Café YOU

A Unique Coffee & Food Experience

The Paleo Diet & Café YOU’s December Chefs’ Dinner?

What is the Paleo Diet?

This is a summary of an online article that I think explains the Paleo Diet very nicely. Our menu at Cafe YOU has a number of yummy paleo options including our Smoked Salmon Breakfast Salad, our Shakshukah, most of our soups and much more. Come in and enjoy!

If a caveman didn’t eat it, neither should you – that’s the Paleo diet in a nutshell!

When you are following the Paleo Diet, you can eat anything we could hunt or gather way back in the day – things like meats, fish, nuts, leafy greens, regional veggies, and seeds.  Pasta, cereal, and candy all have to go! Anything that didn’t exist in caveman times don’t exist on a Paleo plate or in a Paleo stomach.

You don’t have to keep track of how much you’ve eaten or obsess over how many calories you have consumed or how many grams of a particular nutrient you’ve had. All you have to do is focus on eating caveman food.

The Paleo Diet in more Detail

The Paleo Diet is an effort to go back to eating how we’re biologically designed to eat, allowing us to tap into our genetic potential and start living healthier immediately.

No Grains

Back in the day, grains weren’t part of our diet.  When we (over)consume grains regularly, our bodies take those grains, which are composed of carbohydrates, and those carbs get turned into sugar in our system.

That sugar is then either burned as energy or stored as fat. That’s right: the grains you’re consuming are stored as fat in your body and they’re what most Paleo experts believe are the main culprit in why people are overweight.

Next, most grains contain gluten and lectins. What are they and what’s wrong with them?

  • Gluten is a protein found in things like rye, wheat, and barley.Many experts now believe that much of our population may be gluten-intolerant (hence all the “gluten-free!” items at Café YOU).  Over time, those who are gluten intolerant can develop a dismal array of medical conditions from consuming gluten: dermatitis, joint pain, reproductive problems, acid reflux, and more.
  • Lectins are natural toxins that exist within grains to defend us from eating them!  Grains have evolved to keep themselves from being eaten by us. These lectins are not a fan of our gastrointestinal tract, prevent the tract from repairing itself from normal wear and tear. This can cause all kinds of damage.

Long story short: our bodies don’t process grains well, and they are causing a boatload of problems.

No Sugar

The Paleo Diet also almost completely eradicates sugar. Unless you’re getting your sugar from a fruit, forget it. Sugar causes an energy spike and crash in your system, turns to fat unless it’s used immediately, and wreaks all kind of havoc on our bodies.

So, no grains, no sugar, no processed foods. Whether you’re talking about the paleo diet or not, many studies have shown that an incredible number of diseases and lifestyle issues can be reversed with these three simple changes.

No Dairy

Dairy’s a tough one, as most Paleo folks tend to stay away from it – a portion of the world is lactose intolerant, and those that aren’t usually have at least some type of an aversion to it.  Why is that? Because no other animal in the entire kingdom drinks milk beyond infancy.

Hunter-gatherers didn’t lug cows around with them while traveling – milk was consumed as a baby, and that was it. As with grains, our bodies weren’t designed for massive dairy consumption.

There is evidence that some adaptation to dairy has taken place throughout the years, specifically with people with ancestry in herding cultures, but this is not the majority of the population.

So, this is one that Paleo purists will avoid like the plague, while others have found that consuming dairy in its various forms work for their genetics, goals, and lifestyle.

If you’re not sure, remove dairy from your diet and only introduce it back in when you’re ready to see how your body responds.

So no grains, no sugar, no dairy: what DO I get to eat on this diet?

Okay, so if we cut out the grains, almost all processed foods, and dairy, you’re left with only things that occur naturally:

  • Meat – GRASS-FED*, not grain-fed. Grain causes the same problem in animals as they do in humans.
  • Fowl – Chicken, duck, hen, turkey…things with wings that (try to) fly.
  • Fish– Wild fish, as mercury and other toxins can be an issue in farmed fish
  • Eggs –Look for omega-3 enriched cage free eggs.
  • Vegetables – As long as they’re not deep-fried, eat as many as you want.
  • Oils – Olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil – think natural.
  • Fruits – Have natural sugar, and can be higher in calories, so limit if you’re trying to lose weight.
  • Nuts – High in calories, so they’re good for a snack, but don’t eat bags and bags of them.
  • Tubers – Sweet potatoes and yams. Higher in calories and carbs, so these are good for right after a workout to replenish your glycogen levels.

