The Green Tea House is the most unique restaurant in Whitefish. Not because the food is gluten free, dairy free and organic and not because they don’t serve alcohol or coffee, but because their motivation behind the restaurant concept is not financial. Rather, it is grounded in a philosophy of health and well-being and was opened by the Center for Inspired Wisdom to provide a place where those who adhere to alternative diets can easily access delicious food.
Vickie Kelson is the Executive Director and brains behind the menu. She is also the kind face behind the counter, in the kitchen or sitting at a table in conversation. Vickie, a mother of four sons, was faced with a turning point in her life when her youngest son began exhibiting signs of autism shortly after his MMR shots. She realizes this is a hot button issue, but it was her experience and when she speaks about it, there is no hint of anger, but rather a note of sadness.
This discovery sent her on a difficult path that involved trying to handle everything on her own as a single mom of four. She opened her own health food store in Idaho so she could keep her autistic son with her during the day and provide him with the best nutrition possible, which she discovered significantly improved a large number of his symptoms. During this time, she met the founder of the Center for Inspired Wisdom’s parent school and eventually made the move to Whitefish where she became the “meal creator” for the school. When the school decided to open The Green Tea House, Vickie was the obvious choice to oversee the concept and create the menu.
Their menu states that “everything is made with the intention of providing a nutrient-dense meal that nourishes your body at all levels.” This is done by combining organic, vitamin and mineral-rich ingredients with healthy oils and flavoring dishes with herbs, spices and liquid aminos. The Green Tea House is also committed to supporting local organic farmers. The ingredients are combined to make salads, bowls, pockets, burgers, wraps, sandwiches, children’s menu items, organic smoothies, fresh-made juices, and baked goods.
The food is not the bland or tasteless food you might imagine when you think of eating in a health food-based restaurant. Rather, it is full of flavor and variety. The Monk Bowl is a favorite. This tasty dish of carrots, zucchini, peas, green onions, bok choy and kale stir fried together with jasmine rice and topped with dal (a mild yellow split pea curry) is filling and satisfying. Some customers pick up the Monk Bowl for lunch daily.
The “Good Earth” Raw Wrap, Green Tea cookies and Liquid Gold Smoothie are also local favorites. The Liquid Gold Smoothie is a meal in itself with ingredients including raw almond butter, maca, banana, golden flax, bee pollen, chai hemp protein, and hemp milk.
Over sixty different kinds of tea are available — including Green Tea House signature house blends of tonic teas, as well as green teas, white teas, blooming teas and herbal infusions from around the world.
TGTH is also bringing some new flavors to Whitefish by creating unique “themed” nights. Join them for Greek, Mexican, Raw, Chinese, Italian, Indian, Puerto Rican, African, and Thai inspired nights. You can take a look at their calendar for scheduled themes. And if you are on the go, they offer a deli case stocked with “Grab-n-Go” items ready to keep you eating healthy even when you’re in a hurry.
But, if you have the time, take a moment to linger and relax for a meal with friends because the thoughtfully prepared food and serene atmosphere at The Green Tea House will not disappoint.