Cafe Surfinista- Indialantic- 4-Stars
"I just hate health food." -- Julia Child
As all loyal Biggies know, I adhere to the above quote by Master Chef Ms. Child. However, I am beginning to have my doubts as to whether this should remain my go-to response or if I have to readjust my internal food schema. Occupying the sacred space that once housed our beloved surf shop, Shagg's, now sits Cafe Surfinista. Oh, they look cool enough on the outside. Keeping with the oft-perceived notion that those that adhere to the surf culture are a demimonde segment of society, they came up with the perfect logo. It is just plain bad-ass and they kept the surf theme throughout, complete with a board rack and t-shirt sales. As tubular as it all looked, we all know I was here for one reason and one reason only...to eat and review. Let the games begin!!
The sign above the door, as one can see, touts açai bowls, smoothies, coffee and healthy grindz. I chuckled as I entered recalling something one of my writing teachers said back in high school, "Unless your name is William Shakespeare, you can't make up words." I have taken this to heart for the most part, except where poetic license comes into play, but this? Purposely misspelling grinds to come off as hip/cool/street is not what I would deem poetic license. I was greeted pleasantly enough and was soon going over the menu (at least they had eggs, albeit organic, but eggs nonetheless). Clinging to my modus operandi like board wax to chest hair, I tried to select a wide sampling of the foodstuffs offered and so asked for a Tropical Açai Bowl, a Santa Cruz Wrap and one Biarritz Croissant. With plenty of open tables and booths, we parked our carcasses down in one of our choosing and patiently awaited our feast.
Returning to our table I quickly got down to business and dug into my Tropical Açai Bowl. As the flavors coalesced on my palate I thought to myself that perhaps I should not have begun with the Açai Bowl. The fruit tasted like and had the consistency of fruit that had been sitting out for a while and the granola was pedestrian at best, while it didn't taste stale, it didn't taste freshly made either. This did not bode well as I still had two dishes to sample.
Moving on to the Santa Cruz Wrap I was pleased to see that it certainly looked exceedingly fresh. After one bite I was happy to find that, in this case, looks were not deceiving and the albacore tuna was some of the tastiest and freshest I have yet found in a wrap or sandwich. The veggies were fresh, crisp and succulent while the fresh cut avocado was to die for. Holding all this in loving arms was the freshest, best-tasting spinach wrap I have ever had. While the wrap was truly delightful, the accompanying tortilla chips left much to be desired. They weren't stale or bland, however, they were just nothing to write home about.
Arriving at my destination (the final item to be reviewed), I began to ponder what Ms. Child said so long ago. I really miss that human, she was certainly one of a kind, and like us here at BBDO, didn't pull any punches in her critique of food. Sampling The Biarritz (a baked egg souffle) I smiled and knew that Julia would approve of this healthy take on a French classic. Letting the fact that the eggs were organic slide, the souffle was a masterpiece of breakfast food. It was light, fluffy, moist and plain magnifiquè. I asked for mine to be placed on top of a croissant and what a croissant it was. Bread has to be one of the defining factors in judging an eating establishment and Cafe Surfinista won the cup on this one. The croissant consisted of complex layers of flaky goodness baked to a perfect golden brown giving just the right amount of crunch to the crust while allowing the inside to be, as mentioned, sublime. The mixture of melted Havarti cheese and baby spinach so fresh I could hear it cooing combined with some of the juiciest, best-tasting tomatoes I have had made this true delight on the palate.
As I left, I couldn't help but come back to the açai bowl. I couldn't believe that everything was so wonderful, except that one item, and so I promised to return. On my return, I was happy to find the bowl up to par with the other eats I had previously sampled. The fruit was fresh, the flavors melded together with scrumptious goodness making it a pure delight to sample. What bothered me was that the açai came in a bag and they then pounded it with a mallet. As this whole açai craze is relatively new to me, I am not sure if this is the standard procedure or not, but the açai seemed to be of lower quality than what I have had in other places.
The Big Boy says, "For a down-home surfy feel and healthy food, place your board on the rack and drop in for a tasty respite between sessions." #bigboydiningout #iamthebigboy