A-Live and Healthy Cafe- Merritt Island- 4.5 Stars
It was bound to happen eventually. It was only a matter of time I thought to myself as I watched yet another news story on vegan, non-GMO, organic, raw food from California. It is going to be here sooner than later. Granted, this is Florida, but it is still technically the South (no matter how many transplants take root) and dangnabbit, food is served fried around here the way our forefathers intended.
First, it was the juice bars and then an Acai Express opening up around every corner, now we have a restaurant that serves all raw food in Merritt Island! When will the madness end? It was with great trepidation that I entered A Live and Healthy Cafe, for as my regular followers know, I disdain health food as a general rule. I was greeted with a hearty, "Hello and Welcome" by none other than one of the owners herself, Kim. Kim literally glowed as she went over the menu and how the food was prepared. I found myself completely charmed by her demeanor and obvious passion for what she does. You have to love passion. I went for broke and dove head first into their vegan raw food menu with an order of a Gorilla juice smoothie (after Kim reassured me it was not, in fact, made with raw organic Gorilla juice), a couple of Nori rolls, their take on the classic club sandwich, a mix of sprout, lentil, and agave honey mustard salad topped with an Asian cilantro dressing along with a thick slab of unsprouted Flax seed bread on the side. The Gorilla juice turned out to be a delightful concoction of Banana, Celery, Brazil nuts and filtered water. In spite of the confusing name (they have a ton of monkies in Brazil, but no Gorillas) I found myself thoroughly enjoying the blend of tropical rainforest flavors with an old world vegetable. The Nori rolls were truly a wonder unto themselves. Bursting with flavor and accompanied with a delectable Asian dipping sauce. Every sushi place should take note of this sauce. Their take on the club sandwich included "kale bacon." I know, it sounds sacrilegious, but it was incredibly tasteful and had the texture of bacon one typically finds in a more traditional club sandwich. With hummus taking the place of mayo on a regular club, and their aforementioned unsprouted Flax seed bread replacing white bread, it was exceedingly edible. It was truly an amazing dining experience for me, especially considering my loathing of vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO, raw, organic, sustainably farmed, cage-free food.
Big Boy says, "If you are in the area, stop in and say hello to Kim, sit down and enjoy some wonderful food, but, as they say in Brazil, don't forget to 'Pagar um mico' if ordering a Gorilla juice smoothie!"