View Full Version : Lunch at Tree of Life Cafe
06-13-2005, 07:08 PM
Well, today was my big day. I drove down to Patagonia to have lunch at Gabriel Cousen's Tree of Life Cafe.
It wasn't quite as exciting as I thought it would be and was very expensive $17.00 per person. It was a buffet, and there was a lot of food, but nothing to tell me what each thing was so I don't know what I was eating. Some of it was great, some so so. We were the only guests I think so we ended up sitting alone while all the people there for training grouped up, so it wasn't as if there as any discussion, except between my friend and I.
I was very interested to see how healthy the people looked. They did look good, but besides my friend and I there were only two other people over 40. The rest looked to be in their early 20's so it's hard to say if they looked that good because of raw or because of youth. There was a family there with three small children, all eating raw. They looked very healthy.
People did notice fat old me though, I got a few sideway glances, that made me feel a little out of place. When I go back next year, I'll match them for thinness and get myself a few gauze shirts and I'll fit right in. I'm still an old hippie they just don't make those cool clothes in my size.
The property was beautiful. I would have loved a tour. I may check out some of their events and see if I can find someone to go with me to one or two. I'm not into food as religion, but it will be good for support once in a while.
06-13-2005, 11:41 PM
hummmm...what an interesting experience to share with us...did it feel a little weird? I treat myself to a raw salad once a week $11 and it seems a little steep to me but very delicious. What strikes me as odd is the dirty "out door" carpeting as I enter this old house turned into a cafe and the girls that wait on the table are scrawney with mangey looking hair and bad complexions. Just observations that make me question the expense and 25 minute drive. I hate to sound critical, but I just expect to see shiny eyes, glowing skin and clean looking people.
06-14-2005, 08:25 AM
I've done a ton of raw feasts at my home and I charged between $20 and $50 depending on the food, the time of year, holiday, amount of people etc. I usually charged $20 per person if it was all of our own organic home grown produce, because all we had to do was plant it, water it, and pick it. But if I had to buy it all (in winter) then I charged alot more because of the cost to me.
So, although $17 may sound high in the "restaurant" world, it really isn't for fresh and organic food.
Now I must admit, that I was feading them a feast, of
and left overs to take home
I also was catering raw feasts when I weighed 285 pounds so I'm sure the thin raw people wondered about that, although they didn't say anything (not to my face anyway)
And my cooked food eating, smoking, drinking hubby is always mistaken for a raw foodist, because he is 6'1" tall, 175 lbs. lean, lanky, hard muscles, long thick hair, young looking, and gorgeous, but mostly his attitude is very laid back and easy going, so everyone thinks he's a raw fooder, and it just isn't so.
So, that is a fun twist on things in our family.
Anyway, back to the thread, (my mind just wanders off, looking for inteligence on another planet sometimes, because it sure isn't finding it in MY head anymore--too much work and not enough play for me, me thinks)
So, there is always the possibility that the people working at the cafe, were either NOT raw foodies, or were only beginning on the raw food path.
And maybe some of those 20 somthings, were really older, they just LOOKED 20 something.
but I do know how anit climactic it can be to wait and plan for something "special" and have it turn out "not so special".
06-14-2005, 09:16 AM
Thank you for sharing your experience!
I:ve always wanted to go there and visit, etc...
Actually the price seems pretty good to me for alot of variety of food
on a buffet.
I was paying my raw food chef close to $25 a meal.
She sells them 5 meals plus 1 dessert for $150 I believe it was.
So I would get the main entree plus a side dish...
The bottom line is, prepared raw food is expensive! but a wonderful
treat when I can afford it.
06-14-2005, 09:26 AM
<<<And my cooked food eating, smoking, drinking hubby is always mistaken for a raw foodist, because he is 6'1" tall, 175 lbs. lean, lanky, hard muscles, long thick hair, young looking, and gorgeous, but mostly his attitude is very laid back and easy going, so everyone thinks he's a raw fooder, and it just isn't so.>>>>
LOL Raw Priestess...sounds like my husband...he`s 6`2"
and weighs anywhere from 165-200 depending on how much pysical work he:s doing. He averages between 170-180 usually.
eats -hit...fast food, smokes!!!!! But he is starting to age more lately and he is losing his hair.
