Earlier Today: Opening of Lilah Belle's

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Located on the northwest corner by Dolores Park, Lilah Belle's offers healthy organic single and family-sized meals to-go. The cute spot is named after the two-year-old daughter of chef/owner Traci Higgins, whom San Francisco named one of the "Top 5 Personal Chefs" in 2006 for her organic delivery service Dining [In!]. Her extensive resume includes working in the test kitchen for Weight Watchers magazine and contributing recipes to two of their cookbooks, and she keeps her creations here on the low fat and low calorie side without sacrificing flavor in the process.

An opening day only special of $5 for all salads and entrees was pretty irresistible (regular prices will be a few bucks more), so I picked up a quinoa salad with grilled pineapple, red peppers, cashews and basil vinaigrette and an entrée of butternut squash and white bean cassoulet with sauteed spinach with golden raisins.

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Both taste really fresh and lively, and portions are healthy so I still have enough leftovers for a snack later. My only error was not showing up right as they opened today; Higgins explains the consequences:

This week's menu also lists items such as spiced pumpkin salad with apples, endive, candied pecans, roasted chicken and cranberry vinaigrette; sundried tomato turkey meatloaf with creamy macaroni and cheese with green beans and shallots; fresh pasta with braised beef, carrots and onions in red wine sauce; chocolate éclair icebox dessert; and cardamom apple crisp. Next week's offerings include spicy Cajun shrimp salad with celery, carrots, tomatoes, romaine lettuce and chili vinaigrette; Thai tofu over buckwheat noodles with carrots, broccoli, shiitake mushrooms, sesame seeds and ginger soy sauce; braised lamb shanks with creamy potato parsnip puree with broccolini; coconut cream cake; and cranberry pistachio cookies. Lilah Belle's is located at 3801 18th St. (at Church). —Tamara Palmer


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