Saturday, March 14, 2009

Shakti Life Kitchen

Fresh from our great experience at The Present Moment Cafe, we were excited to discover another raw food restaurant in the area, this time closer by in Atlantic Beach. Online information is scarce, but it appears that The Shakti Life Kitchen opened its doors in late 2008 and is the 2nd raw food restaurant in North East Florida (not counting raw oyster bars).

shakti cafe interior shakti cafe water

The Shakti Life Kitchen is semi-hidden in the lower level of a two-story, modern building just off the ocean end of Atlantic Blvd. Inside you'll find a cute, clean little cafe, complete with a smoothie bar and dining area. There are a few packaged foods and nutritional supplements for sale and a couple comfortable couches by a window that look like a good place to sit with a laptop and one of their delicious smoothies.

shakti cafe pizza shakti cafe pizza

The menu has similar items to those offered at The Present Moment: raw food implementations and reinterpretations of standard restaurant foods. And while many of the base ingredients are the same, The Shakti Life Kitchen differs in their use of spices. Whereas one may say The Present Moment is more akin to the French or general European style of cuisine, it could be said that The Shakti Life Kitchen takes inspiration from India both culinarily and in name. The pastes and sauces are spicier but that doesn't necessarily mean "hot" spicy as in chili peppers; there just appears to be a considerable amount of spices used in the preparation.

shakti cafe burrito shakti cafe burrito

I opted for the Portabello Burrito: spinach chia wrap filled with marinated mushroom steaks, "sour cream", guacamole, shredded lettuce, and diced tomatoes served with cauliflower "rice", corn chips, and salsa, while the lady ordered the Sunny Style Pizza: a hearty crust topped with sundried tomato marinara, pumpkin seed "cheese", marinated bell pepper strips, and zucchini with a side of mixed greens. I quite enjoyed my burrito and what I ate of the pizza was pretty good as well. No dessert this time but I did decide to have an after-meal beverage.

ganesh cafe ganesh cafe

Being a sucker for strange beverages, particularly coffees and teas, I was compelled to try the Ganesh Cafe. It was only later in doing my research on the ingredients that I discovered how strange it truly is. Billed as a coffee-esque tea, the Ganesh Cafe is made from reishi tea, carob, mesquite, maca, cinnamon, spirulina, and agave. First off, the flavor is amazing, like a thick, chocolaty chai. I would gladly drink this stuff all day long, even considering the strange ingredients. Carob, mesquite, cinnamon, agave: nothing too strange there, but in reading up on the others I wondered what I'd got myself into (and I make a habit out of eating strange things).

Spirulina are free-floating filamentous cyanobacteria. Now, I eat yogurt with live cultures daily but the thought of eating algae or bacteria is still a bit strange. However, it appears to be a fairly nutritious and safe food containing a decent concentration of protein and certain vitamins.

Reishi Tea is made by mixing green tea with the essence of the reishi mushroom. Mushroom tea? Pretty weird, but delicious nonetheless.

So for those looking for healthy, raw food creations in the region, add The Shakti Life Kitchen to that too-short list. I know I'll be going back for some more Ganesh Cafe. Do you think I could get a discount if I buy it by the gallon?

Shakti Life Kitchen
51 Pine Street
Atlantic Beach, FL 32233

Shakti Life Kitchen on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

John said...

Finally an excellent TRUE vegan restaurant in JAX. The food was DELICIOUS!! Can't wait to go back. The Chocolate Macaroons were fantastic.