Marilyn and Aimee give a thumbs up to Tightwad Tuesday at Bloodroot Restaurant in Bridgeport, CT, but…here’s why…
Luckily, I hate (yes, hate) to eat at restaurants–it saves a load of money that way. But I wasn’t always like that, and I ate out twice daily when I worked in Manhattan. Enter my teen daughter, who loves to eat out. About 99 percent of the time, we are disappointed in the tasteless food, high prices, uncomfortable seating, loud patrons, and then, our digestive system often takes a hit. So it was with great trepidation that I took Aimee to Bloodroot Restaurant in Bridgeport for a birthday dinner slash review for its new advertised “Tightwad Tuesday” dinner.
For $10, Tightwad Tuesday’s menu consists of a salad, soup, and bread. Being the cranky restaurant eater I am, I wasn’t at first impressed with the price or the menu. Until I sat down and tasted it all. This menu is NOT your usual silly fare of tasteless lettuce, stale bread and canned soup fit for early birds. Oh, no. It is the real thing, healthy home-cooked nirvana. No poor digestive hits here. I don’t know a lot about Bloodroot, only the basics about its three-decades-old origins and vegetarian menu, but I learned that its ingredients come from on-site gardens and otherwise local just-picked and just-grown venues.
This simple menu with its complex recipes is worth every penny of $10. I can’t remember the names of what I ate, but I do remember something about sunflower seed bread and coconut milk in one of the soups. (I didn’t take notes, but I’m sure Aimee will remember more of what we ate!) All divine. There’s no need to supplement it with a gooey dessert or anything other than a glass of fresh water with lemon, unless you want to, of course!
If you are a frugal home cook who prefers actual real healthy food that tastes like actual real healthy food, then Tightwad Tuesday is perfect if you want a night off from preparing your own real food. Bonus: if you can’t resist beautiful, friendly cats and a gorgeous view of a marina, you’ll want to visit Bloodroot!
Our family of 5 rarely goes out to eat, and when we do, it is usually a mediocre experience. Since writing for this blog and branding myself a “Frugal Foodie,” my standards are pretty high. I want a wallet-friendly balanced meal, preferably made with fresh ingredients. Organic ingredients? Probably not. Non-GMO? Unlikely. So, I tell myself, ‘Oh, just this once’. At one particular restaurant that I thought was a safe bet, I experienced gastro-intestinal illness brought on by the likes of cryptosporidium. I thought that maybe it was that one particular dish that didn’t agree with me. After three such episodes, that place no longer is on our list. There are only two places where we’ve eaten recently and have consistently come away thinking that we ate a delicious, budget-friendly, relatively healthy meal worth every cent.
When we had only one child and two salaries coming in, eating at Bloodroot Restaurant was possible. Not only do I support its practice of sourcing all of their ingredients from local farms, but also its feminist philosophy and fiercely independent spirit. I do differ on the eating animals part, however. Three-children-and-one-salary later, I’ve needed to think more about my total food budget. And if you’ve been following my writing, you know that by belonging to a food co-op, couponing for non-perishables and some whole foods perishables, our family has been able to afford to eat organic, non-GMO and locally grown – nearly solely prepared by me at home.
I cringe at the thought of spending all those hard-earned and hard-saved dollars on eating crap food at a restaurant. When I read about Bloodroot offering a new “Tightwad Tuesday” menu, I thought about how going there to eat might be possible again.
Marilyn had the great idea of celebrating my birthday and reviewing our experience for the blog. We ordered warm and cold soup to share and a each had a sampling of the three homemade whole grain breads, oatmeal, sunflower seed and whole wheat. The warm Mulligatawny soup, which is made with red lentils, coconut milk, and brown rice was filling and delicious. The cold soup, whose name escapes me, was equally delicious and filling. I was afraid that the salad was not going to be of an ample quantity, but I was glad to be wrong. It was just the right size. The bread rounded out the meal. Ice water with a fresh slice of lemon was a perfect accompaniment for this Frugal Foodie.
As Marilyn said, this simple meal was worth every cent of its $10 cost, especially when you take into consideration that each ingredient is organically grown and locally sourced. Often times these days, you get what you pay for. When you have the budget to do so, consider spending more for high quality. Can I afford to bring my family of 5 on Tightwad Tuesday? No. But was this a great splurge for a night out for a friend and me? Absolutely! If I can barter for some free childcare for a date with my husband, I will return to Bloodroot Restaurant for Tightwad Tuesday.
Let us know if you have come across a great tightwad restaurant in your area!