Dallas' favorite raw food restaurant Be Raw Food and Juice has broadened its hours to include breakfast, with a menu that's sweet, healthy, and a little bit magical.
Owners Jessica and Davio Ventouras, who also founded Boom Juice, were getting requests from clients who wanted juice in the morning, as well as other breakfast items.
"We already had our following from Boom Juice, and customers were asking for juice," Davio says. "Our chef had some creative ideas, and it made sense to do a full breakfast menu."
The Ventouras took over Be Raw in April, rescuing Dallas' only raw-food place from certain death. In a raw food diet, you eat uncooked and unprocessed foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Not exposing the food to high heat preserves beneficial enzymes. Observing a raw food diet can be high-maintenance, as it requires time and energy to assemble dishes, but it's popular among celebrities and athletes.
One of the instant best-sellers of the Ventouras' new breakfast menu has been the chocolate-glazed "doughnut hole," which hits all your important bases: raw, vegan, and Paleo.
"They're amazing," Davio says. "They're made with ingredients like almonds, dates, pineapple, and coconut, but they taste like real doughnuts. So many 'health' foods are supposed to taste like other foods, and they really don't. But these are convincing. You know, they're not doughnuts, but they're a great treat for people who crave that flavor but are watching their health."
The doughnuts come in a package of six, and because they're so moist, they last longer than regular doughnuts. Some customers come in the night before and pick them up for the next day. "They also do not spike your blood sugar or have any other negative effects of regular doughnuts," he says.
Other items on the breakfast menu include acai bowls, the healthy breakfast sensation that has been described as "a smoothie in a bowl," topped with oatmeal, fruit, or almond butter. They also do steel-cut oats; chia seed pudding; and the ultra-hipster pitaya bowl, made with pretty pink dragon fruit and topped with various fruits and nuts.
Two of their more popular items include pecan porridge, a creamy bowl with oats, banana, and pecans, and the all-raw cinnamon bun, made from almonds, flaxseed, dates, cinnamon, pecans, and coconut oil with a pinwheel drizzle of cashew "cream."
Beyond their juice savvy, the Ventouras have determined that being open at breakfast better meets the needs of the neighborhood, and are even considering hosting weekend brunch.
"Preston Center is a bit of a ghost town at night," Davio says. "It's a lot of bankers who get their work done by 3 pm. We're still open for dinner, and lunch is always busy, but you see a drop-off in the area. What we're doing in the morning is unique, and we have it not only for in the restaurant, but set up for grab-and-go."