If it’s good for you, it’s supposed to taste bad. At least that’s how the mantra goes.
Luckily, the Dharma Mojo Tea Bar and Grill, 210 W. Pickard St., is proving just the opposite with its menu.
Owner Mike Otterbine opened the vegan and vegetarian restaurant last September to provide Mount Pleasant with healthy options that could be difficult to come by.
“Being a vegetarian, there aren’t a lot of healthy options, so I put a restaurant in that I would want to eat at and hang out in,” he said.
Otterbine said he hoped to combine his business with his wife’s yoga studio, which they moved from its previous location to the space right next to the restaurant. The combination of tea, vegetarian food and yoga creates a kind of synergy, Otterbine said.
The menu at Dharma Mojo reflects this concept, with its combination of vegan and vegetarian entrees, meals and sides. The food is seasonal, so the menu is always changing, and Otterbine tries to use as many local foods as possible.
“We’ve tried with varied success to do more of it,” Otterbine said. “We’re always searching for more sources, especially the organic. The produce has to be really fresh.”
According to Otterbine, the main goals of the restaurant is to educate others about the food they eat and provide them with healthy alternatives that leave nothing to be desired when it comes to taste.
“We think we would surprise anyone who is skeptical,” Otterbine said. “A lot of our customers have questions about the food. People should be questioning.”
After a year of learning, Otterbine has changed the Dharma Mojo menu to feature more options that resemble vegetarian comfort foods. It currently includes four different burgers, sweet potato fries, muffins and several other options.
“You should like the food and then you should feel really good after you eat it,” Otterbine said.
Mount Pleasant resident Cathy Tilmann and Shepherd resident Christine Kutz think their orders did just that. The two women praised the food and prices over a late lunch in the modern, relaxed restaurant.
“It’s phenomenal,” Kutz said. “We’ll definitely come back many, many times.”
According to Tilmann, the only problem with Dharma Mojo for her is the fact that she lives so close and that the sweet potato fries are so good.
With such positive reviews, Otterbine plans to continue learning and changing to help Dharma Mojo have as much success as possible.
“It’s like when you have a child you want it to grow up and be healthy,” Otterbine said. “I want Dharma Mojo to be a healthy business.”