Restaurant Review: Cloud 9 Energy Bowls in Waite Park
About a week and a half ago, I had a friend on Facebook share a vibrant and colorful bowl of food from a new place in St. Cloud. Being a total foodie I knew I needed to get my hands on one... for science reasons.
Cloud 9 Energy Bowls is open for business in the building outside of Crossroads Mall where Schuler Shoes and Tip Top Tux currently are.
Before we get into a review let's define what an "energy bowl" is exactly. They are essentially nutrient-dense smoothies that you can eat with a spoon, made with fresh foods like fruits, nuts, seeds, or granola to keep your body powered throughout your day.
I finally had a gap in my schedule to check out Cloud 9 Energy Bowls on Wednesday morning, and what immediately stood out to me was the fact that almost everything on their menu is dairy-free. I have a dairy allergy and it is rare I can order 99% of a place's menu items. Usually, it's the other way around, and when I think of a "health food" place my mind goes to powdered drinks full of whey protein.
Not this place.
Everything is made with "organic, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, plant-based, vegan and nutritious ingredients" according to their website.
The menu features a handful of signature bowls, but everything is customizable down to the drizzle on top. I ordered an 'Electric Flamingo' which had coconut, blue majik , pitaya, honey oat granola, goji berries, flaxseed, strawberries, raspberries, and honey drizzle.
The dish itself is visually stunning. The colors are vibrant, and you can see all of the ingredients expertly layered to make it 100% Instagram worthy, which is what every business should be doing in 2020. As pretty as it looks, the taste is where this bowl really shines.
When I had my first spoonful I felt like I was eating ice cream for breakfast, which is generally frowned upon. Anything that is ice cream textured makes me incredibly nervous due to my allergy, but then I remembered that this "ice cream" was made of real fruits and is totally good for you.
What really stood out in my bowl was the "blue majik". It is a sorbet that is a cross between coconut, mango, and pineapple. I'm a sucker for tropical flavors, and the next time I go back, I might just get a bowl of this stuff.
The fresh fruits topping the bowl, icy texture of the pitaya (dragonfruit), and crunch from the granola made every bite exciting. The texture changed with every spoonful which made the dish fun to eat and I really appreciated it. That can be a lost art.
One thing worth noting is that this isn't really an on-the-go food. The shallow bowl and fun toppings would be hard to consume in the car on the way to work. But I also understand that changing the vessel would ruin the good thing going with the aesthetic of it. And slowing down to enjoy good food isn't always a bad thing.
Cloud 9 Energy Bowls is now open in Waite Park Monday through Friday 9AM-6PM, and Saturday and Sunday 9AM-4PM.