Monday, September 14, 2009

Ep. 42: Gary Redmond's Regional Access & New Vegan Dining

Download MP3 | Subscribe to podcast via RSS | Subscribe via iTunes

Without a doubt, Gary Redmond is one of the most enthusiastic and passionate forces of the Finger Lakes food community we've ever met. His company, Regional Access, is celebrating its 20th year even as they continue to explore new ways of sharing the best foods of our region and beyond. Our interview with Gary is bound to get you thinking about just how much is possible for a sustainable future in New York.

We're also continuing to eat our way through every restaurant in Ithaca in alphabetical order, this time looking back to seek out the restaurants that have opened since our first pass through the letters A to H. In this episode, we're checking out the new vegan restaurant Food For the Planet on West Buffalo Street, which both surprised and disappointed us. Hear our review for the full story.

Plus we have lots of news on other new restaurants opening in the weeks to come, as well as the latest on upcoming events for local food lovers! Be sure to follow us on Twitter for continuing updates throughout the week, and stay in touch: you can write a comment on the blog, leave a message on our voicemail line 607-215-4392, or send an email with your thoughts to: feedback [at] eatingithaca [dot] com.

If you really enjoy what we create here at Eating Ithaca, why not make a donation? Your support goes directly to helping us keep this blog and podcast running, and keep making it even better as we go. Just click on the Donate button on the main page and you'll be helping us keep Eating Ithaca!

Click Play to Listen to Episode 42

Stuff we talked about in this episode:


Anonymous said...

I don't remember if you've mentioned that the Cornell Orchards Store is now open for the harvest. As I've gone past the trees, as is my wont, I've noticed some great-looking apples. Unfortunately, the only way to get good apple crisp around here might be to make it.

I recommend this recipe. (I drop the raisins and adjust the non-sweet ingredients down to compensate.)

Fellow AppleCrispophile

Anonymous said...

I was really disappointed in your review of Food for the Planet. From what you said, it really seemed like you went in there with really low expectations for the food in general. Instead of thinking vegan food is "limiting," it's too bad you didn't embrace vegan cuisine as something that actually *expands* your food repertoire. FWIW, the raw lasagna is amazing there. Please try it when you return.

I was really annoyed about Andrea's comment about Ithacan vegans being a "cult" - even though she took it back right away, it really showed her underlying views on vegan food and perhaps the vegan/vegetarian community here.

I'll agree with you on the service, but I ate there very early on and expected some hiccups, as you did.

I guess I find you salivating over a freakin' chain burger joint opening soon ten times more than appreciating a wonderful LOCAL restaurant a little disconcerting.


Dear Anonymous #2,

Thanks for your honest feedback. We appreciate hearing a contrasting opinion and will be sure to share them with our listeners in the next podcast, as well as some clarifications on our review.

We actually enjoyed a lot of what we ate at Food for the Planet, just as we have enjoyed & hope to continue to enjoy tasty vegan food (and vegans) when given the opportunity, but this restaurant experience also had plenty of disappointments and our review explained why.

We will continue to explore, promote, and support the enjoyment of ALL local restaurants, whether they are part of a larger chain or special little places like Food for the Planet. As always, we encourage all our listeners to do the same and keep Eating Ithaca.


Anonymous said...

I admit that I haven't listened to the pod cast, so I'm not sure what was said about Food for the Planet. I *am* a vegetarian, and I went there recently with my partner and HATED IT. Oddly enough, a couple of my very omnivorous friends really enjoyed it. But nobody can accuse me of being biased against vegan food or what not. The food was just not very good. (That said, I also was never a fan of ABC Cafe, and I really hope the new restaurant has better food.)

Elaine said...

I wanted to hear the podcast but it took too long to get to the review. However, I have eaten there twice and enjoyed it immensly both times. Once with my non-vegan 12 yr old son and once with my non-vegan 8 yr daughter. I had the raw lasagne which I thought was excellent and my son had the vegan lasagne. Also excellent. Had raw nachos that were to die for. I have been vegan for 20 years so to me the place is a Godsend. The fact that it serves raw also only makes it that much better and healthier.

Anonymous said...

I've been to Food for the Planet several times (I've been vegan for many years), and have brought my non-vegan relatives. The food was wonderful each time, and the portion sizes were reasonable. We split an appetizer, each got our own entree, and then split dessert. The relatives enjoyed it so much we went back the next day to do it again. Yes, as a vegan, I've developed my "little" repertoire (the sprinkling of "ittle" throughout the podcast was somewhat condescending, as was the "cult" reference), but it's nice to get out, and not to do the prep, the cooking, and the dishes. Do you go out for burgers and expect it to be vastly different from the way you prepare it, or are you just looking for a good burger?

Having said that, I did not find that the food needed more spicing. I noticed that, soon after I went vegan, I needed/wanted fewer spices (although I do love my garlic!) because I enjoyed the flavors of the foods themselves that much more. I don't want heavy flavors over my veggies, and I did taste sea salt and pepper on the kale. Everybody has different expectations and tastes, and this review was based on yours; of course it doesn't mean that everyone else would feel that way. I agree with the poster who said that seemed to be biased before you walked into the door by looking at the vegan diet as "limiting". Nearly everyone's diet is somewhat limited by their preferences and dislikes, their religions, their locations, etc. As a vegan, I eat foods with more variety than I ever did before, whereas I used to eat the same few things all the time.

UnCorked Glens Falls said...

We just heard the sad news that Gary Redmond passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday.

We knew his name, but never had the opportunity to meet him. Through Regional Access, he created new possibilities for the Finger Lakes wineries. Our little store and our customers have benefited from his work ever since we opened in 2000.

We extend our condolences and best wishes to his family and colleagues.

Rich & Margot Cirino


Blog Widget by LinkWithin