a chocolate tooth in her case? In any case, Theo Chocolate runs their business according to what they call the "triple bottom line" - People, The Planet, and Profit. They have been making chocolate (and a profit) with a business model that we can certainly encourage more businesses to follow. All of their specialty chocolates are organic and fair trade, and the real bottom line is that their truffles are some of the best I have ever tasted.

These were some of the many options we found for eating locally produced food during our travels. In order to find restaurants such as these on your next trip, you can simply do a search on Google with the name of the town you are visiting and the words "organic, natural foods, or vegetarian restaurants." As demand for this type of food spreads, so will its availability. Another great new resource for this type of product is a website, which is about to launch called It is designed to be a directory of organizations and businesses that are committed to environmental and social responsibility. Stay tuned to Weekly Way to find out when their website launches. In the meantime, visit their website to read their blog and to sign up for updates about their directory.

Until then, feel free to post your recommendations on this blog about organic restaurants and organic food purveyors that you patronize. After all, it is always great to discover where the locals eat, wherever your travels take you.

1 comment:

barndi said...

Off the top of my head, in San Francisco's downtown us 9-5ers are lucky to have Seller's Markets at our disposal. They have a seasonal menu and uses Nieman Farms and other artisnal, sustainmal sources at both locations. I hope that my almost-daily visits there will help them become a national chain soon. =)