Alice Oh isn't one to shy away from putting bold food on her café's menu. She admits that she raised a few eyebrows when she served activated charcoal waffles at The Press Coffee & Juice Bar's previous location in Farmers Park. In fact, she caught attention from media outlets as far away as Germany and Japan thanks this offering. "They even called it 'unique,'" she says with a laugh.
Oh and her team moved the café from Farmers Park to The Brentwood Center earlier this month, and with the new atmosphere comes an almost entirely new menu. Although she no longer serves the charcoal waffles at the new location, she's still introducing unconventional dishes to Springfield. Enter: her new Korean-Mexican fusion offerings.
"I know people consider café food to be soups, salads and sandwiches," Oh says. "But I thought, 'You know what? People already know the uniqueness in the food I serve, so I might as well extend it even further and really give them what I have a passion for." With that in mind, she transformed the café's menu to specialize in Korean-Mexican fusion dishes.
Oh, who is Korean herself, loves the country's traditional cuisine, and Mexican food comes in as a close second favorite. While working in the old location's kitchen, she would play around with mixing traditional Korean and Mexican flavors. When she would share her creations with her employees, she'd get rave reviews, so she decided to lean in and embrace the combo at the new location.
The lunch menu at the Press offers eight signature dishes that include traditional Korean ingredients like gogi (thinly sliced sirloin beef marinated in Korean house sauce) and fermented kimchi, as well as Mexican flavors like pico de gallo and black beans. On the menu, you can find dishes like gogi nachos, a quesadilla, kimchi fried rice and a vegan rice bowl.
Both Oh's breakfast and lunch menus cater to individuals with dietary restrictions. Her street tacos come in a build-your-own format with dairy-free, gluten-free and meatless options. The breakfast menu includes gluten-free warm soaked oats and healing smoothie bowls.
The Press still serves specialty coffee drinks as well as fresh, organic juice, but guests now get to choose their own juice ingredients.
At the end of the day, Oh wants encourage customers to try unique health foods, but you'll also find comfort ingredients like cheese in the dishes. "I always go by my saying, 'Happy healthy eating. You don't have to be totally healthy where everything is raw and everything has to be fresh or organic. It's about moderation."
The Press Coffee & Juice Bar, 2710 S. Glenstone Ave., Springfield, 417.771.5950, facebook.com/The-Press-Coffee-Juice-Bar-736344893182413/