*If you can only afford grain-fed meat, that’s still better than grains. Do the best you can with your situation!

Steak with asparagus and sweet potato fries, grilled chicken salad, massive omelets that will fill you up for the whole morning, apples dipped in almond butter (a delicious snack), and so on. Pick any of the things from that list, and eat as much as you want of them (with the noted exceptions). You’ll feel better and be healthier.

Here is a link to the full article;

Café YOU’s December Chefs’ Dinner

Our next Cafe YOU Chefs’ dinner is this coming Saturday, December 16th.

This is when our Chefs showcase the best of their best in a 6 course dégustation menu. They spend hours researching and collaborating and testing out new ideas to come up with a really special gastronomical experience for YOU. Once the menu has been finalized I work out the wine pairings. More long hours of research, reading reviews about the wine, checking ratings and buying the wines, sometimes just one bottle to make sure its the right wine before buying enough for the evening. Our chef’s dinners can be enjoyed with or without the wine pairings.

Here is the Wikipedia definition of a Dégustation menu;   Dégustation is the careful, appreciative tasting of various foods, focusing on the gustatory system, the senses, high culinary art and good company. Dégustation is more likely to involve sampling small portions of all of a chef’s signature dishes in one sitting.

We still have some space left at this Saturday’s dinner. Don’t just buy gifts for others, spoil yourself for the holiday season too. Bring along some friends or come come on your own and enjoy a wonderful food experience with good company.

Chefs’ Tasting Dinner Menu – December 16, 2017

Braised Artichokes  –  w/ lemon verjuice

Snapper & Shrimp Ceviche  –  w/ melon & basil oil

Pan Roasted Halibut Towers  –  w/ green onion & rosemary sauce

Filet au Poivre – green peppercorn demi glace & candied root vegetables

Coco Almond Fondant  –  w/ coconut milk, brittle and Amaretto spheres

Rosemary Baked Camembert – w/ chopped cranberries & almonds


Dinner presented by:

Chefs Ed Rocchio & Sam Wood, Pastry Chef Ana Lewis  and Wine Aficionado Marlies Laaper.


Previous Chefs’ Tasting Dinner Photos;




* December Magic *

The wonder of winter is upon us. And even in sunny Cape Coral, we know how to celebrate with family, friends, and fabulous food!

Have you heard about the exciting events we have planned for YOU all month at Cafe YOU – a Music Night, Loire Valley French Wine Dinner, Chefs’ Tasting Dinner, and a New Year’s Eve Dinner! This link will take you to all the magical details…

And have you heard about the perfect gifts for everyone on your list…? From Holiday Wine Gift Packs to In-house Baked Goods and Gift Certificates, you can’t go wrong with a stocking stuffer or beautifully packaged goodie box! Shop now for that perfect gift…

This holiday season, the Team at Cafe YOU hopes you will pause to enjoy the simple pleasures along the way. We enjoy seeing you for brekkie or lunch, or even just to whip up your favorite espresso drink to go. It’s always a pleasure to see YOU.

Happy Holidays, Cape Coral!

Koala Report #3

Purple Haze

Sydney is awash with glorious shades of purple at the moment.

Just like People travel from around the world to parts of Canada and the US to see the fall colors they travel to Australia to see the Jacaranda trees bloom in spring.

Fly into Sydney in October or November and you will see the city at its most spectacular. Not only does the harbour glisten, the sun glint off the Opera House, and the surf roll onto the endless string of beaches, but the city is blanketed in swathes of a distinctive light-purple colour sometimes known as jacaranda blue.

The jacaranda is an iconic tree in Australia. It can be found across many areas of the continent, but is most famous for its dramatic effect on Sydney, which takes on a dreamlike quality in spring as blossoms blanket the trees and carpet the ground beneath them.

Jacaranda trees have historically been planted as an ornamental and start to flower in early to mid-October in Sydney and generally bloom throughout November.

I am always amazed at how beautiful the purple haze is and it’s at its blooming best right now.


