Review: Communal atmosphere, 'scrumptious' food at Healthy World Cafe


Healthy World Cafe touts food "locally sourced and made from scratch."

I don't think Cooper Seipp, a young diner I interviewed at the grand opening Monday, gave this too much thought as he plowed food into his mouth.

"This tastes delicious," he said.

Cooper, along with his brother, Caspian, and mother, Janet Rivers, had been looking forward to the opening of the Healthy World Cafe since they tasted a sample of the cafe's food at the Farm-to-City dinner last fall.

Paula Hartley of York stopped by looking for a healthier alternative to fast food. She declared the Swiss chard, herb and cheese quiche "scrumptious."

The location: On Monday, the Healthy World Cafe had its long-awaited grand opening. The cafe is based on the nonprofit pay-how-you-can model.

All of the food is made daily from scratch with ingredients provided by local farms, dairies and bakeries. The restaurant is staffed by volunteers and a paid manager. The idea is to make sustainable, healthy food available to everyone.

Located at 24 S. George St., the restaurant is light, friendly and elegant in its simple decor. Running down the center of the restaurant are two handcrafted farmhouse tables with hand-painted wooden chairs. Along the sides and in the front are smaller tables for more intimate dining. Local art graces the walls.

An impromptu piano and vocal performance by York local Tony Cameron added to the opening's festive atmosphere.

The food: No restaurant review would be complete without mentioning the food. I had the roasted carrot hummus with roasted vegetables on foccacia.

Some people equate "healthy" food with bland taste, but my sandwich laid this theory to waste. With a hint of garlic, spices and feta cheese, it made a quite satisfying lunch. The roasted vegetables added texture and a sweet addition to the hummus. A side of spicy seasonal pickled vegetables set off the flavors of the sandwich.

My dining mate had chicken salad on fresh greens. No iceberg lettuce in sight.

I wish I had come with a bigger appetite, as the curried butternut squash soup looked inviting.

Freshly made iced tea was provided at no extra charge. I was impressed with the bottle of simple syrup to sweeten the iced tea to taste.

A sustainable community begins with a healthy community. With vegan, vegetarian and meat dishes, the Healthy World Cafe is a welcome addition to the downtown York dining scene. I strongly recommend you give it a try.

— Julie Falsetti, a York native, comes from a long line of good cooks.