In Envigado you are a bit spoilt for choice on where to have your Menu del día (lunch time special).
However if you cross Avenida Poblado and walk half a block you will arrive at the vegetarian restaurant Prana (a sanskrit word meaning life force).
One of the many up and coming vegetarian restaurants in Medellin, it is well worth the visit.
As soon as you enter Prana, you know it is a bit different from your traditional Colombian restaurant.
It has chic oriental artwork adorning the walls, rustic tables with flowers on top and a very green plant filled interior. Jazz, reggae and chill out music can be heard playing in the background.
There are shelves of healthy food for sale (from Quinoa to Pink Himalayan salt) as well as leaflets advertising everything for the health and eco-conscious.
It also shares space with a clothing store called Arbol which is home to an ecologically produced clothing range. The designs are inspired by the environment and all things Medellín (illustrated by the flowery designs).
Back to the most important bit – the food. The aim of the food is not just to be tasty (which it is) but also to have a positive impact on your health.
All the dishes are based on the concept, from Chinese Medicine, that there are five types of flavors to nourish each of your organs.
Does it sound a bit hippie to some? Probably. But the food tastes excellent and they fill the dishes with protein and healthy ingredients.
The Vegeterian Menu del día is 10,0000 pesos ($4), and you can add fish or chicken if you need something meaty for an extra 1,000 pesos ($o.40) or 2,000 pesos ($0.80).
Every time I have been, probably a dozen times now, there has been a different version of the soup, main and aromatic tea combo. All of which have been delicious.
This time we started with a zucchini and pumpkin soup. It was well-balanced, with a good combination of flavors and served with a sweet integral bread.
There was also a juice of tomate de arbol. Usually not my favorite fruit juice, but it managed to avoid being too bitter and was quite refreshing.
The main was a delight. Tomato risotto, with lentils wrapped in cabbage topped with a ginger, carrot and sesame seed sauce. All of which was accompanied by a fresh salad with a peanut vinaigrette. Good size portions and very tasty.
To finish, we were served an aromatic tea of lemon balm and a small dairy free muffin. Small and delicate.
The service is attentive and friendly, with the waiters and waitresses happy to chat about the food and the values of the restaurant.
As we dined early, around midday, it was empty when we arrived however it quickly got busy and most of the clientele were Colombians filling the ten or so tables.
A group of guys in UNE overalls were enjoying their healthy grub, definitely dispelled the idea that this place is only for hippies and foreigners. It appears to be getting my popular with locals and deservingly so.
Prana also do various events and food workshops, which can be found on their Facebook page, and home delivery should you choose to be a bit lazy.
Overall, you can’t go wrong with Prana. Tasty, healthy food at a reasonable price in pleasant surroundings. It is a winner all round.