This is a long, long overdue post! So long, in fact, that I’ve now had a second opportunity to dine at this fabulous restaurant in Downers Grove, Illinois, a little village 22 miles west of Chicago. Hey, sometimes procrastination works for me.
I first learned about this popular spot from my friend David Gleysteen, who runs the Madison Raw Food Potluck. He took me there on what turned out to be his Galactic Birthday ~an extra funny synchronicity given that he had asked me to bring a signed copy of Schizandra and the Gates of Mu, a book that makes much of Galactic Timing, birthdays and raw cacao. Indeed, this particular Raw Food Road Trip included stops at Borrowed Earth Cafe, Karyn’s Raw for (chocolate!) dessert and then the megalithic Lincoln Park Whole Foods for additional supplies. But back to Borrowed Earth, because the food there is truly out of this world!
Borrowed Earth Café
970 Warren Ave.
Downers Grove, IL 60515
Having left Café Gratitude and Seed in Northern California, and being quite the Lazy Raw Foodist, I’d been feeling verrry hungry for some raw comfort food. I love Cousins Incredible Vitality for its green, hydrating salad bar and elixers, and Karyn’s for the superfood and raw treat shopping and Chicago-style Deep Dish (raw vegan) Pizza, but in my experience, Borrowed Earth provides an especially soul-satisfying, high-vibe, easily digested food experience. Plus, on a nice day, you can eat outside and take in the quaintness of this little village while watching the trains go by.
Borrowed Earth offers an extensive menu. I almost couldn’t decide, so we opted to split two different meals:
Burrito Loco: Guacamole, sour cream “cheese,” salsa and spicy sunflower seed “beans” wrapped in a corn tortilla.
Lasagna: Layers of zucchini noodles, spinach, and vegetables topped with a cashew ricotta “cheese” and marinara sauce.
Each of these huge portions also came with three different mini-salads. They were both phenomenal! Seriously melt in your mouth deliciousness! A member of the clean plate club, even I felt too full for an immediate dessert during this first visit. Although I took photos, the lighting turned out funny on my BlackBerry, which necessitated, um, a delayed blog entry and a return visit.
We had a lovely chat with Danny and Kathy, who pour so much love into everything they do that it’s no wonder Borrowed Earth Café lives up to its tag line, “Simply the best food on the planet!” Both “try and do yoga each and every day. We consider yoga and raw food to be two of the most loving things we do for ourselves. Every act of kindness you offer to yourself extends out into the world you see around you.” We really enjoyed their unpretentious, humorous take on travel, yoga, raw foods, dogma, living your truth, running a business, synchronicity, moving, employees, and just life in general. They are total loves!
The Schizandra and the Gates of Mu/Galactic Birthday/Raw Food Synchronicity turned out to extend further than we realized, as David’s mention of it led to my being invited to speak at a “Seekers” gathering on 10/9/2010 in Madison. The invitation arrived with such synchronous fanfare that we ended up booking me to speak at the Madison Raw Food Potluck on 10/10/10 for the first ever World Raw Food Day. Both talks (“Past Lives and Destiny” and “Love, Om Cacao”) will eventually make their way to YouTube with links from this blog. As you can see, I’m a bit behind on blogging and internet details. In any case, my ride up to Madison on October 6 offered the perfect opportunity for our return visit, and this time the photos did justice to the food:
I normally like to order different things when I go to a place with as many menu options as Borrowed Earth, but I couldn’t get that burrito out of my head. I just love the tortilla shell and the way that all the flavors blend so well. I often have trouble combining lots of different fats and had originally worried that it might sit heavy, but no! The first and second times I just felt happy, light and satisfied all at once. Highly, highly recommend this one.
Although I had a simultaneous hankering for last trip’s Lasagna, David convinced me to go “all Mexican” this time, so we also ordered the Sweet Potato Quesadilla: Stuffed with sweet potato salad and tangy macadamia cashew “cheese” wrapped in a corn and flax seed tortilla. Wow! That one rivaled and yet perfectly complemented the burrito:
Again, both entrees arrived with three different salads. I especially loved the cucumber one. This time, however, I managed to clean my plate and still save room for dessert, so we ordered this yumminess of a raw vegan chocolate cheesecake, the name but not the flavor of which I now forget:
It was Divine!
We had another fascinating and informative conversation with Danny before heading the rest of the way up to Madison, with cacao-infused, fresh-filled bellies, hearts and minds. If you’re anywhere in the Chicago Area and enjoy healthy food and a synchronous, spiritual vibe, Borrowed Earth Café is sure to become a highlight of your trip. If I had a third thumb, I’d raise it for this one. I love, love, love Borrowed Earth Café! Thanks to Danny and Kathy for spreading the love and such delicious food in unexpected places.