Ecopolitan in Minneapolis & Eli’s Earth Bars

ecopolitan exteriorAs I mentioned in my review of Upton’s Naturals, I had an overnight visit to the Minneapolis/St. Paul area recently for a friend’s beautiful wedding.  I wasn’t in the city for long, but while I was there, I was able to re-visit the vegan Athenas pizza at Pizza Luce for dinner.  After the wedding the next day, I had just enough time for a late lunch before heading out of town.

Raw restaurants are few and far between in the Midwest, and so I headed to Ecopolitan, an organic, raw, vegan restaurant in Uptown in Minneapolis.  If you come to a restaurant with a sign for colon hydrotherapy out front, you’ve found the place…

The restaurant is in a large, airy space with big windows, wood floors, and an eclectic array of local art hanging on the walls.  There’s also a small room with a counter for ordering freshly made juices, purchasing cookbooks, and food to go.

ecopolitan doorI grabbed a small table near the kitchen and perused the menu.  I started with Grandma’s Garden, a juice combination made with carrot, tomato, celery, and garlic.  I ordered a small size, but the server accidentally made a large.  More juice for me!

carrot tomato juiceThe juice tasted like a liquid version of homemade salsa in the best possible way.  I’ve never added garlic to my juices at home, but it added a savory depth that I really enjoyed.  Plus, there should be some side benefits to dining alone, and I’d say feeling comfortable ordering garlic juice is one of them!

raw taco pizzaFor lunch, I ordered the raw taco pizza.  As a long-time fan of raw pizza and an even longer fan of taco pizza, it was a no brainer.  The pizza was served in slices, with the option of ordering one slice or two.  I was feeling pretty hungry, and so I went with two.  It ends up that I could have easily just ordered one; although, I wasn’t sad about having leftovers the next day.

The pizza was topped with lentil taco meat, bell peppers, onions, and cilantro.  Macadamia-cashew cheese was drizzled on top with a very tangy cashew sour cream and hot sauce.  It was served with raspberries and a ball of sprouts.  The pizza had a good kick of spiciness that blended nicely with the cool sour cream that was true to its name.

wedge co-op in minneapolisAfter lunch, I stopped at the nearby co-op, The Wedge.  It has a big deli area, bulk and produce sections, and a sizable make-up and beauty counter.  Perhaps best of all, they had my favorite candy bar in stock!  It’s not an easy one to find, and so I stocked up while I was there.

dream big bar

eli's earth dream big barEli’s Earth Bars are made by Sjaak’s.  The bars are organic and fair trade.  They come in several different flavors, but my personal favorite is the Dream Big Bar, which is kind of like a vegan Baby Ruth bar.  It’s made with chewy peanut caramel, peanut butter, and roasted salted peanuts.  Then it’s coated in dairy-free milk chocolate.  The gooey caramel with creamy chocolate and crunchy peanuts make it tops for me.

tardis carOn my way out of the Wedge, I noticed this awesome car!  In case you don’t follow Doctor Who (Get on it already!), the car is the same color and has the same sign as the Doctor’s time traveling machine called the TARDIS, which looks like a British Police Box.

handmade tom baker mug from doctor whoWhich reminds me of one last thing!  I’ve been wanting to share my newest favorite creation, a mug that I hand-built to look like the costume of the fourth Doctor Who, Tom Baker.   I’m not selling this one in my pottery shop since I’m working on my goal of making all of the Doctor’s costumes in mug form for my own collection.  However, at some point I do plan on making more!

handmade peter davison mug from doctor whoSo far, in addition to Tom Baker, for my collection I’ve made Peter Davison (above) and Matt Smith.  I’ve made more Matt Smith mugs, and you can find them in my Olive Pit Pottery shop on Etsy, in addition to a Matt Smith-inspired wine bottle holder.


    • says

      The kale nachos looked really tempting too, but they were all out of the cheese for it. It’s definitely a restaurant I’ll want to visit again!

      Isn’t that car cool? I knew you’d like it!

  1. says

    That is my favorite area of Minneapolis! The Eco is delish (I’m a big fan of the lasagna!) and YES to Pizza Luce – always :) Next time you’re in town let me know – we’ll have to get together!

    • says

      I’ll have to remember to try their lasagna the next time I get the opportunity! And oh, my gosh, that pizza at Pizza Luce would definitely go on a list of my top 10 favorite pizzas.

      I’ll let you know the next time I visit! It would be fun to get together!

  2. cookeasyvegan says

    I’ve never had an Eli’s Dream Bar but considering Baby Ruth was the only candy bar I ever liked, I think I should go find one. Sjaak’s peanut butter cups are sold at Vegan Haven, our local vegan store — I should see if they also have dream bars. Love your growing mug collection!

