Peak & Prairie
December 1999 / January 2000
Organic Orbit, Denver
by Vincent Piturro
Entrepreneur Phil J. Thyen opened up the Organic Orbit on November 24, 1998 to enormous crowds and extremely long lines. O.K, so maybe the fact that Thyen was giving away free food all day had something to do with it. Maybe. But after lunching at the 1700 Broadway location downtown on a recent Friday, I realized that these large crowds would continue to circle in Orbit for many years to come, well into the next century.
Focusing on organic ingredients in preparing every dish, Thyen has introduced downtown Denver to its first taste of this rapidly growing segment of the food industry. It hasn’t been easy. “It took some getting used to by our customers, the different types of ingredients we are using, and the lifestyle we are promoting. We’ve changed the menu slightly since the opening, to accommodate the downtown clientele.” This “lifestyle” about which Thyen is speaking should not be foreign to Sierrans. Large numbers of the general population are embracing the realization that food is an important interactive aspect of keeping our ecosystem in balance today. The success of a restaurant such as The Watercourse, and the Farmer’s Markets around town - both of which promote organic and healthy lifestyles - is testament to this.
Manager Jackie Malave is a case study. “Growing up in Puerto Rico,” she says, “we never thought much about food. We just ate it. Since I have started working here, I realize now how important food is, and how much better eating organic is.” Her story is typical of most Americans, but encouragingly, the successes of places like Organic Orbit fuels the movement further.
The Organic Orbit serves a wide array of salads, sandwiches, and other assorted goodies to the downtown lunch crowd. The free - range sesame chicken has been a top seller, but the fare also includes vegetarian items such as Thai Tofu, Greek Pasta Salad, Pesto Salad, and Baja Rice. All the dishes are beautifully prepared, lightly seasoned, and let the natural flavors of the organic ingredients speak for themselves. The Organic Orbit - which does most of its business in take-out portions but also has atrium seating - is located in the atrium of the Mile High Building at 1700 Broadway. They are open Monday - Friday from 9 AM - 4 PM.
The Organic Orbit is a truly celestial destination.
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