Juicy Cafe // Downtown // Salad + Juice Bar // Breakfast & Lunch // $
725 Pike Street
Floor 2, Suite 201
With a respect for “pure” ingredients and an easily customizable menu, Juicy Cafe appeared to be right up our paleo alley. Unfortunately, a salad of underripe and underdressed veggies left us unsatisfied and unlikely to return, at least for lunch.
What did you order?
- Avocado Lemon Dill salad (lemon dill dressing with avocado, cucumbers, spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, carrots, cabbage, topped with sliced almonds); added one hard boiled egg
- Ab’s Green Religion juice (lemon, ginger, spinach, kale, romaine, celery, cucumber, parsley)
How many ready-made paleo options are on the menu, and what are they?
When it comes to beverages, Juicy Cafe has you covered. All their juice recipes are 100% raw and paleo, and most of their smoothies are, too. Just be sure to watch out for rice milk, peanut butter, flax, greek yogurt and whey. Of course, they’re easily omitted.
When it comes to the food, only a handful of items are paleo off the menu:
- Avocado Lemon Dill (lemon dill dressing with avocado, cucumbers, spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, carrots, cabbage, topped with sliced almonds)
- Creamy Lemon Tahini (homemade tahini, arugula, sunflower seeds, spinach, cucumbers, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, cabbage)
- Spicy Sweet Hawaiian (chili lime sauce, fresh pineapple, almonds, cabbage, cucumbers, spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, carrots)
- Comfort Curry (coconut curry sauce over spinach, carrots, broccoli, cabbage, cashews)
- Omega 3 Salmon Salad (romaine, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, carrot, cucumber, tomatoes, walnut, wild Alaskan salmon, and lemon dill dressing)
How easy would it be to create paleo options with substitutions? Examples?
It would be no trouble at all. In fact, they invite you to customize! Each section of their menu (Juices, Smoothies and Bowls) offers a “create your own” option.
When it comes to customizing their pre-designed menu items, your options are as follows:
- Triple Green Pesto (basil walnut pesto sauce over spinach, broccoli, carrots, cabbage, parmesan); omit parmesan
- Rainbow Superfood (balsamic dressing with walnuts, cranberries, and black beans, cucumbers, broccoli, tomatoes, cabbage, carrots, spinach); omit black beans
- Happy Buddha (almonds and lemon dill sauce over garbanzo beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, spinach, broccoli, carrots, cabbage); omit garbanzos
- Creamy Herbalicious (creamy hearblicious sauce with feta, cucumbers, spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, carrots, cabbage, and sunflower seeds); omit feta
- Kale Caesar (creamy herbalicious dressing with kale, broccoli, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, parmesan, and sunflower seeds); omit parmesan
- Hearty Greek (feta, cashews, red peppers, spinach, romaine, tomatoes, cucumber, and homemade seasonal balsamic dressing); omit feta
- Yogi Cleanse (garbanzo beans, spinach, broccoli, carrot, cabbage, tomatoes, cucumber, olive oil and a slice of fresh lemon); omit garbanzos
How accommodating is the staff? Are they knowledgeable about the paleo diet?
We should first clarify that this isn’t a sit-down place. All orders are taken at the counter and are delivered in disposable containers to customers in the mezzanine seating area. The staff is friendly and attentive, but their MO is clearly to shuffle customers through as fast as possible. While the speed is appreciated, the level of customer service could be better.
For example, we were disappointed to find that the salad dressing we requested on the side had already been added to our salad when we received it. This was no big deal, but it made us skeptical about their ability to handle more pressing requests.
How satisfied were you with the meal?
We left pretty unsatisfied. To start, our salad was regrettably underdressed. We may as well have been eating a raw mixed greens salad right out of the bag. To make matters worse, the veggies were not only underripe and flavorless, but they were cut much too large for an enjoyable mouthful. The tomatoes were firm and sour and the cubes of avocado were plastic-y and bland. After a few bites, we were so disappointed that we resorted to purchasing olive oil and balsamic vinegar from a nearby saladbar to make the rest of the meal palatable.
That being said, their juice offerings are quite enjoyable! The price is steep, but the quality and flavor are reliable. If you’re on the go downtown and looking for a mid-afternoon juice fix, this is a great option.
Would you recommend this restaurant to a paleo friend? Why or why not?
When it comes to eating a full meal, no we wouldn’t. For a juice or smoothie fix, yes. Though not organic or locally sourced, the ingredients are fresh and unprocessed. No need to worry about anything weird sneaking in; you can see the staff preparing your meals behind the counter.
In a pinch, this place will do for a quick and stress-free lunch.
Could you eat here enjoyably without telling anyone you’re paleo? (Not that you’d want to!)
Juice Cafe offers a cooler full of hearty on-the-go snacks like nuts and hard-boiled eggs. They’ve also got their most popular juices available in bottles so you don’t have to wait in line.
If rice and quinoa aren’t a problem for you, you can bulk up your order with a scoop of either one. Salmon, chicken, hard-boiled eggs, almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds and walnuts are also available as add-ons.