    • says

      Do it, Andrea! There are plenty of good vegan candy bars out there, but this one really is something special. Plus, if you liked Baby Ruth, you’re sure to love it. I can’t tell you how bummed David and I were when we ran out of them!

      Thanks! Our mug area is getting pretty snug. Pretty soon I’ll only have rooms for handmade mugs! :)

    • says

      One Christmas we received a box of Sjaak’s chocolates, and I fell in love with them instantly. I think their candy bars really are a cut above the rest. They’re hard to find, but worth the search!

    • says

      You should check it out! I don’t know what your TV tastes are like, but I’m generally not into science fiction. However, there are such great characters and relationships. There’s something for everyone.

  3. says

    I wish every town of, say, 25,000 or more should have at least one vegan cafe with funky artwork and maybe live music sometimes and a bulletin board with really cool ads and notices pinned to it and smoothies and great healthy fresh food and a food co-op/health food store either attached or very nearby. Not just the big cities, and not just the college towns. Every town. Starting with mine. :-) I love places like that!

    Okay, forgive me Cadry for I have sinned: I have never eaten a raw pizza nor a taco pizza nor the amalgam of the two; I have never sampled a smoothie that seemed like liquid salsa; I have never heard of Eli’s Earth Bars (nor Sjaak’s, as far as I know); and I have never watched Dr. Who. (Do I at least get a point for being a Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fan? Black Adder? Monty Python? The IT Crowd? LOL) Okay, I’ll get on it when the weather is cold again because I’m pretty sure I’ve seen it on Netflix Streaming.

    None of my inexperience prevents my thinking the food looks and sounds drooly (I’m not as sure about the salsa smoothie!), the candy bar sounds amazing (do they have a Butterfinger one? Or an Almond Joy?), the car is cool and your mugs are wonderful! Wow, those look like they were a lot of detailed work. How fun! That, more than almost anything, is what has me wanting to watch Dr. Who. :-)

    • says

      I like your idea about every town having a vegan cafe with art gallery & live music. Also those cafes should be well advertised, so that whenever I am a visitor in another town, I know exactly where I want to go for lunch, coffee, or a late night performance.

      I can let the other things slide, but you’ve never had a taco pizza? This needs to be remedied ASAP. Get yourself some black beans, avocado, lettuce, marinara, and a pizza crust. I don’t know if there are any oil-free & vegan nacho chips out there, but if they exist add them to the mix as well. You owe it to yourself! :)

      They do have a bar similar to the Almond Joy called the Celebrate Bar. I haven’t tried it personally, but David has and he liked it.

      • says

        Wow, if you can let all my other egregious failings slide but are this insistent that I fill the taco pizza-sized hole in my life asap, then I must heed you! BW is the pizza chef in this house, so I’ll put in my order for a taco version the next time he makes pizza. (I assume the lettuce and avocado are added after the pizza has been baked!)

        I’ll keep my eyes peeled for the Celebrate Bar when we hit civilization (Seattle) at the end of the month! That would be a real treat!

  4. says

    Salsa as a juice sounds wonderful! Loving the raw pizza as usual too. I haven’t tried, or really even SEEN the earth bars but I wish I did!
    I’ve also never seen Dr. Who (I know, I know) but the pottery you make is gorgeous. I love kooky mugs.

    • says

      Yes, that juice really took me by surprise! I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about juiced garlic, but I was really into it! The Earth bars are surprisingly hard to find; although, they are available online if you search for them. Thanks for the kind words about my pottery! :)

    • says

      Yes, my hope is that I’ll make a full set! It may take a while, but that’s my dream. Is Sylvester McCoy your favorite? I’ve actually never seen one of his episodes! I’m sure you saw that Matt Smith is leaving… So sad! David Tennant is still my all-time favorite, but nevertheless, I hate to see Matt Smith go. He’s done some very cool things with the role. I am excited to see Who the next Doctor will be!

  5. says

    I don’t follow Dr. Who (though the twins are obsessed with it), but I am in awe of your new mug collection. Seriously- I know the twins don’t drink coffee, but I think they’re getting mugs for Christmas.

    That raw taco pizza looks amazing too. :-)

    • says

      That is so awesome that the twins are into Doctor Who! I’m so glad that you like the mugs! You know, they work equally well with hot cocoa… :)

  6. says

    I recently went to Pizza Luce for the first time after hearing how many vegetarian/vegan options they have. I loved it, and already wanted to check out Ecopolitan on my next trip. Taco pizza or reubens wherever you can? We so like the same food.

    • says

      Isn’t Pizza Luce awesome? I like it that they make their own vegan cheese, in addition to carrying Daiya. I think Daiya is fine for some things, but I’d much rather have a homemade tofu/cashew ricotta.

      That’s so funny that we both like the same food where taco pizza and reubens are concerned. It must be our refined Midwestern palates! :)

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