Oakland >Food & Dining > Manzanita Restaurant
A nice macrobiotic/vegan experience, but not "stick to your ribs" dining.. This is definitely a different dining experience than I?ve probably ever had at a place that bills themselves as a ?restaurant.? I don?t mean it in a bad way, necessarily, but you have to be prepared for the experience if you?re going to have a meal at Manzanita. When myself and my 3 dining companions walked through the door, I felt like we definitely crashed the clubhouse. The vegan macrobiotic community is pretty close knit, and I?m pretty sure most of the patrons could sense the lingering scent of meat on the 3 of us who were not of the vegan-vegetarian variety. After standing around by the door waiting to be seated for 5 minutes or so, we received the ?sit anywhere? gesture from Manzanita?s one server. The setting is definitely piecemeal - mismatched plastic chairs, second-hand cafeteria-style tables, and a self-serve station for the only 2 beverages served at Manzanita: Bancha Twig Tea and Water. There are several meal sizes to choose from, although the menu is prix fixe and changes daily (the day?s menu is posted on their website at 5pm every day). Our meal consisted of red miso and kidney bean soup, followed by a plate with small portions of brown rice, steamed kale with toasted pumpkin seeds, slow-cooked broccoli with tempeh, a trio of sauteed burdock, seaweed, and carrots, and a small piece of pear that had been poached in apple cider vinegar. The service seemed to warm up after we sat down and started eating, and the food was definitely fresh and healthy. A case of baked goods located by the front door is packed with naturally-sweetened goodies like wheat-free peanut butter cookies with carob, and whole wheat chocolate chip cookies with plum and walnuts. Unfortunately, I was hungry again a couple of hours leaving, but it was a healthy, fresh, and very affordable dinner (meals range from $7-11). Manzanita is a great macrobiotic/vegan dining experience, but don?t expect to leave feeling like you?ve splurged on a night out.
Healthy, hearty, delicious. There is a different menu everyday, comprised of fresh organic local produce, rice, beans, etc. It's vegan and macrobiotic and delicious. The menu is posted on the website about 30 minutes before they start serving. Lunch is from 11:30-2:30 and dinner starts at 5:30. You can select from 3 different meal sizes - full, moderate, and simple. The larger 2 come with soup and the smaller does not. The simple is actually slightly different from the moderate and full in that it is made up of fewer items. The soups are always wonderful, often the highlight of the meal. They also have great pastries, baked there with natural ingredients. The service is fast - you have food within 5 minutes of getting there, and the servers are nice.
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