We’ve learned that after less than two months it’s already curtains for the Painted Lady Organic Eatery. Valentin Garcia says that between Painted Lady and the Bleeding Heart Bakery he and wife, Michelle, spread themselves too thin.
“Both places were suffering from us not being at each place 100 percent. It was really apparent in other reviews we were getting. Stupid complaints that could have been prevented if we were just there.” But Valentin predicts Painted Lady will be back. “I think that in about three months, once we get out of this slump of slow business, we’re gonna reopen.”
For what it’s worth, here’s the review Martha Bayne just finished for the Reader that now won’t be added to the restaurant finder:
Valentin and Michelle Garcia have been flying the flag of organic eating for years, first with the vegan-friendly Bleeding Heart Bakery and now with the Painted Lady Organic Eatery. The casual cafe opened in this month in the bubblegum-pink Ukrainian Village storefront that formerly housed the bakery, which has in turn relocated to larger digs at Belmont and Damen, and offers a range of boho standards: sandwiches, salads, pizza, burgers, chili, with many veggie and vegan offerings. It’s the sort of place that, with the temporary demise of Dodo, the neighborhood dearly needs. And while the service can come with a side of certified twentysomething flakiness (on one visit a simple coffee order fell victim to the counter staff’s nonstop banter, taking ten minutes and a nudge to materialize) for the most part, Painted Lady succeeds. The counter showcases the bakery’s decadent output: vegan lemon cheesecake bars, double chocolate cupcakes, ginger cream scones. Sandwiches like the roasted beet and arugula (a signature offering at the outfit’s Green City Market stand) are full of clean, satisfying flavors — in this case a layer of roasted beets, zippy greens, and a swipe of goat cheese between slices of dense, nutty whole-grain bread. A side of Moroccan couscous salad was a flurry of lightly sauteed eggplant, zucchini, onion, and other veggies, garbanzos, and chewy pearls of grain in a peppery vinaigrette. Sweet potato fries were nothing spectacular, but what do you want in a dose of fried carbs? The baked goat cheese mac and cheese was fantastic: thick curls of pasta blanketed with rich cheese sauce that was surprisingly light, with the distinctive tang of its namesake chevre. But the tuna casserole — billed as “trailer park cassoulet” on the menu — was to my eyes that same mac and cheese tossed with fish and mushy peas, baked to beyond scalding, and topped with a tantalizing pool of piping hot grease. Sounds disgusting, right? Frankly, it was. But, while I don’t know if I’d order it again, at the time I was hungry and cold and I found myself tucking it away in all its blistering, artery-clogging splendor. If nothing else it shows that just because something’s organic it doesn’t always follow that it’s good — or good for you.