south florida vegan

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Darbster – Lone Lunch

Published July 15, 2012 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

I had to go up to West Palm Beach yesterday to get new tires on my car, and decided that I’d spoil myself a bit and head over to Darbster on my way back south for a little lunch. Big life changing/shaping decisions will be made this week, so I’ve been a bit stressed this weekend, so I figured a nice lunch would be a good treat.

I’ve decided today to try not to stress though, because whatever happens, it will work itself out, and I’m going to try to remain open to the possibilities. Also, I’m going to hot yoga today to try to get a little more grounding!

I’d always wanted to try the kale salad, so I figured this was as good of a time as any. I ordered it with the raw lemon tahini dressing, which was outstanding. It had kale, sprouts, avocado, apple and red onion. I love kale!

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I was still a bit hungry, so I ordered the sliders to nibble on. I figured I could take whatever I didn’t finish home for a snack. These are always incredibly yummy. I ate two, and saved 1 and was VERY full!

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I also couldn’t resist grabbing a raw strawberry chocolate tart, to go. Unfortunately, I didn’t think about how it would melt on my car ride back to Fort Lauderdale, so I wasn’t able to snap a very attractive photograph. After some time in the refrigerator though, it was firmed up again and made a delicious afternoon snack! :)

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Darbster is delicious and located just over the Lake Worth/West Palm Beach line on Dixie Highway at 8020 South Dixie Highway – West Palm Beach, Florida 33405 – 561-586-2622

Tequila Sunrise – Fort Lauderdale, Fl

Published April 1, 2012 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

Surprisingly enough, with all of the restaurants that there are in Fort Lauderdale, there really aren’t many vegan options here. Sure there’s Sublime, the well known, all vegan, over priced, bland and uninspired restaurant, but I hate giving them my money, even if the profits do go to animals. That being said, let me tell you about a mexican place that’s really close to our new place, and at least has a little vegan section on their menu.

This review is actually long overdue. We dined at Tequila Sunrise last year when we got one of those groupon/living social vouchers. Back then they had the menu that’s currently up on their website. I ordered the vegan black bean tostadas, which I thought were great.

On this visit, the vegetarian/vegan menu was just a section of the regular menu, and a lot more limited. I was happy though, because they still had vegan enchiladas listed, even if the tostadas weren’t.

I specified that I didn’t want mushrooms at least 3 times. Mostly because it seemed like our waitress wasn’t paying attention. She let me know I could sub vegetables instead of white rice, so I said sure.

When my plate came and I spotted a mushroom in the vegetables, I remembered that I had not asked an additional time for no mushrooms, so I was still hopeful, but upon peering into my enchiladas I realized they were all over. A second waitress came out and said that there was no way to make the dish without mushrooms, because the veggies were already mixed. Then she came back and said they could do it with just onions & peppers inside. So I just ordered two tacos a la carte. Both the black beans and the refried beans are vegetarian, so I ordered one of each.

They came in very thick, delicious hot shells, and the black beans were really tasty. These were $3.50 each.

Impression:

We eat mexican food A LOT. Half the time it’s from Taco Bell. (fresco bean burritos or the occassional 7-layer, no cheese, no sour cream!) And I admit, I don’t ever ask if the beans are vegetarian when I’m at a restaurant. So it’s nice to know that they are here. If you aren’t allergic and/or grossed out by mushrooms (like I am!), they have a good amount of well thought out vegan options for you. I mean, that enchilada dish really did look delicious. I was pretty disappointed that I had to give it back! So if you’re so inclined, it’s worth checking out.

Tequila Sunrise is located at 4711 c N Dixie Hwy Oakland Park, FL 33334. (954) 938-4473. Open Mon-Wed 11:30am – 10pm, Thurs – Sat 11:30 am – 11pm, and Sunday 12pm – 10pm.

Brunch at Darbster, WPB/LW, Fl

Published November 7, 2011 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

On Saturday, I was down in South Beach celebrating with a soon to be bride for her bachelorette party, and by the end of the night, I ended up one very hungry girl. With only a little hummus as my dinner, and the two burritos I had for lunch being just a faint memory by the wee hours, I was absolutely famished. Literally, my stomach hurt from hunger! I ended up at the 24 hour pharmacy picking up some Triscuits and raw nuts to eat before bed. Sunday morning I woke up with a sense of purpose (and more hunger!); I was going to go to Darbster for Sunday brunch!

the bride to be!

See, I’ve been meaning to try Darbster’s brunch for EVER, but we never get out of bed early enough to get there before 2pm. I know, Thomas & I sleep like adolescents. That’s the beauty of having cats for children. They just let us do whatever we want. ; ) So being that I had no control over my wake up time, and that I was already dressed and in a car by noon, I figured this was the best chance I’d get, and I made the journey north. Here is my trek on a map, just so you realize how dedicated I was:

I had already decided before I got there that I was going to order at least 2 items since I may never be up that early on a Sunday again. I knew I wanted french toast or pancakes, and a more savory dish too. When I told the waitress I was going to order two things she said, “I’m not judging”. ;) Which was actually really great, because I remember the first time I went there and ordered a bunch of food, the waitress (she wasn’t there for too long) kept telling me that I was ordering too much food. (Really?!) Aside from the one food phobic girl that waited on me that first time, I’ve had nothing but excellent service from super warm hearted people at Darbster, and that always makes the experience twice as nice.

