This fervent fan of Mexican food, who ate well more than 100 vegan burritos for dinner during his first year on a mostly raw food diet, in 2011, and regularly makes Mexican Sun Salad and Mexican Sun Soup, was jazzed when he first saw the menu. I could barely decide which of the several Mexican food meals to order but went with Southwest Mexican Taco Plate and Nachos along with Caprese Italian Pizza—but only if there was room. I ordered the latter dish in a to-go container because our large party—seven of us, all from the Arnold’s Way community, including Arnold Kauffman and Silpa Reddy—arrived about a half-hour before closing time. The staff graciously kept the doors open a bit longer for us and long enough for me to feast on all three dishes, which popped in color, texture and taste!
The Southwest Mexican Taco Plate is a winner—even if the Ezekiel sprouted corn tortilla, which is not raw, I later learned, didn’t hold up well. The standout mock taco “meat” is made using dehydrated and sprouted sunflower seeds, which were also seasoned with cumin and chili powder. I ordered the Cucumber side dish, with this nonsweet fruit marinated in lemon juice and dill, and House Creamy Tahini dressing for my side salad. The Nachos, made using red pepper corn chips, also brought satisfaction. This à la carte dish included the taco “meat,” guacamole, juicy mango salsa and chipotle cream sauce in the Taco Plate, making for a nice complementing dish with a different presentation.
Take a Photo Tour of Raw Can Roll Café
Caprese Italian Pizza, featuring pizza sauce, basil, lettuce, cauliflower and “cheese” on a vegetable-based crust, was solid but somewhat of a letdown after the dynamite dishes from Mexican cuisine I consumed with sheer delight.
Raw Can Roll Café is inviting but very small, with four tiny tables located near the door. The friendly staff, however, take away any chill said door might cause on a wintry night and even share an incredible small sampler dish for new patrons to help customers decide from 25 appetizers, sandwiches and wraps, salads and main courses. Raw Can Roll Café also offers special soups plus juices and smoothies—and last, but not least, desserts, about which one member of our party raved.
Some of the dishes are prepared using dehydrator temperatures that would make some raw food purists fume: 155 and 130 degrees. This said, however, most store-bought nuts and seeds have already been processed at temperatures higher than 104 to 118 degrees—the range of tipping points for foods to be considered truly “raw.”
After one visit to Raw Can Roll Café, I couldn’t wait to go back. A month later, I returned with Arnold and Dan McGrogan of Nucleus Raw Foods in Luzerne, Pennsylvania, and the experience was exceptional yet again.