Pretty soon this segment is going to have to be called “Sunday Foodie” because by the time Friday rolls around, I am way too tired of staring at my laptop to use it for anything more than a charging art installation. I’m hopeful this summer will allow for a break in screen time because our sunny Indianapolis weather has caused me to want to do ANYTHING, but homework. But for now, it’s studying time, even if I’m taking a short break to tell you about this awesome new restaurant in my city.
First of all, EVERYONE is on a diet right now! Like I can’t keep up with it all. People are counting macros or ketos or avoiding fruits or eating a plant-based diet or eating more meat or becoming vegetarian and it is TOO MUCH! Don’t we know what food is good for us by now? Haven’t we evolved in our nutrition knowledge (even if we don’t follow it) to avoid going back to eating like cave people? Can’t we rejoice in the bounty and variety of modern food options in America instead of restricting ourselves? Apparently not. But I do believe everyone needs to do what they feel is best for their body, so go you! I’ll be in my corner prepping salmon and salad today and heating up frozen pizza after class tomorrow. I win some and lose some and that’s OK for me.
BUT…the good news is! I can now take all my Paleo and Keto and Vegan friends to NOOK because they are brilliant and have figured out a menu that works for everyone. They are located downtown Indianapolis and have a whole menu of clean eats with suggestions for each specific diet. The back of the menu is literally divided into four sections with options that fit a Paleo, Keto, Vegetarian, and Vegan lifestyle. The chef makes sure to create items full of nutrients while avoiding any trans fats, refined sugars, and high-glycemic carbs. The magic of this restaurant is that EVERYTHING is good! And you don’t feel like you’re restricting yourself. The whole menu just seems like a personal chef has prepared all these wonderful things for you.
I met my friend, Jess, there a couple weeks ago on a weeknight. We started out with an appetizer of Bacon Chips and Guacamole. SOOO good! Who wouldn’t want that combo?? It was a tough choice to decide on my entree, but I ended up ordering the Curry Chicken with Cauliflower Rice ($18), with pomegranate seeds and roasted vegetables. Jess tried the Lasagna ($16) with eggplant and zucchini noodles along with carrots, sweet potato, and fresh basil. For dessert, we shared the Chocolate Avocado Mousse with cocoa nibs, shredded coconut, and pistachios. All items have additional customization options, as well, such as gluten-free bread or adding cheese.
Overall summary: I wish this restaurant wasn’t downtown or I would be a frequent customer. I like having healthy options and also appreciate having somewhere to take my friends where they don’t have to worry about what they can order while sticking to their diets. Parking downtown can definitely be a struggle and I wish they had their own designated lot. Our service was excellent with frequent check-ins, menu explanations, and even a personal visit from the chef. I praise the owners for their creativity, as I’m sure this will be the first of many diet-friendly restaurants in the city.
I think the decor is still developing as the owners try to discover what a “Paleo” restaurant should look like, especially since the building used to be a steakhouse. I also think the price is a little steep for frequent dining. I totally understand that they want to use the best ingredients, but my total bill was a bit more than I like to spend on a Tuesday night and I also wouldn’t consider this to be a “splurge-worthy date night” place either. Food taste and service were really impressive, though, so I will definitely be back.
Do you have Paleo friendly restaurants in your city? Do you think the trend will last?
Overall Rating: 4/5
NOOK, a Paleo Influenced Diner
15 East Maryland Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Monday – Saturday: 11:30 am – 9:30 pm
Limited Lunch Menu 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
I understand what you mean about not wanting to work on a computer to write a post at the end of the day. I complete most of my schoolwork (all but biology, in fact) on the computer, so that at the end of the school day I just want to go outside for a jog or spend some time in the kitchen experimenting with bread.
NOOK sounds like my kind restaurant. I prefer to eat plant-based, but many of the restaurants where my family likes to eat don’t offer many wholesome vegetarian options. I agree with you about letting everyone eat as they feel best suits their body, rather than trying to impress one’s eating style on another. It’s fantastic that NOOK has food for every eater.
Alas, the prices are not so easy on the wallet. It’s good for a treat every now and then, though.
Thank you as always for sharing!
This restaurant sounds incredible! I love restaurants that have options and cater to various diets. I do agree with you about just enjoying food and following what works for you instead of getting not he diet bandwagon. ❤
NOOK sounds delicious! I’ll take any way to eat healthier without actually noticing that I am, ha! 😉 Can’t wait to try this place out.