Late-night Mary Ellen’s fries and the inevitable Mr. Z’s pizza to soak up all of those Corona Lights and shots of Patrón might have sounded like an excellent idea last night, but today is a new day and chances are your stomach and liver are in need of a cleanse.
The words “healthy” and “Key West” don’t often show up in the same sentence, but the über-trendy health food movement hasn’t completely forsaken our Island of Misfit Toys. Meet Date & Thyme: Key West’s wholesome answer to the transgressions of your yesterday.
Date & Thyme is a café/juice bar (open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.) and market (open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.) tucked away on a quiet corner of Fleming Street and committed to providing organic provisions of all varieties. All food served by the café is made from scratch using organic ingredients, from the acai bowl (frozen acai, banana and goji berries blended with house-made coconut milk and topped with granola, coconut flakes, goji berries and cacao nibs) to the black bean burger (a house-made patty on a sprouted whole grain bun and served with fresh slaw).
Every choice on Date & Thyme’s varied menu is vegan, vegetarian or gluten-free (and often all three).
Breakfast can be as light or as day-drinking, base-building as you’d like (hey, if you’re going to start the day off on a virtuous note, it kind of cancels out some of the damage you might inflict over the rest of the day, right?). Start with one of the creative “next level” lattes to get your motor going. The Azteca combines espresso, almond milk, cacao, chili and coconut sugar for a spicy kick. The organic fruit smoothies are also a refreshing option on a hot summer day. The Tropical Green is a personal favorite — banana, mango, spinach, cilantro and lemon make a light and herbaceous combination. The Golden Dragon blends banana, tangy turmeric, bee pollen, cardamom, honey and house-made coconut milk for a satisfying sweet yet spice-forward libation.
On the food side, the breakfast bagel is way more than your average deli staple, with scrambled eggs, tomato, red onion, avocado, sprouts and vegan mayonnaise packed onto a whole-wheat bagel. You can make it gluten-free by swapping in a different bread choice or vegan by subbing tempeh for the egg. (Most of the dishes on the menu can be made gluten-free or vegan if they aren’t already.)
The Instagram-friendly avocado toast is exactly what you would expect and no less scrumptious for it. Smashed avocado is topped simply with sea salt, cilantro and lime and served on toasted whole grain bread. Nice to look at, but not so nice that you won’t want to devour it in two bites.
For lunch, the pesto garden wrap is a veritable vegetable explosion. Carrots, cucumber, broccoli, tomato, avocado, onion, mixed greens and sprouts are accented by spicy roasted pumpkin seed pesto and house-made vegan mayonnaise.
Non-vegetarians can choose between the chicken salad wrap made with chunks of juicy chicken tossed with tart green apples or the tuna wrap made with sustainably caught yellowfin tuna and a spicy sriracha vegan mayonnaise.
When I’m under the weather, I opt for the Indian curry or the Thai coconut bowl (mixed vegetables in either a mild Thai coconut or medium spiced Indian curry over brown rice or quinoa).
Outdoor seating is limited, so Date & Thyme is the perfect choice for the on-the-go diner. And for those truly in a hurry, the grab-n-go cooler inside the market is always fully stocked with a number of freshly made ready-to-eat dishes, from hummus to kale slaw to a myriad of sandwiches and wraps.
That said, there is something quite calming about enjoying a daily detox (beet, carrot, celery and lemon juices) and a Buddha bowl (mixed vegetables, chickpeas, cultured vegetable and a lemon tahini dressing served over either quinoa or brown rice) on the lovely outdoor patio on a beautiful Key West day.
Inhale, exhale, savor and feel better from the inside out. ¦
Date and Thyme 829 Fleming St. www.dateandthyme.com