Edible Alchemy opened its doors in late May of this year in the space formerly occupied by Rasa Kitchen and Juice Bar. But the concept behind the newly revitalized restaurant remains the same; namely, providing healthful raw vegan and gluten-free options, particularly to the burgeoning clientele of the next-door sister operation, cannabis dispensary Fruit of the Earth Organics.
The dispensary grows its own greenery both organically and outdoors, the latter of which reportedly produces a much tastier and flavorful final product. All of this contributes to a ready-and-waiting card-carrying clientele with health and wellness concerns, ready to shop at nearby Whole Foods for their groceries and Fruit of the Earth for their edibles and tinctures.
It is to these folks that Edible Alchemy explicitly caters. "My mother died of cancer," says owner Lyra Barron, longtime Santa Fean and co-founder not only of Edible Alchemy, but also Fruit of the Earth and the nearby events space Paradiso. "Building community and fostering education about health is always at the forefront for me. I wanted a place where people suffering from major problems could find something that would nurture them back to whole." And there's no reason why those who aren't exclusively raw foodies can't also partake in her offerings. A little bit of cucumber juice and raw chocolate never hurt, right?
In fact, Barron, who opened Fruit of the Earth's doors in 2011 and currently runs the business with her son Jaum, swooped in the very day Rasa announced its closure three months ago, taking over the lease and salvaging the remaining staff. This included husband-and-wife chef team Margaux and Josh Spain, who helped craft a menu that replicated the kind of healthy, plant-based options available at Rasa. The Iowa-born natives moved to Santa Fe by way of Hawaii in search of greater opportunites in the field of vegan cooking.
"There aren't a lot of options in rural Iowa," Margeaux tells SFR. "Things are a little easier in Santa Fe." Together, the Spains and Barron emphasize a holistic approach to raw foods crafted from ingredients sourced from Green Tractor Farm. The Spains wanted as small a carbon footprint as possible, and thus reached out to the La Cienega family operation to supply the bulk of their produce. Raw versions of dips, salads, vegetable burgers, pizza and spring rolls are served alongside a spectrum of smoothies, cold-pressed juices, various elixirs and pastries. The pastries are sugar-free, although various alternative sweeteners, such as maple, agave and fruits are sometimes employed. The Spains also make the edibles for Fruit of the Earth, which are also entirely organic and use locally sourced ingredients whenever possible.
Edible Alchemy's décor is a mixture of earthy neutrals and cheery colors, with oilcloth table linings brightly festooned with orange and yellow flowers covering four tables sitting adjacent to a bar and cold case. I first tried the vanilla bean cold brew latte ($7), made with Agapao beans processed overnight in cold water—the only way to make coffee in a raw bar naturally—and flavored with maple, vanilla bean and almond milk. It tasted smooth and flavorful, with a lighter body and consistency than most lattes.
For a second course, the turquoise majik smoothie ($9) features pineapple, banana, probiotic coconut yogurt and Blue Majik, a supplement of the probiotic arthrospira platensis, a blue algae derivative of spirulina known for its high antioxidant content, nutrient density and pretty blue hue that it imparts to drinks. Though it sounds equal parts healthy and disgusting, Blue Majik thankfully doesn't have much of a taste, and the slight herbal earthiness is not unpleasantly framed by the creamy banana and hints of ginger and mint.
I also tried the falafel salad ($12), a giant bowl of greens and sprouts mixed with cucumbers and sliced tomatoes spritzed with lime. The salad is layered with raw almond croutons and balls of lightly roasted chickpeas tossed in an orange tahini dressing and dotted with edible flowers. The dressing is crisp, and though the falafel crumbles quickly, it incorporates into the meal quite well.
For dessert, the raw blueberry pie ($7) is made with wild blueberries and mangoes contained by a crust of pulverized almonds and medjool dates. For good measure, try it a la mode, topping it with a $3 scoop of house-made coconut ice cream. The ice cream has a satisfying creaminess to it, and I left surprised by how several courses of straight fruits and vegetables could make me feel so full.
Edible Alchemy is easy to like and sincere in its mission of sustainability without being pedantic about it—a tough balancing act when your offerings embody the raw, vegan and gluten-free diet. And the menu never makes direct claims about its health benefits; it simply states that it believes in "the healing power of foods." The content speaks for itself.
815 Early St., 983-8152
11 am-3 pm daily