Bay Area Eats: Spotlight on Berkeley’s Mission Heirloom Cafe & Market
In California, we have no shortage of nutritious and health-conscious restaurant options, but very few are revolutionizing the concept of healthful eating as well as Berkeley’s Mission Heirloom Garden Cafe. Here, the all-organic, gluten-free, chemical-free, GMO-free, sustainable, local and fresh neighborhood restaurant assures the utmost attention to detail when it comes to their health standards, so you can feel good about what you’re eating. In between spoonfuls of my delicious market veggie salad and coconut oil baked beef empanadas, I interviewed San Francisco Bay Area-based health & wellness expert, Darby Jackson, on why Mission Heirloom has quickly become her favorite restaurant.
Christina: Tell me a little about Mission Heirloom and what makes it so special?
Darby: There are a lot of restaurants in the Bay Area that claim to be healthy or health food focused but Mission Heirloom really takes that health promise to a new level. The Mission Heirloom kitchen is completely free from all gluten, grains, legumes and vinegars making it safe for nearly everyone with food allergies. Most people don’t realize it, but over 80M people in the US suffer from Autoimmune disease which is normally treated by eliminating gluten and grains. If you are suffering from an autoimmune disease then it can be very difficult to find restaurants that can support your dietary restrictions. This is why Mission Heirloom is so incredible! Not only that but the food is incredibly delicious and you can enjoy it in one of the most beautiful gardens in Berkeley.
Christina: If someone is visiting the Bay Area for the first time, why would you recommend they try Mission Heirloom?
Darby: If you really want to get a taste and feel for what Berkeley is all about, from food to music, ambiance and ideals, then MH is it. It’s quintessential Berkeley. You can enjoy a wonderful, buttery cup of bulletproof coffee outside in their sustainable garden under the warm Berkeley sun or browse their to-go market (camel milk included) and munch on your healthy treats in a park nearby.
Christina: As a health & wellness expert, you are always teaching your clients to nourish their relationship with food. What about Mission Heirloom accomplishes that mission?
Darby: Focusing on healthy foods doesn’t have to mean a loss of flavor or excitement around your food. I think that is where the dieting world has gone wrong. When most people think about eating healthily they focus on what they need to eliminate and what they shouldn’t have, rather than focusing on all of the healing, wonderful food that will nourish their bodies and make them look and feel great. Mission Heirloom takes all of these healing foods and masterfully creates meals that feed your body and your soul. It’s all nourishing and so so tasty. Think cassava root waffles with grass-fed butter, soul warming shepherds pie made with a cauliflower puree instead of potatoes or gluten and grain free empanadas stuffed with grass-fed lamb. It doesn’t get much better than that!
Christina: What’s your go-to order?
Darby: If I’m there for breakfast then I’m definitely ordering the bulletproof coffee and chicken and waffles. The waffles are made from cassava flour and chicken bone broth and make for an explosion of unique flavors. Then, on top of that they add the most amazing chicken wings. Healthy chicken and waffles? Ummm, yes please! Recently, for lunch, I’ve been ordering a cup of their lamb bone broth and the shepherds pie. It’s loaded with fresh veggies, lamb and then a cauliflower puree on top. It’s not as heavy as a normal shepherds pie because it uses cauliflower instead of potatoes yet it totally fills me but and tastes just as indulgent. I also love to order the pumpkin spice muffin when I feel like I need to satisfy my sweet tooth!