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Downward Dog Not Required

Sunny Yoga Kitchen serves flavorful lunches in a hidden destination on the west side

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Amy and Courtney Wright own Sunny Yoga Kitchen - where they serve up lunch and yoga classes. - LISA SIPE
  • Lisa Sipe
  • Amy and Courtney Wright own Sunny Yoga Kitchenwhere they serve up lunch and yoga classes.

In the restaurant industry, you don't often find women at the top. But Sunny Yoga Kitchen stands out with two female owners, Amy and Courtney Wright. The couple has found a way to create a business around both of their passions: cooking and yoga. Amy runs the kitchen and Courtney runs the front of the house and the yoga classes.

Sunny Yoga Kitchen, tucked into Northwest Crossing next to Sparrow Bakery, features a bright 1,000-square-foot space that transforms throughout the day to accommodate lunch and yoga classes six days a week. And let's clarify the yoga kitchen thing right now: you don't have to be a yogi to enjoy a delicious, fresh lunch and vice versa.

Sit down for lunch and it's clear these women are magicians. They seat 30 and operate out of a 114-square foot kitchen. To put this into perspective, that's likely to be smaller than your home kitchen. Courtney and Amy say the small space makes them more creative, efficient and fast. They've definitely found a way to keep their tight quarters fun. Most of their equipment has a name, such as Becky and Claire the refrigerators, and Danny the dishwasher (not a person). You'll hear Amy ask, "Can you get me cilantro from Claire?" Claire is the refrigerator on the left. All fun aside, it requires 14-hour days to offer their four-hour lunch service.

The Sunny Bowl is the most popular dish — it’s a combination - of veggies, garbanzo beans, cilantro and quinoa served over jasmine rice with a coconut curry sauce. - LISA SIPE
  • Lisa SIpe
  • The Sunny Bowl is the most popular dish — it’s a combinationof veggies, garbanzo beans, cilantro and quinoa served over jasmine rice with a coconut curry sauce.

In a world of celebrity chefs and cooking shows selling romance and drama, the reality is, it's still hard work. If it rains, the chef knows their daily kale delivery will be dirtier and will take more time to prep. The first thing Amy does when she wakes up is check the weather. If it's a bright and warm day and she was planning a soup for the special, she has to come up with something different. No one wants soup when it's hot.

The team makes almost everything in house, from the sauces to their gluten-free bread, with the freshest, most local ingredients they can find. Their signature pork alone takes hours to prepare. With all of these slow food practices it's amazing to see guests having food in front of them within 10 to 12 minutes—helpful for lunch diners because they can enjoy a nourishing, tasty sandwich, bowl, salad or fresh juice and still get back to work in a reasonable time frame.

Korean style beef tacos with spicy slaw - LISA SIPE
  • Lisa Sipe
  • Korean style beef tacos with spicy slaw

If you think the menu is just for super-health conscious yogis and you'll go home hungry, don't worry. I've had the lightly spicy and sweet Burmese Pork bowl with jasmine rice and a sunny-side-up egg and felt like I needed an afternoon nap. They are most known for their aptly named Sunny bowl: a combination of fresh vegetables, garbanzo beans, cilantro and quinoa served over jasmine rice with a coconut curry sauce. The dish embodies SYK; your belly feels nourished, happy and hugged. It's the same way you feel when you walk in the door. Bend has some friendly establishments, but Sunny is the warmest, fuzziest you'll find.

On Fridays, SYK has a happy hour with $5 rotating snacks. When I visited everything on the menu sounded good so I had to order it all. I shared sweet and sour shrimp, spring rolls and a croque madame. We washed it down with $5 glasses of wine and $2.50 beers. And the spring rolls' peanut sauce was so good I found myself wanting to lick every last bit out of the ramekin.

On a special diet or have food allergies? You'll find a haven at SYK. Most of the menu is gluten-free and a majority of the menu items can be vegan or vegetarian.

Sunny Yoga Kitchen

2748 NW Crossing Dr., Bend

Food hours: Mon-Fri 11am-3pm; Sat 10am-2pm

541-678-3139

sunnyyogakitchen.com



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