With the start of a new year inevitably come new goals and new resolutions. If you are like most of us, the never-ending goals of being fit and eating healthy are at the top of your list. And no matter your intentions, sometimes living on an island filled with delicious restaurants can make it hard to keep from adjusting that belt of yours a notch or two. Despite our best-laid plans, it’s unavoidable — life happens and we find ourselves making a mad dash to the fast food drive through, which in turn leaves us feeling guilty. So we promise ourselves that we’ll do better; we’ll cut carbs and sugars and get back on the treadmill and then — the horror! — Cindy shows up to the office with boxes of Girl Scout cookies and, next thing you know, you’re face-deep in a sleeve of Samoas, desperately wiping crumbs off your desk so no one can bear witness to your dietary indiscretion.
Don’t beat yourself up — we’ve all been there. Thankfully, in a world of waist trainers, fitness trainers and fad diets that never seem to work, we’ve finally been hit with a breath of fresh air. Grain & Berry, in the Winn-Dixie shopping plaza at 2722 North Roosevelt Blvd., offers healthy yet satisfying options for those looking to stay fit and get healthy. To cater to your salutary desires, the café offers an extensive menu of bowls (with nourishing bases of açaí, spirulina, pitaya, kale or oatmeal), yogurt parfaits, juices, smoothies, avocado toasts and international coffee.
When you walk inside Grain & Berry you’ll feel a sense of coziness. This modern yet charming café offers both indoor and outdoor seating and guests are invited to place their orders and take a seat to await the upcoming deliciousness. The décor and design are sleek and modern, with technicolor photos of their highly chromatic menu options on display. There is a great energy inside the café as cool tunes blast in the background.
This superfood café specializes in bowls — açaí bowls, kale bowls, spirulina bowls, oatmeal bowls and pitaya bowls. The organic menu caters to all manner of dietary predilections, with options to satisfy vegetarian, paleo, vegan, dairy free, and gluten-free needs. Each item on the menu is made fresh right before your eyes, so you can watch as they assemble your bowl ingredient by ingredient and listen to the whirr of the blender as they prepare your green smoothie. And because they rely so heavily on nutrient-rich produce, freshness is the theme at Grain & Berry. All of the fruits and vegetables they use are of the highest quality.
On the run and want something satisfying and healthy you can sip while you cruise from the gym back downtown? Then you must try one of the many organic smoothies. The Health Nut is a blend of almond milk, peanut butter protein powder, bananas and honey and tastes just like your favorite peanut butter and banana sandwich memories from elementary school. The Magic Dragon is a little more light and fruity — it’s made with almond milk, pitaya (which is basically another name for dragon fruit), peach, pineapple, orange juice and strawberries.
We wouldn’t blame you if you wanted to throw in a little rum and call it happy hour. Speaking of cocktails, the Matcha Colada (almond milk, matcha protein powder, coconut milk and pineapple) will have you thinking you’re on a hammock on an isolated beach in the middle of the Caribbean. Sip, sip, hooray!
The açaí bowls are what Grain & Berry is known for. What is the açaí berry, you ask? The açaí berry is an inch-long reddishpurple fruit that comes from the açaí palm tree, native to Central and South America. Touted as a superfood with anti-aging properties, the açaí berry renders these bowls full of nutritional value that won’t quit. The Good Karma bowl is a blend of açaí, organic granola, kiwi, banana, blueberries, chia seeds and honey — just sweet enough to feel indulgent while still packing a powerful, healthful punch.
If you’re all about that juice life, you can try one of the freshly made organic juices. The 50 Shades of Green juice is a delicious and refreshing blend of cucumber, pineapple, green apple, mint and lime. If your taste buds prefer something a little more herbaceous and earthy, then the Elvis Parsley is just for you, created with spinach, parsley, cucumber, celery, sea salt and lime. Feeling under the weather? Then grab a ginger shot, STAT. Known for its medicinal properties, ginger is an anti-inflammatory, which is the perfect remedy for the “Keys crud” that goes around every winter and wipes out half the Key West population (at least for a week or so).
If you’re looking for something a tad more hearty, peruse the avocado toast section of the menu. Settle on the Egg & Avocado — a freshly poached egg sits on top of a bed of avocado and is seasoned with nothing more than sea salt and pepper, which is all you need when the raw ingredients are good enough to speak for themselves. Each slice of avocado toast is enough for one, but we recommend bringing your crew and ordering one of each of the four varieties (Roasted Red Pepper Avocado, Caprese Deliciousness, Everything Avocado and the Egg & Avocado) so you can get a taste of everything.
So if you’re looking to get back on the health wagon, or if you’re just looking to expand your palate, give Grain & Berry a try. Who knows, you might just find that pitaya and açaí are what you need to jumpstart the wellness goals you’ve forgotten in the pantry (next to the Samoas). ¦