One of the highlights on my trip to the US Virgin Islands was my visit to Lalita Juice Bar & Health Food Restaurant. Lalita, part of the Kalima Center Inc. Health and Holistic Living, I knew I would be able to have lunch and choose anything off the menu. For most people, you go to a restaurant and you can pick pretty much what you like from the entire menu. Vegetarians and vegans aren’t as fortunate and we are often left with a singular option, most times being a vegetable platter, a cheese sandwich, or a salad. Lalita meant I would have options and believe me, I like options!
Located in Christiansted, it’s only about a 30-minute drive from the cruise port in Frederiksted if you’re coming into St. Croix by cruise ship. The Kalima Center Inc. is run by Dr. Cheryl Wade, a general surgeon who offers a “balanced perspective of traditional principles and techniques with attention to modern Medicine and Surgery.” From an interview in the St. Croix Source: Wade opened Kalima Center Inc. and Lalita after seeing “a profound ignorance to healthy eating in her practice. ‘I began thinking what could I do to make my life better and to share that with others.’
Even if you’re not visiting Kalima for medical care, you can stop by the yoga studio, sauna, workshops, or stop in for a bite to eat at Lalita, like I did. Lalita is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner from 9:30 am until 9:00 pm. The decor is warm and inviting with warm colors on the walls, wood furniture, and a view of the courtyard. In the fountain at the center of the courtyard are koi fish and many of them. If you want a seat at the counter, jump on up and watch as they prepare your smoothie or food. Otherwise, there are plenty of tables for parties of 2, 4, or larger. I immediately noticed that there were several people with laptops in the restaurant. Lalita has free high speed wireless internet access available and people were there to enjoy it as well as the food. The service is attentive and if you need an explanation of anything, don’t hesitate to ask.
I decided to start my lunch with soup and ordered the Cruzan Black Bean soup only to find out that they were out of the soup. Not to be deterred from having soup that day, I asked my server what she would recommend. Her answer was the Spicy Carrot Soup and although extremely hesitant to order carrot soup, I did anyway. The pureed carrot soup with ginger and lime is beautifully presented with a decorative swirl. Who would have known that the first time trying carrot soup I would like it, but I did! I can’t recall what the number of my smoothie was or the name, but it had dates and almond milk I believe and it was also really good. They have 15 types of smoothies and 10 types of vegetable and fruit juices as well as water, tea, and local drinks (ginger root or lime squash). I was giddy like a school girl with the abundance of choices at Lalita.
Not only did I order soup, but I also ordered a sandwich. Served either on a whole wheat baguette or a wrap (choice of garlic & herb, tomato & basil, or spinach & basil), there are quite a few choices available from “The Works” to “The Hummer” to the one I chose, the “Chiang Mai Express.” A simple sandwich with carrot, coconut, red bell pepper, purple & green cabbage, zucchini, apple, avocado, hummus, lettuce, sesame dressing, and Thai sauce. Delicious! Fresh, crunchy, and overall just super yummy! After eating so much on this trip, it felt good to have salad and something on the lighter side. As you can see, the portions are huge so you can share a sandwich or an entree and try more of the tantalizing options available. Entrees you ask? How about the Coconut Pad Thai, the Zucchini Fettuchini, or Lasagna made with layers of zucchini. And yes, they do have dessert including Cashew and Cacao Gelato, Vegan Cheesecake, Coconut Banana Pie, and on the day I was there, Macaroons.
For a delicious, healthy meal, I encourage you to stop by Lalita and stay open to the food choices on the menu. Be adventurous and you’ll not only be surprised at how great the food is, but how great you’ll feel afterwards. If you’re feeling really adventurous, stop by the yoga studio or sauna afterwards for a real treat!
Kalima Center Inc.
Lalita Juice Bar & Health Food Restaurant
#54 King Street, Christiansted
St. Croix, Virgin Islands
Lalita now accepts MasterCard and Visa as well as cash or local checks