vegan dining south florida

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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

Bombay Cafe – Boca Raton, Fl

Published November 9, 2011 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

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Last week I lent Thomas my car a couple of times, and hit the pavement looking for lunch. I didn’t have to go too far before getting to Bombay Cafe. It’s in the Oaks Medical Plaza, wedged between FAU and the hospital, just off of glades. They have a $6.95 lunch special with vegetarian and non-vegetarian selections. He guessed I was vegan right away, and heaped the 2 vegan items onto my plate and hollered to the back to make me some roti bread. (I guess the regularly offered naan is not vegan.) Pictured here: chana masala (chickpeas in a tomato based sauce), basmati rice and green beans with potatoes (in a gingery, spiced sauce).

This was really delicious and filling. So much so that ate there twice that week! I’m not sure how often they change the selections, or if they do, but it’s a pretty good deal for a quick, hearty lunch. The fact that they know what vegan means is helpful too!

Bombay Cafe is located at 628 Glades Rd, Boca Raton, FL 33431, in the Oaks Medical Plaza across the street from FAU.

Food Photos from Darbster, West Palm Beach, FL

Published September 18, 2011 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

What can I say, I LOVE Darbster. Consequently, I dine there whenever I get the chance. Here are a bunch of photos of the different yummies that I ate there over the summer and didn’t get around to blogging about!

chips & salsa $4.25

Sliders - ”steak” patties, romaine, tomato, onion, Alan’s sauce on mini buns w/ gherkins $8.95

Roasted Quinoa Loaf- flax, brown rice, quinoa, squash & porcini gravy with mash and asparagus$16.95 

Chile Relleno - beer battered & fried w/ roasted pepper crema, rice & beans, salsa, sour & guac $12.75

Raw Bacon Cheezeburger - Daily Special

Flax Tomato Sandwich - flax onion bread, avocado, tomatoes, veggies & garlic spread $9.50

Ice Cream Sundae $5.00

 

Wave 2700, Boca Raton, Fl

Published August 24, 2011 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

We were fortunate to find out about Wave 2700‘s vegan menu through a livingsocial special, and I couldn’t be more pleased that we did. When I asked for the vegan menu I was alerted to the trifold tent on the table, which had a vegan menu and drink specials. They have a small but impressive list of draft beers including some craft selections like Magic hat #9 and Florida beer, Cigar City Maduro Oatmeal Brown Ale. Wave 2700 is a predominantly seafood restaurant, but I quickly found out that the one of the owners, John (Captain Snapper)’s wife, Sally Stiller is vegan, hence the vegan menu.

We tried to start with a tabouli stuffed tomato, but they were all out. So we nibbled on the vegan dinner rolls and sipped on our tasty libations.


The entrees sounded really good, and I was torn between the Potato Gnocchi ala Marinara $16.95 and the Vegan Nut Loaf with Sage Gravy $15.95, but settled on the latter.

At first I thought the small portion of the nut loaf was not really enough, but it was partnered with a heaping portion of mashed potatoes and the best vegan gravy I’ve tasted to date. I actually didn’t end up finishing it, because I was so full! The gravy was loaded with mushrooms, which I mostly pushed aside, but certainly helped flavor it to perfection. It wasn’t too sweet, which is something I’ve found with a lot of vegan gravies. The nut loaf was a very dense combination of brown rice, seeds, nuts, and legumes that proved to be both nourishing and deceptively filling.

The lack of a vegan dessert option was my only complaint, since they are really trying to cater to the plant based crowd. However, once a week they do a “Veg-a-cation”, a vegan 3 course meal (appetizer, main, dessert) based on Sally’s direction, including wine and vegan education for $25. (Must RSVP!) The theme changes every week. Last week’s was a completely raw menu and this week the focus is on Italian food. You can get on their email list for further information about those events here: Veg-a-cation@yahoo.com.

Come check out this little gem inconspicuously adjacent to the front of the Best Western hotel at 2700 N. Federal Hwy,  Boca Raton, Fl. 561-361-2700. Reservations accepted.

