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The Bear Coffee House and Wine Bar is the first official Blue Zones designated restaurant in Spencer, Iowa. And from the second you sit down you'll notice some small chances, that hope to make a big difference.
It looks like a normal coffee-house style restaurant. With quaint seating, cozy décor and flowers on every table. But the menu, well that's where things are different.
"It's just that simple food. It's not loaded with all that stuff you don't need. It's just simple earthy and robust in flavor, and just delicious," said Leann Jacobson, co-owner of the Bear.
The doors opened about four months ago, But it was just recently named spencer Iowa's first official Blue Zones restaurant. Jacobsen says when they started the business it was to give folks in the area more options when it came to healthy eating.
"We're trying to make it easy for people, so they might not even know it's happening," said Jacobsen.
One of the things you might not notice, there's no salt shakers on the table. If you want the extra sodium, you'll have to get up and get it. And plate sizes are 10- inches instead of the standard 12; to make portion control a piece of cake. And speaking of cake dessert is definitely still on the menu, just nothing too indulgent.
"You don't leave here feeling like you over did it," said Jacobsen.
Jacobsen says the restaurant will continue to evolve, and come Spring, the kitchen will be stocking up on locally grown, farmer's market style dishes.