A new month meant a new restaurant for us to try and the restaurant we checked out last week came highly recommended by many of you. As always, we looked to answer the same list of questions that will help you Find Your Healthy Place when looking for local restaurants. Here is what we are reviewing:
- The food
- The knowledge of the staff regarding different diets or preferences
- The overall experience
Good Food Low Carb Cafe & Food Carts, Madison, WI
Last week, Katie (our art director) and I were able to enjoy lunch at Good Food Low Carb Cafe. When we started this series, we asked our Facebook and Instagram communities for recommendations. Since many of you suggested it, we put it on our list to check out!
Good Food Low Carb, owned by Melanie Nelson, started with a food cart in 2010. Her dream was to be able to serve customers healthy options on-the-go. In eight years, this dream has grown to two food carts and one (new!) cafe.
What’s on the Menu?
Melanie’s goal is to serve low-carb options to her customers, just as her restaurant’s name states. Both her and her husband have seen the positive impact that going low carb has made in their lives and believe it can benefit others as well.
Their food carts specialize in low carb salads, lettuce “tacos”, and wraps. At their cafe, in addition to the salads and wraps, they also have “fathead” flatbreads, zoodle bowls, and desserts that are grain-free and free of added sugars.
Fathead bread or dough is made with almond flour, cheese, and eggs, and is the perfect solution for people who eat low-carb or keto and want a bread option with the carb overload.
The zoodle bowls feature spiralized zucchini and a variety of delicious toppings. I got the creamy artichoke chicken bowl and it was delicious and full of flavor.
Their meals are made with a lot of vegetables, healthy fats like avocado, clean cooking oils (avocado, olive and coconut), nuts, seeds, and full-fat dairy. Their dessert options are made with no added sugars and their goal is to keep each meal to under 30 g. net carbs.
Dig Into Fit Fresh Food
Do they offer a variety of healthy options? (gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan)
Yes! They target a low-carb diet. There are not, however, as many options for people who are vegan/vegetarian.
Do they use seasonal, local foods when possible?
During the growing season, they use as much organic and local produce as possible. The farms that they get most of their produce from are Raleigh’s Hillside Farm and Winterfell Acres, which are both certified organic. Melanie, the owner, said that they are about 50% local and organic in the summer and about 20% in the winter.
Do they accommodate food sensitivities and allergies?
While the menu itself is very accommodating to individuals with a gluten sensitivity and those eating a low carb diet, they can’t guarantee (like most restaurants) that any of their food is free of allergens.
Do they have separate menus?
Do they have separate kitchens/ food preparing spaces?
No. The owner said that they are very careful and run a clean kitchen, but all of the major food allergens are used at some point or other during the week and they can’t guarantee anything.
Are the servers/staff knowledgeable?
Yes! We were welcomed with a smile and the server was very helpful answering all of our questions.
What is the atmosphere like?
The cafe is clean and had a fun atmosphere. We loved the colors and the illustrated menus.
Is the food delicious?
Yes! I highly recommend the zoodle bowls and the flatbread pizzas.
Good Food Low Carb Food Carts
In addition to their cafe, Good Food Low Carb has two food cart locations. The first food cart is located near 33 E. Main St. in Madison and serves a number of options for salads or wraps. The second cart is located in library mall on campus and also serves salads and wraps. To see their menu, go here.
Overall, we had a great experience at Good Food Low Carb Cafe. The menu was something that intrigued me and really suited my personal diet choices as someone who is gluten sensitive and prefers to eat low carb. While this cafe has so many healthy options, it might not be the best option for vegans or others with major food sensitivities.
That being said, if you prefer eating a low carb diet and want to get out of your own kitchen for a change, I highly recommend checking out Good Food Low Carb Cafe or one of their food carts next time you are downtown or on the east side of Madison. You won’t regret it!
Good Food Low Carb Cafe
4674 Cottage Grove Rd.
Food Cart 1
33 E. Main St.
Food Cart 2
Library Mall on UW Campus