Sublime, Ft Lauderdale, Fl – Restaurant Review

Published July 12, 2011 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

Sublime.

The famous south florida vegan joint that’s had it’s ups and downs. I’ve been putting off a review of this place for a long time, mostly because of my many criticisms, and I hate to criticize one of the very few dedicated vegan restaurants in the area. I eat here once or twice a year, and generally avoid it because I find the food over priced, and a bit bland. From what I hear, this wasn’t always the case, and after realizing who the chef was that left them, I definitely believe it!

I have to say though, this last trip was a pretty pleasant experience. They’ve revamped the menu somewhat, and have finally reduced the ridiculous $40 price tag of their “caviar” pizza down to $17. (Though they also took the hummus pizza off, and that was pretty yummy.) I know all the profits get donated to the animals, but even so, I’ve always found their pricing not only off-putting, but prohibitive. (It’s no wonder people think only the rich can afford to follow a vegan diet!) We did manage to keep the bill pretty reasonable this time by ordering a bunch of smaller plates in lieu of entrees. Since our meal, I found out about the summer special they’re running currently, details at end. Now on to the food!

Two pieces (minus one bite!) of the complimentary polenta they give you at the beginning of your meal. It’s always good, and something nice to nibble on as you peruse the menu.

Edamame $6. roasted sea vegetable, sesame seeds, cracked black pepper

Okay, this was SO covered in salt we had to send it back, and get the salt on the side. I mean, insane amount of salt, other than that, nice flavors together.

Dynamite Roll $12, vegenaise, “cream cheese,” zucchini, capers, red onion, cucumber

Delicious! I also highly recommend the Florasian roll $11, which I’ve had before. The wasabi is really weak, though, just FYI.

Caesar Salad $8, romaine hearts, house-made croutons, Sublime’s lemon-dijon dressing

This is fantastic, but you’ll probably want to share it. The dressing is very heavy and it makes for a filling course. The flavors are right on, though, and the croutons make it special.

“Steak” Sandwich $16, gardein, “cheddar,” onion, romaine, pickle, special sauce, sweet potato fries

Ok, so we got mashed sweet potatoes instead of the fries, but I’ve had them before, and they’re terrific. This sandwich is pretty good, but not good enough to justify the price tag. The sauce isn’t very flavorful, and in my opinion if you’re charging $16 for Gardein on a bun, it better be really good bread and really good sauce. But $16, really?

Here’s another picture of the sandwich with the fries from when I went last year, for my birthday. (Darbster was closed!)

And here’s a picture of the amazing chocolate cake that we had then. One of the cooks in the back knew me, and personalized it, which was cool. : )

Pros:

Swanky restaurant in happening Fort Lauderdale. Great service. Some of the dishes are really good. I recommend the Frito Misto appetizer $12, which is a lot like the vegetable tempura at Darbster, and the Coconut Cake $11, which is divine. The “Wash your hands” song in the bathroom is really catchy.

Cons:

Your paying for the ambiance, so the food is really over priced. Some of the dishes are tiny or just bland. Stay away from the mac n cheese and skip the enchiladas. I think they could really up the food quality immensely by switching to Daiya or finding another better tasting vegan cheese. The crispy eggplant rollatini appetizer $11, is pretty good, but it is two itty bitty little pieces. The “Wash your hands” song in the bathroom is really catchy, and will be in your head for at least a week. Also, if you’re anti-social, heads up, the owner will always come over and engage you in conversation, at least once, but maybe even twice during your meal.

One more thing…

Maybe this review is really a plea. I would love to have a world class restaurant to go to. I’ve been to some of the best vegan restaurants in NYC, and let me tell you, if Candle 79 or Angelica Kitchen opened up locations down here, I’d probably be completely and utterly broke. (and fat!) For me, at a certain price point you really need to bring the food. Make some seitan, marinate some tofu, do amazing things with tempeh and millet and make me dream of your food. I love going to eat and thinking, how could I try to duplicate this at home? Instead of thinking, I could’ve made this [better] at home. I love food and I’m very happy being vegan. It would be great to have Sublime be a place that I could proudly take non-vegans to.  I really appreciate what they try to do. I just wish they’d take it to the next level.