Get a Taste of Australia right here in Cape Coral

Join us on either Friday or Saturday, November 10th and 11th for one of our Australian Yalumba Wine Tasting Dinners when we will be serving food typically enjoyed at top restaurants in the Barossa Valley, paired with wines from the Yalumba Wine Estate.

Yalumba is a winery located near the town of Angaston, South Australia in the Barossa Valley wine region. It was founded by a British brewer, Samuel Smith who emigrated to Australia with his family from Wareham, Dorset in August 1847. After living in Adelaide for a short while he moving north to Angaston where he purchased a 30-acre block of land. He named his property “Yalumba” after an indigenous Australian word for “all the land around”. In 1849 Samuel Smith, along with his son Sidney, planted Yalumba’s first vineyards, beginning the Yalumba dynasty. Today Yalumba is Australia’s oldest family-owned winery.

We will be tasting 6 Yalumba Wines

Y Series Vermentino – Vermentino is a light skinned white grape variety has its origins in Italy. It is a vibrant and fresh wine with citrus and pear characteristics.
Y Series Vionier – Yalumba have won many awards with this beautifully balanced wine with corn, honeysuckle and jasmine characteristics.
Y Series Sangiovese Rosé – This is a highly aromatic wine showing raspberry, pomegranate, strawberry characteristics
Yalumba Bush Vine Grenache – This wine is fragrant, fresh and full of red cherries, raspberries and pomegranates. Savory characters evolve into spices and dried herbs.
Yalumba Patchwork Shiraz – This wine has all the characteristics of a typical Barossa Shiraz. Medium to full bodies, it is full of plum, cherry and herb flavors.
Yalumba Cigar Cabernet Sauvignon – another big medal winner, this wine is plum red in colour and medium to full depth in hue. Bright cherry, chocolate and musk fruit aromas are supported by savory cedar oak and praline texture tannins.


Butternut Squash & Green Curry Soup – V & GF
Café YOU Sourdough – request GF bread

Main – served family style
Citrus Salmon – GF
Slow cooked lamb pie w/ puff pastry
Roasted Cauliflower, shawarma spices, chick peas and mint – V & GF
Rice, Chia and Watercress Salad w/ avocado and asparagus – V & GF

Dessert – choose one
Lemon Curd Pavlova w/ Mango & Toasted Coconut – GF
Sticky Date Pudding – V

This is a dinner you should not miss, make your reservations asap as there are only a few seats left. Call 239 600 0966 or book online at

Join us Down Under!

Australian Yalumba Wine Dinner

Friday & Saturday, November 10 & 11, 2017 at 7pm

Join us for an exciting dinner – with Paul Dietz of the Yalumba Winery in Australia coming on Saturday, Nov. 11 to regale us with stories and song from the land of Oz!

$36.00 pp (add $12 pp for optional wine pairing)

Make your reservations here


The Wines

2oz of each of the following six Yalumba wines

Y Series Vermentino

Y Series Sangiovese Rosé

Yalumba Bush Vine Grenache

Yalumba Patchwork Shiraz

Yalumba Cigar Cabernet Sauvignon

Yalumba Tawny Port



Butternut Squash & Green Curry Soup – V & GF

Café YOU Sourdough – request GF bread

Mainserved family style

Citrus Salmon – GF

Slow cooked lamb pie w/ puff pastry

Roasted Cauliflower, shawarma spices, chick peas and mint – V & GF

Rice, Chia and Watercress Salad w/ avocado and asparagus – V & GF


Lemon Curd Pavlova w/ Mango & Toasted Coconut – GF


Sticky Date Pudding – V

Make your reservations here

$36.00 pp (add $12 pp for optional wine pairing)

Koala Report #2

New Restaurant Trends in Australia

The Open Kitchen

There has been a movement toward the open kitchen concept in Sydney – where food is prepared in plain sight. This concept has been around for a long time in sushi bars, sandwich joints and pizza restaurants but now the trend is spreading to high end establishments in Australia.

We had lunch at one of these restaurants, a new place in downtown called “The District Brasserie”. Their restaurant kitchen and in-house bakery are on full display and it was so interesting to see the food and bakery items being prepared. It really got my appetite going and the food was outstanding.

With the open kitchen concept you can see first hand what the establishment’s hygiene, profession and culinary standards are.

Transparency is a trend impacting business decisions at many levels and across many industries and arguably is the key driver behind open kitchens.

