Cider Press Cafe Destroys Vegan Stereotypes!
There is a frightening stigma that vegetarian meals are bland. Or that eating a raw diet has a requirement of being a fiery PETA advocate. Some may even think that gluten-free is a fad that will fizzle out and that eating this way has become a bit of a trend thanks to the world of #hashtags. However, if you pay attention to the facts and research, it is absolutely possible to incorporate flavorful healthy meals into your diet – even if you are a die-hard omnivore. Downtown St. Pete has become a health-conscious community and in doing so, we have welcomed fantastic new restaurants with open arms. Cider Press Cafe, located at 601 Central Avenue, offers delicious menu options that are 100% gluten, tofu, peanut, MSG, dairy, trans fat and sugar free.
Hours of Operation:
Monday – Thursday: 11:00 am – 9:00 pm
Friday and Saturday: 10:00 am – 10:00 pm
Sunday: 11:00 am – 8:00 pm
In August of 2015 Johan Everstijn and Roland Strobel opened the doors to Cider Press Cafe (2.0) on the 600 Block of Central in DTSP (their first location is in Naples). Johan is a creative mastermind and culinary guru. He happily brings his knowledge of a plant-based diet to the kitchen of Cider Press (this man knows his stuff, he was even promoted from instructor to Executive Chef at the Matthew Kenney Cuisine Education Program in Oklahoma City, which was the only state accredited school that taught raw cooking). Although Roland laughed and admitted that his only experience in a restaurant was ordering food, he did confess that he has a PhD in Urban Planning. He takes care of the business aspect of the restaurant because in reality, you cannot simply rely on creativity for success. Roland’s analytical intellect creates the perfect yin to Johan’s artistic yang.
So what is really all the fuss about? Why visit Cider Press when you could easily order a salad from any other restaurant? The answer is simple: Cider Press is completely different than many other eateries. First things first, if you are looking for a can opener, you definitely will not find one in their kitchen. All of the ingredients come straight from the farm making each component extremely fresh.
Unless you are already a pro, don’t let the ingredients listed on the menu scare you away (and don’t you dare just order a salad. That’s a cop out!). Give the Florida Roll a try when you visit Cider Press. It is a mouthwatering sushi roll created with tamari infused watermelon ‘tuna’, mango, riced jicama, avocado and served with ginger, wasabi and tamari sauce. Another crowd favorite seems to be the Pad Thai. This dish is made with kelp and zucchini noodles, spicy tamarind sauce, mixed vegetables, pineapple, cabbage, and tamari almonds (both are happiness on a plate that taste good and make you feel even better).
Cider Press Cafe is billed as a vegan and gluten free restaurant, but they do have a few cooked items on their menu. For example, there is a gumbo that will be added soon. It is a hot dish and doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with gumbo, but is certainly inspired by the bright flavors of Louisiana. Yum!
When Everstijn and Strobel opened Cider Press, they thought that the restaurant could be either nutritional or culinary, but not both. They already had the nutritional part down and became excited to see how good everything could actually taste. When you visit Cider Press, it becomes a culinary experience and will prove to you that there is nothing to be scared about when it comes to eating healthy! Good thing they were able to achieve both culinary AND nutritional!
“This food has become a mission of ours,” Roland pointed out as he explained the educational role he hopes to share with customers.
“It’s a great feeling to do something that you know helps other people,” Johan explained when speaking of his love for Cider Press Cafe. “It makes them feel good and it makes us feel good that we can share it with others.” (DTSP is tickled pink that Johan and Roland have opened their restaurant here and now call our neighborhood their new home. We just love locals!)
You will notice that you may be paying a bit more for lunch when you visit Cider Press Cafe. However, you cannot compare the ingredients apples to apples with other restaurants, therefore the price is incomparable as well. They may actually serve the freshest and healthiest food that you can find in town. Remember, you are paying for quality over quantity and your body will thank you later.
Do yourself a favor and add some flavor into your life by stopping into Cider Press Cafe in Downtown St. Pete for lunch or dinner. Pair your tasty meal with a craft beer (for only $3.50!), a glass of wine or awesome margarita made with agave wine. If you are looking for a fresh juice or smoothie, their selection will wow you.
DowntownStPete.com is working hard to continue to share the 5-star places to go (like Cider Press Cafe), amazing things to do and those unique personalities who make it all happen here in DTSP. Create a profile today to stay up to date. When you stop into Cider Press, do not forget to post a photo onto Downtown Now of what you ordered. We are excited to hear from you and see what you are up to!