You’ve heard it before: “You are what you eat.”
Monday, I was a Caprese panini and protein bar.
I walked into 4 Roots Juice Bar and Cafe in Twin Falls not knowing what to expect; when I left, I knew I would be back soon.
Everything on the menu sounded good — except for the meat options and the kale chips — so I asked server Lauren Peters to order for me.
She chose the Caprese panini, with mozzarella cheese, spinach, fresh tomatoes, basil pesto and gluten-free bread, for $8. The menu said wraps and sandwiches are all served with kale chips.
The meal is a good starting point for any carnivore making a transition to vegetarian meals, Peters said. I’m no beginner, but I wanted to hear her suggestion.
I also chose a protein bar with dates, organic peanut butter, agave, coconut, raw almonds, gluten-free oats, vegan protein powder and vegan chocolate chips for dessert for $3.50. The bar gave me the guilty pleasure of eating cookie dough, only nutritious. I ate it while waiting for my panini.
The soup of the day was tomato bisque — one of my favorites. Other soups include Thai coconut, sweet potato, Moroccan chickpea, split pea, and white bean and organic kale. Soups cost $4.50 for an eight-ounce cup of soup, $5.50 for a 16-ounce bowl and $10 for a 32-ounce tub to go.
Salads ranged from spring mix greens to a taco salad — made with walnut and mushroom “meat” — for $8.50. An avocado chicken salad, with “paleo mayo,” onion, celery, walnuts, cilantro, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes and cilantro lime vinaigrette, costs $10.50.
To my delight, I learned breakfast is served all day. Some breakfasts had meat — uncured, no-nitrate smoked ham and organic pork sausage — but I wasn’t interested in any of that. I did, however, like the idea of the cage-free eggs that come with some of the breakfasts.
Other breakfasts are various combinations of oatmeal, cinnamon, raisins, pecans, chia seeds and streusel, or yogurt and fresh berries topped with granola, for $4.75.
Regular customer Lisa Engel of Boise sat down to eat an acai bowl.
“It’s nice to be able to swing in and get real food,” said Engel, who travels for work.
The acai and rice bowls both cost $7.50 and for an extra 75 cents you can have chia seeds or other “boosters” sprinkled on top.
My panini arrived with a surprise: carrot sticks. But I was disappointed that my kale chips had been replaced by some wavy, dark green plate decoration. I had really wanted to try the chips, just to show how brave I am.
The panini was excellent; the basil pesto was an especially nice touch. I gnawed on a few carrot sticks, then used one to play with the wavy plate decoration.
“Wait,” I thought to myself. “Maybe I’m supposed to eat that.”
Sure enough. The plate decoration was oven-baked kale leaves with sea salt and pepper. And I ate every one of them.