Summer Special:

Tuesday through Thursday, $40 gets you soup & salad, 2 entrees and a shared dessert.

Also, another good way to check them out and save some cash…

Happy Hour at the Bar: Tuesday – Friday, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Half-price drinks and appetizers, buy one, get one half-off.

Sublime is located at 1431 N. Federal Hwy., Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33304. Open Tuesday – Sunday, 5:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m Reservations can be made either at 954-615-1431, or through their website, but are not necessary.

Sunday Dinner @ Darbster – WPB/LW

Published April 18, 2011 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

You’ve heard me sing Darbster‘s praises before, and this time is no exception. I got to taste some new things this time including a raw entrée and raw dessert. And when I say taste, I really mean FEAST!  I had quite a lot of food. So much, in fact, that I had to forgo my after dinner plans, and get dessert boxed to go! : )

I started with the quesadillas. I hadn’t had quesadillas since before I went vegan and these were delish! They were a combination of Daiya cheddar & mozzarella and roasted red peppers, in a green (spinach?) tortilla. They also came with lots of vegan sour cream, guacamole, and fresh salsa. Mmm! I loved these! I am a sucker for mexican every time, so it was good that I ordered this so I didn’t have to order the enchiladas [again!] to get my fix. (Though the “steak” tacos were calling to me.)

Quesadillas $8.95

Instead I ordered one of the specials – Raw Tuna Club on Flax Seed Crackers with an organic salad & tahini dressing. This was really fantastic, and way more than I thought it would be. An almond based “tuna” made with raw vegan mayo, onions and seasonings, with “bacon” (dehydrated something!) fresh tomato, avocado, and sprouts on flax seed bread. Really awesome. (It totally beats my fake tempeh tuna!) The salad had greens and lots of sprouts and the dressing was great on the shredded carrots.

Raw Tuna Club on Flax with organic salad $14

The Grilled Steak Ciabatta sandwich, which came with perfectly cooked, seasoned fries. It was extremely delicious in a completely different way. I know Darbster uses Gardein, but I don’t know where they get these nice big patties of it. Excellent!

Grilled Steak Ciabatta with wasabi mayo, arugula, and tomato $14

Onion rings $2 ordered with an entree or $4

Maybe it was that we ordered too much food, or that the french fries were just so awesome, but I didn’t dig the onion rings as much this time. They have a light, airy tempura type coating. They just came out a little too greasy today. (little puddle of oil in the bottom.)

And now for the dessert that I almost didn’t get to eat. I was full, but determined, so I had it boxed to go. I had a hard time deciding between the chocolate mousse ganache cake and the [gluten-free] raw organic blackberry torte, but in the end, the adorable swirled blackberry torte was packed into a little box to enjoy later. Much later. Hours later I was finally able to enjoy this delicious creamy treat. You’d never guess that this was a raw dessert. Really. It was sort of like a creamy cheesecake. (Lightbulb! was that strawberry cheesecake I had there before really a raw torte, by accident? The texture  was very similar!) Regardless, wonderful and flavorful with a yummy nutty crust that will leave you wanting more!

Gluten-Free Raw Organic Blackberry Torte $9

This was a really great way to spend a nice Sunday evening. The weather was perfect, and the patio doors were open. Darbster does “Doggie Sundays” at dinnertime. This means you can bring your pup in and get a 20% discount on your meal! Pretty neat. Too bad we can’t dress Boris as a dog and take him. He’d give himself away in a minute; he’s too darn vocal.

Oh! And I solved the mystery of – Wow, Darbster must be on the very edge of West Palm. IT IS! I noticed driving up yesterday that the sign for the city limit is literally right next to Darbster’s patio area! Hah ; )

PS- they changed their menu presentation to a little bit fancier one…

Nice!

