Located a few blocks from the downtown historic touristy area of St. Augustine sits a little hidden gem called The Present Moment Cafe. A true Vegan and Raw restaurant, the place is quaint, eclectic and very artsy. As we walked in we were invited to seat ourselves at one of the few tables inside.
The menu is not very large but there is a wide variety of items to suit any Vegan. We started with A Middle East Peace Hummus which was described as a no bean hummus made with cashews and drizzled with a mint oil. Served with fresh veggies and corn chips, you would have no idea this was beanless. It was creamy and hearty and I loved the mint oil dribbled around the plate. Such a tasty combination. I would never miss real hummus if I had this around all the time.
Chad ordered the Sunlight Burger– basically a “walnut, sunflower, almond, and carrot zucchini burger” topped with caramelized onions, tomato and cashew “provolone cheese.” I absolutely loved it and as usual immediately wished that is what I had ordered. It was strange to have it served cold as we were thinking the patty would be hot like other places that serve veggie “burgers” but it sure had tons of flavor. (Keep in mind this was our first visit to a raw restaurant so we were not too sure what to expect but we loved it.)
I couldn’t decide between two salads so our server suggested I just order each salad as a side. I am so glad I did. The first salad I got was the Crown of Caesar– Romaine lettuce with rosemary flax croutons, leaf dulse (a sea vegetable), pine nut “Parmesan” and tossed with a Vegan Caeser dressing. There was no way that I would be able to tell the difference between this Raw Vegan version and a salad served anywhere else. It was delicious.
The other salad I got was the Kale Avocado ala Present Moment. Massaged kale, red pepper, avocado, tomato, lemon garlic-olive oil and topped with candied pecans. What is “massaged” kale? Glad you asked. When you “massage” kale, literally rubbing the leaves together, the kale transforms from a bitter green to a softer and sweeter wilted leaf. I have been on a little bit of a kale salad kick lately and this is just yet another great salad I loved. It is hard to believe that there are so many ways to make kale so delicious.
I also had to try a side of the sea veggies– it was very much like a side of seaweed. It could have been seaweed for all I know though it was not as slimy as the seaweed salad I would have in a Japanese restaurant. Whatever it was it was delicious.
One other thing I had to try since I was there was the organic Blue Sky Cola– no caffeine, no high-fructose corn syrup, no preservatives and GMO free. I was almost expecting a bitter tasting version of a Pepsi but this actually quite sweet and very different from a mass market soda. It tasted as natural as it sounded.
We will definitely be visiting here any time we are ever in St. Augustine. There are more things we want and need to try on the menu.