Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Restaurant Review: Organic4Life (Caldwell, NJ)

I had pancakes for breakfast . . . in a restaurant!

I’ve been hearing a bit of buzz surrounding Organic4Life (401 Bloomfield Ave., Caldwell, NJ 07006) and finally got to try them out this past weekend. I had walked past them when I went to Bangkok Kitchen but they were closed for the evening already.

The restaurant started out catering to the blood type diets (AB, B, A, and O) but with a menu that was already mostly gluten free they quickly realized the GF potential. They removed most of the rest of the gluten from their menu to prevent cross-contamination with the exception of some Ezekiel bread that has its own separate prep area (ha, take that wheat-eaters - your food has to go off in the corner to be made!).

Now while there is Ezekiel bread, they also have gluten free bread (and gluten free rolls, and all their pasta is gluten free, and they make gluten free pancakes, and gf French toast, and I could go on and on!) And, if you haven’t bought into the blood type diet there is one unified gluten free menu (it’s not in the bound menus, just ask for a print out copy).

Gluten Free / Dairy Free Pancakes
at Organic4Life in Caldwell, NJ

My only issue with the unified menu is it doesn’t have every item – they left off anything with Ezekiel bread (although they can use GF bread instead). Some of the omissions were near duplicates (Beef with Broccoli of the O menu lost out to Steak with Broccoli off the B menu) but since I have so many secondary food issues (green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, etc), I would have preferred a complete unified list to save some flipping back and forth. The reminder of the dishes were naturally GF from their descriptions (even if they weren’t Organic4Life prepares everything fresh, are super accommodating, and are super careful)!

So what about dairy free? Each menu has a number of vegan items and they will work with you to get the dairy out of other items if possible (some may require advanced notice). They have almond milk and vegan cheese as well (but no vegan butter). Other than four of the desserts, most of the menu items appear to be DF already! (The final two desserts are vegan.)

So how was breakfast? Amazing! I had gluten free / dairy free pancakes with a side of turkey bacon. The pancakes were thick and hearty (I suspect whole grain flours but didn’t ask) and delicious! The turkey bacon was thin and tasty. There was no vegan butter for the pancakes but they did have real maple syrup!

Just a couple of other thoughts: The restaurant is BYOB. The owners also have a training studio two doors down on Bloomfield Ave (west towards Fairfield) where they do one-on-one nutritional/weight loss coaching. They also do meal plans, offer delivery, and offer take out.

One final note: please check the hours on their website/call them before going. They are closed on Sundays and they’re only open until 7pm during the week and 8pm on Friday/Saturdays as of this writing.

Overall this restaurant is fantastic! The food is fresh, very reasonably priced (especially for organic) and they are super careful. This is somewhere that I definitely plan on visiting again!
Organic 4 Life on Urbanspoon

Other restaurants you may enjoy are listed here:

Gluten Free Restaurant List

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