If you live nearby you should definitely do yourself a favor and check out Darbster. Tell them Ty from cameraphonevegan.com sent you! I still haven’t met Chef Seth, but one day! Apparently Sunday is his day off ;  ) Check out their website for all the info & specials.

Dinner @ Season’s 52 vs. Mellow Mushroom

Published March 6, 2011 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

(My ramble about getting some dinner into us last night!)

I was running some errands last night, and all of them were fairly close to Season’s 52 in Boca, so I decided to head there. Since we didn’t have a reservation, and there wasn’t any seating in the bar area, we took a table outside, even though it looked overcast.

I’ve eaten there before, and I’m a fan of their market vegetable plate. While I like that they have a separate vegan menu, pictured below, my one complaint is that I think  they should make at least 1 of their many flatbreads vegan! Please?! You can read my review a previous experience  here.

Well, before we could even order any food, it began to rain. It was okay though, because the smoke from the torches on the patio was overwhelming. So we headed over to Mellow Mushroom.

The only problem with Mellow Mushroom is parking. I eventually found a space right when I was about to give up. There was a wait, but we easily got a couple of seats at the bar and got the other thing we came here for… beer! : ) Fin du monde and Panic Attack. I had a custom pizza, which was just delicious! This place rocks!

Made Vegan: red base, Daiya cheese, fresh basil, yellow peppers and tempeh. Small about $14

Dinner at Darbster

Published February 27, 2011 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

I’ve been meaning to put this post up for a few weeks, but sometimes things get hectic!

This was my fist time eating dinner at Darbster. I previously went there for lunch and could hardly keep myself from ordering the whole menu! (lunch review here!) Next on the list is brunch!

Vegetables Tempura with sweet chili sauce … $6.95   SO so so delicious! I was scraping up the last little bits of green with the sauce : )

Enchiladas… $11.95   These were AWESOME! I meant to get a raw entree, but once I saw enchiladas on the menu, I had to have them. The filling is just so good. I didn’t want them to ever end, even though I was definitely full, and still had to try dessert. ; )

Chik’n Francaise… $14.95  Now I’m not the type that loved chicken ever, so for me, I’m not the biggest fan of Gardein Chik’n because it reminds me of actual chicken. That being said, this was really tasty and the sauce was pretty wonderful!

Oreo Cheezcake…$9 (?)

Now the last cheezcake that we ate here was the strawberry cheezcake, and it was nothing short of amazing, so I expected to really love this. The waitress who served it apologized for the whipped cream being runny, but it was only a little bit, and tasted great. This cheezcake didn’t have the same creamy texture I liked so much in the previous one, and for me had more of a tofu taste. It still had that amazing nutty crust that I liked so much in the first one.

Next time I’m definitely going to try one of the raw desserts or the carrot cake that I’ve read is really good. I love Darbster and can’t wait to go back! They have a really cool promotion too for sundays! You get 20% off your bill when you bring your pup for Doggie Sunday! Darbster is located at 8020 South Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach, Florida 33405  (561-586-2622) and open Wednesday through Sunday. Check out Darbster.com for their hours!

 

Mellow Mushroom! Delray Beach

Published February 26, 2011 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

Just a few quick pics from dinner the other night at mellow mushroom! Since Mellow Mushroom is close by, has Daiya cheese, and is happy to veganize items on their menu, (and don’t stare at you like you’re an alien if you make such a request!) it will definitely be a place I’m happy to frequent often. The cool rock and roll ambiance, great service and 50 draft and 50 bottled beer selections don’t hurt either. ; ) Speaking of beer, have you tried Holy Mackerel’s 10% Panic Attack?! It’s absolutely great. If there’s one near you, you must try them out!

The restaurant’s covered in paintings of great album covers.

Bruschetta, made vegan (no feta!) $6.99   AMAZING!

Made vegan: tomato sauce base, Daiya cheese, yellow peppers, onions and jerk tofu. Large  $23.99(?) DELICIOUS!

