Most St. Augustine residents (and even plenty of visitors) have encountered The Hyppo ice pops in one way or another. They’re hard to beat in a blistering Florida summer or even chocolate covered as a treat during a mild winter. But as it turns out, if you wander over to the Hyppo Cafe on 312, the Hyppo chefs can do more than just create unusually delicious popsicles. They can also make a mean sandwich.
The French translation of Du Jardin is “of the garden” and as soon as this sandwich is delivered to your table, the name will make sense. The Du Jardin is very greens-based, but it avoids blandness or even leaving you hungry and unsatisfied (as many lesser vegetarian sandwiches are wont to do). Mixed greens and sprouts are served on ciabatta and topped with cucumber and avocado. It’s all pure crispness and clean freshness. To add a little more flavor and kick, the bread is smeared with hummus and a black olive tapenade. Even from someone who isn’t normally a fan of olives, the sandwich wouldn’t be complete without the tapenade.
The texture has the softness of the bread as well as a crunch from the cucumbers and even the sprouts. The hummus, tapenade, and avocado ensure the sandwich doesn’t feel dry or incomplete.
Maybe sandwiches aren’t the most complicated or culinarily challenging dish, but a well-constructed sandwich that fills you and keeps your palate interested is a valuable find. Because the ingredients of a sandwich aren’t gussied up, each piece has to hold its own flavor while still working as a cohesive whole. The Du Jardin does all that and more. It’s the perfect meal to pair with an ice pop as you settle into the spring or summer sunshine.
The fresh, fruity purity that we’ve all come to expect from the Hyppo translates perfectly into their more substantial dishes. You’re never weighed down by the food, but always feel full and satisfied. The Du Jardin really does take you on a tour of the garden that will leave you wanting to return.