It’s not an oxymoron. At least not anymore. Dr. Kamlesh Dave is a family doctor with a dream of delivering up delicious, fast casual dining with a plant-based menu at his InWave Restaurant & Juice Bar. And, yes, that includes flatbread pizza, breakfast tacos and savory soups. You won’t miss the meat.
Autopia for anyone with a resolution to eat healthier in 2018 has arrived in Middletown. InWave is a sparkling, new, fast-casual plant-based restaurant created by local family doctor, Kamlesh Dave. And he hopes it’s going to change the way we eat and feed our families. It should. His visionary concept makes plant-based meals from breakfast to dinner, both full of flavor and easy-to-grab.
As a family practitioner for over thirty years, Dr. Dave has seen the ill effects of unhealthy eating habits. “I treat people with diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis, heart conditions,” he says. “Not all of it is due to weight or diet, but much of it is. And I also see children who are overweight and lethargic and at it’s often due to bad food choices.”
Who can blame them? You can’t drive half a mile in most parts of town without passing up drive-through milk shakes, cheeseburgers, fries, nuggets, buckets. It’s practically an act of pure willpower to drive without ingesting saturated fats. But just try to find a healthy meal in a hurry. And if you’re trying to go meatless—as more and more of us are, it’s almost impossible.
Enter InWave, on Shelbyville Road, promising to make healthy eating not just possible, but pleasurable. Even when we’re in a hurry. Even when it’s for your picky children. Or husband. Or yourself.
And this is what Dr. Dave desperately wants people to know: His menu is not all salads. Or raw vegetables. His visionary InWave offers a full menu of pick-your-ingredient power meals, fresh-made soups, yummy flatbread pizzas and a juice bar that serves up shake-like smoothies. For breakfast or brunch, there are breakfast tacos with fresh-squeezed juice or steel-cut oatmeal with add-ins like chia seeds, raisins and almonds. And, if you’re looking for a snack, there’s chocolate layer cake, fresh-baked cookies and peanut-butter and raw chocolate smoothies. And it’s all made fresh daily from organic produce without gluten, saturated fat or added sugar and priced around seven to ten dollars.
“It doesn’t have to be a salad!” Dr. Dave laughs. “You say ‘plant-based’ and people immediately think salad. There are no limitations. You don’t have to sacrifice. You can make all kinds of delicious dishes with plant-based ingredients and it’s good for you and you feel great and you give up nothing.” (That said, their salads— like the kale, apple and carrot— are delicious.)
Not only are you not giving up anything by losing the fat, oils, carbs, calories and processing that are the hidden extras on so many menus, but when you sit down and eat at InWave, you’re also not sacrificing ambiance. Dr. Dave did extensive renovations of the building formerly occupied by Country Squire Florists. He added floor to ceiling, arched windows on both sides of the glass-front building. “The natural light in here is wonderful,” he says. And there’s a towering water feature in the center of the restaurant that creates the tranquil, spa-like sounds of rippling water while you eat.
It’s all part of making healthful eating a completely positive, good-for-you experience that Dr. Dave believes is soon to be the norm. He’s done his research. “It is coming that plant-based diets are going to be mainstream in the United States,” he says. “Right now, ten percent of the population is vegan or vegetarian. Fifteen percent want to be but don’t know what to eat. Another fifteen percent are sitting on the edge and doing it maybe five days out of seven. So almost forty-five percent of the population is already convinced or willing to try. And it’s higher among younger age groups.”
He already has his regulars. Like the football team that is coming in for power bowls and protein shakes. Or the patients from Louisville Lifestyle Medicine (run by Bob and Rio Hobbs) and patients of Dr. Kim Evans at Integrated Medicine. “Once they come in, they come back with more friends,” he says.
“It’s about education.”
To meet the needs of his growing customer base, he’s adding some new menu items and juices in the new year, as well as adding printed nutrition information to the menu. He’s also bringing in a nutrition expert who will help him create special weight-loss items and a diet plan that customers can follow. He is passionate about his mission to make healthy, plant-based food a staple, rather than the exception. “You can get all the nutrients you need through plants,” he says. “You can have protein and you can have vitamins. You can control your heart attack risk, your stroke risk, you can control your health and be very energetic. Once people see that it tastes good, they are hooked.”
10310 Shelbyville Road Lousiville, KY 40223