Outside Belmonte Raw, Leslieville’s new organic, vegan, sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free raw food restaurant, a trio of wiry-lean women with dignifiedly graying hair and yoga mats tucked under their arms examined the menu posted in the window: hulled hemp and kale salads, lucuma and camu camu smoothies, something called a sun burger made with pumpkin and clover sprouts. In their patchouli wake, I entered the restaurant while attempting (unsuccessfully) to conceal my huge leather purse under my trench coat.
The space is small—just 16 seats—and cute, with wood slab tables and motivational directives scrawled on the walls: “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you imagine,” it says on the mirror across from me. While sipping my $9 Happiness juice out of a Mason jar, I overheard the owner, Carol Belmonte, chatting elatedly with another diner about juice detoxes. She offers a menu of home-delivered organic juice feasts (instead of fasts, because raw foodists prefer to emphasize abundance over abstinence) that start at $90 for one day and max out at $1,960 for a month. Read the rest of this entry »
Read the rest of this entry »