Susan Dromey Heeter's Budget Vogue: Health food wasn't on her menu ... until now

By SUSAN DROMEY HEETER February 09. 2018 7:09PM

When my friend Ginny suggested we meet for lunch at the Earth's Harvest Kitchen and Juicery at Herbal Path Pharmacy in Dover, I thought for sure I'd have to grab a burger prior to our meeting. Maybe I'd have to sneak in some Milk Duds in my bag.

Would I find alfalfa sprout specials on the menu? Would I have to learn about colonics? Would I walk in and be asked, "Um, what are YOU doing here?'"

As a Budget Vogue fashionista, I tend to be more interested in fashion than food. I often feel health-food advocates look at me much the way I look at fantasy football fanatics: I know they're out there, but I am slightly judgmental and confused as to the attraction. When I meet someone who exudes the virtue of kale, I'm embarrassed to admit if that I were on death row, my last meal would happily be a hot dog with yellow mustard, a pickle, a Diet Coke and fries - with what I consider to be incredibly exotic: malt vinegar.

So when I grabbed my fear by the horns and walked in to the Earth's Harvest restaurant, I was amazed to see bread on the menu. And grilled cheese.

I ordered a chicken curry salad - really living on the edge. Ginny ordered a BLT, another one of my faves. (When I eat the lettuce and tomato, I really do want a standing ovation for including some vegetables in my diet.) Both were outstanding.

Alas, one of my favorite parts of any eating experience is the chat, the gaze around a venue to see people come and go, watching children with their parents, wondering who is on a date, and in this case, who really is a fan of health food and who is simply masquerading as one. Earth's Harvest allowed us a lunch of over two hours, with no one asking if we were "still working on that" as if our eating were a job. I kind of wish it were - I'd be promoted in no time.

But when a venue allows for light and help-yourself water refills and lovely food (even if it is healthy), I am delighted. And I do happen to know Ron Stock, one of the owners of the Herbal Path Pharmacy and Earth's Harvest Restaurant. He is in a flight club with my husband - and that would be flight club, as opposed to fight club. Owning Herbal Path and being in a fight club would certainly be an anomaly. They do fly planes together, but if they fight, I really do not know.

All this Budget Voguer does know is that it's lovely to try something new and be pleasantly surprised. And who knows? Perhaps I'll try an alfalfa and kale smoothie the next time I venture into Earth's Harvest.

Susan Dromey Heeter lives and teaches on the Seacoast. Contact her at


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