A little quiz:
People eat health food to:
a) make everyone else feel guilty
b) lower their cholesterol
c) save the planet
d) get laid
If you chose ‘d,’ you can feel good about yourself, because you and Doctor Freud are correct. Although the deepest, animal urges may be sublimated into more superficial neuroses (like planet-saving), the average dread-locked rice chewer is — like yourself — looking to score. Why else would you eat a diet that keeps your heart strong-like-bull, your skin silky smooth, and your sweat smelling like granola bars? Okay, okay, the farts are bad, but a toned anal sphincter can be developed to handle that issue. You might want to practice some strong anus clenches by watching George W. Bush give a speech.
But before we go on, I need to expand the definition of “laid” juuuust a tad. Although physical, sexual union is the material version, and yes, that guy named Jonah with the hemp bracelet is pretty good at it, there are other types of “laying” that your average health foodie is looking for. You see, eating natural — and especially whole — foods should ultimately lead to a feeling of connectedness; connectedness with oneself, with others, and with nature as a whole. And, contrary to some hippie beliefs, this doesn’t come from reading the right books or listening to speeches by Alycia the Vegan about the evils of veal production; this feeling of connectedness is a direct result of eating whole foods. Whole foods (especially whole grains) lead to wholeness. Period. Whether you wear Birkenstocks or Brooks Brothers.
Think about it: if you plant a whole grain, something actually grows. If you plant a slice of Domino’s pizza, you attract feral cats, possums, and USM students. In each whole grain remains the oomph, the zip, the cha-cha-cha to get all your cells a whirrin’. So inasmuch as “getting laid” means consumation of relationship, health-food eaters get “laid” in myriad ways.
Now, you’d assume that Portland would be a health-food town; it’s got tons of groovy people, one of the highest lesbian-per-capita rates in the country, and the Common Ground Fair simply rules. And yet, the choices are a little limited in this “drinking town with a little fishing problem.” Here’s my personal assesment:
The best health-food restaurant in Portland is (drum roll...) Mesa Verde.
Yes, I know what you’re thinking: “That’s not even a health food place!” And you’d be correct — technically. But the truth is that unassuming Mexican joint on Congress at High Street is holding up its deal with your health better than any other restaurant in town; it has brown rice, beans, tempeh, even soy cheese, but also has chicken and beef and regular dairy, making it very user-friendly for mixed-food couples and family outings. They even have an excellent juice bar that also produces design-it-yourself smoothies. Because of its location, in that weird part of town where the ’70s meet the ’50s, Mesa Verde is chill, the perfect place to chew a plate of rice undisturbed. Is the food gourmet? No, but that’s not what I’m looking for. I want a place that respects, deep in its soul, the whole grain. A place that “gets” that sometimes you need the whole kit ‘n’ caboodle — the starch, the fiber, the minerals, the cha-cha-cha to help you keep it all together in a world of bits and pieces. A place that helps a person get laid.