Good Life Cafe in West Columbia specializes in organic, raw*, vegan fare that opened in February 2011. It’s brand new and seems to have quite the following already! Their menu includes more new things to try each time I have been there. Today my Friend With Great Taste (FWGT) suggested we go there for lunch and being that she has great taste, I said sure, why not? I checked their Facebook page to see what was available for the day, and Spaghetti with Meatless Balls caught my eye (mostly because of the word balls, don’t give me too much credit here).
When we got there, I saw the daily menu and price list on the wall and the $13.95 for the Spaghetti and Meatless Balls, I will admit, I wanted to flee to cheap Mexican food around the corner. But FWGT talked me out of it and we ordered our balls meals. This huge plate of much more than “spaghetti and meatless balls” is what arrived and was placed in front of me:
Close up of cauliflower, broccoli salad with a lemony flavor:
Corn and jicama (which I now know is pronounced “hee-cama”) salad, which was my favorite item on my plate and the first thing gone:
The spaghetti and meatless balls, the star of the meal is made out of spiraled zucchini shreds. I want to see the kitchen gadget that made these noodles possible, because those noodles were LONG! The sauce was comprised of sundried tomatoes and had a wonderful flavor that was like a sundried tomato pesto. Full of delicious lycopenes, great flavor. The meatless balls were made of a sunflower seed base, and they were actually very tasty. The only downside to them is that they are a not-so-appealing looking gray color. However, if you can look past that, you’ll be rewarded with a chewy, worthy meatball substitute.
Other items in the first picture include what is a purple cabbage based salad, which I haven’t tried yet (put it in my to-go box), and the green leafy salad, which I gave to FWGT after a bite. She loves it, but something about the greens weren’t speaking to me. I believe they are collard greens, but am not certain. Back to the to-go box: Good Life Cafe serves up monster portions. When FWGT and I got back to work, another co-worker asked why we didn’t eat our lunches, as each of our boxes were jam packed.
FWGT ordered the spaghetti plate too, but instead got a sampler platter, which turned out to be very nearly what I got, except with less spaghetti, and the addition of a taco, a pimentoless cheese wrap, and mock chicken salad. She was pleased with the mistake and invited me to taste the different things that she got that I did not have. I tried the mock chicken salad and the pimentoless cheese (which should actually read pimento cheeseless, I think), but neither of them really did it for me. I think I am too accustomed to cheesy goodness; but then again, FWGT is not a vegetarian let alone a vegan and she eats at Good Life more often that I do to the point that the chef recognizes her!
The raw vegan food that I have eaten from Good Life is very healthy and very delicious, but it fills me up incredibly quickly. The previous time I ate there I had three tacos, and I was not hungry for the rest of the day, ya’ll. Seriously. So tread carefully when you go try this place out, and I recommend only eating half, if that much, of what they give you. Or, consider splitting a plate with a friend.
Good Life is a great addition to the Columbia restaurant scene because it adds variety and healthfulness with a great twist (not to mention that it is within two miles of my workplace!). I suggest swinging by there for lunch or dinner one night with someone who appreciates new takes on old favorites. If you have any questions, ask them, they are very happy to explain what ingredients they use (or don’t use), their methods, and any other questions you may have about organic, raw, vegan food.
*raw food is food that has not been heated up beyond 115 degrees.