UPDATE: Carl Freeland, the owner of Organic Manic, has responded to this review. I have now posted a response to his response here.
Last weekend Ben and I decided that we needed a day out. So, we ran up to Salt Lake and went shopping, ran errands, and had lunch at one of the newest restaurants in SLC, Organic Manic. Organic Manic is a raw vegan buffet in the same complex as Cali’s Natural Foods. New restaurants always get me excited, so needless to say I was super stoked to go in and see what they had to offer.
Organic Manic seems to be a one-woman show, with a very nice woman who runs the register and (I think?) cooks all the food. The deco is minimal and the vibe is new-age and casual/homey.
The food is priced by weight and is set up in cold plates in a buffet. There were also a few hot soups that were sold by size. Ben and I grabbed a container of Italian veggie soup (above), and two plates of whatever looked good. One thing that I found strange is that there was a ton of food, none if it really went with anything. It was just a bunch of random fruits, nuts, legumes, and veggies with no rhyme or reason. I picked out a few things that I thought went together, including a salad with dressing (above), ‘burgers’ with a cheesy sauce and onion rings (above), and pizza (below). However, the fixings for these things were all spread out and I just kind of made them up after I really scrutinized what there was. There were also a few pre-made things too, and I got one of each. This included the date bites (above), the sushi (below), and the lasagna (below).
It was unnerving because there was lots of food, but it felt like there was nothing to eat. Kind of like when you know you have a pantry of food but you don’t know what to DO with all of it.
As far as quality goes, Ben and I were both really happy with the soup. We also really liked the pizza and burgers that I created and the sushi (though it was a bit wilty). Everything else was just…so-so. Especially the fresh stuff. The salad was very wilty and the dressing was watery. The lasagna was borderline tasteless and the date bites were a bit plain.
So, the verdict isn’t great. Honestly, I think the concept is fantastic. Raw vegan food that you can buy in a quantity to match your appetite and get a bunch of different things. It’s great because you aren’t committing $20 to a plate of one type of food at a place like Omar’s. But the problem is the food. I don’t get why it’s all just random veggies and picked asparagus and sprouted beans but nothing to put it on! Why not have a buffet of pre-made foods like the sushi or have a pizza and burger station where there are a bunch of toppings to choose from but it makes sense?? Also, why was there only ONE pre-made dessert? How hard is it to make a coconut or avocado pudding and have people serve themselves up?
Anyway, I can see Organic Manic doing well if they step up their game. Like I said, I love the concept but the food just isn’t there. Overall, I would give it a 3/5.