Monday, December 22, 2008

the importance of being: The Present Moment Cafe

fresh pecan-apple cobbler with dairy-free house made ice creme

Dessert first?

No, although I do like the concept.

I recently made several trips to one of my favorite restaurants The Present Moment Cafe in St. Augustine Florida.

The restaurant features organic, raw, live + vegan cuisine. Their slogan of excellence: Fresh Organic Living Food Made With Love & Gratitude

I just love that!

simple beginnings: pot of fresh mint leaf tea, cucumber infused water and Samuel Adams......

Middle East Peace Hummus: light + fluffy, no beans, "no mean hummus is blended with cashews and topped with mint oil and tahini sauces.....served with fresh veggies and FRESH corn chips" ~ excerpt from The Present Moment Cafe menu

The creamy hummus always arrives with an array of dehydrated crisp and crunchy house made corn chips.

I am completely addicted to them as they are sweet, savory and enticing.

The chips are made with finely ground golden flax seeds, almonds, fresh corn, yellow bell peppers, onion powder, cumin seeds, oregano + Himalayan pink salt. Thus spread onto flat trays and dehydrated to crispness.

The use of conventional heating elements such as a stove, grill or oven are obsolete here. It's the art of raw food preparation which relies much on the marinating process to 'cook' down the natural elements of vegetables, nuts, seeds and fruits without losing the nutritional healing properties.

Don't fear, as I grew up an ardent meat eater, gourmand and still consider myself a slight food snob. Okay, serious food snob.....the dishes are delicious, intriguing and you will NOT leave hungry. That always seems to be the fear for those entering here without knowing....will I still be hungry?

No, and the best thing about it is you'll leave feeling fantastic.

vegetable sushi maki roll made with ground fresh parsnip root with shiitake mushrooms, bell peppers, herbs, carrots + avocado rolled in nori and served with wasabi aioli + namu shoyu dipping sauce.

I make this at home often. I like to make my *sushi rice* with ground parsnips, fresh + raw ground almonds and a bit o' ginger.

You can see my raw maki sushi roll here.

Too answer your question: YES it tastes like a sushi vegetable roll!

coconut wrap samosa filled with curried veggies + lentils with a creamy cashew nut creme drizzle on a bed of fresh spinach leaves.....

Fresh young coconut meat is ground to a pasty consistency and spread on flat pans then dehydrated to form these lovely samosa wraps that are crisp + tender to the bite.

The dining room itself beholds for creativity, ease, tranquility + lotsa fun......

pad thai noodles - savory, crunchy, slightly spicy + sweet with glass noodles made out of fresh sea kelp......Is this getting too weird?

Upon visiting The Present Moment, you will want to note the menu does change with the they must be ~ in the present moment.

*Me, TasteMemory and Jenn, The Left Over Queen just being girls + foodies.....*

Isn't Jenn cute? She is the sweetest thing too. She wrote a lovely post on our visit with her usual intrinsic + passion fitted detail.

If you haven't already, you must visit her blog and read about it

And mind you ~ she's the real deal (exquisite food writer that is)....did not even see her flick out a pen + pad during the dinner! Now that's expertise + taste memory!

flourless pure cacao truffle with cashew nut ice cream

Imagine chocolate in its purest form.

Imagine food in its purest form.

The Present Moment Cafe

*this photo courtesy of The Left Over Queen


Passionate Eater said...

There is something about cucumber water that makes it so thirst-quenchingly delicious. Can't wait for the post!

Anonymous said...

Sarah from Native Sun Natural Foods Market here. Thanks for posting on the Present Moment Cafe! They are great at what they do - that is why we carry several of their delicious products at our Baymeadows store (adjacent to 9A, 904-260-2791). Look for them in the cooler by our fresh juice & smoothie bar.

Passionate Eater said...

You are so inspiring, I really want to get involved in making some raw food recipes after reading all of your posts. And though Present Moment Cafe's sushi is incredible, yours is still TOPS! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, to you and your family! XOXO!

Passionate Eater said...

Oh, and you are GORGEOUS lady! I love the picture.

taste memory said...

Passionate Eater ~ hey girl....glad to hear from you! Thanks + glad to know the raw food recipes are inspiring. Perhaps just sharing some insight about what it's about + that it is truly yummy may cause consideration to try!

Thank you for your kind words ~ so sweet! u too have fab holidays xoxo!

Jessica@Foodmayhem said...

You do make raw food sound very enticing. I've been wanting to try a raw restaurant but I only know of one in NY and it seems a bit on the expensive side.

Sweet Home and Garden Carolina said...

I must try the veggie sushi roll. Just dropping by to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

I'm having an especially good Christmas celebration this year with my Korean/Irish granddaughter Lea. She's the first grandchild on both sides and will be travelling to Ireland in January to see her grandparents there.

I can't wait until Summer when we can be outdoors. The snow is very high here.

Gera@SweetsFoodsBlog said...

Hi Ingar!

I like a lot this vegan restaurant with, at the beginning, the great idea.. the same "cute" applied to Jenn too!
You sold me! Please tell the owner of the cafe to put a branch here..I'll be the first customer..;)

Wish You a Merry Christmas with a Fabulous New Year!

Gera .:. sweetsfoods

wiffy said...

I love the concept of this restaurant and the desserts looks yum! Love the photo of you with Jenn ^o^ Merry Christmas and have a wonderful 2009!~

Anonymous said...

that must have been such a fun meal between you two dynamic foodlovers! looks and sounds fantastic, hope your holidays are very very happy.

Thistlemoon said...

It was a wonderful evening! We really enjoyed getting to know you and Bill better and it was the perfect place to go! Thanks so much for spending the evening with us! :)

taste memory said...

Hello Everyone ~
Thanks so much for stopping by really! My apologies for being slightly * M I A *

I very much appreciate your support and look forward to your posts + adventures as well!

Sending good vibes + hugs back ;-)

~ Ingar B.