If you grew up in my generation, you almost certainly watched I Dream of Jeannie. And even if you have never been to Florida until you are over 50 years old, you have a strong desire to see Cocoa Beach, the town the show was set in. And as much as you know it is all make-believe, there is a part of you that just looks around some, hoping to see the Jeannie and the astronaut. Thus it was, on my first real trip to the Orlando, Florida area (the only other trip being a short transition at a port), that my husband and I were cruising the streets of Cocoa Beach, saying goofy things about seeing a genie. And looking for lunch.
It was the colors of the building that caught my eye. They were cheerful and fun. When I saw the I Dream of Yogurt painted on the side, I thought someone was just being clever with their wall art, but it made me smile. Then, we noticed the catchy name of the place next door, Rock the Guac. We wanted an easy, semi-familar lunch. A burrito sounded just right. From the outside, the restaurant looked like a it was nicer than a Taco Bell, but not expensive or time consuming. (click on any photo to enlarge)
Inside, we discovered not only a comfortably festive decor, but a burrito bar with fresh and delicious looking ingredients. It wasn’t self-serve, though, which I never enjoy, as all I can think of is the careless habits of other people in such places. However, it was make to order, as we gave specific instructions to the young lady behind the counter. I ended up with a nice, fat chicken burrito, with all the trappings that I would make for myself at home. My husband got all his fixings in a bowl – tortillaless, then proceeded to the hot sauce bar to spice it up. Each order was about $8. There wasn’t anything to complain about, because they had made it just the way I had asked. If I had to do it again, I would not be so shy about getting more wet ingredients, like sour cream and tomatoes, because I like my burritos moist.
I could only eat half of it, but there is always room for dessert. But first, I had decided that I wanted one of their fun t-shirts. One of the options had the art on it that matched the sign. The same gal waited on us for this and answered some questions about the restaurant. The restaurant was less than a year old and owned by the same person who owns the yogurt shop next door, which had been there about 3 years. That really was a yogurt shop?! Yep, and she needed to slip through the secret door in the back to get my t-shirt from over there.
Walking into the yogurt shop was about as close to getting into a genie’s bottle as I will probably ever come. The decor was a great mix of clean, colorful dessert shop plus Jeannie charm. There was a TV (pretty much silently) playing all the episodes of I Dream of Jeannie. The young woman manning that shop said with a knowing smile, that, yes, she had all of the episodes memorized whether she wanted to or not. There were a couple of perfect genie bottles on one shelf that I was hoping were for sale, but they were not. I might have to see if I can get one online!
It was not crowded in the yogurt shop, not only because we were eating in the middle of the afternoon, but because it was off-season for tourists in Cocoa Beach. In fact, we were the only customers. Perhaps that is what made it seem so much more like my own bottle. That and the rounded walls with all the self serve yogurt dispensers.
This particular self-serve style is quite acceptable to me, because all of the food is kept hidden until it comes through the “faucet.” There were many flavors and a person could put as many different ones in a single bowl as one liked. Assuming you chose the correct sized bowl. All of the topping were put on by the attendant behind the counter. The charge was simply by weight.
This was perfect. Even though I had “room” for dessert, I didn’t have very much room. I only took a couple of small samples of two kinds of yogurt and 2 small sprinkles of toppings. My bill came to $1.40. Not much of a sale for them that afternoon, but I’m not sure I would have bought any if I had needed to buy more of it. The richness and taste of the yogurt was very appealing. I at least wished I could eat more. If only I had a genie to fulfill my wishes.