Cannatown Dining - Natural Blazer Goes Full Caveman
What would you say about a new environmentally-sound restaurant that ditches cups, but will let patrons pour beverages right into their hands from the soda fountain? Get ready for a super-natural experience at Cannatown's hottest "caveman" bistro, Natural Blazer. You sit on a dirt floor. There are few, if any, lights. Sometimes there are red ants. You may be seated on the patio during a thunderstorm, with real ocean-wind-battered straw table umbrellas that do nothing to hide your face or food from the elements.
Sound like your kind of place?
Here, at this earth-to-table eatery, a small carbon footprint means no plates. Or napkins. Or silverware usually, unless you're eating soup (you're provided a seashell if you forget to bring your own spoon). You do technically have to hold the soup in your hand, but they provide huge palm leaves and show you how to make a practical, very leaky bowl if you'd rather.
Most food on the menu really is food, but some of it is not. "We're excited about our new seaweed-wrapped tungsten with jojoberries" says manager Lucia Alibaster. "It's cured and tanned and beaten with an aged Ecuadorian salami." To be authentic, the dish must be prepared with a rare, secret ingredient: ¼ cup of the chef's literal tears for humanity. Local favorites also include the handmade macaroons, handmade meaning no bowl or mixing utensils, confectioner's apparatus or otherwise--all by hand. The brown clumps really do look, and taste somewhat, like macaroons in lukewarm-milkshake form.
You can add all sorts of enhancements to your meal. Dine while hot stones soothe your back, but pay extra so you don't get the jagged rocks. Entrees can come blessed, dipped in hemp oil, sprinkled with CBD, incensed with pure rage, soaked in rainwater, or rubbed by a greasy hippie named Richard who sits out back with sea sponge and jar of season salt. Everything is down-to-earth (pun-intended), not to mention, all cocktails come cleverly garnished with a rooster's tail feather (it's a little gross).
On Thursday nights the music is a screeching cat. Fridays it's the house band, consisting of a flute-wielding, sometimes crooning librarian and her stage-frightened, one-armed accompanist. Saturdays this month, it's The Cutting Boards, an all-saw and washboard quartet that "never plays the same beat twice." And Sundays, it's the cat again…making the rest of the week's entertainment--serenade by the slow drip of water--a welcomed change.
The only downside? There's no bathroom except for the huge dioramic terrariums and grassy pond space by the patio. You pretty much have to soil your pants or take a leak behind the shrubs "au naturale" with the other roaming megafauna. Also, after dusk it gets really dark and menacing when they release the night predators and you're lucky to escape with your life, swear to God.
Don't forget to make a reservation!
Dispatches' Restaurant Critic Ed Dibbles gives New Blazer 3 out of 5 stars.
Pictured above: Diners waiting to be seated break into a round of "Kumbaya".