A Slice of Fried Gold

Hippie Bracket: (2) Middle Way Cafe vs. (7) Organic Oasis

Monday, March 8, 2010
Today in the Hippie Bracket we have a match up between one of the most popular breakfast/lunch spots in all of Anchorage versus one of the best kept secrets as Middle Way Cafe and Organic Oasis square off. Seperated by just a short distance and fighting for the same niche (vegetarian/vegan eaters or those who just like delicious food), MWC has long outdistanced Organic Oasis in terms of popularity. But is it deserved?

Middle Way Cafe: This restaurant is arguably my go-to weekend breakfast spot and my go-to lunch spot. Their almost comically delectable avocado breakfast burrito hits me in a way that almost no other meal in the city does, kicking my weekend off in grand fashion each and every time and setting me up for a great couple days (I clearly like this burrito). Then, if I'm headed their for lunch it's hard not to go for the Avocado Melt, a sandwich that is every bit as good as the best sandwiches in town and synonymous with the restaurant as a whole. It's ingrained into the discerning Anchorage diner's repetoire as much as possibly even Moose's Tooth pizza is.

They have a wide variety of breakfast and lunch options, all of which are quite tasty. Their soups and baked goods are also exceptional, almost always sucking me in to make a bad decision (aka eating too much).

I only have a couple beefs with this joint: on numerous occasions they've lost my order and had to remake it, or after waiting for a lengthy stretch they come out to inform me that they are out of avocados. To a person eager to eat, that is devestating news. I'm also not a fan of their coffee, as I find it difficult to reason to myself that I should drink their brew while I could walk three doors down and pick up some Kaladi coffee for less.

Organic Oasis: This place is sneaky good, in that you don't think it would be good until you eat it...and then it is. On numerous occasions I've been blown away by my meals, finding their chicken stuffed with portobello mushrooms and their vegan high protein wrap to be particularly good. As perhaps the single most green restaurant in town, I was a bit skeptical of what their dessert experience could be, but I'm not going to lie - their brownie ala mode (vegan) is near the peak of my dessert experiences in town. To throw in another major positive, they even have a nice beer selection.

On occasion, they have solid concert experiences. That in itself is a major positive and something that really adds to the overall quality of the spot.

However, there are a number of big negatives. A lot of their meals have been described by friends and yours truly as "bland" or even "completely lacking flavor." Never a good thing. On top of that, their service and atmosphere is odd and their hawking of random vitamin packs and strange alternative medicines is a bit off putting. While a lot of their meals are good and their juices are great, they are all massively overpriced.

The Showdown: Anyone who knows me knows that this isn't a competition at all. Middle Way is a VERY strong two seed (like Duke will be this year) and Organic Oasis is a low seed with a lot of holes (like...every low seed really). If the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, Middle Way has very much captured my love. My biggest problem is stopping myself from eating their daily.


Sara said...

The avocado melt is my favorite, too!

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