“Cultivate clarity, strength, vitality and power from natural, beautiful and organic living foods.” – Bryant McGill
While the world market for organic food has grown for over 15 years, it’s still gradually gaining significance here in India in spite of having it’s roots in the ancient times. ‘Why organic food?’, you would ask me. Organic farming system sustains the health of soils, ecosystems and people, protects the environment and maintains a healthy balance within the agro-ecosystem thereby maintaining biological diversity. Also, wouldn’t you like to consume food that is free of man-made fertilizers, pesticides, growth regulators, livestock feed additives, irradiation or use of genetically modified organisms?
Being one of the few restaurants serving organic food, The American Joint, opened up in April this year. They reportedly source all the organic agricultural produce required to run their all-vegetarian venture, from some farmers in Pune and Nashik, owing to their tie up with an organisation called organic garden.
Located in the capital building in BKC, a glass door opens into well lit interiors with minimalistic yet clean décor housing clean tables, comfortable chairs and playing good music. The restaurant might seem crammed up though when completely occupied, since there are plenty of tables arranged in a relatively small space.
This was a thick, frothy, cold, sweet and nutty milkshake with smooth, soft, light and fresh whipped cream on top.
Watermelon Lime Spritzer
This was a sweet and citrusy beverage with a refreshing flavour of fresh and juicy watermelons also letting out a faint spicy and zesty kick in every sip.
Hummus To You
The creamy blend of the nutty and sweet chickpeas with some spicy sumac, earthy and faintly bitter notes of tahini, the characteristic pungent tones imparted by garlic, the faint tart flavour of the lemon juice and copious amounts of olive oil was indeed a hit! While I personally like the pita to be soft and slightly puffed up with layers of the bread slightly separated from each other from within, the one served here was relatively hard and crunchy.
Mountain O’ Nachos
The crispy thin and almost translucent nacho chips made in the house were topped with shreds of lettuce, olive rings having vivid bitter notes, sweet and faintly bitter dices of green bell, finely chopped onions imparting their characteristic pungency, the tangy and juicy tomatoes, boiled kidney beans having a wonderfully earthy and hearty flavour and oodles of creamy melted cheese.
These quesadillas served with a slight indian twist comprised of thin rotis with crispy edges, stuffed with generous amounts of julienned bell peppers, onions and some cheese. They were topped with some minty green mayo along with few dices of tomatoes and chopped onions. While the basal sweet, mildly tangy and pungent notes were overall a good treat, these were a tad bit dry to taste.
Garlic Bread Cheese Bombs
The absolutely inviting aroma of the baked cheese, garlic, herbs like oregano and chilli flakes coupled with the supple, milky fresh and sweet mozzarella, the well toned down pungent notes of garlic and the zesty notes of the herbs in a cushiony soft bread turned out to be a delish treat. However, I wished that the cheese was warmer and oozing out instead. The Marinara sauce with it’s sharp, tangy and piquant flavours turned out to be a brilliant accompaniment indeed!
Organic Veggie Burger
Lightly toasted yet adequately soft burger buns were stuffed with crunchy and fresh sliced onions, juicy sliced tomatoes, a well aggregated patty made of vegetables like potatoes, green peas, carrots, etc with a wonderfully crispy fried exterior, oodles of creamy and mildly spicy mustard mayo with a characteristic pungent kick and finished with some crunchy lettuce.
These piping hot french fries had a perfectly soft core with an intensely hot and fiery taste quite literally leaving us with watery eyes and runny noses, courtesy the plenty of chopped red chillies tossed along with it, that even the good enough amount of mozzarella shreds in them couldn’t successfully mellow down. The outer texture of the fries was a disappointment though as they weren’t even close to being crispy on the outside but were soft and soggy instead.
Spread Nutella Waffle
These waffles being denser than the Belgian waffles that I have had else where had crisply done edges, were smeared generously with thick, sweet and nutty nutella, topped with biscuit crumble and drizzled with some bittersweet chocolate sauce along with a creamy smooth dollop of whipped cream by the side. It’s safer to say though, that they would have tasted even better had they been warmer and had the waffle batter not been so dense, thereby making them chewy.
The service is very warm, welcoming and kind. Mr. Manan, one of the four partners, was not only very insightful a person, but also a wonderful host. The attendants are all well groomed, cheerful, quite attentive and reasonably fast.
“Let things taste the way they are.” – Alice Waters, Chef, Author.
Though this restaurant offers the regular Tex-Mex and Lebanese fare which we would easily get elsewhere, the use of organic agricultural produce to craft their dishes is sure to make them stand out in the F&B industry given the fact that I could so very well appreciate how the mere use of organically produced ingredients retaining their original, fresh and unaltered flavours took the tastes of the dishes to yet another level!
Food quality – 4/5
Food quantity – 4/5
Ambience – 3/5
Service – 4/5
VFM – NA (This meal was complimentary, courtesy an invitation by the restaurant to sample their menu.)