Keeping dry in WaterHaven

Last month Larry and I attended the first meeting of the Mission Zero Meetup. We met some very nice, smart people whose mission is to treat the world with care and integrity so that it will last long enough to host the next generation and beyond. Not a bad goal, eh?

When we left the Interface building it was pouring outside so we decided to dash over to WaterHaven and ask them to pour us one inside. Behind the bar we met Tom, a 30 year veteran of the restaurant industry and another nice, smart person who aims to treat the world with care and integrity so that it will last… It seemed to be the theme of the evening like

Tom told us that a number of WaterHaven’s wines come from farms that use biodynamic, organic, or otherwise sustainable growing methods and he was happy to speak with us about the restaurant’s other green initiatives as well. He told us that WaterHaven uses compostable take-out containers rather than that nasty Styrofoam and purchases food locally whenever local farmers and vendors can supply the restaurant with top quality products. They recycle glass, plastic and cardboard. Their straws are made out of corn and their stir sticks are made from wood rather than plastic. Tom also said that when the trout man goes to North Carolina for trout, he takes the used oil with him for conversion to biodiesel. All in all, WaterHaven is doing a commendable job of greening their operations.

Although we had grabbed a sandwich on our way into town, I’m a sucker for a beet salad and when I saw one on the menu I yelled “beets!” before I knew what I was doing. That’s the kind of impulse control problem that makes me stay out of casinos, auction houses and other places where it can get me into trouble, but in this case it served me well. WaterHaven’s red and golden beets were that perfect texture, substantial enough to sink the teeth into while still soft enough to convey a comfortable welcome to the teeth and tongue. And dear me, they had the aroma and taste of rain-drenched, organically-farmed earth. Oh, yum.

Tom introduced us to manager Cassandra Loftlin, who actually remembered me from a retreat I attended last winter at Serenbe, where she was then employed. Either she has a very good memory or I behaved very badly through the weekend. I’m not sure which, but hoping for the former.

Cassandra gave us some specifics about the restaurant’s suppliers and shared more about WaterHaven’s vision to do “what we can, where we can for our neighbors.” This mission statement is echoed on the restaurant’s web site, which includes a tab for community and you can visit it to see a picture of Sparky, the assistant dog who doubled as a greeter for the restaurant on opening night.

Tom hustled us up a couple of the few remaining bumper stickers that were leftovers from a Georgia Organics meeting held at WaterHaven, as well as a copy of their guide to local foods. As I’ve mentioned before, you can get a copy of this nifty guide through the GO’s web site, but it’s nice to have a hard copy to carry around in the car with me.

I’ll recycle it after I thumb it to shreds.

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