Jordan Champagne and husband Todd preach “pickle power” at Happy Girl Kitchen, their Pacific Grove market and café. Shelves and refrigerators house pickled vegetables, preserved fruits and other expressions of current and past seasons. Yes, they handle most of the heavy lifting in their on-site kitchen, but they source some outside products, including kombucha from San Francisco’s Lev’s Original Kombucha, which pours from two taps.
Lev’s kombucha is crafted from green tea, sugar and a probiotic blob called a SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast) that kickstarts fermentation and yields a drink that has detoxifying agents, and according to some kombucha proponents, has the power to turn back the hands of time. The tart beverage further benefits from an array of fruits and herbs, which, at least in Lev’s kitchen, could include hibiscus, black currant, mango, mint or ginger.
By having the tangy, bubbly beverage on tap, it’s also possible to charge a lower price. Yes, kombucha is not cheap in bottles, often over $5. However, at Happy Girl Kitchen, I was able to enjoy 16 ounces of hibiscus brew for $2.50, and still had enough money left over to score an equal amount of Blue Bottle New Orleans Iced Coffee, which has its own benefits.