The small city of Nelson is about an hour away from here, and it's our local mecca for...well, what I'll refer to as "alternative lifestyle" stuff. It's also where some of the best restaurants in the area are located. If you ever visit this city, which is perched on the mountainside overlooking a beautiful, glacier-fed lake, you can be assured you'll eat very well.
The Preserved Seed is run by the Twelve Tribes living and farming in the Nelson area. The food is locally grown or farmed, mostly organic, fresh, well-prepared, and many dishes on the menu have vegan and vegetarian-friendly versions. Some of the food is even grown and harvested from their own farm, located 15km outside of Nelson. They also specialize in yerba mate teas. Additionally, you can purchase their organic salad mixes for a reasonable price at the cafe.
The restaurant is located in a converted house, and you can, weather permitting, sit outside under the shade of some giant maple trees, or if you want, go in and enjoy your meal in a mellow atmosphere. The staff are extremely friendly and the service, though not traditional table service, is excellent.
The food at the Preserved Seed is simple. The menu consists of a few sandwiches made with high quality ingredients and home-baked bread, wraps, fresh salads in a house-made vinagrette, some rice dishes, and homemade soups served with sourdough bread. The specials are listed on the huge chalkboard near the bar, where you order from. I almost always get the Deli Rose sandwich, which is organic, hormone-free roast beef served on a spelt bun with spicy ketchup, onion, tomato, mozzarella and mustard (which I always request to have omitted). They also have a chicken reuben I've never tried as I'm not a huge fan of sourkrout. The rice medley dishes can be served with meat or tofu and are totally yummy.
But the reason I love the Preserved Seed so much is the coconut cream pie. OH.MY.GOD. It is excellent! Obviously, the coconuts are not local, but it doesn't matter. This is the most exceptionally amazing coconut cream pie I've ever had. It's just perfect in every way a coconut cream pie can be perfect. The filling is creamy and rich and full of shredded coconut, and the graham cracker crust is always ample (I hate thin graham crusts!). It's served with real whipped cream, and as you can see, simply plated with a slice of orange. They also do a totally awesome key lime square that I have tasted and thought was wicked. These two desserts go for $4 each, and I know that in the case of the coconut cream pie you can buy a slice at the Kootenay Co-op market for $4.
For local, organic, high-quality food, this is a very affordably-priced eatery. The Deli Rose sandwich is $9, as is the reuben. You'll have to forgive me for not including a picture of the sandwich; I tucked in before remembering to photograph it!