Mission Farms’ new Enjoy talks smoothie to me

There’s something aggressively good for you about Enjoy Pure Food + Drink, the new health-conscious café in Leawood’s Mission Farms (10573 Mission Road). The name alone is more directive than proper noun: You will sit down, you will eat this baby kale drizzled with house-made balsamic vinaigrette and you will damn well like it.

Vibrant and well-lighted, the cozy space feels like a salute to spinach, a commendation of coconut. A photo of fresh, raw vegetables in vibrant hues of red, purple and green adorns the wall, and lime-colored booth cushions cradle midday diners like a soft spring lawn. Otherwise, the place feels glowingly white, like someone’s smile in a toothpaste commercial, pure and untarnished. The way your diet journal will be after you eat here.

You dare not mention doughnuts or ham sandwiches on these premises.

This is not a complaint. Enjoy’s menu is how I’d eat if I employed a personal chef whose mission it was to help me get back into my skinny jeans. The salads, centered on kale, spinach and arugula, are loaded with goodies such as almonds, avocados, mushrooms and goat cheese. The bowls and sandwiches spotlight lean proteins and fresh veggies. And the breakfast menu’s omelets and wraps are made with organic eggs and coconut bacon. Yes, really.

There’s also a plentiful selection of smoothies and cold-pressed juices, as well as Roasterie coffee and Lawrence-based KANbucha on tap. Enjoy is also one of those places that does so-called bulletproof coffee, which here comes infused with unsalted butter and something called “brain octane MCT oil.”

I wasn’t necessarily ready to down a 400-plus-calorie cup of joe on my first visit, so instead I tried the Great Catch bowl, which combines wild-caught salmon, roasted sweet potatoes, sautéed kale, sweet onions and celery, topped with citrus-ginger vinaigrette. The tender, perfectly cooked salmon was smartly seasoned, providing a savory complement to the soft, flavorful sweet potatoes and the gently wilted kale. In style as well as in volume, it’s not the kind of salad you put on the scale at the grocery store, but mine was filling and satisfying.

When I finished, I asked my server for a dessert menu, and she made a sour face. “We’re still working on the dessert menu,” she said, and I nearly marched out the door in search of ice cream and cookies. Instead I ordered a smoothie, made with blueberries, almond milk, bananas, chia, flax, hemp, maple syrup and cinnamon. The result was just sweet enough to serve as a suitable replacement for a sugary summer indulgence.

On my second visit, I tried the Life’s a Picnic sandwich, a surprisingly logical combination of almond butter, white cheddar, green-apple slices, red quinoa, chia seeds and local honey on multigrain bread. The bread was probably the best part of this sandwich — soft, fresh and packed with grains, wholesome and substantial. (Farm to Market is among Enjoy’s bread vendors.)

Then again, it was the only thing I could taste. The smear of almond butter, the thin slices of apple and cheese and the smattering of quinoa left me wishing I’d spent my nine bucks on another smoothie instead. The tangy, refreshing, “metabolizing” juice I ordered to go with my Picnic — ruby-red grapefruit, green apple, fennel, lemon and Celtic sea salt — was tangy and refreshing, and somewhat made up for my sandwich blues.

I’ll hope for a more generous sandwich next time, but there will be a next time. There’s plenty to appreciate at Enjoy Pure Food + Drink. The place makes its own dressings, sauces and spreads, and uses natural sweeteners instead of refined sugar. Locally owned, it puts its Kansas City love on display: The soap in the bathroom is from Merriam’s Mer-Sea, and a sign out front proclaims that the caffeine jolts come courtesy of “locally roasted coffee brewed by locally raised people.”

And really, you get a mean smoothie here, so there’s reason to hope that equally satisfying desserts are on the way. As other area bakeries have shown (Mud Pie Vegan Bakery & Coffeehouse and Unbakery & Juicery, to name a couple), sweet treats can be both delicious and good for you — or at least somewhat less bad for you, a worthy goal.

Categories: Food & Drink