By Nancy Tannler
2311 SE 50th Ave
Open daily 8 am – 4 pm
The name fern is an acronym that describes the intention of this restaurant; F – feeding E- everyone R – real N- nourishment. fern kitchen is the result of a thoughtful plan of researching, sourcing and experimenting with recipes. Now the final product: a healthy breakfast and lunch restaurant in the new Breathe Building at 2311 SE 50th St.
Tim Vogt and his wife Julie are the owners and they’ve had varied hands on experience to learn their culinary art. Julie started cooking in an Italian restaurant when their children were young. The restaurant owner had a contract to feed the members at a Jesuit Priest retreat where she worked as well. They were originally part of the farm-to- table dining scene in Eugene and they would serve up to 100 diners at their filbert orchard.
The menu for fern is the result of learning what types of food make people leave a restaurant feeling great while having a tasty dining experience. fern offers foods ranging from raw and green to savory, full course meals.
There’s lots of juicing going on with superhero combos like The Incredible Hulk: kale, cucumber, celery, apple, lemon and ginger or X-Man: beets, carrots, kale, apples, ginger and lemon. The Wonder Woman smoothie has hemp protein, banana, almond butter and almond milk.
“To replicate the exact flavor each time we weigh all of our ingredients,” Tim said. “Our juices are made from 90% organic produce that we cold press into a concentrate and then we use a centrifuge juicer.” By juicing this way, the flavor and vitality of the drink is consistent and nutrient-rich.
For breakfast, there are a variety of egg dishes, bowls with roasted vegetables and eggs and toasts. One favorite is the Eggs Benedict using Carlton Farms ham or Flying Fish smoked steelhead on your choice of muffin or a GF bun topped with their own creamy hollandaise.
The bowls range in variety from the sweet yogurt with seasonal fruit, local honey, housemade granola and almonds to the more savory bowls like the slow roasted Carlton pork with cheesy polenta cakes, braised greens and salsa verde.
A sample of their unique lunch offerings are the housemade steelhead salmon burger or the locally-sourced water buffalo burger. The curried cauliflower salad with quinoa, cauliflower, raisins, cashews and curry-citrus vinaigrette is a tantalizing option from their selection of salads.
A real pick-me-up is their bulletproof coffee.“This drink is similar to the principles of the Atkins diet and Tibetan yak butter tea,” Tim said.
The diet encourages people to use fats in the morning so the body has time to burn it up and use it as fuel. The Tibetan people put Yak butter in their tea so it becomes an energy drink and improves the taste. At fern they start with a good French-pressed coffee, add grass-fed beef butter, a concentrated coconut oil and collagen powder. Then blend it up so it is all frothy and very delicious.
Their sustainably farmed elk broth is an ancient soup that has made a comeback in the past several years as people realize the nutrition that comes from cooking bones in soup. Elk is an exceptionally tasty meat so it makes an excellent broth.
Every choice the Vogts have made for FERN Kitchen is with a bigger, long term picture in mind. The fish and meat, fruits and vegetables, tea and coffee can be traced back to a sustainable source. They prepare food keeping in mind the health and well-being of not only their diners but the planet as well.
The lovely building complex is part of a vision that includes their son Todd and daughter-in-law, Annie, owners of the Yoga Union Wellness Center, Dr. Kate Smith and Prema Health. The intention of the Breath Building is to offer the community an inviting gathering space for health, exercise and nourishment.