By Spike Mendelsohn
From burgers to beets to everything in between, my culinary journey has been focused on simple, fresh ingredients.
As plant-based eating continues to gain momentum, I often say that eating “healthy-ish” is a movement that is not just good for the individual, but it’s also good for the planet. Right now it’s all about balance — yes, you can indulge some days — but people are focusing on shifting toward eating foods that fuel them and make them feel good.
When I became a father, I started to pay even more attention to the healthy dining options, or lack thereof, in the Northern Virginia area. I wanted to create a place where families could go for good, healthy food. The culmination of this goal is Vim & Victor, which I like to call a “healthy-ish” restaurant.
People often ask me what inspires my twist on classic dishes. One thing that inspires the dishes that I create and add to the menu is travel, and one of my favorite places on Earth is Hawaii. When I’m there, I gain a lot of inspiration from the fresh ingredients on the islands.
My trips to Hawaii inspired the acai bowl featured on the Vim & Victor menu. A well-rounded bowl is always my go-to “apres surf” and workout meal. These light, refreshing dishes, including açaí, coconut and pitaya bowls, represent freshness and wellness.
The signature açaí bowl has fresh açaí, strawberries and blueberries. For a tropical punch, I add pineapple juice and banana. It’s topped with house-made granola, fresh-cut strawberries, blueberries, bananas, cacao and maple syrup.
It’s a perfect way to start your day, or have as a midday pick me up.
Spike Mendelsohn is chef and partner at Vim & Victor in Springfield. At Vim & Victor, Mendelsohn works to elevate balanced, well-crafted meals through healthy twists on familiar favorites.
(More Port City Flavor: Find health and happiness through intuitive eating)