My mom said to me once, "I`m surprised how heavy you are as healthy as you eat"...thanks mom! :p
Anyways, back on topic
06-14-2005, 10:14 AM
My hubby is also tall and lean. (he can hide his beer belly well) Yet, he lives on Pepsi, poptarts, pizza, chocolate, and frozen tv dinners. Bless his little heart.
I, on the other hand, have been vegetarian for nearly 20 years, on again, off again vegan for the last 10, and tip the scales at just over 200. i contribute my ill health to eating the junk food that we bought - the pizza, the cookies, the frozen dinners.
and i've had enough! I don't want to be "cooked" anymore. I want to be lean and healthy. i wish that my husband would go raw vegan too. maybe he will if i set a good example for him.
06-15-2005, 02:00 AM
... and was very expensive $17.00 per person. It was a buffet, and there was a lot of food ...
That's not expensive for raw gourmet ... especially a buffet (which I've never heard of at a raw restaurant). Sunday brunch a few weeks ago at Taste of the Goddess in Hollywood was $20 and it was an entree, 2 sides, and a dessert. It was filling and I couldn't have eaten more, anyway, but ... it's still wasn't a buffet.
... but nothing to tell me what each thing was so I don't know what I was eating.Couldn't you have asked? I'd have been flagging people down or hauling them over to ask them ... ;)
People did notice fat old me though, I got a few sideway glances, that made me feel a little out of place. Oh sweetie, I'm sorry you were so self conscious and feeling like you didn't belong. Ya know, we really don't know what anyone else is thinking when they look at us -- and, when we assume, it's oftentimes our own projection of our negative thoughts about ourselves! My experience is that most people have their own concerns and are pretty self-involved and they're just not sitting around judging other people. And, on the off chance that they are ... so what? But ... again, you'd have to be a mind reader to actually know what "sideway glances" mean other than that they were just glances. Maybe they were just interested in new faces since you weren't there in a program. Maybe they were wondering if you were an official of some sort. Or maybe they were struck by your beauty! Who really knows!
The property was beautiful. I would have loved a tour.I know they give them with just a little advance notice.
I'm not into food as religion ...Not sure what you mean by this -- are you saying that they are? I've been on their website many times and plan to visit the next time I'm in Tucson. They weren't in existence when I lived there many years ago, and I just think you're so lucky to leave near such a phenomenal resource, Carlene.
06-15-2005, 08:47 AM
Hi Raw Truth,
I don't worry about what other people think of me, I've been heavy long enough not to let it bother, so it wasn't what others were thinking, it was more to be around so many thin, healthy people and obviously being out of place. It won't keep me from going back though.
As for asking, it was very chaotic. The buffet is in the kitchen. When you get there you have to stop at the bottom of the hill at a converted house and pay to get meal slips, then you go up the hill, park, and the cafe is nothing more than a kitchen with a big table. There are some table and chairs outside, not enough to accomodate all the people staying there. We got there, were about to start on the buffet when we were told we needed to wait for the blessing. So we all went outside in the sun and held hands while a young man walked us through a meditation for about five minutes. Then everyone hurried for the line which took another ten minutes to get through, so there was no time to even look at was was there, you just had to scoop up what you thought you might like. The workers in the kitchen were very busy. It wasn't like there was a waiter to ask. No napkins, my friend finally went in and found us two plastic cups with smears of something on their sides with half a glass of water. We ended up sitting outside next to the compost bucket, so we did have a lot of flies join us for lunch. The kitchen staff were much to busy to bother.
As for the religious aspect, it seemed very much a following. There were men with caps just like the one Gabriel Cousens wears in his photos, we heard bits of his name come up now and again. I'm from the commune era, it definitely had that feel.
I was expecting a cafe. Something like the one you went to.
I will go back though. So next time you're in Tucson let me know and we can go together.
06-15-2005, 09:03 AM
Sounds like a horrible experience, and I definately wouldn't go to all that trouble for eating who-knows-what in a nasty place next to compost. Yuck!
06-15-2005, 09:24 AM
It wasn't really horrible, just different. I love camping so the flies didn't bother me as much as they did my friend. I think it should be advertised as come join us for lunch rather than the word cafe. Cafe suggests something else. This was very much like going to a retreat and sharing their meal not like going to a restaurant.
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