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AM Quesadilla: hash brown, eggs, cheddar, salsa $10.00

So for my savory dish, I chose the AM Quesadilla. It was stuffed with tofu scramble, large cut home fries, mushrooms (not in the description, but at least fungi and I are starting to be friends now, so it was OK.) and just a hint of queso (Daiya cheddar), contrary to what you might expect. It came drizzled with vegan sour cream and presented with a nice dollop of guacamole and a side of salsa. I am the type of person that needs ketchup and hot sauce to make eggy dishes feel complete, but I refrained in order to get the flavor of the dish. Honestly, it wasn’t a really fair taste test though, because I had already eaten half of the yummiest vegan french toast I’ve had to date… I had a few more bites and then proceeded to annihilate said toast. I did however, take it home and eat it for dinner properly with ketchup and hot sauce. ; )

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Challah French Toast: cinnamon and nut crusted with maple syrup, fruit, whipped cream and sausages $10.00

Hi, this is vegan brunch heaven on a plate! This hits on SO MANY LEVELS! The french toast was perfect… toasty edges and a slight mush in the middle. Well flavored and topped with rice whip and sweet, sliced strawberries. It turns out I really didn’t need a savory dish to balance out my meal because it came with two plump, delicious veggie sausages that I proceeded to cut up into little pieces so that they could be a part of every amazing bite. The fruit salad was cut up into teeny little pieces that were bursting with flavor. This plate is masterful and enough to make even this dedicated weekend slumberer re-think her ways (at least occasionally!). I have a feeling I will be craving this fairly often! AWESOME.

Darbster is open for Brunch on Sunday from 11 am to 3 pm. Do yourself a favor and GO! Oh yah, and there’s live music on the deck. The dude even played Norwegian Wood (Beatles) which made my breakfast [in my Abbey Road t-shirt] that much better. ; )

Juice & Java, Boca Raton, Fl

Published May 20, 2011 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

So ever since I found out about Juice & Java from Toni’s suggestion last week to read this review, I’ve been pretty excited to check it out. Most of their locations are in Miami, but they happen to have one about 5 minutes from my house! I immediately emailed them to find out if the soy cheese they use is vegan, and they got back to me promptly to let me know they use Follow Your Heart brand, which is. My mom and I had almost dined here a while back, but it was too packed the day we went, and we were on a time constraint. Luckily today I got out with time to beat the lunch crowd, and I’m so glad I did! I left my phone at work, accidentally, but was able to snap some pix with my mom’s.

First of all, they had SO many things that I could eat and that sounded delicious, that I wasn’t even sure where to begin. Which is a rare occurrence at a non-vegan restaurant. Their menu is huge and the wait staff is really friendly. You can pick-up/take out or sit down for service. We did the latter.

I settled on the Falafel Quinoa Specialty, $8.95, which has baked falafel, a side of tahini sauce, and organic quinoa tossed with hummus, cucumbers, and tomatoes. There were also some sunflower seeds in the mix. It was delicious, and I was happy to have my falafel without it having been deep fried.

My mom ordered the Black Bean platter with a sweet baked potato (your choice of side), which is served with avocado, (?, not present, I realize now, but it says so on the menu!) tomatoes, red cabbage, cucumbers and carrots, and a side of dressing $7.95. I was glad she went for the sweet potato, because I thought it sounded good, and she gave me half! Her black beans were pretty good too! ; )

We both really enjoyed our meals, and were full with our servings. I had been trying to see if they had the vegan cupcakes (Bunniecakes) when we first arrived, and sure enough they brought  out  a glass case filled with mini ones while we waited for our food. They had about 4 or 5 flavors, some gluten-free, all nicely decorated. I asked the waitress for her recommendation, and she said I should try the red velvet.

Red Velvet mini cupcake (gluten-free) $1.50 . I had only had red velvet cake one other time, and hadn’t been that enthused  about it, but respected her guidance. It was really good, very moist, and the [vegan] cream cheese frosting was superb. At only $1.50 I really should have taken a few home, but I enjoyed my morsel, and went happily back to work.

Juice & Java will definitely be getting my repeat business. They are so well priced ( & close!) and have such an extensive menu that this makes for an easy place to go to with any crowd. They’re located by the Town Center Mall at 21316 Saint Andrew’s Blvd, Boca Raton, Fl 33433 (contrary to the address on the website, which says State Rd. 7, do they have two Boca locations?) and open 7 days, 8am to 8pm, 561-852-2230.

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