Peace Tree Juice Cafe
Monticello, Utah, 84535
Website: http://www.peacetreecafe.com/ (Main focus is on the Cafe located in Moab, Utah)
Located on the Main Street of Monticello, Utah, sits the Peace Tree Juice Cafe. A former residential home, the Cafe is brightly colored with their signature lizard on the front wall. There is another Cafe located in Moab which was just newly renovated in 2012; the Cafe in Blanding closed about two years ago, so that location should be removed from their sign. Whether sitting on the patio or the interior dining area, you have a wonderful view of the flowering plants and herbs; hummingbird feeders attract the aviary jets; it is an overall soothing environment.
One hardship about being located on a main thoroughfare; the view of the Abajo Mountains is obstructed by a car wash and Texaco station.
Due to the high winds and dark clouds moving in from the mountains, we thought it better to dine inside. The dining area is divided into two sections, "The Cave" which has room for three small tables; and the main area which is roomier and brighter due to the large windows. There is also a small area for the Cafe's shop of t-shirts, postcards, mugs and various knick-knacks.
Upon entering we were immediately asked if we were there for dinner, and then seated at a table by one of the large windows. The waitress did not introduce herself, and I only recognized the owner, Karen Whipple, who served us our drinks, because I had once been introduced to her. Smoothies, coffees and fruit juices are not served during dinner, "It is too busy at dinner time to make them", I was told. Didn't make much sense to us, since they are often packed for lunch, yet those drinks are available. They would have made a better profit on the Chai Latte I was craving, instead of the diet Coke I ended up with. They do serve beer and wine, so my husband was happy with his bottle of porter.
We both ordered the Fish Tacos; three Tilapia fish tacos on your choice of corn or flour tortillas, guacamole, salsa, cilantro lime dressing and green salad, was the description on the photocopied menu. We were not asked our choice of tortilla, so received flour ones on both orders. Instead of green salad, we received a salad of corn, black beans, tomatoes and cilantro (fresh, but cilantro was the only seasoning). Pickled purple cabbage stuffed the small tortillas, so the two ounce (2 oz) portions of fish were overwhelmed. The guacamole and salsa were both zesty and helped to give the vegetable salad a nice zip when mixed together.
On a side note, the menu states that all dinner entrees come with grilled vegetables and a choice of: coleslaw, potato salad, macaroni and cheese or a dinner salad. We received, and were offered, none of those items (the vegetable salad was not grilled); I will presume that there was a lack of training and knowledge on the part of the waitress.
Now one thing you have to understand is that Utah is a landlocked state, so fresh fish is not going to be available. It's either heavily packed in ice for same day delivery, or frozen and thawed out for use. The fillets for our tacos were nicely browned on the outside, cut into 3 portions for the 3 tacos; however, the fish was a bit on the dry side. The dressing from the pickled cabbage helped add the needed moisture; removing some of the cabbage and adding the vegetable salad gave a fish taco a whole fresh flavoring to it.
We finished out our meal sharing a slice of Chef Llew's cheesecake, made in house, creamy, yummy with a lemony sour cream topping and garnished with fresh fruit.
Overall, while the breakfast and lunch items, smoothies, fruit drinks and coffees are raved about; the dinner menu at Peace Tree Juice Cafe is not something I would recommend. The lunch menu is offered through dinner time, but no smoothies, juices or coffees which is very disappointing.