The new bakery we are planning at Cafe YOU will also have an open kitchen.

Pictures in clockwise order;   1. Open kitchen bakery.   2. More open kitchen.   3. Ricotta gnocchi, spring vegetables, pistachio purée, leaves and herbs.   4. salted caramel custard, valrhona chocolate mouse, peanut butter ice cream and honeycomb.

The Pop-up Cafe

You’ve heard of the pop-up shop, a store that opens up temporarily in a vacant retail space, well now they have pop-up restaurants too!

Following on from the success of similar places in New York and Amsterdam, this new trend in is now coming to Sydney with its first pop-up cafe opening on November 2nd. And it’ll be avocado everything, seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The pop-up — named Good Fat, because everyone knows that’s the best health benefit/justification for eating copious amounts of avo smash — will open its doors for one month only with about 20 items on the menu that all incorporate avocado. Sydneysiders will be able to indulge in creations such as the avocado breakfast skin (an avocado smoothie bowl served in its own skin) and a Cornetto-inspired avo ice cream cone.
The whole thing is a promo for Australian Avocados, a non-profit representative body for the Australian avocado industry. But even so, avocados are a brand people are happy to support with love and money. I’m intrigued and will be going to check it out 😊


Experience Sydney by Foot

The Seven Bridges Walk

Yesterday, Uri (my husband) and I took part in the Seven Bridges Walk which is an annual event where the community gets together to walk 17.5 miles across 7 iconic bridges around Sydney to raise funds to beat cancer!

Walking around the harbor is one of the best ways to see Sydney and we had a wonderful day taking in the beautiful scenery, chatting to fellow walkers and enjoying the entertainment at the event villages along the way. Sydney is truly a beautiful city.

The event was first held in 2006 and to date, some 120,000 people have taken part and raised over $4m for the Cancer Council Of NSW (New South Whales – the state in which Sydney is located).

Bridges; Sydney Harbour Bridge, Pyrmont Bridge, ANZAC Bridge, Iron Cove Bridge, Gladesville Bridge, Tarban Creek Bridge and the Fig Tree Bridge.

Sculptures by the Sea

Another spectacular walk is the Bondi Beach to Tamarama Beach coastal walk and once a year the world’s largest free to the public sculpture exhibition is displayed along this walk. This year the exhibition just happened to be on during our visit to Sydney so off we went.

The 1.2 mile walk is transformed into a sculpture park featuring 100 sculptures by artists from Australia and across the world.

The 2017 exhibition is the 21st year of Sculptures by the Sea. We did the walk in the early evening so my pictures are a little dark, but you’ll get the picture 😊

Koala Report #1

Hello from beautiful Sydney, which is also one of the world’s great dining destinations.

Every time we visit we are delighted by all the dining choices and the creative way food is prepared using authentic flavors from around the world . There are so many wonderful places to enjoy great food and wine from gourmet dining by the sparkling blue harbor to enjoying breakfast or lunch at one of Sydney many cafes to sipping cocktails in sky bars with spectacular views.


One of those wonderful places to eat is a fish shop, called finefish. They specializes in local sustainably sourced fresh Australian and New Zealand seafood. They supply seafood to many of the top restaurants in Sydney and also have a small restaurant of their own, up a steep narrow stairway above the shop. Its usually booked out well in advance but we managed, somehow, to get a table last Tuesday for dinner and what a delicious experience it was.

In a world of imported cheap mass produced seafood finefish strives to offer an alternative. They supply local fresh Australian and New Zealand seafood – Australia has some of the best-managed fisheries in the world! – and list the provenance of all their seafood products and they don’t sell products that have been treated with chemicals. Australians are generally quite discerning about what they eat, like our Cafe YOU customers 😊👌, so this place is very popular.

Here are some pictures of of our dinner, enjoyed with a beautiful Pinot Noir from Tasmania.

Grilled ocean trout from Tasmania  –  Curried cauliflower w/ chickpeas, pickled chili and mint  –  roasted sweet potato, goat cheese, cheeermoula , quinoa and lime.


Our new favorite local cafe is called ZoZo and is where we stop off after working out for one of their fresh juices. My favorite is a juice called the “Detox” it’s made with beetroot, apple, carrot, celery and ginger. Oh so yummy and healthy!!!

