Healthy Holes-in-the-Wall

Small restau­rants that make big and tasty im­pres­sions

Bonita & Estero Magazine - - DEPARTMENTS - Café YOU of­fers healthy, tasty break­fast and lunch of­fer­ings with gluten-free and ve­gan op­tions avail­able, as well as au­then­tic espresso cof­fees and freshly made bread.

Hole-in-the-wall restau­rants—you know the ones that are a lit­tle smaller and a lit­tle more off the beaten path—used to be known as places to get a greasy burger or a fried ham sand­wich. Th­ese days? Not so. As more peo­ple re­think what they eat and look for health­ier fare, the trend at all types of restau­rants is to­ward lo­cal, healthy, or­ganic, veg­e­tar­ian and ve­gan foods. Here are three small restau­rants that serve de­li­cious fare.

CAFÉ YOU

Tucked back in an in­dus­trial park off South­east 10th Street in Cape Coral lies a lit­tle gem of a place that you might not ex­pect to find there, but some­how fits in per­fectly. It’s Café YOU, a cozy, eclec­tic, shab­by­chic restau­rant with in­door and out­door din­ing.

Café YOU of­fers healthy, tasty break­fast and lunch of­fer­ings with gluten-free and ve­gan op­tions avail­able, as well as au­then­tic espresso cof­fees and freshly made bread. Its Avo­cado Smash is a top seller be­cause it is the per­fect com­fort food for any time of the day.

“We smash half a ripe avo­cado and some feta cheese onto toast [of your choice], sea­son it with salt, pep­per, tahini and chili flakes [op­tional], then give it a splash of olive oil and a squeeze of le­mon,” says owner Mar­lies Laaper, who is orig­i­nally from Syd­ney. And ev­ery month, Café YOU of­fers sev­eral fine-din­ing ex­pe­ri­ences, in­clud­ing six-course tast­ing din­ners and wine din­ners.

THE SANI­BEL SPROUT

Veg­e­tar­ian and ve­gan whole foods; plant­based in­no­va­tive cui­sine with an em­pha­sis on fresh, or­ganic, non-GMO in­gre­di­ents; and Amer­i­can and eth­nic dishes best de­scribe the break­fast, lunch and din­ner menus at The Sani­bel Sprout. This ca­sual and com­fort­able spot, lo­cated on Peri­win­kle Way at Bai­ley’s Shop­ping Cen­ter on Sani­bel Is­land, em­pha­sizes not only healthy eat­ing, but also a healthy life­style.

That’s why—along with menu items such as the Porta­bella Par­adise ve­gan burger, Ja­panese Brus­sels sprouts, and de­li­cious juices, smooth­ies and desserts—there is a great col­lec­tion of items to pur­chase. Th­ese in­clude unique home goods, lovely fra­grances, and vi­ta­mins and min­er­als. It all takes place in a com­mu­nity-based en­vi­ron­ment in which guests be­come friends. “I be­lieve pas­sion­ately in the power of care­ful eat­ing and mind­ful nutri­tion to trans­form our health, mood and cre­ate op­ti­mal life­styles,” says Nikki R ood, The Sani­bel Spr out’s owner and ex­ec­u­tive chef.

IS­LAND WAY CAFÉ

This great lit­tle ca­sual café is lo­cated just due north of the four-way stop on Pine Is­land, on the left side of Stringfel­low Road. Its break­fast and lunch menus of­fer ev­ery­thing from fresh smooth­ies and juices to quiche of the day—and Thai Chicken Wraps that are to die for!

“I strive to use lo­cal in­gre­di­ents,” ex­plains Neil Dun­das, who is the restau­rant’s owner and its chef. As an ex­am­ple, Dun­das notes that the greens he uses are grown just a cou­ple of miles down the road from his es­tab­lish­ment.

In­door seat­ing and an out­side pa­tio are avail­able, as well as to-go or­ders. What’s also fun about Is­land Way Café is that you can pur­chase a va­ri­ety of fresh pro­duce that is of­fered in bins.

What’s also fun about Is­land Way Café is that you can pur­chase a va­ri­ety of fresh pro­duce that is of­fered in bins.

Clock­wise from top: Cape Coral's Café YOU of­fers ve­gan and gluten­free op­tions; the café prides it­self on its choices of cof­fee; the restau­rant’s Baked But­ter­nut and Red Onion Salad.

From top: The Sani­bel Sprout pro­vides a com­mu­ni­ty­based en­vi­ron­ment; pa­trons rave about its de­li­cious desserts; chef Nikki Rood’s gourmet ve­gan burger .

Is­land Way Café chef Neil Dun­das strives to use lo­cal in­gre­di­ents. His café fea­tures healthy break­fast and lunch items. Its fresh­baked goods are en­joyed by Pine Is­lan­ders and tourists.

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