Weighing customer requests for vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free dishes, Bobbi Best worried her popular restaurant would smell "funny" — like a "health-food store."
"I just kept bugging her, basically," says Best's daughter, Robyn Hemingway, one of three women behind Blondies' Bistro in Grants Pass. "Partly, this is selfish."
A licensed acupuncturist, Hemingway, 47, says health has defined her diet for more than 30 years. Only with difficulty does she find restaurants to fill the bill. At Blondies', patrons increasingly shared the sentiment.
"People want to eat healthy, but they want it to taste good," says Hemingway, who waits tables part time at Blondies'.
Since Best and friend Jill Dini opened Blondies' three years ago on Southwest G Street, interest in gluten-free and vegan fare has increased markedly, along with customers' questions about ingredients and cooking techniques, says Hemingway. Merging Dini's desire for a sandwich shop, Hemingway's pitch for a creperie and Best's culinary creativity, Blondies' is billed as an eclectic eatery with something for everyone. But the message eluded many health-conscious diners.