 

Darbster – WPB/Lake Worth, Fl

Published January 27, 2011 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

I am very pleased to tell you that I finally got up to Darbster. Although the address says West Palm Beach, it must really be on the very edge, toeing the line of Lake Worth, because it’s south of Forest Hill Blvd. Regardless, a yummy, and completely vegan experience!

Darbster is a sort of outdoors place. Even the inside seating is really a walled and covered outdoor patio. The temperature outside had dropped to around 66 by the time we got there, so it was nice that there was a table left inside. (In fact, shortly after we were sat, the last table outside came in, and they closed the sliding glass doors.) They have both air conditioners and heaters scattered throughout that they must use for more extreme weather shifts. There are a couple of high tops and seating around the bar as well. Speaking of the bar, they have beer and wine, this Organic Peak Pomegranate Ale ($6) was pretty tasty.

I was immediately thrilled to see that they had onion rings, and started with this side as an appetizer. Months after going vegan, I was saddened when I it dawned on me that most onion rings are dipped in egg along with that batter. Ditto for eggplant parm. So I ordered them gleefully.

Onion rings…  with a sandwich $2.50 or $2.95 without

Darbster uses Daiya cheese and Gardein products for it’s meat substitutes. I’m glad they use Daiya, and I think most vegan places should, but we stayed away from the dishes that we thought were the ones I could easily make at home, like the philly cheese steak sandwich.

I was really anxious to try the rawvioli. I almost forgot to order it in all my vegan restaurant excitement, but grabbed the waitress shortly after placing our order. She wasn’t afraid to let us know that we were ordering a lot of food, and I assured her that I’d take whatever I couldn’t finish home!

This dish ended up being [essentially] a nice salad. The beet “pasta” had a nice crunch, and it was really tasty. The filling was yummy and the salad was nicely dressed. I’m not sure that this would fill me up as a meal on it’s own, so I’m glad I ordered the palm cake sandwich too.

Rawvioli Beet Pasta w/salad…  lunch $10/dinner $12

I had read a bunch of reviews online before the trip up, so I knew that everyone raves about the palm cakes. It’s funny, because for the last couple of years before I went vegan I had really wanted to try a crab cake, even though I never ate seafood. I’m pretty sure it’s because I kept seeing them on the food network : ) Well, anyway, I never did end up eating one, but apparently this pan fried heart of palm cake is it’s vegan stand in. It was super delicious (didn’t taste anything like seafood!), and served on a huge whole wheat bun. Then also had a palm cake ceasar salad as a special, and I know they sell them as appetizers at dinner time. (It actually came on a bigger plate with a little bit of lettuce, but I had to transfer it to a smaller plate because there were too many plates on the table!)

Palm Cake Sandwich with aioli and lettuce… $6.75
(it says and red potatoes on the on-line menu, but not so in person!)

One of the specials was gluten free eggplant lasagna. In fact, this was the last lunch special portion of the day, and according to the waitress, the envy of the other patrons. It was really good.

Gluten free Eggplant Lasagna… I don’t remember how much this was? $10 or $12?

At this point I was pretty full, and boxed up half of my palm cake sandwich for later; I wanted to save room for dessert! I ordered strawberry cheesecake. I had read reviews about their awesome carrot cake, but happened to be carrot caked out, and skipped it. Then I got nervous that I made the wrong choice. I didn’t want one of those vegan cheesecakes that tastes like tofu : P  Well, this cheesecake was SUPER delicious, didn’t have any tofu taste at all, and had a really good grahmmy, nutty crust. It was more of a multi berry cheesecake, and had a softer consistency than I expected. The piece was a generous size for sharing.

Gone in 2 minutes flat!

It was a really nice experience, and I’m glad that Darbster seems to have established itself permanently. It’s a much better option than overpriced Sublime in Fort Lauderdale, both in price and in flavor. This will definitely be a place that I’ll enjoy much in the future. Darbster is open for lunch and dinner Wednesday through Saturday (but open Valentine’s Day Monday) and brunch and dinner on Sunday. They are dog friendly, and accept credit cards too!

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