An Elixir Fit for a Video Game Protagonist

Good Bite

BY ANDREW FABIAN SRQ DAILY FRESHLY SQUEEZED CONTENT EVERY MORNING TUESDAY JUL 28, 2020

Some of the most celebrated videogame franchises often feature expansive worlds in which their heroes must vanquish monsters, save the village and/or unlock some latent, ancient power/sword/spirit. The best of these games—Zelda, Final Fantasy, Red Dead Redemption, etc.—often require the gameplayer to track down food or potions to replenish their health and heal from bloody battles. Sometimes the food can even boost the main character’s strength or grant temporary special powers. And if any food retailer in the real world has the kind of healthful mystique of the quaint apothecaries, inns and saloons of the videogame worlds that peddle these foods and potions, CROP most certainly would qualify.

Its menu is a dazzling array of nutrient-rich juices, smoothies and bowls, all made from 100% organic ingredients for vegan and gluten-free eaters. The back of the menu, in the bottom right corner, features a selection of caffeinated drinks, and the Coconut Mocha Joy might be the most impressive among them. Made with coconut water, cold brew coffee, unsweetened almond milk, young Thai coconut meat, stoneground almond butter, dates, cacao, vanilla and Himalayan salt, the drink contains in its earthy ingredients promises of rejuvenation and replenishment. “It makes me think of Almond Joy,” says Lexi D’Abbraccio, the attendant behind the counter. But, where the candy bar can hardly be considered part of a healthy diet, the Mocha Joy manages to feel light and rich simultaneously, with a nice balance of nuttiness from the almond butter, creaminess from the coconut meat, a dash of bitter notes from the coffee and cacao, and a hint of savory from the salt. The dates glue it all together with a bit of natural sugar.

My health stores replenished, I was ready for another grueling day of vanquishing blank pages with an inept flurry of words and sentences. CROP’s Gulf Gate location operates Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 6:00pm, and Saturday from 8:00am to 4:00pm. The University Park location has additional hours on Sunday from 9:00am to 2:00pm.

CROP, 2320 Gulf Gate Dr. Sarasota, @cropjuice, 941-923-8640.

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