The Paleo Diet Fast Food Restaurant

We generally don’t associate fast food and the Paleo diet, unless you are thinking of hunting down that gazelle or rabbit, but fast food, as in McDonald’s or Burger King? That seems like an oxymoron! Well someone in Denmark has put the two concepts together and will be opening a Paleo diet fast food restaurant.

Menu from "Palæo" restaurant, Copenhagen Denmark

Menu from "Palæo" restaurant, Copenhagen Denmark

The brain child of “Palæo” is Thomas Rode Andersen, head chef at the Michelin-starred Kong Hans in Copenhagen. Apparently he’s been championing the Paleo diet in Denmark for several years. From the Guardian:

There will be hot dogs and pizzas, but no buns or dough; meat, fish, berries and vegetables, but no starch, refined sugars or dairy products. This is fast food that’s fit for a caveman.

While modern Nordic cuisine has catapulted the Danish capital to the top of the culinary world, the chef behind takeaway restaurant Palæo looked for inspiration from the stone age – or palaeolithic period – to create “primal gastronomy”.

“Bread is the devil,” says Thomas Rode Andersen, 43, who has created the menu for Palæo and is head chef at the Michelin-starred Kong Hans in Copenhagen. After divorcing in 2005 he started dating a younger woman and swapped late-night beers and snacks for “paleo” food and exercise.

In the last couple of years he has become something of a poster boy for the

paleo movement in Denmark…….

Andersen knows, like so many of us, that the food of our modern society is causing disease and obesity. His goal is to provide a paleo diet version of fast food instead of standard fast food.

The menu includes “meatza”, essentially a meat pizza turned upside down with a base of organic ground beef topped with baked tomatoes, pickled mushrooms and parsley pesto. For the hot dog, the sausage with wild leeks comes in an egg-based wrapper, while the risotto is made of small kernels of celeriac shaped to look like long-grain rice.

Sounds great so far. Meatza is a perfect Paleo diet fast food for this restaurant. So are the “hot dogs” Who needs a bun? And risotto made from celery root, that could be tasty!

Some critics say the original caveman diet was more varied than suggested, pointing to archaeological studies that show traces of grains found on grinding stones dating back 30,000 years.

Cornell McClellan, who is the personal fitness trainer for Barack Obama, also questions whether it is possible to mimic a prehistoric diet. In an article for the Chicago Sun Times, McClellan wrote: “Our stone age ancestors were not eating factory farmed meat, which is full of chemicals and hormones. Unless you have a spear handy and access to unlimited buffalo, you are going to have a hard time truly eating like a caveman.”

I don’t think anyone is saying that our Paleo ancestors would not have eaten grain at all. Simply not nearly as much as we eat today. Because of the over load of grain and it’s toxic effects, we have gotten sick. and need to avoid grain to get well. And the idea that we cannot go out buffalo hunting is a little too simplistic. Yes, we don’t want factory farmed meat which is full of hormones and antibiotics, but do have grass fed and pastured meats available from the likes of Nick Wallace of Wallace Farms and US Wellness. No spear needed!

Andersen says he is fed up with being known as the “stone-age chef”, but believes he has a duty to champion the diet because too many people walk around “feeling like hell”.

“It’s all about going back to something original, going back to what we are designed to eat and the way our bodies are designed to work, and nothing to do with what we have come up with in the interim 10,000-12,000 years.”

So, could it work? Could a Paleo diet fast food restaurant actually be a success? Could it even over take McDonald’s in popularity? I wouldn’t go that far yet! First, people have to make the connection between the food they eat and why the “feel like hell”. So far, the remedy for that condition is to pop a pill. But perhaps restaurants like “Palæo” will shift the conversation. I know I will be watching with great interest on this side of the pond.


What do you think of an idea like a Paleo diet fast food restaurant. Do you think it has a chance? Could one work in your neighborhood? Please leave your comments below. And please share on Facebook, Twitter! Thank you!


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2 Responses to The Paleo Diet Fast Food Restaurant

  1. mark March 15, 2012 at 11:53 am

    it’s hard to say if it would work in southern california but i’ve often entertained the idea of working up a menu and giving it a try i think people actually do want to eat better but they’re just too cheap and lazy to buy, cook, and sit down to eat. but i have a feeling that if someone could make it fast, easy, and cheap it would see alot of converts from the other fast food chains as based on what i’ve seen from my friends the overweight ones seem to be stuck in a cycle perpetuated by their laziness and fastfood just makes the problem worse because it plays on that laziness. it’s easier for a young mother to get off work and order a happy meal than to go home and cook something that her baby will probably refuse to eat the biggest complaint i hear about eatng paleo is, “i hate cooking”. so eliminate that hurdle and i think it would catch on like crazy. the food is great and it makes you feel great so there’s no reason it shouldn’t, as long as it could be offered at a competative price! smeone deffinately needs to start something up like that over here to give people an optionother than mcdonnald’s, burger king, or carl’s jr.

    • Lila Solnick March 15, 2012 at 2:33 pm

      The more I think about it, I think it would be worth trying out. Some of us who cook do so because we know of the crap out there and can’t bear to buy the junk. But having a Paleo restaurant is the opportunity to educate as well as feed. Yes, it IS sort of oxymoronic, but if it helps people eat better and maybe get healthier, it could work. Now if I only had a few spare hundred thousand lying around…… :)