The Preserved Seed
45859 Yale Road
Pulling into the small parking lot to the left of The Preserved Seed Café, I thought I would be able to taste some flavoursome organic eats in an interesting little hippy locale. Half of the above statement turned out to be true.
Although they advertise themselves as organic, the “About Us” section of their menu admits that even though they’re not strictly organic, most of the ingredients are, which can only beg the question as to which ingredients are and which aren’t. Their menu offers salads in two different sizes, ranging from about five to eight dollars, while their sandwich menu is $8.50 with a “create your own” situation wherein you can choose the meat, cheese and bread made up with mayo and mustard.
I thought I would take advantage of their featured lunch sandwich for $9.50, assuming the feature sandwich is the best. What I got, though, was disappointing at best. The bun was substantially filled with smoked turkey and cheddar cheese, but since those were the only two ingredients other than the condiments, it was lacking in presentation and excitement. The sandwich also offered up a conundrum with melted cheese but an untoasted bun. However hard I tried, I could not get past the logistics of how one melts cheese without toasting even a smidgen of the bun. As a result, the now greasy cheese and meat filling broke free of the soft bread surrounding it, leaving me to try and eat a sandwich with only the fork provided for me.
The sandwiches come with either a side salad or soup, and since the only soup option was split pea, I opted for the salad. Though the veggie ingredients were fresh, it was served in an awkward little bowl that made mixing the dressing into the rest of the salad impossible. Even though one of the ladies came up to see how I was doing, I was also never given water to drink; something that should be a restaurant staple. The entire experience made me wonder at paying ten dollars for something I could have picked up at a supermarket deli for a fraction of the price.
As for the hippy atmosphere, though, The Preserved Seed offered customers so much more. Not only did their menu explain the oddity of their meal choices, hours, and atmosphere, it also shared some information about the employees who, evidently, all live together. Also included was a website, which I promptly visited as soon as I found some wi-fi. Turns out this odd little eatery on Yale Road is part of the Twelve Tribes religious group, which once known explains quite a bit about the attire and similar fashions among all the men and women.
The system of eat-in and take-out should be a simple one, but with two doors for entering and exiting, the system reached new levels of complication in this tiny wood-panelled space. As for the affordable “true food” they promise on their menu, Subway would have been a better option.