The EDGE District continues to flourish — and the latest additions to the Baum Avenue section are further proof. Serene, Avocado Valley and Vallhalla Bakery made for the age of Instagram, with menus focused on health, wellness and flavor. It’s an indulgence you can feel good about — and listen, once you tasted saj sandwiches, there’s no going back.
Both restaurants are part of Baum Avenue Market, a new concept located 1113 Central Avenue next to the enigmatic Intermezzo.
From Lebanon to St. Pete
Avocado Valley features plant-based dishes with an Eastern Mediterranean influence. The concept originally began as a farm stand in Lebanon. The owners sold organic fruits and avocados grown on the hillside by the Mediterranean Sea, according the pop up’s website.
Their journey all the way to the Sunshine City is a true gift to the local food scene. What do you need to try when you visit?
Start with the gluten-free fried cauliflower served with yogurt aioli and the smashed avocado with Zataar, olive oil and lemon, served with plenty Saj bread.
Ample gluten-free and vegan options
Of all the sandwiches to choose from, we lean toward the Zataar Saj. This treat is made with a blend of dried thyme, oregano, sumac and sesame seeds and cooked on the domed Saj.
Most items on the menu are either vegan or gluten-free, so there’s something for every palate.
Avocado Valley is open from 11am-4pm, Tuesday-Wednesday and Friday-Sunday. The restaurant features later hours on Thursdays.
Avocado Valley isn’t alone in Baum Avenue Market.
Lattes with a healthy twist
Serene St. Pete has also just recently debuted in the 1113 Central Avenue space. Listen, in our opinion all lattes have some health value. But that’s subjective. Serene St. Pete’s creation leave no room for interpretation — these coffee drinks offer pure revitalization.
Start with the Deep Blue Latte made with a Japanese ceremonial grade matcha, blue majik honey and oat milk. The matcha is soothing, the honey is magic. Blue Majik is filled with C-phycocyanin, which is said to be rich in antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties, and it may promote brain health, according to a PopSugar Fitness report.
Pitaya bowls topped with edible flowers
Visitors can also indulge in sweet chasers like a beet and strawberry combination and an Oh Snap shot made with ginger, orange, lemon, honey and cayenne.
Woken up yet? Okay, now it’s time eat. It’s all about the Sup-Succa bowl for our money. The base is made with pitaya, coconut milk, strawberries, mango and agave. The bowl is topped with kiwi, dragonfruit, coconut flakes, pistachios and edible flowers. It’s completely vegan and gluten-free.
Serene is open from 10am-4pm Saturday and Sunday, and 8am-4pm Tuesday-Friday. The restaurant does sometimes stay open later on Thursdays during the Royal Palm Market outside of Intermezzo.
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The best bakery in Orlando has officially arrived in St. Pete
Valhalla Bakery has consistently been voted the best bakery in Orlando by customers and critics. We couldn’t be happier to see the 100% vegan bakery set roots in Baum Avenue Market.
We won’t mince words here, you need to try one of their giant cinnamon rolls. It is a proverbial powder keg of fall flavor. The menu says it’s only available on Sundays, so we suggest you get in line this weekend.
Want a taste of Canada? Of course you do. Valhalla makes Nanaimo Bar made with a dark chocolate coconut crust filled with a butter custard and topped in dark chocolate.
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Ever heard of a Brookie? We hadn’t, and now we can’t understand how this treat wasn’t always in our lives. The Brookie starts with a giant dark chocolate brownie, topped with a melty chocolate chunk cookie. The masterpiece is drizzled in ganache — and, as the bakery says, is served on a giant slab of happiness.
Looking for something a little different? Valhalla also offers Guava cheese hand-pies that are decadent.
The bakery is in its soft opening stages and is open from 10am-4pm, Tuesday-Sunday.
Have you visited these new foodie havens? Let us know in the comments.