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Downtown Arlington Cafe on a Local Mission

Cynthia Chippindale, owner of Potager Café, has been involved with green living since a young age. Growing up in Toronto, Canada, Cynthia’s family had a small country restaurant. All of their vegetables and meat came from local farmers.

“From the time I was nine, I learned how to make pies and soups and roasts and hamburgers and all of those good things,” said Cynthia, a certified Master Gardner with Tarrant County.

Cynthia found herself in Texas after her husband, Dr. Paul Chippindale, received his PhD from The University of Texas at Austin in Biology. Currently, he teaches at The University of Texas at Arlington. Cynthia opened up Potager in 2009 and the media began guessing how long their doors would be open.

“They underestimated, first, how good people are in Arlington. And how much people would respond to food that actually tasted like food and didn't come out of an industrial kitchen,” said Cynthia.

Nearly 48 million people go to bed hungry every night in the United States, which is why Cynthia only dishes out small portions to her customers. She encourages them to not be wasteful but allows guests to come back for seconds if they clean their plate. Additionally, the price of the meal is based on the “pay what you can” concept.

Check out Cynthia's inspiration, Denise Cerreta, for the "pay what you can" concept here.

Cynthia gets frustrated with the misconceptions of buying locally grown food. She says some restaurants are capitalizing on the ‘locavore’ movement and therefore making it more expensive than it really should be.

“I don’t want local, organic food to be only for special occasions. I want it to be everyday food,” said Cynthia.

She purchases food from all over the Metroplex and receives some of her vegetables from Farmer John at the Downtown Arlington Farmers Market on South St.

Although the food at Potager may be healthy and local, it certainly isn't boring. Cynthia’s menu changes daily based on what’s available but you can usually bet on a melt-in-your-mouth quiche and spinach salad with homemade vinaigrette to be available. Rumor has it there may be lamb bacon coming soon so stay tuned…

Not far down the street from Potager Café is Potager’s Other Stuff. The shop offers organic foods such as pancake and bread mixes and gluten-free pasta, just to name a few. Cynthia features some unique treats such as Savoy Sorbet  and Dessert Chips and Salsa by Dread Head Chef. Beer and wine are also for sale, which can be brought to Potgaer Café since it is BYOB.

“There are a lot of good things around here. Don’t go over to Walmart and get stuff made in China. Support your local economy,” Cynthia said.

Potager Cafe is open Tuesday and Wednesday from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m., Thursday to Saturday from 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.

Remember to bring exact change, since Potager Cafe does not accept credit/debit cards or checks.