Coffee is amazing and sometimes we have some Brekkie (breakfast) there too. I usually have the “Breakfast Stack”, their version of an avocado smash. It’s made with Sautéed spinach and tomatoes and a poached egg on Turkish toast, super fresh and tasty and just the right size for me!

A Sydney Ferry Ride

If you visit Sydney, a harbor ferry ride is a must. Here are some photos taken during our ride home from the city late yesterday.

Cafe YOU is Calling

Come in and enjoy some beautiful Australian inspired food and coffee at Cafe YOU today !

Cheers, till the next Koala report.

California, Australia and more….

A California Wine Dinner Extravaganza

YOU are not gonna wanna miss.

On Fri (10/13) and Sat (10/14) YOU can enjoy a spread of Californian specialties including  Fisherman’s Wharf Cheoppina (pictured) and paired with Elizabeth Spencer Sauvignon Blank and a number of other beautiful Californian wines. Dinners start at 7:00 pm. Call 239-600-0966 or make your reservation online at

Several wineries in Napa, Sanoma and Mendocino counties were damaged by the wildfires sweeping through California’s North Coast. A reported 31 people have tragically lost their lives as a result of the fires and many people remain unaccounted for. Almost 120,000 acres have been torched, including many vineyards, and about 2,000 homes and structures have been destroyed so far. No one knows yet how badly this will impact the Californian Wine Industry. Most of the Napa Valley’s grapes were picked before the fires started on Sunday but with vineyards and winery buildings burnt to the ground the industry has suffered a significant blow.

One way to help the industry is to buy and enjoy lots of Californian wine. If you can’t make it to one of our California Wine Dinners, you can place an order for the wines we will be tasting;

Elizabeth Spencer Sauvinon Blanc Mendocino 2016 – $14 / bottle

Gen 5 Chardonnay 2016 – $10 / bottle

Block Nine Caiden’s Vineyards Pinot Noir 2015 – $12 / bottle

Ramsay Cabernet Sauvignon North Coast 2016 – $15 / bottle

Call 239-600-0966 to place your order. Ask to speak to Wendy 😊 Orders must be placed by 1pm, Monday Oct 16, 2017.


They are writing about us again 👌

See this wonderful online article about us. Thank you Dorothea! We are so pleased you enjoyed your visit to Cafe YOU.

Cafe YOU is much more …


Visit Australia with us in November

Next month, for our November Wine Dinners, we will be traveling to the Barossa Valley in South Australia to taste wines from the Yalumba Winery and food typically enjoyed by locals and visitors to the area. Paul Dietz from Australia, who now promotes Yalumba wines in the USA, will be leading dinner guests through the tasting.

Yalumba Wine Dinner Dates are November 10 and 11, 2017.


Follow our blogs posts from Australia



Cafe YOU owner, Marlies Laaper, is on route to Australia to visit family and friends. During her trip she will be blogging regularly about the local food, wine and cafe scene there.

Exciting October

After surviving Irma, we all need a little distraction, and a bunch of celebration! At Cafe YOU, we’ve got you covered…

Music Martin July 2017

Friday, October 6th is MUSIC NIGHT!

Local talent comes together to entertain you while you dine on Chef Ed’s mouth-watering specials. Full menu & drinks available as well.

These nights book up fast, so make your reservations here.


California Wine

California Wine Dinner!

Bring your friends and give a toast to Autumn, California style!

Click here for menu details & make your reservations for Friday, October 13 or Saturday, October 14.


Hallowe’en is coming… don’t miss out on the most ghastly & gorgeous evening imaginable. phantom piano

Don your costume, come and dine;

Imbibe the spirits, it’s your time…

A ghoulish delight in six courses awaits you, with musical highlights from another realm.

Details here.



Lovin’ on Cape Coral

Come to Cafe YOU tomorrow (Tues 9/12) & take a break from the canned food! 

20% off Brekkie Pita, Chicken Salad Wrap, and Lentil Soup. 
Our way of giving our beloved Cape Coral one gigantic hug. We hope you are all safe and your homes protected. 
Comforting pastries and hot espresso drinks await you as well. Place a to-go order here on our fb page or give us a call at 239-600-0966. Or come chill in our a/c for a time. Let us take care of you.
Our sunflower bravely faced the storm – before and after pictured here. Notice the celebratory cuppa latte…emptied out. ☕️

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