Crunch, color and balance can be tasty too
Local restaurant manager and friend Jimmy Williamson tells me he is now the front-of-house manager at Seed Restaurant on The Highway at Route 24. The menu at this unassuming little spot is roughly 97 percent plant-based and is a popular haven for vegans, vegetarians, and people who must otherwise keep tabs on their food intake. That’s an interesting twist for Jimmy; his former position was in downtown Rehoboth at a restaurant popular with those of the carnivorous persuasion. Oh, well … such is this business of eating – especially nowadays.
Seed shares that area with Minh’s Bistro Vietnamese restaurant, Rosenfeld’s Jewish Deli and, ironically enough, the Beef Jerky Outlet. Owners Dmitry Gorin and Belarus-born Yauhen Yurhelevich opened in February 2020 – just in time to be shuttered by the restaurant lockdown mandated by Delaware. But, like so many local entrepreneurs under duress, these guys pivoted and are currently doing quite well.
According to registered pharmacist, Air Force veteran and plant-based expert Michele Williams, PhD, approximately 3 percent of the U.S. population is vegetarian or vegan. Michele, who prefers to use the term “plant-based,” switched to vegetarianism in college and became vegan shortly thereafter. She approaches the subject pragmatically, advising people how to exercise their eating proclivities in restaurants without, in her words, “driving the chef and fellow diners crazy.” Seed cleverly turns the tables by making plant-based food the norm.
Dmitry came to the United States from Siberia, Russia, 11 years ago. Because of his family’s rather remote location, they ate lots of natural foods that included very little fast food or pre-prepared items. After coming to the U.S., he learned the restaurant biz by working just about every possible position for SoDel Concepts and La Vida Hospitality.
Most of the menu at Seed centers around bowls, constructed assembly-line style from a selection of colorful veggies, various kinds of rice, and other healthy foods. Yauhen, who handles the kitchen duties, steams many of the ingredients, thus preserving the greatest amount of nutrients. In fact, Seed’s website (SeedEatery.com) contains an easy-to-decipher, dish-by-dish nutritional chart for guests who want – or need – to keep a balance among proteins, carbohydrates and fats while still enjoying good flavors. Guests with a medical intolerance to gluten or who have other allergies are treated to a wide variety of healthy and safe choices.
During our conversation with Dmitry, Michele brought up selections for children. She said many parents have to “hide” the nutritional veggies to get kids to eat, but Dmitry tells us that Seed gets a surprising number of small children who are attracted to the variety and the colors. He has one small guest who regularly orders five sides of chickpeas, tomatoes, two sides of carrots and a side of kale. The kid combines it all and loves it.
In deference to my omnivorous tendencies, Dmitry is quick to add that Seed has something for everyone – including chicken and shrimp that can be combined with the fruits, crunchy veggies and sauces. An example is their Signature Bowl that can include brightly spiced chipotle chicken topped with chimichurri. I can’t believe I’m typing this, but one of my favorites is the Vegan Samurai Bowl. This palate of amazing color includes quinoa, cinnamon pineapple, garlic broccoli, Japanese kale, Asian tofu, Thai cucumbers (you’ve got to taste these to believe how good they are) and cilantro purple cabbage with a mild kick of mango habanero and sesame seeds. I will humbly remind you that you are reading this from the former owner of a BBQ restaurant and a lover of all things meat. Reason enough to give Seed a try.
While we’re talking menu, I’ll suggest that you try the Lemongrass Rice Noodles, the Turmeric Cauliflower and the Sesame Edamame. You can even buy their house-made sauces – Champagne Vinaigrette, Chimichurri, Garlic Red Pepper and Mango Habanero – by the bottle. After perusing the menu, Michele Williams (always on the lookout for healthy eats) commented that so many of the dishes can easily be re-created at home. But why not let Dmitry and Yauhen do the slicing and dicing – they’ll even wash the dishes.
Seed is at 18979 Coastal Highway (lots of parking!) and is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday. Pickup and delivery may be ordered online, and special discounts are available to those who download the app, SEED eatery, from either the App Store or Google Play.
Bob Yesbek writes and talks beach eats nonstop. He can be reached at email@example.com.