For the past week, I’ve been basking in the breezy, sunny air of Seagrove, FL with my family and Henry. We rented a house with a full-size kitchen, so Henry and I, being the only vegetarians in the family, went to the nearby grocery store and spent a whopping $85 on groceries to sustain ourselves for 6 days and nights— resort beach towns don’t have much in the way of vegan + gluten-free foods, so you can imagine my surprise and excitement when my father came home from a morning out and mentioned he’d seen a raw juice bar two miles away with vegan food options. I’d been making gluten-free pasta with red sauce and broccoli for the past two days, so Henry and I were determined to try it for lunch that afternoon.
Raw & Juicy rests on Highway 30A, in the central square of Seaside, Florida. You will recognize idyllic Seaside as the city “Seahaven” from The Truman Show with Jim Carrey (remember that odd movie before reality tv programming was the only thing on tv?) in one of his first serious roles. The trailer sits at the end of a row of food carts that serve gourmet grilled cheese, barbeque, and other foods a sensitive tummy cannot have.
Owner Jennifer Kuntz, dancer and yoga instructor, started the juice bar to “cultivate wellness in her community.” As you walk up to Raw & Juicy, the sound of soothing indie music pours out of the speakers— apparently the other food trailers have given full power to the juice bar to pick music for the square, as theirs is the only one heard on the strip. An a-frame sign alerts customers to the menu and specials of the day in chalk, along with symbols for vegan (everything) and gluten-free (almost everything) options. I chose a dehydrated onion bread veggie sandwich ($9) from the regular menu, and Henry picked the veggie sushi ($8) from the specials board. They also have a plethora of fresh juice and smoothie options, but we went for Maté tea in a can instead.
The onion bread sandwich came with a small sprig of grapes and dehydraded sweet potato chips. I had been craving some sort of bread-like item, as I hadn’t brought any of my flours to bake with, so the “bread” was amazing— full of grains and seeds. It was a decent sandwich with avocado, sprouts, and other typical sandwich fixin’s, but what really won us over was the veggie sushi!
Made with brown rice, the sushi was to die for. Meaty chunks of shitake mushrooms towered over the carrots and sprouts included in the rolls, and the dipping sauce was to die for— tamari mixed with sesame oil and ginger, with organic wasabi and pickled ginger to boot.
Other things on the menu? Cuban rice and beans, cold oatmeal with fruit, spring rolls, organic popsicles and more. Sadly, we only ate there once, but I will gladly return the next time we visit!
Henry and I left full and happy and headed to the record store on the other side of the square for iced coffee and sunglasses, as he’d lost his in the sea earlier on our inflatable kayak! I hadn’t been to our family’s yearly vacation spot in about 10 years, and I forgot how beautiful the beaches of Florida are— we’re talking white sand and clear, teal water with breathtaking sunsets each night. I was happy to share the moment with Henry, along with my entire family (and especially my adorable nephew, Zachary).