I rarely dine out for many reasons, but the following two are the most important: most restaurants use subpar ingredients, including cheap vegetable oils and a ton of salt; and secondly, I’m often disappointed as the food we make at home usually tastes better. So when I do go out for that rare meal, I try to spend my monthly food budget responsibly on the best and most satisfying food possible.
No restaurant fits the aforementioned bill like Mission Heirloom located at 2085 Vine Street in Berkeley, California. Mission Heirloom opened its doors last year with one mission in mind – to provide the most nourishing, healing and best tasting food possible – and they’ve definitely achieved this feat! I’ve had the honor of eating at Mission Heirloom several times since they’ve opened, so I thought it was about time I told you all about this amazing restaurant.
Every dish Mission Heirloom serves contains: NO processed refined oils, sugars, gluten, grain, legumes, in addition to NO cooking with plastic, aluminum, techniques that introduce toxins, umami which may add free glutamates that some people react negatively to, and NO using ingredients that sound like chemicals. They also follow a “head to tail” philosophy, meaning they use parts from the entire animal so very little goes to waste. They cook with all organic and non-GMO ingredients as well.
Most recently, the folks at Mission Heirloom hosted a brunch and book signing for one of my BFF’s in the real food world – Mickey Trescott, author of The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook. The best part of this dining experience was that Mickey arrived the day before to help develop the two brunch specials we ordered!
So on to the food –
Both my husband John and I couldn’t decide on either the Sweet + Sour Pulled Pork or the Green Chicken Curry, so we did what all smart couples do – we ordered both to share! I also ordered a mug of hot Turmeric Tonic which contains a delicious, healing combination of turmeric, honey, lemon and ginger which perfectly helped with the last stages of a cold I had. Everything was out-of-this-world and mouthwateringly delectable.
First, the Sweet + Sour Pulled Pork –
I don’t know if words can describe this dish better than the picture portrays, but I’ll try! This dish tasted outstanding as they cooked the pulled pork perfectly; it was so moist and flavored with a hint of tart cherry and hibiscus and not a trace of dryness, a common rookie mistake when slow cooking pork. They paired it beautifully with a silky cauliflower purée and blood orange compote, which further accentuated the luscious pork’s flavorful subtleties. We fought each other over every single bite!
Next, on to the Green Chicken Curry –
I think I might have run out of delicious adjectives with the pork but the Green Chicken Curry gave the pork dish a run for its money! Again, they cooked the meat faultlessly as it was unbelievably moist and tender. Cooking white meat chicken can be tricky, at the volume restaurants serve, unless you’re a super-star chef! The curry sauce tasted absolutely amazeballs, a perfect combination of cilantro, ginger and turmeric, making it a delightfully delicious dish. Combining it with the purple sweet potatoes and a thin, crisp plantain waffle was sheer genius!
Mission Heirloom plates the food so beautifully, it almost jumps out at you. Look at the color and variety of this salad my friend ordered! I’ve been inspired and the next salad I make at home will definitely have some watermelon radishes and grapefruit added.
Is the food inexpensive? No, it’s not but I believe the value is right for the quality I was served. I think most people err by trying to find the cheapest food instead of the most nutrient dense, yummy, creative, inspiring and sometimes even adventurous food available.
To end, I’ll try to capture how I feel when I leave Mission Heirloom – I feel, completely and utterly, nourished – mind, body and soul. It’s so comforting to know that I can order anything on the menu and not worry about reacting to the food and that they source all the ingredients from the best places possible. On top of that they cook everything in a kitchen free of harsh chemicals and possible cross-contamination. If you’re anywhere near Berkeley or are visiting the San Francisco Bay Area, I highly suggest you check out Mission Heirloom so they can nourish you – mind, body and soul – like they did me! What do you look for in a good restaurant or what restaurant should I make sure to check out in your town?