Sunday, March 27, 2011

Bee Organic Buzzes with Health and Goodness

Bee Organic - 4C Bond Street, Great Neck NY 10021

Attending foodie events certainly has its benefits - not only because you get to taste some pretty amazing food in a very high-end, lovely atmosphere, but you also get to meet a lot of cool foodies. 

Last week's Pooja Mottl lunch allowed for just that, as I met a spunky, vibrant woman, Stephanie who also happens to be the consulting chef at an organic, health eatery called Bee Organic, in Great Neck, Long Island. 

Immediately drawn to Stephanie's strong and lively spirit, I was eager and willing to find out more about Bee, which I was already a bit familiar with.  Graciously inviting me for lunch one day, I accepted the invitation and headed over for what turned out to be a very filling and delicious experience. 

Located in Great Neck, Long Island, which is on the border of Little Neck, Queens, Bee Organic is conveniently positioned on Bond Street, just a few short steps from the train station.  Its exterior is blue and yellow and features a sweet honey bee, representing its clever title, which is a nice play on words.

The interior is bright, airy and generally very zen.  They use a lot of natural woods in their furnishings and the warm yellow and deep red wall color scheme works well to evoke feelings of comfort and relaxation.  I like that the seating is a bit non-traditional, consisting of various sized tables and even a bar in front for guests who are eating or drinking solo.  You'll find that this organically laid-out space evokes a friendly vibe and cross conversation between diners isn't uncommon.  During my visit, I met a handful of lovely people who were too happy to exchange a few pleasantries.  As a solo eater, I appreciated the interaction.

Just like its name suggests, everything at Bee Organic is...well organic.  I can't speak more highly about the gorgeous fresh vegetables used in everything and other high quality goods such as fair trade coffee and tea, raw non-dairy and gluten free products and more.  I indulged in a what I believe was a balanced, healthy lunch filled with lots of vegetables, fruits and protein.

Salad - As soon as I spotted the fresh greens in the kitchen (including kale, collard greens, sprouts, celery, etc), I got really excited.  I knew this wasn't going to be some sad, wilted salad and I prepared myself for a hefty helping of super foods.  The salad contained everything I just mentioned and more including orange segments, slivered almonds, fresh dill and a simple olive oil and black pepper vinaigrette.  I liked that the greens were cut into bite sized pieces, which made it pleasant and easy to eat. 

Veggie Burger -  Next came the veggie burger, which was my favorite part of the meal.  Substantial in size and flavor--boasting some nice spice--this burger absolutely held its own.  Instead of the puny, gray patties that try to pass for a burger, this one was colorful, vibrant and really filling.  The fact that it came on a gorgeous Orwasher's whole wheat bun also made this more of a meal rather then just one component.

Potato Cake with Collards &  Roasted Cabbage - In honor of St. Paddy's day, I really wanted to try this dish, especially because it incorporated an ingredient which I love - cabbage.  A lot of people don't eat this vegetable on a normal basis, but in the Eastern European culture, cabbage is a staple.  Bee Organic's version was excellent - a large piece of white cabbage that was sauteed and lightly seasoned with salt and pepper.  The best part of it was the texture, as it was soft enough to bring out its sweetness but still toothsome enough to preserve its freshness. 

The potato cake, which was also on the plate was a yummy side (in actuality, I think the cabbage was the side but I viewed it as the primary component), with a soft interior that rested on a bed of braised collard greens, which were far from bitter.  The potato cake was further dressed with mushrooms and a thick gravy that further brought life to a simple potato dish.

Yogurt Parfait - A great way to end this wholesome meal, the yogurt parfait was a simple, delicious dessert alternative.  Made up of a simple vanilla yogurt, good quality granola and fresh fruit such as juicy strawberries and blackberries, it was a nice way to bring some sweetness to your palate without eating too rich cakes, cookies or creamy desserts.

Service and Cost:
Since the staff at Bee Organic is pretty lean, you'll get personal attention from its owner, Elena as well as from Chef Stephanie.  If you ask, you'll get the inside scoop about their hand-picked products as well as the natural and organic philosophies of each carefully thought out dish.  Since this attention is so evident, I observed that Bee Organic enjoys a lot of visits from loyal customers, who the staff knows by name.

Prices are moderate and considering the quality and the organic nature of the food, I think they're quite fair.

Juices - $2.50 - $6.50
Salads - $7.50 - $9
Tartines - $6.95 - $9.50
Soups - $5.95
Eggs - $3 - $5.95
Dessert - $2 - $5.95

3 Mmmms

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