Present Moment Cafe

Vegans are tricky.

Last week I had the chance to visit the Present Moment Cafe in St. Augustine.  Someone had recommended it to me… with the warning that I shouldn’t let the “vegan-y” stuff scare me away.  We’d been discussing gluten free restaurants and she told me that I just had to try the Present Moment.  Almost everything on the menu is gluten free. Everything is dairy free… and meat free too….. It sounded like something I’d like to try eventually, but… but no meat?  Ummm….

I’ve had Mom and Brian on this Arbonne Thirty Day Detox… forever…. a week.  The Protein Shakes are good and dinners are easy enough, but dining out is a challenge.  No gluten, dairy, soy or corn is really hard at a regular restaurant…. but not at a vegan restaurant!

The Present Moment Cafe is really cute with colorful, eclectic decorations.  It’s not a very big place, but there are lots of little tables, perfect for visiting with friends and enjoying a Detox Smoothie.

The three of us chose a low table near the window, surrounded by two cushy couches. The menu is clearly labeled if the food contains wheat or soy.  Everything is obviously egg and dairy free since the food is vegan.

We ordered drinks while we decided what to eat.

Purple Haze Acai, blueberry, banana, cashew milk.

Detox Cooler Pineapple, cucumber, mint

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After a bit of arguing over who was getting what… we all have to try something different and share… we finally placed our order.

Tacos of Life Pine nut and walnut pate, with fresh
salsa, Mexican “cheese” and guacamole in two romaine
shells topped with cashew sour cream and jalapeno
vinaigrette. Served with two dehydrated corn chips…10

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Mom enjoyed the tacos.  I tried a bite of the Pine Nut & Walnut Pate that was the “meat” of the dish.  It was good.  I’m not giving up meat anytime in the near future, but if I had to… this was a pretty tasty alternative.

Pad Thai Sweet and spicy Asian vegetables, served
over kelp noodles with a sesame garlic sauce, and topped
with curried cashews… 16

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The Pad Thai was delicious.  The kelp noodles weren’t what I was expecting… I was thinking of something green and… sea-weed-ish… The kelp noodles were a bit chewy, but in an enjoyable way.  They had a definite “bite” and “crunch” to them.  We liked the noodles enough that we bought a bag to take home and experiment with.

Okay…. so what would you think if the day’s special was a carrot hot dog? I mean, they had “burgers” that were made out of beans and stuff… and an “Un-Tuna” sandwich.  It’s not crazy to think that the carrot “hot dog”  was made from carrots and other stuff smooshed together to resemble a hot dog, right?

WRONG.  Vegans are tricky!

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It was a damned carrot on a hot dog bun!  I kid you not.. a carrot… smothered in sauerkraut… on a hot dog bun.

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Here’s the really crazy part…. it was actually pretty tasty.  Yes, of course I ate it!  I’d ordered it, I was going to try it. I’m pretty sure those Vegans were laughing at me for paying $10 for a carrot on a bun, but I’d show them…. I’d eat that damn carrot and like it!

It actually was pretty good though.

I only took a few bites of the bun because I am trying to avoid all the fake-y gluten free stuff while I do this detox, so I tried a few bites… (Yummy GF bun!) and then ate the rest of my sauerkraut covered “hot dog” with a fork.

The sweet potato salad was delicious and I’m planning to take a shot at duplicating the recipe soon.  They had a cookbook of restaurant recipes for sale, but of course, that recipe wasn’t in it!

We’d made it this far and not broken many of the detox rules, so we decided to treat ourselves to desert.  (The sugar was a no-no, but I think everything else was okay..) We ordered one Banana Split to share.

Classic Banana Split Homemade vanilla cashew ice cream, fresh berries, bananas, raw vegan vanilla and cacao creme topped with candied pecans… 9.5

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The cashew ice cream was delicious!  I’d rather not have to give up dairy, but I certainly wouldn’t mind having cashew ice cream if it turns out that dairy is one of my food nemeses.

I don’t think I’d like to become vegan, but the food at the Present Moment Cafe is certainly delicious enough that I don’t mind being vegan-ish for a meal or three.  The staff was sweet and great about answering any food allergy/ingredient questions.  The cafe itself is cozy and comfortable; perfect for a quick bite or a leisurely lunch with friends.

 

The Present Moment Cafe

224 West King Street
St. Augustine, Florida 32089

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