Kale Me Crazy’s first location opened July 2013 as Atlanta’s original “super food café.” Founder and sabra Roi Shlomo recalled expressions of doubt that Atlanta was “not ready” for this concept. He knew that the demand was there and held fast.
Shlomo said, “I wanted to provide access to healthy food in a quick casual environment. Back then it was a real struggle to source organic clean produce or specialty superfoods. Today it’s easier due to increasing demand.”
Kale Me Crazy has a full menu with salads, bowls, wraps and soups in addition to juices. Major emphasis on juicing!
“Cleansing has benefits. Your digestive system works hard 24 hours a day, seven days a week. By performing a cold-pressed juice cleanse, you’re flooding your body with micronutrients while giving your digestive organs a much-needed break,” Shlomo said.
How your food is grown or raised can have a major impact on your mental and emotional health as well as the environment. Some feel that organic foods have more beneficial nutrients and antioxidants than their conventionally grown counterparts. “People with allergies to foods, chemicals, or preservatives often find their symptoms lessen by eating only organics.” Roi recalled, “I grew up on an organic diet. In Israel we don’t have many food allergies like Americans probably because of the GMOs here.”
Shlomo grew up on a lettuce from Moshav Noga near Ashkelon.
He served as an Israel Defense Forces Air Force ground trainer and bounced from New York to Baltimore, Houston and Vegas selling jewelry, mall cosmetics, carpet cleaning, bottoming out in the 2006 recessive real estate market.
He came up with the frozen yogurt concept Yogli Mogli, which he has since sold. Then came Kale Me Crazy.
“Look at juicing this way. We have an ‘on the go’ lifestyle. We want to be healthy and still have a treat. Yogurt was a treat only. Juice is both part of a daily diet and a treat.”
Shlomo’s older brother, District Manager Liad, moved here in 2015 to run Kale Me Crazy operations and oversee corporate stores. He travels to open new locations and rolls out training so that all units have consistency.
The company has grown to 21 stores in five states. Miami and Austin open soon with LA, Dallas, Houston and Orange County following in the first quarter of 2020.
Liad said of his brother, “Roi’s brain is behind everything. … He’s the genius.”
Israeli influences abound at Kale Me Crazy like hummus made on site. The tuna salad is his mom’s recipe and contains lemon juice. Lentil soup and the Moroccan chickpea soup are Israeli inspired. Shlomo’s advice on the hummus: “It’s all in the timing of the blending. Slowly adding ingredients while it’s whirling around in the processor.”
Why kale? It’s high in vitamins and low in calories.
His favorite juice is spinach, apple, banana and kale. “The kale taste is very mild and enhances the blends.”
The most popular items are: acai bowl, poke bowl, Recovery smoothie, kale salad and chicken pesto wrap.
The menu is dynamic and stays on trend. The latest additions are salmon toast and charcoal lemonade. They are currently working on a new superfood salad, chicken wrap, and PB smoothie.
My tasting partner Simone and I admired the beautiful presentation, how much thought went into artfully placing each radish and carrot shred. We started with the avocado toast and smoked salmon toast. The salmon is sustainable and rippled on goat cheese (instead of cream cheese) topped with fresh dill and radishes. Simone noted “I like the crunch of the bread (Ezekiel) and great care was taken to toast both the top and bottom and keep a soft center. It reminded me of my mother’s pumpernickel crust.” The vegan sweet potato, ginger carrot soup scored for an autumnal lunch.
We split the poke bowl, which was a palette of colors. Purplish tuna cubes, edamame, avocado, radish, carrots on rice topped with furikake. A small layer of soy sauce layered the bottom (could have used more soy).
Each banana slice and berry on the acai bowl was perfectly placed, as if by tweezers.
The location we visited was in the heart of Buckhead at 3167 Peachtree Road. It’s a bit angled off the main drag, but has plenty of parking in a horizontal situation. Park at the adjacent Sephora and Dancing Goats Coffee Bar.