Friday, August 6, 2010

Calista Superfoods

I was excited to read about the new Calista Superfoods in a recent edition of the Vital Juice newsletter- healthier lunch options in Midtown are welcome ANY day! Eager to visit a lunch spot that wasn't one of the four neighborhood Pret a Mangers (seriously, how many of these sandwich shops do you really need?), I stopped in today to look at my options- homemade veggie burgers with several suggestions for toppings (guacamole & pickled jalapeno, spinach & mango mustard chutney), smoothies, and a great make-your-own salad or wrap bar with brown rice, a three bean medley, roasted veggies, spinach with zucchini puree, and plenty of other veggies to choose from. I liked having options, and I liked knowing that they were healthy!

What I didn't like? The fact that all the tofu options (and there were several!) used baked ponzu tofu. One of the ingredients in ponzu sauce? Bonito flakes. Bonito, if you didn't already know, is dried mackerel flakes. Not very veggie friendly, so why they chose to bake tofu in ponzu sauce is beyond me! Definitely disappointing that Calista did not have vegetarians in mind for that one.

Sigh. Instead, I ordered a whole wheat wrap with some brown rice and roasted veggies with the mango mustard chutney- though the chutney was a fun, different flavor and I liked the selection of eggplant, cauliflower, carrots, red pepper, and red onion in my wrap, I wasn't impressed. It may be a novelty for an omnivore to order a customizable bison or salmon lunch, but I can still easily frequent my local Hale & Hearty for my fave healthy salad add-ons, or even a Pret shop. I'll try Calista Superfoods once more for their veggie burger and decide then if I'll visit again.

Calista Superfoods, 301 E. 49th Street at 2nd Avenue, 212-223-1050


Calista Superfoods said...

Thanks Friendly Veg for bringing the ponzu to our attention. We have started an immediate search for an alternate product and are also testing new recipes this weekend. You're absolutely right - it doesn't make any sense to serve tofu dishes that aren't vegetarian friendly. I'll report back soon.
-- Jennifer from Calista Superfoods

The Friendly Veg said...

Thank you Jennifer! I look forward to seeing what you come up with!

Calista Superfoods said...

We're happy to report that our new ponzu is now made with lime juice and is fully vegetarian (no bonito)! We started preparing all our tofu dishes with the new ponzu last week, and it adds the perfect balance of tangy sweet citrus and soy. Also wanted to let you and your readers know that we will be adding two homemade vegetarian soups this month: 3 bean chili and lentil soup. Please let us know the next time you stop by so that we can say hi in person. Be well!
-- Jennifer and Howard

The Friendly Veg said...

Great news! Thanks so much- I'll let readers know, and I really appreciate you guys taking the time to address this. I'll try to swing by tomorrow and try the new "ponzu" tofu!