Wednesday, February 27, 2013

FRESH Food at a Local Restaurant: the Cutting Edge Cafe

Medi-Veggie Sandwich and Side: MMMMM!!!


One of my favorite restaurants in Chesapeake, VA, is the Cutting Edge Cafe. It is located near Walmart off of Route 64 and Battlefield Blvd, in a plaza right behind a car wash. Melanie and her husband, Matt, own the restaurant and run it. They are active in Hampton Roads' "Buy Fresh, Buy Local" movement. Their food reflects their passion for fresh, local food. I'm a vegetarian, so I haven't tried everything on their menu, but their "Medi-Veggie" sandwich, made with fresh cheeses, fresh bread, and grilled vegetables, is to die for! I like their sweet potato fries, their hummus side-order, their sesame noodles, their salads and salad dressings, their rich and flavorful soups...

Basically, everything I've tried there has been superior to anything else I've had in town. Did I mention that Melanie bakes the bread they use? It's so good, I'm planning to buy my bread from her instead of the store. Their restaurant is not a bakery, but their bread is just as good.

Matt and Melanie's passion for local food is how I found this gem of an eatery. It's close to where I live. So when it became a pick-up point for the Coastal Farms Online Food Co-op, I arranged to pick up my weekly orders there. Until that point, I'd never really noticed the place, even though I'd driven by there dozens of times. Originally, I stopped just for the convenient location to pick up my local food orders, but once I tried one of their entrees, I was hooked! I order there at least once a week now.

I also recently found out that the Cutting Edge will soon become a pick-up point for CSA orders from Mattawoman Creek Farms, an organic farm in this area. CSA stands for  "Community Supported Agriculture." A good explanation of how this works can be found at LocalHarvest.org. The basic idea is that residents can pay a local farmer in advance for a share of the season's crops, delivered each week. The food is fresher than what residents can find in grocery stores, and the farmer makes a fair living for his (or her) hard work. This system helps to keep smaller farmers in business! Don and I are adventurous cooks and eaters, so we're looking forward to whatever comes our way in our farm share order each week.

Our first farm share order should arrive in a week or two, depending on the weather. We can't wait! Thanks, Matt and Melanie, for making these opportunities available to us, and for running a fantastic restaurant!

Oh: one caveat: their hours are a little different. They started as a lunch place (open until 4:00) but have extended into some evening hours on Wednesday through Fridays. They're closed Saturday. Keep in mind their schedule before heading over.

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