Eden: “Fresh. Local. Smart.”

January 2013

After the countdown and the ball drop, attention often turns to weight loss. Gyms and yoga classes fill to the brim. About two weeks later, the ellipticals are free, the yoga classes offer breathing room again, and old habits resume. A more positive approach may be a resolution to be healthier, but without a concrete strategy, the resolve to be healthier can quickly dissolve. If you live in Pittsburgh, there is one concrete step you can add to your health routine for a more successful outcome. Welcome to Eden

Eden Exterior

In their own words…

Eden is Pittsburgh’s premier restaurant for clean and healthy eating. We specialize in offering raw, vegan entrees, local produce and chicken, and Sunday brunch. Eden is a BYOB establishment and is located in Pittsburgh’s beautiful Shadyside neighborhood. Your health is very important to us, as is the health of our local farms and cooperatives. We want to do good for you, and do good for our community.”

Eden Interior

Based on the clean, vibrant design of the website and Eden’s mission, I had high hopes for a highly designed cafe and a healthy brunch. Unfortunately, the design of the interior did not match the caliber of the website. The space suffers from its basement level location, but lacking natural light aside, the space calls for brighter lights, brighter colors and more modern, streamlined furniture. As for the food…

Whole wheat waffles

Since I have a juicer, I skipped the many fresh juice options on the menu, but for those looking for a really fresh and wholesome way to start the morning, Eden has you covered. For those looking for a caffeine boost, Eden never leaves your brunch mug empty. In the spirit of sharing, my brunch friend and I split the Farm House Waffles and the Vegetable Omelette.

What makes Eden’s waffles stand out is their ingredients. They are made with local, free-range eggs, whole-wheat flour, housemade rice milk and brown sugar, served with real butter and local maple syrup.  For the gluten intolerant, there is also a gluten-free option.

Waffles for Sharing

The whole-wheat waffle and honey butter had me sold, but the “pile high” options ($1 each) were a little lackluster. With such a commitment to local foods, I was expecting the apple topping to burst with the sweet flavor local apples deliver, but these little chunks tasted more like the red delicious apples of grocery store ubiquity. I was also expecting the apples would be lightly caramelized, but they arrived raw, which I am willing to accept from the perspective of preserving the raw fruit’s nutrients.

Eden Omelette and Salad

The Eden omelette offers fresh vegetables, creamy local goat cheese and the assurance of knowing it was prepared with pure olive oil and sea salt.

All in All…

Design disappointment and minor preparation complaints aside, I appreciate eating at a restaurant that prioritizes health in all its details. I’d like to give Eden a second chance and try the more challenging and unique raw menu options, and specifically, I’d like to end my next visit with the Hazelnut Mexican Cacao Torte! I’d also love to redesign that interior! As always…will design for food! Let’s talk!

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