Wendell and Cathy Landry were in Lake Tahoe when they visited a small deli called Sprouts, and the tiny space had a line out the door. Seeing the demand for healthy food, they brought the idea back to Ocala, and the demand here has been just as crazy.
The Crazy Cucumber deli has been dishing out fresh foods for awhile, but Ocala’s desire for healthy options has led Wendell and partner Carlos Sanchez to finding a bigger space. Located in Market Street at Heath Brook, Crazy Cucumber and sister flatbread shop Crazy Flats are projected to open by mid January. To create an original, enticing menu, Wendell and Carlos brought an experienced chef on board.
Executive Chef Dean Grill started his work under a master chef as early as 15. He has also served as executive chef for one of the largest seafood restaurants in America and is no stranger to the area after lending his talent to numerous locations in The Villages.
The Crazy Cucumber menu is playful, creative and health-conscious. Guests can start with kale and avocado dip with Florida grapefruit before diving into seared diver scallops with garden polenta, grilled salmon with smoked onion quinoa with lentils or one of two tableside salads.
“We’re going to offer about 75 percent healthy, organic and gluten-free foods and another 25 of traditional foods like burgers, wings, things that you’d find in a sports bar,” Wendell says. And for the more traditional eaters?
“We’ll have a short-rib burger with pickled cucumber and beefsteak tomato, a Florida Farm product,” says Dean. “There’s something for everyone. The menu is creative and diverse to please everyone’s tastebuds.”
As for building a menu on predominantly healthy options, he argues there’s no reason healthy has to mean bland.
“You can source high-quality ingredients and highlight the freshness by treating them correctly. We try and support farm-to-table, local agriculture. I think you can do healthy cuisine that’s seasonal, but you don’t have to lack in flavor.”
The new location features an indoor and outdoor bar, outdoor seating and couches under a canopy, fire pit, multiple TVs and a stage for entertainment. They encourage fellow crazies to stop by after work for crazy hour and enjoy a cocktail with the freshest food in Ocala.
The Crazy Cucumber
4414 SW College Road, Ocala