Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Judi Lloyd Finds Green Dining in New Bern

From Judi's special to the Sun Journal.  Thank you Judi.


Some of my past articles have been on “localvore” (eating local foods).  A couple of benefits of this are fresher, thus healthier fare and foregoing the long distance trucking of the food. Even in January, the New Bern Farmer’s Market has fresh local vegetables, meat, eggs, BBQ sauces, a number of bakeries with fresh baked goods made with nutritious whole grains, locally canned jams, local honey, pecans and even soy candles and soaps from New Bern Candle & Soap Factory.  In addition, you can check out the web-site NCFarmFresh.com
Localvore can also extend to restaurant dining. Recently I had a nice visit with Brad Lowe, general manager of Persimmons Waterfront Restaurant. The word on the street was how environmentally conscious that establishment is, so I wanted to find out for myself. Well, this restaurant marks high scores from me on all ecological counts. Thirty wells were dug to utilize a closed –circuit geothermal heating and air conditioning system, saving on both energy and cost.  There was an old lumber mill on the property long ago and large pieces of a red gum tree were under a scrap pile there. This reclaimed lumber was made into tables and benches for the restaurant. The hostess stand was built from a small persimmon tree, also, found on the property.  The dining room floors are made from recycled tires and repurposed bamboo. A renewable resource, was used for the partitions and trim work.

No paper towels are used in the restrooms or kitchen. Green products are utilized for cleaning and dishwasher soap. In place of those awful Styrofoam boxes for your leftovers, they send you home with a biodegradable one made from sugar cane. All their oils and fats are recycled.

Persimmons has no freezers so all of their food is fresh. The shrimp, flounder, oysters and some of the other fish are purchased from local fisherman.  he chef’s wife travels daily to farms to find out what looks good and buy what is needed. They have very little waste. Beef, some pork and bacon come from Kinston; goat cheese from Jacksonville; veggies from New Bern, Pollocksville, Maysville, Kinston and Duplin County. In fact, they have a section on the bottom of the menu giving credit to the farmers they support.

Persimmons makes a concerted effort to use local and sustainable ingredients whenever available. They serve food that is playful, precise, tasty, beautifully presented and of the highest quality. For those of you who have not been there yet, try it for the sake of your palate, the view and the environment

Judi Lloyd lives in River Bend and can be contacted at judilloyd@yahoo.com

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