I showed up for the first time at Earth Tone Cafe one mid-morning, desperately in need of some nourishing brunch. Aside from the fact that Earth Tone Cafe is located so close to the side of the bustling Mae Hong Son Road, I found this cool cafe pretty close to perfection.
Pai, in the far North of Thailand, is well-known as a laid-back destination and is a favourite among vegans and vegetarians - as well as those seeking organic food. Because of the competition in Pai for healthy food dining, when you find a great place to eat, well, it's really good.
When you get there, the first thing to do is grab a menu from the front counter, then head further into the traditional-style hut and get comfortable at the low seating beside the little bubbling creek.
You will probably be tempted to try more than a few options on this menu. Even for the seasoned vegan food or 'superfood' connoisseur, there are original creations on offer, with ingredients prepared in interesting combinations.
They take Hippocrates words to heart as they "let food be thy medicine and medicine thy food", offering a wide selection of juices, smoothies, shakes and other nutritional preparations.
Let me assure you, though, their originality is exciting. Take for instance their 'Inflammation Cessation' shake which combines sprouted black rice, mangosteen, papaya leaf and amalaki. This is just one of many medicinal options on the menu.
On to the mains, the moussaka was unlike anything I've tried before. It was made up of a moreish combination of wild mushrooms, combined with beans, sweet potato, pumpkin and quinoa.
With food this good I couldn't help but order a dessert. I went with a waffle covered in fresh fruit with a side of coconut yoghurt - all of which were prepared from scratch at Earth Tone. I have only three words for it - vegan gastronomic delight.
I decided to wash all the good food down with their Rastafarian Coffee - black coffee served with coconut milk. I have to say it was a winner and I've since recreated this beverage at home many times.
I should mention at this point that although they do serve many varieties of coffee at Earth Tone Cafe, coffee is not a focus the way it is in some cafes. Their approach leans more heavily towards serving nourishing food and beverages, with coffee just one of the many menu options.
Definitely don't leave Earth Tone without checking out their amazing shop. It is one of the best health food stores that I've seen around this part of Thailand and is an experience on its own. So much of what is for sale there has been prepared on site or in Pai, and consists of local ingredients, mostly fresh or dehydrated.
On the day I visited, they had a good selection of raw desserts and slices. I decided to buy the mixed berry raw slice as a way to take away with me a little of the pleasure of my experience there, to savour later.
Aside from sweet treats they also had other goodies like organic mixed bean salad, tempeh dressing, home-made hummus and home-made muesli. All these items were reasonably priced. I got some kombucha to take away and again Earth Tone did not disappoint - best kombucha I've tried, not too acidic or sweet.
Earth Tone Cafe was such a treat to visit. The food was memorable, the setting attractive, and ending your visit with a stop in the adjoining health shop is a fitting way to wrap up your visit. Trip Advisor agrees, with Earth Tone Restaurant receiving an excellence award in 2015.