Edible Ethics

I’m a bit of news junky. As I was reading Mother Jones today, I came across an interesting article on eating out called “A Zagat-Style Guide for Ethical Dining”. http://motherjones.com/blue-marble/2011/12/zagat-guide-ethical-restaurants-wages People think about the ethical practices of a business when they are contemplating the Walmarts and Lowe’s of the world. However, I’m not sure many people consider it when they choose a place to eat.

Living in Oly, I realize that I am somewhat protected from the consumerist, opportunistic, mediocrity of the rest of the country when it comes to food. So I’m a bit of a braggart, I know, but it’s true none the less. Olympia just really has it’s shit together when it comes to great places to eat.

I’ve been so busy cooking with friends and at home, I have not gotten much of chance to get out and try some new restaurants. But this weekend my mother and I ventured out to nice little place on the West side of Olympia called Iron Rabbit Restaurant and Bar. From the Indie Film posters on the walls to the large chalked letters proclaiming their commitment to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, this little place touts their ethics as well as their food. The menu is unpretentious, but still manages to imbibe quality and uniqueness. The fare includes burgers, pasta, curries, seafood, salads and some vegetarian dishes. Their website even has a page called ‘giving back’ that lists all of the local business that they support as well as the causes and organizations that they give to on a regular basis.

The decor is as clean and unpretentious as the food.

We stopped in for breakfast before we went to – and this is true – volunteer for a local churches annual present drive and Christmas dinner for people in need. Yes, friends, this really is what life in Olympia can be like. It’s pretty easy to start giving a shit about people when you are surrounded by others who do too. It’s also pretty easy to make good choices about food when you are surrounded by restaurants that choose to serve good things. It’s easy to be ethical in Oly. Maybe that should be a tee-shirt. You can add it to your collection of tee-shirts from buyolympia.com that say ‘Reading is Sexy’ and ‘What would Budda do?’ Or, for that special Oly date, make sure you are wearing your panties that proclaim ‘vegetarians taste better’ on the front.

But I digress. The food was delish. I had a goat cheese and and marinated artichoke scramble served with fried potatoes on a bed of fresh spinach. The acidic taste of the vinaigrette dressing that was splashed over the spinach and the tangy artichokes balanced out the salty carbs and rich dairy of the cheese and eggs. It was scrumptious and filling without being heavy.

My mom, in her classic style, picked the classic breakfast. Eggs, bacon and fried potatoes with toast. It was simply real, good, local food cooked by people who care about what they are serving.

An American classic.

So next time you are on the West Side, stop in to Iron Rabbit for breakfast, lunch, dinner or just for a drink. I’ll be going back to try their home made root beer. Yum.

Iron Rabbit Restaurant

2103 Harrison Ave NW
Olympia, WA 98502


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