Back to Home Page

Tuesday, 24 July 2012


If you've been in to Teaism lately, you may have noticed a few changes. The tofu noodle salad is gone, as is the tofu scramble, the tofu side, and in fact, all of the tofu on our menu. In its place we are serving seitan and tempeh (a fermented soy product). 

We know that some of you are disappointed by these menu modifications, but as Marcus Aurelius once said: 
"The universe is change; our life is what our thoughts make it."
In other words, we like to think that these are changes for the better. Let me explain: there are myriad factors behind our decision to cut all unfermented soy products from Teaism's menu. Firstly, our research shows that more than 80% of the soy grown in the USA is genetically modified. Companies selling the products have lobbied against labeling, so it's impossible to know whether or not you are getting GMO foods. 

More importantly, unfermented soy products (such as tofu) have been proven to pose significant health risks. Unfermented soy has high levels of phytic acid which inhibits absorption of iron and other necessary minerals. Soy isoflavones can disrupt hormonal balance in men and women; overindulging in soy products can cause estrogen dominance. A diet high in soy has been linked to thyroid problems, cancer of the brain and breast, kidney stones, and reproductive disorders, among others. 

To be clear, tempeh, soy sauce, and miso are all fermented soy products, and so do not fall into this category. Sadly edamame will be going the way of our other soy dishes, to be replaced by kale chips... In the mean time, we appreciate your patience as we implement these changes! 

Pictured above: the brand new Lemon Maple Grilled Tempeh Burger, our replacement for the tofu-shiitake patty that used to be our veggie burger. It's served on whole grain focaccia with marinated portobello mushrooms, tomato, and a green salad on the side. 

For more information on the soy debate, check out Dr. Mercola's site on the evidence against soy, or Dr. Kaayal Daniel's book entitled The Whole Soy Story: The Dark Side of America's Favorite Health Food. As always, we welcome your feedback at Teaism, so let us know what you think about these changes. 

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Wake Up and Smell the Okonomiyaki!

Between the 4th of July holiday and storm-induced internet connectivity issues, I haven't been quite as diligent as usual about updating the blog, so sorry, dear readers. 

In case you missed it, Tom Sietsema gave our Old Town location a rave review in last week's food section of the Washington Post. He cited our breakfast as "a new reason to get up early in Old Town," explaining that "One of the best breakfasts in Washington -- the cilantro-speckled scrambled eggs with tea-cured salmon offered at three branches of Teaism -- became available in Alexandria in March, when the good-for-you, Asian-inspired restaurant opened in Old Town, its fourth dining room." 

More specifically, he loved the okonomiyaki: "a riff on the savory Japanese pancake called okonomiyaki: shredded cabbage and scallions held together with a light batter and browned to a gentle crisp. The dish comes with an over-easy egg and thick turkey bacon in the morning and a choice of grilled chicken or shrimp later in the day."

Sometimes referred to as the "Japanese version of pizza," the origins of the word "okonomiyaki" actually come from the root okonomi, meaning "what you like" and yaki meaning "grilled." 

Check out the full review here -- or just come on in for a taste of the best breakfast in town!