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The Bend Magazine

Real Food Feels Good

11/27/2019 05:00PM ● By Julieta Hernandez
By: Julieta Hernandez  Photos by: Rachel Benavides

Fresh, hot, and ready to share the love: for a freeing taste bud experience, this local cafe goes beyond just eating healthy. 

The ingredients at Zambra are carefully chosen with aims at being non-GMO, organic, heart-healthy, detoxing, and even vegan or vegetarian. From naan bread pizzas to their colorful smoothie bowls, the whole food ingredients of their long menu are always going to be appreciated by your body. 

“Basically, nothing is filled with anything but what it is,” says Rose Benavides, Owner and Head Chef, about the food. “From the seasonings – do you smell it, when you come in here?” You do, and it smells awesome. “I call it my master mix. I have all this organic seasoning, because if you don’t do the research, [of other seasonings] there’s literally gluten, yeast, extra rocks, fillers … not natural, and it’s in everything.”

For Benavides, the decision to open a purely organic cafe came accidentally. 

With a background in the restaurant business from her parents, who also believed in clean eating, she stumbled upon the opportunity to cook for a recovering heart patient who had reduced his number of surgeries simply by purifying his diet. Having studied culinary arts, Benavides learned to experiment with and bring the best out of whole ingredients. From there, she found herself with an opportunity on her hands: to take over a small cafe on Holly and keep the lettuce rolling.

“If it were me trying to eat out, I would want options; not just a soup or a salad,” Benavides says. “So, when I started, I tried to put variety in this menu and just keep adding to it, trying new things.”

A delightful aspect of Zambra is its flourishing vegan options. Their pop-up at the second annual Vegan festival in October invited the community to take a look at their varied options for plant-based snackers, with recipes that can surprise someone who wouldn’t even know the meat was missing. 

“When you use whole ingredients, you actually start to taste food,” Benavides says. “Each ingredient becomes clearer and your taste buds recognize it. And I’m not 100 percent, no one is … but when you start to feel different, and it tastes different, then you know the difference.”

In the works for Zambra is a newer, bigger location that is soon to be announced on their Facebook page: Zambra Fusion Cafe. 

6062 Holly Rd Suite B-6
361.444.6023  |