I finally made it over to Rawk Star Café in my old hometown of Palm Harbor!  And though it shows a small locale, next to a vitamin shop and Domino’s Pizza on the side of US19N and Tampa Road, it is a little patch of sunshine.  It’s very modern and clean and minimal inside, an absolute delight to look at.

I was of course greeted by Karen’s friendly smile and sweet demeanor.  I have visited twice, and both times were alike in that you are always greeted with a smile and with great energy!  Adam greeted me the second time J  The first time there I ordered the pizza with rawghetti and a slice of the Macha Crème pie to go with a Hibiscus tea.  The pizza was awesome, loaded with veggies, and loaded with flavor.  I told Karen that I didn’t like olives, and she said there were sundried olives on the pizza.  Though, I usually like olives on pizza I was even more interested when she said that they were sundried.  So I told her to pile them on.  They were really tasty.  Even more so than regular black olives on pizza.  The flavor and richness of the pizza hit the spot.  The rawghetti was also flavorful with plenty of cashew cheese on top for loads of cheesy flavor.  Though the pizza and rawghetti were nice, I would be a liar if I didn’t admit to the Macha Crème pie being some of the most amazing dessert I have had.  It was rich, creamy, and absolutely tasty.  Not overly sweet, but I got just enough of a dose of sweetness to satisfy my sweet tooth.

The other pleasant surprise about the pie was that I took my entire first meal to go, as I was on my way to visit my grandmother at a nursing home on Tampa Road.  She happened to be complaining about the tasteless food there, and I offered her some of the pie as she wanted something sweet.  Now, before I tell you what she said, let me preface it by saying that my grandfather was a Master Pastry Chef and Master Baker who also taught at Johnson & Wales Culinary Arts Institute in Rhode Island for many years.  So in essence, my family knows good food, especially good desserts.  My grandmother took a bite and said ‘mmmmmm… that’s really good, what is it?’  Knowing her propensity for full fat, fully dead food, I told her it was a crème pie dessert I picked up.  She was none the wiser, and got a taste of raw food goodness!

For my second visit to Rawk Star, I enjoyed the DLT with Avocado.  It was a wrap, with avocado, tomato and the lettuce I can’t recall the type, but it started with a D if that helps J  The wrap was a collard green and it came with veggie chips.  Boy oh boy was it filling and delicious.  The heartiness of the collard green and all of the veggies made it one hefty wrap.  And it was delish!  Then I had to share a slice of the Macha Crème pie again, as I was there with my mom.  And she enjoyed it a lot as well.  Adam even hooked us up with a few scoops of the chocolate ice cream on top.  I can’t say enough good stuff about Rawk Star.  The staff is friendly, everything is super fresh and I haven’t had a bad meal there yet! (nor do I ever believe I will!)  So if you’re in the neighborhood, I absolutely insist you stop by and grab a smoothie, a sit down meal, or just an order to go.  You won’t be disappointed!

Being a vegan there haven’t been all too many dining options in the St. Petersburg/Tampa Bay Area.  I recently downloaded the VegOut app for my iphone, which came recommended by a great vegan blogger I follow on Twitter quarrygirl.  The app is nothing short of awesome.  We found a few new places and decided for the mood we were in to try Vida De Café, on St. Pete Beach.  First, a disclaimer, their website leaves much to be desired, and I believe does no justice to the food and atmosphere of Vida De Café.

Raw Vegan Sushi from Vida De CafeWhen we arrived, it was a Sunday evening and a quiet night down on the beach.  We were the only two people that were in the café, and arrived about 5pm, for an early dinner.  The atmosphere is simple, beachy and calm.  The décor is mostly from Ikea, modern, simple and comfortable.  There were several items on the menu that I was interested in, but finally settled on the Sushi with Ginger Pate, and my husband got the Spicy Pad Thai.  (I want to note, that the food is fully vegan and also all raw.)  The flavor of my sushi was outstanding.  It was fresh, flavorful and I absolutely love when I can taste a multitude of flavors all at once.  The avocado was rich and creamy against the crunch of the spinach and carrots.  The nori it was wrapped in was raw, and I have never had raw nori, it was awesome!  The flavor of that just added to the great taste of the rolls.  I felt that the plate was a fairly large serving and priced well for what I received.

Raw Pad Thai from Vida De CafeMy husband’s Spicy Pad Thai did not disappoint either.  It was very very tasty with again, loads of flavor.  The Zucchini noodles were absolutely fabulous.  Everything was again, extremely fresh and flavorful.  The only negative on that dish was that neither of us felt it was spicy, nor did it taste anything like any Pad Thai dish we had ever had.  But we’d both get this dish again, knowing how great the flavor was and how nice and fresh all of the produce was.

We both had water to drink, and I ordered a green tea.  I was a bit disappointed that they did not offer Agave Nectar or raw sugar to add to the tea, and it was rather unflavorful as far as any green tea I have tasted.  So I cannot recommend the green tea but the water is water, and the food is amazing.

The only disappointment on my part was that they were totally out of the Fudge Brownie and ChocoChip Ice Kream.  MAN did that look amazing on the website and the description made my mouth water!  So I was disappointed on that, but it is just one more reason to head back there!

Our service was good, and we would definitely recommend Vida De Café to anyone wanting to try some freshly made food in a great small restaurant on beautiful St. Pete Beach.  It’s a hidden gem that should definitely have more attention.